Thursday, September 7, 2023

Volvo PV544 Wheels

 The original four inch wide wheels on the Volvo limit us to six inch wide tires (165-80-15s) and really leave a lot to be desired . Anything over sixty MPH will induce major pucker factor that requires more adrenaline to drive than I can handle at this point in life . To remedy this requires wider tires but the old PV is limited by how much inset or offset you can have before you need to start modifying fenders for things to fit without interference .

The classic Minilite wheels I'd really like are priced at a self-indulgence level I really can't justify . Fortunately the 5 X 4.5 inch bolt pattern matches some older cars and Pre-1989 Ford Ranger fifteen inch wheels are a known fit and correct off-set to allow the use of  185-65-15 tires giving us an effective road contact tread width of about seven and a half inches . 

 A couple years after dad passed I found an old set of Ranger wheels behind his barn , and I ran them for a short spell before the tires were to old and rotted to trust . Having been rescued from the Allen Range road junkyard , the wheels were in rough shape with some serious rust along the bead and valve stem hole so they leaked air badly . 

Some were better than others , but before mounting new tires they required refinishing . I inquired about having them sandblasted and refinished but the price quotes I got were about six hundred and fifty dollars . About half of the price of the Minilites . And the shop looked to be run by a bunch of sketchy looking meth junkies . So that left only one option . 

 One I put off for a long time as the last time I used this combo I got bit badly .

 Took me about eight ours per wheel to get them cleaned up

Used an assortment of carbide abrasive and wire wheels on an extension inside a half inch diameter aluminum tube allowing me to hold the extension and control the wire wheel better .

Got them as clean as I could with the exception of that narrow joint where the inner part meets the actual rim .

Then coated them with some rust converter 

 Let them dry overnight .

Followed by some two dollar a rattle can , Marden's Discount special , Rustoleum gloss black appliance epoxy paint .

And the results were pleasing enough .

And while not the Minilites I'd like , they will have to do for my pedestrian budget and the new tires make for a much better ride and do allow me to reach seventy miles an hour on the highway without having to change my shorts .


  1. I think think the black Ranger rims with the chrome bezel and the Volvo center piece looks better than the Minilites! Of course, you had already made a blood sacrifice by paying it forward.

    1. Hey Kevin, they seem to do the job nicely and I got a lot of compliments over them at the last three car shows / cruise-ins I have been to this week. I think dad would be pleased if he saw the results.

  2. How are ya doing Mike? Getting ready for winter with a tank that will retain all it's oil? I think the black rims with the chrome bezels accent the black paint of the car. You been busy with other projects? I moved out to Oregon last year from South Dakota and I am planning to move back in March... I am an Oregon boy, but man, it has commiefied itself. You definitely can't go back home...

    1. Hey Kevin, I'm doing my best to keep my head below the line of fire and trying to get all my chores done before winter. Just like Sysiphus perpetually rolling the boulder up the hill, I never seem to be able to get caught up. 300 feet of stockade fence needed replacing this summer among other depressing tasks. Had a minor leak on the flare fitting on the oil line coming out of the filter, but due to some minor digit damage I found my self without an operating opposing thumb for a spell. Luckily a good friend came to the rescue and sorted it for me. I'd imagine South Dakota may be a better place compared to the Peoples Republik of Oregon. Here in Maine things are no better with the warthog faced Governor and her minions in the legislature whoring themselves out to their scumbag pimps down in DC.