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Old 03-11-2010, 04:12 AM
John John is offline
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Default Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

What is the difference between the old "original" SS Cragar mags ...and the "New" mags that you order nowadays?
...I am suppose to look at some ( 15" x 6" )...that are suppose to be "one piece"?
...Is there any difference on the design of the cap?

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Old 03-11-2010, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

There are a lot differences, mostly subtle but there are changes over the years. I consider the early ones the most desirable/ valuable- say 1965 - 1969.

It will take a little time for me to start to begin pointing out the differences.

The new "one piece" wheels are all cast aluminum, as seen here:



They don't lok like the old Cragar SS wheels at all. They do share a resemblance to the old GT wheels since the shape seems to resemble the flatter spoke of the original GT and the centers are the unchromed aluminum.

The new wheels look good and stylish, but they are not the real-deal. As much as thye might look good today, they do not have the timeless style than an original wheel of the era. Long term, those wheels will date the car in a negative way.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

neweris wheel

Has the "R" on the centercap, which is newer, but has the older lighter blue in the center cap. Area around the lugs are more evenly chromed which is a later trait. The hub circle is less round and more like a pentagon. You can also see the gussets to support the washers behind the lugs, indicative of a uni-lug pattern.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New



Later caps, which are currently offered. There are a few type offered now, but these are still available when you order the new rims.

Also worth noting the wheels are offered in uni-lug still, but also dedicated patterns with acorn lugs.



I really hate the way these acorn lugs look.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New



Here are some real-deal vintage Cragar SS wheels. The hub area is more round looking.

Here is the front side, notice the lug specific pattern and lack of gussets for the washers. This wheel has a later cap on it.



Note how the area around the lugs is more of a flash chrome than the spoked area. This is how they were back-in-the-day.
Here are some NOS early caps:


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Old 03-11-2010, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

Carlisle Wheel and tire has been manufacturing the Cragar SS wheel for at least 15 years. The centers are cast in China and they assemble them here in the US. There are some differences from the original tooling, and even now, I've been told by them that they had to revise some thigns from wear-and-tear.

For me, I appreciate the guys who hold out for the real-deal originals. Non-unilug, non- R center caps to start. If you've got a set dated fromt the 60's and after the build of your car- extra points!
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

The old ones are peeling . . .
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

...Wow ..that was a great explantion and the close up photos really helped.
Are there dates stamped in the old wheels?
...Now let me go see what these wheels are...
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

Very good info. I can apprieciate trying to find original old style Cragars as there are some very distinctive differances but restoring a set would be pretty pricey I would amagine.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Cragar SS Mags - Old vs. New

I think it's widely known, but I mention it again to add to this thread. Stockton Wheel does restor old Cragar wheels.

There is a bit of a risk because that have to seperate the center aluminum part form the steel hoop. The aluminum part can crack, and they take no responsibility for that. I have spoken to several people who have had this done, and non have mentioned loosing a wheel from this risk.

They then chrome each part and re-weld them together. Cost is about $250 per wheel with shipping. Seems like a lot to some, but when a set of Torque Thrust wheels fetch over $1k I think it's totally justifiable. The early Cragar SS wheels are 10x cooler than a TQ- a well known fact which is often forgotten
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