Chevy 15×6″ Wheels with Champ Hubcaps

Last Updated 03-28-2009

This page shows how I adapted the stock stainless steel Champ 1/2-ton hubcaps to the 15X6 Chevy Express Van wheels. These wheels were used because they fit the front disc brake conversion, and also fit over the rear Champ brake drums.

******Disclaimer: This page does not represent a recommendation for you to modify your wheels and/or suspension. It simply shows how I modified mine. Modification to vehicle wheels and suspension could lead to injury or death.****** (Translation: if you do this, don’t say I told you to do it, because I didn’t.)

NOTE: Most if not all of these smaller pictures can be clicked to bring up BIG versions. After you view the big version, use your browser ‘back’ arrow to get back to the blog.

15×6″ Chevy Express Van wheel, which is configured such that the wheel will fit over both the Turner disc brake setup, and the Studebaker drum. I considered using 16″ Studebaker truck wheels (they did fit over the front calipers, just barely) but the narrower width versus the Chevy wheels made me decide against them.  The blue color is machinists Dykem, for layout marking:.

chevy-express-van-wheel-2

Basically, the size and position of the slots that hold the stock Studebaker hubcap clips are being duplicated on the Chevy wheel. The clip positions are accurately laid out, and I am milling the slots out with a small end mill. This ‘test wheel’ is being done at home on my drill press, instead of at work on the Bridgeport, to keep the “….what the heck are you doing putting a good Chevy wheel on a Stupidbaker…..” comments to a minimum<G>. The other 4 wheels will be done on the Bridgeport. (Actually, the folks at work are very supportive of my Studebaker hobby, especially the machinists.)

 set-up-to-mill-slots-for-stude-hubcap-clips2

After the slot is milled, the edges are squared off with a file. Note that the mill is plunging straight down on this first slot, which actually ended up not working. I ended having to build up the slot some, and then come in at an angle so the slot is more perpendicular to the surface of the wheel.

milling-in-progress

The easiest way to square up the edges of the slot was with a bastard file, followed with a finer file. This first version slot is actually a little too large in the ‘height’ direction. The modified version was not as tall, plus I did a much better job keeping the the long sides parallel.

slot-milled-and-dressed

two-down-one-to-go

 Hubcap clips installed. The clips here in the first version actually stick up to ’straight’. Once the slots were modified, the clip laid down more like the stock wheel:

stude-hubcap-clips-installed-1

Hubcap installed on ‘test’ wheel:

hubcap-on

Test fit of the wheel with hubcap on the truck. Note that there is a ‘ribbed’ trim ring on the wheel also. This is similar to the combination ran on my ‘55 E-series V8 except with a smooth trim ring. The stainless cap and trim ring looks great against an ivory color wheel.

9-wheel-installed-on-truck

The other wheels are done, primed/sealed, and waiting for a topcoat of paint. This really isn’t hard, just a lot of repetition.