As some may know I’m a huge fan of JDM artifacts and old-school things. Many think getting old school wheels from Japan is really easy and cheap. But if you were to really look at the wheels over there, you’ll notice all the wheel sets for $300 are the ones with super shitty specs, like only a 6-inch width or an unusable positive offset.
Any old-school wheel with a good width and offset will be over $2,000 USD in Japan. My only solution is to have new barrels made.
Araya Wheels (www.arayawheels.com) located in Westminster, California, offers just the service I needed. This is not like most companies that will cut out the face of the wheel and weld the face along with the mounting ring into a blank one-piece barrel.
If you’ve ever inspected them you’d see all old SSR wheels are three-piece wheels but SSR welds them together after they assemble them. This makes it impossible to take all three parts apart.
Araya first cuts the original weld off of the existing wheel and makes the un-modular three-piece wheel modular again. The faces are then restored to any finish you want. I even had them diamond machine cut my faces to have the same brushed lines in the alloy like original.
I’ve restored and rebuilt over 100 wheels myself and it’s extremely hard to find a place that can machine-cut a face. This is going to be good for you guys with SSR Longchamps, Mugen M7′s, Work Equip 02, or Hoshino Impul wheels.
While the faces were being restored, Araya was making me brand new lip barrels from a raw sheet of aluminum. With expensive machinery a sheet of 6061 aluminum is rolled and pressed to become any width and offset I like.
After the lip barrels are made they are then heat treated for higher tensile strength. This will allow for the wheels to be bolted together and not welded up like SSR had to do originally. Keeping everything modular is very nice for me as I might want to take them apart and redo the faces differently someday.
Keeping things old school, I kept my SSR Techno Phantom wheels 14 inches. They are now 14×9-inch with a +0 and -12 offset, perfect for my 1983 Corolla AE72 project.