Installing HX rims over DA brakes

June 29, 2005


To start off;

I got this idea from others! I pretty much blame "redcivicstandard" and the guys at EF-Honda for this! You can click here to go to the page written by Eric, on the EF-Honda web site.

The concept fits perfectly with what I want to do with the car, and that's to make it look stock. This is only the first part of what is required to install stock 89 SI hubcaps over light aluminum HX rims.

My car started out as an 89 SI, to which I installed the EX spindles and DA brakes. That's why the title comments about installing them over DA brakes.

The problem is that you can't just bolt them on. They don't clear the brake caliper mounting bracket.

One solution would be to use a wheel spacer that is about 1/8". If you do this, you should think about longer wheel studs although I don't really think there would be a need. The problem with this is that you would loose the "indexing" of the wheel on the raised lip on the rotor. It would be only the wheel studs that center the wheel.

The other solution is the one that I did, and that's grind down the caliper mounting bracket. Now I want to make this next point real clear!! Although this is what I did, it's totally up to you to decide if this is safe!!

All of the photos are "clickable" to a larger version.

Here is a photo of the installed wheels (I painted them a flat "gun-metal" color so that they are less notable thorough the holes in the hub caps).

What's involved and how to do it.

In the photo on the left, I'm pointing to the area that hits the rim. In the photo on the right, I'm showing the 4" Mikita grinder I used.


The following photo shows the preliminary grinding that I did.

Now here is something that will help you out figuring the clearance required, since you can't really see that area with the wheel installed.

When an engine builder is installing a high-lift cam shaft, there is the possibility that the valves will hit the pistons. That's why there is a valve "pocket" machined into the top of the piston. But the problem they are faced with is kind of like the problem we have. You just can't see the area once it's put together.

So, what does an engine builder do? They put a piece of clay on the top of the piston, assemble the engine, and the rotate the crank. When they take it all apart, they can measure the height of the clay (that wasn't compressed by the opening valve).

I went to an art supply shop and bought some modeling clay. It comes in various hardness's and I got the hardest.

Here is a photo of the clay placed on the bracket before installing the rim.

Once I was happy with the clearance, I used a 2" sanding disk to remove all the grinding marks.

That's pretty much it!

Now I have to modify the hub caps so that they fit.

   Closing comments;

Use jack stands!!! 

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Wes Vann