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Paul’s Stainless Wheel Covers

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

With winter settling into Alaska, Paul has returned to continue work on his Stainless M-38 (and a matching stainless trailer). I believe this is the 28th year of the project? Thanks for sharing Paul!


Knarley Rolls, Paul’s M-38. The spare with its cover is attached to the back of the jeep.

The black steel wheel in the photo below is one of 8 new wheels I purchased for the Willys (4 and a spare) and the M100 trailer (2 and a spare) so I need to modify these wheels to accept the stainless wheel discs I previously made. Each wheel will have 6 metal tabs (evenly spaced) welded to the outer face of the wheel with the tabs running from the outer bead flange to the raised inner ring around the lug nut area and each tab will have two nuts welded to the inner surface. These nuts will line up with holes drilled thru the stainless wheel discs to accept the wheel disc attach hardware and the tabs will provide additional support to hold the wheel discs while driving.


The black rim is to the right covered by a template. The other parts are trailer pieces from the disassembly of his trailer.

My original plan was to have only one nut per tab (so the wheel disc would be held on with six machine screws) but it’s much easier to weld two nuts to each tab while I’m making the parts than to have to add additional nuts and attach screws after the wheels have been powder coated just in case the discs wobble during rotation. I’ll try the 6 attach screws per wheel first and if the wheel discs stay smooth during driving I’ll leave the extra 6 nuts empty. If the disc shows any sign of instability while driving I’ll use all 12 screws to attach the disc for extra support.

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All 48 tabs have been cut, deburred and slightly bent to fit the wheels but I need to bead blast areas of the first wheel before welding these tabs to the wheel and then I can remove the steel master disc and begin working on the modifications to the next wheel.

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5 Comments on “Paul’s Stainless Wheel Covers

  1. Alaska Paul

    Frank … I was wondering if I’d have problems balancing the wheel/tire combo’s due to the added metal but then I realized This Is A Jeep. No matter what I do it will ride rough even on the smoothest roads and Alaska doesn’t have smooth roads. We have paved roads but that’s only so the potholes are more permanent. Yes, this little Willys will have shock absorbers but they’ll be called passengers so we don’t need no steenkin balancing done to this vehicle. Anyone who rides with me should know what they’re in for and if they’re such a delicate little flower I’ll give them a piece of cardboard, a black felt marker and they can hitch hike. When I’m finally finished with the Willys rebuild I’ll report on the ride comfort, I expect it will be somewhere between Whiplash and Spinal Column Injury.
    Thanks Marc, hows your Willys project coming???? Any updates or photos?

  2. frankthecrank58

    Awesome answer! Like your work on the Willys, your answer is well thought out and meticulous in detail. I’m glad I asked and enjoyed the response. I’m sure I’ll use that on someone when they ride with me in mine. Keep up the good work AND the wit. So…will you be done in the next ten years?

  3. Alaska Paul

    Frank…. I should have been done with this project many years ago but my Willys rebuild suffers from mission creep. I’m making parts I never even imagined I’d need or want when I started in 1986 so I guess I’ll keep going until my wallet is completely empty or I run out of things to do on the Willys. I expect both of these events will occur about the same time. Today I took a truckload of parts to the powder coating place, by the time things were unloaded and I was heading out the door the owner was looking at new boat brochures. JEEP, Just Empty Every Pocket.

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