A Wheel Problem

A Wheel Problem

Having a couple of days off from work gave me some time to move ahead on the restoration and put the rear differential and suspension behind me. I decided since the under carriage is basically done, I needed to get the tires mounted on the wheels. François and I wanted to try this tire store nearby that does a lot of classic and exotic wheels. We’re always looking for new people to do specialty work so we have a selection of people to choose from.

If you remember back a few months ago, I bought a set of Michelin tires, and got all the parts and pieces together to mount the tires. I loaded up the Camry, and headed for the tire store. As we mounted one tire, everything was going great until we mounted the first wheel and tire combination on the balancing machine. The tire was moving in all directions while it was spinning! The wobble was easily a half an inch from side to side, and the rim was out by that much to the hub! Hoping it was one bad wheel, I asked them to mount the wheels on the balancer without tires to see what the others were like. Three more were just as bad, and one of them was slightly better, but not good enough for me. Sh*t!

There was no doubt that I wasn’t getting my tires mounted today, so I asked the tire guys to remove the first tire, and I would take everything home to regroup over this new setback.

Before we talk about solutions, let’s look at the history of these wheels. When I first got my car, the wire wheels came in boxes that were marked “Borrani Wire Wheel Service, Venice Beach, CA” The post mark on the faded boxes were from the late 70s. They had obviously been refurbished, and I’ve heard good things about this company. I get conflicting reports if they’re still around, but they used to do a lot of the vintage Ferrari wheels. I had always assumed they were trued by BWWS, and never thought they would need any work. Wheels don’t go out of true in storage. How these wheels turned out so bad, I may never know.

These wheels shouldn’t be trusted with anyone unless they’re experienced with Borranis. Besides finding out if “BWWS” is still around, there are two other choices, Bob Gates at Wheel Tech, and Cork Adams at Precision Wire Wheel. I’ll be making some calls tomorrow to see how busy these guys are, and how much they charge.

I’m afraid to think what else can go wrong with this car!!!