o2bad455

3x112 to 4x100 hub conversion (NOT adapters)

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RE: 3x112 to 4x100 hub conversion (NOT adapters)

 

Need to convert our 450 from 3-lug to 4-lug tomorrow (Friday) afternoon so we can ice race on Saturday.  How easy/difficult to swap to the 4-lug hubs from a newer model?  I believe there's at least one at a boneyard within striking distance, but won;t have much time so a complete parts list would be ideal.  This is mainly just for 13/14" wheel fitment, but don't have adapters and really don't want them (as certain ice conditions have vibrated even properly torqued lugs loose during an event, and adapters can make that worse).  Thanks in advance!

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I doubt the factory front brakes would ever fit inside a 13" or 14" wheel.  IIRC the 453 front end uses parts from a C-Class, the 450 does not.  I would expect it would be much easier to find studded tires for factory wheels.  Fabricating new hubs would be another option, as some have done that for 451 cars.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Ah, thanks!  I was hoping to swap out as little as possible, basically just the hubs (if the rear spline's the same), front rotors and rear drums.  I'd hope to re-use the 450 front calipers and ideally rotors (re-drilling rotors is not an issue, versus hubs which would be a no-no from what I've read), but wouldn't mind cutting down the 453 rotors to fit the 450 calipers if needed.  I guess my first question should rightfully be whether the 453 hubs will bolt on to the 450, regardless of brakes?

 

EDIT: Or, for that matter, if the Smart 453 hubs won't mount up to our Smart 450 carriers, are there any other readily available 4x100 hubs out there that might?  No thanks to global warming, this will likely be our only on-lake ice race this season.

 

Edited by o2bad455

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Can only be done with adapters.  Splines are diffferent.

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Ah, thank you!  If it were just the CV to hub splines, I assume there'd be some way to fit outer CVs to match, but perhaps there's not enough backside clearance in the 450/451 uprights/carriers for the 453 CV to fit (e.g., base of spline usually matched to just less than o.d. of bearing).  I've since checked some online parts specs and the bearings for 4-lug 453 (37mm i.d., ?? o.d)) are much larger than for 3-lug 450/451 (28mm i.d., ?? o.d.), although at least 450/451 seem to take about the same bearing.  Unless there's a hybrid bearing that might work (e.g., cylindrical instead of ball with larger i.d. and smaller o.d.  Not sure what the 450/451 vs 453 wheel bearing o.d.'s are yet, but it looks like it would take serious machining even if the 453 hubs/bearings could be made to fit the 450/451 carriers.  I'm considering this a dead end, unless swapping much more over would work (e.g., suspension uprights and all, but I've probably not got enough time for that either).  Perhaps if I had more time, but I guess you're right as far as adapters for our immediate needs.

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Weld adapters on out of steel and then bolt wheels on as normal afterwards?   It's only for off road use anyway?   You can always cut weld later and then switch things up?  Front being easier than rears, but still.  Front can't be that difficult to simply swap out lower sub frame and then mate up strut above    maybe?   Just quickly thinking without actually thinking it through????  But why swap again?   Oh yeh 4 lugs...lol.  Ready for next year that is...?

 

Edited by Willys

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Without having measured or tried yet, my guess is you're probably right that I could find a way to bolt up most of the 453 front corners onto the 450, but that the rear would be more difficult.  Having once done something similar on VW Mk1 with VW Mk2/3 parts (Mk1 lower A-arm and upper strut hat, with everything in-between from Mk2/3), though, it might really throw off the suspension geometry.  I got horrendous bump-steer on the experimental VW and had to swap back after the first test drive.

 

Not so sure about the 453 rears onto the 450, either, but I'd definitely consider your weld-on idea for that, thanks!  Too bad I don't have any steel adapters already on hand, or I might have been able to try that one in time.

 

I woke up with two more ideas this morning.  Not sure if either is workable but here goes: 

 

1) If I could find some 5x112 in 13" (probably a pipe dream) and/or 14" (possible, I think), perhaps I could drill two extra lug holes in the wheels and go that route.  Anyone know which small diameter 5x112 13" or 14" wheels I might find?  Something like mid-80's GM rings a bell, but unfortunately the local bone-yards don't usually have any stock nearly that old.  If I could find some, though, there might actually be enough time to try this idea today!

 

2) Another option could be making custom 13 or 14 inch wheels out of Smart steelies (e.g., cut out the centers, trim down an inch or so, and weld into some sufficiently narrow (for ice racing) new outers from one of the race wheel manufacturers in the desired diameter.  This could only be another option for next year, though.

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Option 2 is your best bet really.........cut out the centres and make up new one on lathe and set holes etc then weld in.....but that will take time and money unless you own a large enough lathe.   Even a smaller lathe can make spacers, then do the weld route.   If this is simply a race car, that's what I'd do and have a few extra hubs already set up for quick change if you break one while racing. 
Personally I wouldn't have thought a smart car had the balls to race, I've watched ice racing in the past and they ripped it up in style, far more powerfully than what a smart car could do...no?   I used to have Datsun 510's   a perfect car for this sort of thing.  Yep if you find a good 510 now a days you have something worth far more than a crap car to race with, it's actually well sort after...!...$$$$$$

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 3/5/2020 at 3:50 PM, o2bad455 said:

but don't have adapters and really don't want them (as certain ice conditions have vibrated even properly torqued lugs loose during an event, and adapters can make that worse)

 

 

i know it says "not adapters" 

 

but im still going to suggest adapters and loc-tite 

 

 

im also going to recommend using the proper loc-tite cleaner for the threads...most people who say loc-tite doesnt hold is due to improper (or lack of) proper surface prep prior to application

Edited by LooseLugNuts
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Any chance the wheel hubs are the same size where they press into the bearing? If so, press out the 3 lug, press in new bearings and press in the 4 lug from the 453?

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Rear wheel hub on a 450 is also bearing outboard inner race ring. Its material is high carbon steel hence unweldable. 

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3 hours ago, gtjunk said:

Any chance the wheel hubs are the same size where they press into the bearing? If so, press out the 3 lug, press in new bearings and press in the 4 lug from the 453?

 

No chance.  From various parts lists, it looks like 450 (and I think 451 as well) hubs are 28mm (i.d. of wheel bearing), while 453 hubs are 37mm (i.d. of wheel bearing). Also, as tolsen mentioned, the splines are apparently different.  I have done some sleuthing, and it looks like the bearing, and therefore probably the hubs (although not necessarily the splines) may be interchangeable with some Peugeot and Citroen hubs.  Unfortunately, I don't know for sure, and also don't know what bolt patterns those had.  Anyway, there's no more rush as the ice race was cancelled (apparently for the first time in over 50 years) due to insufficient ice (i.e., global warming).  Actually, if there's anything else out there with the same spline, they could probably be turned down (and ideally heat-treated) to potentially work.  Huronland mentioned above that some have fabricated hubs for 451 cars, which *might* be the same hubs as 450 although I haven't compared them.

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DSC01369.jpg

Above photo shows one of my rear 450 bearings opened out. Hub has integral spline and bearing race ring and cannot be dismantled further. 

The way forward in my humble opinion is to use adapters. Your wheels will then also sit normal as adapter will correct for the negative offset which for most rear 450 wheels is ET-1. 

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Very interesting, thanks!  I can now see what you meant about the built-in bearing race on the hub. I wonder if that applies to the bearing housing as well, or could a more standard unit bearing be pressed into and/or circlipped into that 4-bolt housing (for fitment with a hub matching the new bearing)?

 

If not, I think finding a hub/bearing combo with the same mounting pattern of bearing housing to upright might be worth a look.  I've seen many with that basic 4-bolt pattern, although likely different dimensions.  I noticed some parts on the 450 seem to have come from the VW parts bin (e.g., front strut bearing mount), which makes sense considering the early history I'd read in the Lewin book.  I bet that bearing housing bolt pattern might possibly be the same as VW Polo (different from VW Mk4), which, unfortunately, we didn't get here in North America.  When I have time, though, I might just head off the boneyard with a Vernier caliper to see what's out there. 

 

A bonus would be the same 24-tooth (? diam.) CV to hub spline, or at least the same 33(?)-tooth (? diam.) half-shaft to CV spline.

 

On a side note, my browser has started warning that the login to this site, even using https, is no longer secure such that user id and password may be vulnerable.  I had to switch browsers this morning just to log in.  I'm logged in now, but if I get disconnected I probably won't login much more until that can be addressed

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Pressed in wheel bearings is a thing of the past. Most cars these days have wheel bearings similar to the 450 where the hub forms part of the bearing and has to be changed as a single unit. A modern trend is to build wheel speed sensor into wheel bearing so if sensor fails you have to replace bearing at a rather high cost. 

 

Front bearings on the 451 are worse as bearing comes with steering knuckle. 

 

There are no VW parts in our 450 as far as I know. 

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2 hours ago, o2bad455 said:

Very interesting, thanks!  I can now see what you meant about the built-in bearing race on the hub. I wonder if that applies to the bearing housing as well, or could a more standard unit bearing be pressed into and/or circlipped into that 4-bolt housing (for fitment with a hub matching the new bearing)?

 

If not, I think finding a hub/bearing combo with the same mounting pattern of bearing housing to upright might be worth a look.  I've seen many with that basic 4-bolt pattern, although likely different dimensions.  I noticed some parts on the 450 seem to have come from the VW parts bin (e.g., front strut bearing mount), which makes sense considering the early history I'd read in the Lewin book.  I bet that bearing housing bolt pattern might possibly be the same as VW Polo (different from VW Mk4), which, unfortunately, we didn't get here in North America.  When I have time, though, I might just head off the boneyard with a Vernier caliper to see what's out there. 

 

A bonus would be the same 24-tooth (? diam.) CV to hub spline, or at least the same 33(?)-tooth (? diam.) half-shaft to CV spline.

 

On a side note, my browser has started warning that the login to this site, even using https, is no longer secure such that user id and password may be vulnerable.  I had to switch browsers this morning just to log in.  I'm logged in now, but if I get disconnected I probably won't login much more until that can be addressed

Don't worry I have been told about the not secure warning for this site...Hmmm....?   I hope it's secure for the most part as no-one has said they have been affected by this site yet? But many have asked.....it is what it is.

 

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Obviously a cost issue changing to a secure site. Perhaps we should all chip in?

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Ah, thanks.  No, I haven't been affected either AFAIK.  Not sure about cost.  Do you mean for hosting or for coding?  The site itself is already available as https (considered secure), it's just that the login script reverts to http (considered insecure).  Seems to me that it might just be a coding issue, but I'm no expert.  I did determine that the site may be hosted near Vancouver, BC Canada, so VPN'ing closer to there may at least reduce the opportunities for interlopers.

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I've had more problems with the so called secure sites then any of the 100's of non secure sites I'm in regularly that have never been a problem.

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