We wanted to share some info on doing a continental kit with a wire wheel installed. One very popular kit to modify is from E&G Classic. These kits came on various cars during the 70’s and 80’s as a dealer add on. Towncar, Deville, Seville, New Yorker, 5th Avenue and many other luxury car models came with the kits on them. This section covers the E&G model only but it may be helpful as other kits are similar. To make things easier to understand we broke this tech article into steps to follow. The kit in this article is a new E&G kit and you may notice that the latch is different on older kits. This is a very difficult and time consuming job. If you are still unsure about this after reading the article we HIGHLY recommend sending your kit out to someone who does. It’s worth sending it out.
What you’ll need:
- E&G Classic spare kit
- Reciprocating saw
- Various sockets and wrenches
- Drill and various bits
- 14×6 rim!!!!! ( Some older kits may fit a 13 inch rim )
- Various grade 8 hardware
- Cheap soldering iron
- Tape measure
- Flathead screwdriver
- Dremel tool with cutting wheels
- 1/4″ x 2″ x 4′ steel flat bar stock
- 1/4″ x 1″ x 4′ steel flat bar stock
First we’ll take a look at a E&G Classic bumper kit before and work has started. This will be helpful once the kit has been taken apart as a picture reference.
STEP 1 : Removing The Wheel Cover
The first step is to remove the stock cover from the top shell of the kit. It comes out very easily once you understand how it comes off. You will need a flat head screwdriver to remove the cover.
STEP 2: Cutting The Rim
This step was probably the most painful step to do. It wasn’t hard to do but it was sad to cut a brand new all gold 14×6 for this kit. You need a drill and a reciprocating saw to cut the back of the rim off. Using the drill make a hole that will allow you to put the saw blade near the back rim nipples. With the saw cut next to the back rim nipples all the way around the rim. You could also use a grinder or cutting wheel to cut the rim. Once the rim is cut clean up the cut part of the rim and apply some paint to prevent rust on the cut edge.
STEP 3: Removing The Stock Latch and Brackets
Now we will begin to prep the top shell to make room for the rim. You will need some various sockets and a drill to remove some rivets. You will remove the top chrome band, the upper latch bracket and the chrome base from the top shell.
STEP 4: Cutting the Hole For The Rim
You were probably wondering what you will use the soldering iron for? We used one with a flat tip to cut the hole for the rim. It made a very clean hole to put the rim through. After the hole was cut out we dropped in the rim to check how it fit in the top shell. We put the rim exactly how we wanted it, with the valve stem hole on top. Then we put in the adapter and spinner and set the spinner up how we wanted it. A mark was made with a marker on the rim and adapter to make setting it up exactly how you want it easy to do. Another mark was made across the adapter for the rim mounting bar that we have not made yet.
STEP 5: Modifying The Rim Adapter
Now the adapter will need to be modified a bit. We like to weld nuts to the adapter for better quality. This prevents nuts from backing off the bolts that hold the rim in. Imagine having to take the whole kit apart again because the rim got loose.
STEP 6: Notching Bucket Top
The bucket top is the piece that was bolted to your top shell. When you put the rim in the kit the bucket top must be modified to fit the lip of the rim. This modification can be done with a Dremel tool. Once you have made the cut you can put back the door edge molding over the cut part of the bucket top.
STEP 7: Supporting The Rim With A Bracket
This part is the most important part of the kit and the second hardest step to do. The rim bracket is needed to keep the rim secure in the kit. This bracket is designed to bolt in using grade 8 bolts and hardware. The bracket is made from 1/4″ x 2″ flat bar steel stock. On this kit we used a 20″ long flat bar to mount to the rim adapter. Two small parts were made up and holes were drilled in them to bolt to the top bucket. Two more parts connect the bolting brackets to the rim support bar. The tricky part was spot welding everything together. We did a mock up of the bracket inside the kit. We laid a water soaked towel in the top shell to prevent damage when spot welding the bracket in place. Once everything was in place the bracket was taken out and the welds were finished up. Note: You may have a hard time getting the bracket out of the kit. We ended up drilling out the bottom rivets in the top shell to get the bracket out.
STEP 8: Paint Top
The top gets sanded and painted to match the car. You could also cover the top shell in vinyl or a canvas covering.
The top shell is ready for the rim after paint.
STEP 9: Mount The Rim In Shell
This step can be a bit tricky but if you have someone to lend an extra hand it’s not so bad. Lay a clean towel on a flat table. Place the rim on the table face down then put the top shell on the rim face down. The top shell must have the bracket inside it at this point. Now bolt in the bracket to the rim adapter. Using grade 8 bolts attach the bucket top to the top shell and the rim bracket. Carefully reinstall the trim ring around the kit trying not to damage the paint on the shell. Once the top of the kit is together put it right side up and make sure the rim lip is tight all the way around the shell face.
STEP 10 : Modifying The Lower Bucket
Now it is time to start working on the lower bucket of the kit. The problem is that the latch and bracket are in the way of the rim. Room must be made for the rim to sit into the lower bucket. We must modify the original latch and remove it. We will install the latch in another part of the kit later. A Dremel tool works great for this step.
STEP 11 : Installing The Latch
NOTE: INSTALLING THE LATCH THIS WAY WAS AN EXPERIMENT AND WE RECOMMEND FINDING AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD SUCH AS MOUNTING THE LATCH ON THE BUMPER.
This step was the hardest step to do. The latch we wanted hidden and not on the bumper. That meant that the latch had to be in the lower bucket. They’re many different ways to do this step but here is how we did our latch. In addition to this latch we will have a system of safety wire to limit the amount of tilt the kit can open when filling up and another safety for hitting some serious switches by taking stress off the latch.
Note: We are not responsible for damages or injuries from the suggestions on this page. Remember safety first!
STEP 12 : Installing the Kit On Car
You will need a tape measure, masking tape, drill, tools, Dremel tool with cutting wheel and a few other things. It is easy if you have someone lending an extra hand to hold things.