How to Make Your Own Floater Rims

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Creating the illusion of a vehicle “floating” on the road, automobile floater rims are designed to make the wheels appear stationary while the vehicle is in motion. Constructed of a two-piece design, floater rims create the illusion by employing a weighted faceplate with a slightly smaller diameter than the surrounding rim. As the wheel turns, the weight anchors the faceplate; causing the plate to remain static while the vehicle is in motion.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 wheel covers
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Rubber mallet
  • 1/4-ounce stick-on wheel weights, 4
  • Welder
  • 1/8-inch long threaded bearing sleeves, 4
  • Bearing grease
  • Pliers
  • Paint
  • Select a set of wheel covers matching the diameter of the rims. For example, if the vehicle has 16-inch diameter wheels, select a 16-inch set of wheel covers.

  • Remove the prongs from the back of the center disk of the wheel covers with a flat-head screwdriver. Gently tap the disks free from the attachment ring with a rubber mallet.

  • Attach a single stick-on 1/4-ounce wheel weight to the back of each wheel cover disk; place the weight at the outer edge of the disk.

  • Spot weld a 1/8-inch long threaded bearing sleeve over the wheel hub opening on the rim. Apply bearing grease to the inside of the bearing sleeve and bearings; seat the bearings into the sleeve with your fingers.

  • Slide the hole in the wheel cover disk over the bearing sleeve. Fasten the disk to the bearing sleeve with a threaded, closed-face lock ring; screw the ring onto the sleeve hand tight and then snug the ring down gently with a pair of pliers.

  • Paint the face of the lock ring to match the wheel cover, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Select bearing sleeves with large enough diameters so the base of the sleeves doesn’t block the wheel hub opening on the rim.

References

  • Fabrication and Welding Engineering; Roger Timings
  • The Metal Craft Book; Janice Kilby and Deborah Morgenthal
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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