P4.5 | New Wheels, New Problems

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Project 4.5 got its new shoes installed today. While I’ve had the wheels for a few weeks now, I wasn’t intending on installing them any time soon as I wanted to have them re-finished first. The installation was moved up to today when one of the original tires decided to blow a sidewall from dry rot. After a short time with a lug wrench and a jack, The new wheels were on.

They are not EAP’s, although they look quite similar. These wheels are from 2010 Focus SES Coupe. I was able to pick them up locally from a nice family for a more than reasonable price. There are a few small blemishes, which would easily be fixed with a fresh powdercoat. The tires on the wheels are like new and still have the little nubs on them. They are off-brand tires, but for this build, they will more then suffice and are a massive improvement over the original tires which were well past their expiration date. In the coming year, the tires will be dismounted off thc wheels and they’ll go off to be powdercoated. Big Brand Tire in Camarillo, CA has already offered to do the dismounting and remounting and balancing free of charge when the time comes.

After taking the car for a quick test drive to make sure everything was mounted properly,two issues became very apparent, The first issue was that the car looks like it has a lift kit. Seriously 4×4 statûs. By the looks of it, I could probably run over a Prius without spilling a drop of my Mountain Dew. As you know, the spilling of Mountain Dew is pure, 100%, unadulterated sacrilege.

Problem 2 goes something like this, ‘clunk clunk clunk clunk’. I knew one of the wheel bearings was starting to show signs of wear, but with new, larger wheels with properly inflated tires, the symptoms were really made obvious and it has shown me how far out their really are. Fortunately, I already have a replacement bearing on hand for one side. Now just to get one more and then install. Not looking forward to that install, but I’m sure with the proper tools and help from a local shop, it should make easy work of the repair.

The plan is to powdercoat the wheels and suspension components including the knuckels while simultaneously replacing the bearings. While I have everything out, I plan on replacing the brakes all of the way around as well as  painting the front calipers black.

If I have a donation or if I find a set of SVT brakes at a junkyard, I’ll throw on those brakes and knuckles. For now, check out this quick photoshop of P4.5 lowered with its new wheels. 

James Stanley