Change of Wheels to 16″ Steels

With the wheels that came on the van being 18″ and numerous bad luck I was having to change a tyre every 3 months and the worst thing that happened a couple of times was having to change a tyre that had plenty of tread but a rip in the side wall.

So I have been looking around for a while for a set of 16″ steels I have gone for this size as I just feel the 15″ wheels look a little small. My easiest option was to find some used wheels off a Mercedes Vito, this as usual was a nightmare the prices were very high and were pretty hard to even find any for sale. I would guess people are picking up the cheap sets straight away for banding etc.

I ended up heading down to Cornwall and made an effort to contact every breakers and not one set or any clues as to where I would find some. On the off chance I headed to some scrap yards to see if there was any other options and the first thing I see driving in the yard is two Vitos sitting there with steels on. A quick look and they were in decent condition with good tyres so took them home for £70.

VW T4 16" Vito Wheels

So Step one is to remove existing paint and rust back to clean metal, I used a Knot wheel for the grinder. I also removed the air valve and broke the tyre bead so I could access more of the steel. Ideally removing the tyre and getting them blasted would have been better but that all costs money.

VW T4 16" Vito Wheels Grinder

This really did not take long and I would highly recommend this over a wire wheel in a drill, although the drill and wire wheel could come in handy for tight spots.

Next was masking the wheel as said before I had broke the bead and deflated the tyres so this left plenty of room to get the masking tape between the tyre and wheel. On to the Primer I used an Etch Primer for this just to make sure the paint adhered well in total I only needed one 500ml can for all four wheels this gave me 3 coats on each wheel. This maybe a point where a couple more coats could help fill in any marks in the wheel or to allow you to sand back the primer to smooth it but I was more than happy with the finish so moved on.

After leaving the Primer for a couple of hours I moved on to base coat I just used a Generic Wheel Paint for this and again 3 coats for each wheel meant I only needed one 500ml can.

Again Leaving a couple of hours I moved on to Lacquer and one light coat and a second Heavy coat gave me a finish I was happy with.

I then left these to dry for two days before taking them to get the valves fitted and tyres blown up and put on the van.

To fit the wheels I needed some spigot rings to change the hub centre bore from 57.1 to 66.6 which the Mercedes Vito wheels are. Once fitted the offset caused the rear wheels to look a bit deep in the arches so I opted to space them out a bit to improve the look. For spacing the wheels I went for some 15mm Hub-centric Spacers these also came with some extended bolts. There is a few things to note here.

  1. I opted for 57.1 center bore rather than the spacer being 66.6 as this then gives me some other options with wheels in the future and I can just re use my spigot rings for now
  2. It seems nearly impossible to get hold of 19mm extended wheel bolts so you will have to use 17mm this then means that the standard VW center caps will not fit any more. So because of this I ordered some matching shorter 17mm bolts for the front wheels too
  3. Make sure the wheel bolts are Radius and not tapered.

So to go with the new wheel bolts I choose to use the VW Caddy Wheel Center Caps as nothing is ever perfect they will fit on but because of the wheel bolt shape there is not enough lip for the caps to securely attach to so for safety I have added a few dabs of silicone.

VW T4 16" Vito Wheels

The Wheels I ended up going with were: 5×112 pcd, 66.6 centre bore, offset et60

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