Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Billet 6061-T6 VW BRM Wheel Centers in BBS 30 bolt pattern (15 inch)

Yes I have been busy and it's about the right time to let the cat out of the bag.

I have never been entirely happy with the Flat-4 BRM replicas on the black VW even after cutting the front wheels down from 5.5 to 4.25 inch and installing the 6.5 inch rear's. It just seemed like something any idiot with a VW could do even though it wasn't that easy ... so as I had access to a HAAS CNC mill, I got thinking about making my own wheels.

I then tracked down a pair of original magnesium BRM's out of California in order to accurately model my proposed design (one of which is now my spare wheel in the black VW) and set the engineers on their way with creating the wheels in code. I wanted to maintain as much of the original dimensioning as was possible even down to the steel lug inserts which we ended up replicating as a nod to the original wheel design (exact same as the original magnesium BRM inserts).

A quick trip to Surman Metals http://www.surmanmetals.com/ provided the raw stock - Russian 6061-T6 alloy sliced off as below and this got Rob Surman excited as noted.

At this stage I had some very heavy lumps of alloy taking up a fair bit of room in the MK3 Golf. 

Next they were loaded up in the mill and within a reasonable amount of time the weight was reduced and the BRM wheel was beginning to be revealed!

My set were serial numbered as B00001-B00004. Why the 'B'? That is because we named the wheel after a chap I know - BORIS.

After being machined to about 95% I then sent the wheels off for shot blasting which then roughed up the flat surfaces to replicate the original finish. Another trip on the CNC then exposed the shiny sharp faces as I was wanting and then I sent them off to Key Manufacturing http://keyman.com.au/ for anodising in a silver to kind of match the BRM center caps I had bought from Ron Fleming at FAT Performance. I was either going to go black or silver and with the car being a very large black space, decided in the end to run with the silver to break up that darkness.

Hardware was sourced from the UK (M7) and then the rim lips and barrels were produced in Victoria at https://www.whitehorseindustries.com.au/ to my specifications.
As you can see I am running very different front and rear widths and offsets to suit my car which has some odd parts fitted (for a VW-1500) such as CSP front disks, 356B rear drum brakes (sourced many years ago from 'The Maestro' and are the rear set from a complete set that got split between myself and Jerry Seinfeld) and short Type 1 axles.

This is the exact reason I went down this path- my wheels can be made to fit any width or offset and fixes wheel fitment issues 100%.

I just hope that my measuring pays off and these fit the car as well as I am believing they will!

Wheel #B00001 after anodising. Nice work huh. 

The business name machined in another spoke.

And although it's a little hard to see, here is another set of BRM's to suit Simmons 15 inch pattern but are ultra thin and light weight. These do not allow the fitment of original size BRM caps due to the design but were made to specs for a formula vee which is being raced in Adelaide, South Australia by Rob Surman.

The BRM centers for my car only weigh about 2.62kg so these ones are lighter than that by a fair margin. Next step would be to make all of these in magnesium... or possibly an entire replica BRM in magnesium.

Isotropic rem polishing