Are those old-school wheels still safe to drive on? | Coming soon to an issue near you

Those original wheels look to be in one piece, so they're still good to drive on, right? Maybe not.

Consider how much stress your wheels endure during their lifetime–including every bump and pothole you’ve ever had the misfortune to hit–and you might start to understand why it’s important to occasionally check their condition.

How do you do that, and what should you look for? We cover that exact topic in the upcoming November 2021 issue of Classic Motorsports.

Subscribe now to get the print copy of the issue as well as access to your digital subscription.

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Panamericano New Reader
8/7/21 1:14 p.m.

We once had a 30 year old magnesium wheel explode with no warning.  Sitting still.  20 psi or less.  On a Formula Junior, weighing well under 1000 pounds.  Beware, they oxidize from the inside. 

wspohn SuperDork
8/8/21 11:23 a.m.

Old magnesium wheels can be just fine if crack tested and cared for.

I raced on original American racing magnesium wheels of c. 1962 vintage on two different vintage race cars, and the wheels on my 1969 vintage Lamborghini were also magnesium. I had them stripped, tested and refurbished and they are not doubt still going fine (I sold the car later to Europe).

I do agree that anyone that puts such wheels to heavy use without having them tested and properly refinished is a fool, but the same thing can be said about not crack testing suspension uprights and such.

frenchyd UltimaDork
8/9/21 2:00 p.m.

In reply to wspohn :

Exactly right. The Navy slams jet fighters into the deck at 140+ mph and hauls them to a stop in 300 feet.  Look up the weight of those fighters!   
     My S2E could land 27,000 pounds of plane on those little Essex class Carriers. And that's on the light/slower side. 
  Navy planes use Magnesium wheels and  they last 30-40+ years.    
Do not fear magnesium. It will take abuse.  

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