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Old 27-06-2011, 02:51 AM
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Default Photo Essay - Driving 948km just to buy some wheels!

(I need to get 10 posts before I can advertise anything for sale, so please excuse the various ramblings that I'll post over the next few minutes. If I can sell a few things this week then I'll buy the WRX in Victoria that I'm keen on )

The Stats:

Initial phone call: 6:35pm
Filled up with petrol near home: 7:15pm
Arrived at seller's house: 11:41pm
Distance driven so far: 483km
Time spent at seller's house: 13 minutes
Time arrived home: 5:53am
Total distance driven: 948km

I've been trying to find Brembo-compatible wheels for about two months now. They have to be 18" (instead of the more common 19). Why?
- to keep it legal - wheels can't be more than 2 inches bigger than the original ones (16).
- I want as much tyre profile as possible for sharp bumps.
- costs - 18" tyres are cheaper than 19" tyres.

They also had to be a simple, five spoke design to make it easy to keep them clean. This made it tricky because the trend in wheel design at the moment is away from five spokes and toward more complex (and hard to clean) designs.

After heaps of internet research I had eventually figured out that BA XR8 18" rims were the way to go. But trying to find some in undamaged condition was impossible. I even bought a couple of sets that were badly scratched for use as spares.

I finally realised that I wasn't going to find undamaged XR8 rims so explored getting some scratched ones repaired. I even spent a day and a bit taking the wheels to each of the wheel repair places in Perth. All said that they weren't really fixable and I would have to settle for painting them instead. Nup, didn't want painted. I wanted a glossy, shiny look.

I even got one repaired at a cost of $150 to see if it would look how I wanted. Nup, failed once again. It didn't look too bad, but still wasn't what I was seeking.

Bloody hell. Surely it can't be that hard just to find a set of wheels that fits over Brembo callipers and is easy to clean?

It got to the point where I was checking Gumtree and eBay every day. Sometimes several times a day. Obsessive doesn't even begin to cover it. My taxi was due for new tyres, wet weather was on the way and I had spent over $3,000 on brake parts that I couldn't use yet. Massive levels of frustration.

I did see an advert on Gumtree that stuck in my mind. It was a simple advert, with just one photo of a wheel and text that said, "Set of 4 Low Profile Bridgestone Potenza Race tyres on ROH rims. Suitable for FPV GT with 6 Pot brakes." Not a whole lot of detail to go on but enough to make me not forget it.

Finally, after a couple of emails and finally getting more than one photo of the wheels, I made the phone call. These wheels were in Geraldton, which is over 400km away, so it wasn't just a matter of dropping by for a quick look.

The seller, Steele, answered the phone and I got straight to haggling. He was possibly coming to Perth in a couple of weeks but was reluctant to bring the wheels because it would mean towing a trailer and paying extra fuel costs. I made a blunt cash offer, including picking them up that night. He accepted, and agreed to wait up past his usual 9pm bedtime for me.

Damn. I had just dug myself into quite a hole. It turned out that he lives a bit past Geraldton, about 450km away. A rather long drive to just spontaneously do.

But, I needed wheels desperately. After some initial indecision about whether to drive the taxi (ie cheaper on LPG but had to be back by 6am) or my girlfriend's ute (currently not insured), I decided to use the ute After some stuffing around and frantic thinking about what to take I got moving.

I drove straight there. I made one stop along the way, which consisted of running into a service station and getting an energy drink and hamburger. Not overwhelmingly healthy stuff but it would keep me going. I was back in the ute in about one minute. This was racing pit-stop stuff.

Not far from Geraldton there was a detour, which added 17km to the trip. I later found out that there had been a fatal crash on the highway earlier in the day and that section of road was closed until it was all cleaned up.

My TomTom GPS led me to exactly the right house. By now my bladder had been quite the attention seeker for the last hour or two but I wanted to get these wheels.

Steele came out the front and showed me the wheels, which were now on his back lawn. Cash was passed over and wheels were loaded into the back of the ute. It was that simple. I got a receipt and it was clear that Steele was way past bedtime so I headed off. I was there for an entire 13 minutes.

I took it easy on the way home. The pressure was off now. I had the wheels and there was no-one waiting up for me. I had a look around the Geraldton townsite and headed back toward home.

The drive home was at a much more relaxed pace and took me considerably longer than the trip there. I didn't have to take the detour past the scene of the fatal crash and got to see where it happened. It's one thing to read about fatal crashes but it's a much more surreal feeling to drive past the exact location where someone died hours earlier. The skid marks and painted markings on the road made it clear that someone died rather suddenly.

I finally got home and parked in my front yard at 5:53am. Ten hours and 38 minutes after I initially started.

There was no stopping yet. I didn't even have time to have a good look at the wheels in Geraldton so now it was time to unload and start cleaning them. By now I was extremely keen to see how they would look so got very busy with wheel cleaner, degreaser and cleaning brushes. One wheel has a gouge on one of the spokes that I didn't know about earlier but I can live with that.

They cleaned up reasonably well but the chrome will need a proper polishing. Darn, I was hoping to get tyres fitted and have the whole lot running on the taxi by afternoon. Oh well, at least it's starting to come together.

Surprisingly, the whole trip wasn't all that hard. I've done heaps of country driving over the years but I've found it extremely hard to maintain concentration for the last couple of years because I've become so used to city driving, where there are always things to analyse and be aware of. But this drive was a breeze. It's now exactly two hours after I got back and I'm still very much awake. Going to have to focus on winding down and getting to sleep soon.

The sun is up now and I need to go to bed. Today is a good day. I have wheels.

The hunter returns with his prey:


Cleaning time:


Dammit, too wet to put in my bedroom. It was tempting to dry them with the petrol powered weed blower but I figured that 6:30am might be a tad early for that:


They'll be going on this ASAP:


BA XR8 18" rims all over the place. It's like an orphanage for XR8 rims around here:


Front porch. Yeah, the rims came with near-new street legal racing slicks. I won't be using the slicks on the taxi:


Back tyre on the taxi. Needs replacing ASAP, hence the urgency:


Bridgestone Potenza RE55S street legal racing slicks. They'll be removed and re-sold:


They look like forklift tyres:


Just when it's time to wind down and go to bed for the day, builders turn up for the house that's being built across the road. Lots of noise. Lovely:
  #2  
Old 27-06-2011, 03:03 AM
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cool story dude but having been posted in off-topic non wrx dada dida wont help in your quest for a post count
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  #3  
Old 27-06-2011, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by munya View Post
cool story dude but having been posted in off-topic non wrx dada dida wont help in your quest for a post count
Bugger. Need to get some race tyres sold, to contribute towards buying a WRX that I'm considering buying.

Can't buy a WRX unless I sell the tyres. Don't have anything else to post unless I buy a WRX. Catch-22.

Shame this stuff doesn't contribute towards the post count, I've got heaps of stuff like this. I drive a taxi at night and take photos and write stories about the things I come across regularly.
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Old 27-06-2011, 06:24 AM
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sell them on gumtree
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Old 27-06-2011, 06:26 AM
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948 km's for run of the mill chromies?
  #6  
Old 27-06-2011, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fsk View Post
948 km's for run of the mill chromies?
Needed particular wheels that will clear the 6 piston front and 4 piston rear Brembo calipers that I've got here. Took me two months of searching to find suitable wheels.

The back tyres on my taxi were getting bald (17" rims) and I have to go to 18" rims to fit the Brembos, so didn't want to buy new tyres that I'd only use for a few weeks. So, the pressure was really piling on to get suitable 18" rims and fit new tyres.

Got the wheels put on the car with new tyres on Thursday night and sure enough, it pissed down rain all weekend. I went with Neuton NT5000 tyres after doing heaps of internet research on tyres. Damn, they're good. The car handled well all weekend.
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Old 27-06-2011, 07:08 AM
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your putting brembo's on the taxi?
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Old 27-06-2011, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phildo View Post
(I need to get 10 posts before I can advertise anything for sale, so please excuse the various ramblings that I'll post over the next few minutes. If I can sell a few things this week then I'll buy the WRX in Victoria that I'm keen on )
Cool story.

Post crap to get the post count up and your for sale thread will still be deleted. This isn't Gumtree or the Quokka.

If you want to sell, become a forum supporter.
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