AMC rims or Looking to buy a rim?
Painting your AMC
Rally rims is easy. The 71-74 8 slot rims were made by Kelsey Hayes. Painted
semi gloss black, they then were painted argent silver. So whole rim was
black....then middle covered and stayed black while rest of rim painted
silver. If doing this yourself you can used Krylon in a can, or get paint from
Simply media blast your rims, then paint whole external or rim semi gloss
black. I like to use 4-5 coats. Let it sit in sun for few days unless you have
heat lamp. Then using paper plate, pie pan, bowl, whatever it is you want to
cover center, paint rest of rim silver. Please note that you will have run off
thru slots and edges, this is exactly how Kelsey Hayes did it mass producing
these type rims from 1970 thru late 1980s. Compare it to a Space Saver with
orange paint runs behind rim, that is factory. If you wish to get fancy, you
can also wait a few days then clear coat your rims also for added
For the 69-up 5 spoke rally rims, these were painted with a sparkly
speckly paint. Eastwood sells this type paint and I believe they, or other
major vendors sell a paper template you put over spokes when painting very
easy to do, used to be you would have to painstakingly mask spokes, but not
If you are looking for a AMC bolt pattern, below is simple tip to find
some, whether Cragar, American Racing, even those used on brand x like Ford,
Mopar. Many folks can recognize by sight, a AMC rim that was unique to AMC; like
1975-up aluminum slot dish mags, or 71-74 8 slot Rally rims. However
with the explosion of different kinds of rims on the market in recent memory
this might help out some of you who are considering putting a 16-17 inch rim
on your AMC, or just locating a rim in a junkyard, swap meet, car show or
vendor. I may add that many companies are not making 14 inch tires anymore in
2011, and the 14 inch rims have disappeared at quick rate due to no
Most of the rims used on AMC were made by Detroit Wheel of Detroit
Michigan. Or Kelsey Hayes. A
common "myth" or "urban legend" out there is people see
rally rims and automatically assume they are Ford or Mopar rims. Nope. Detroit
Wheel made them and sold them to various automakers. That is the confusion.
But many of these three car makers rims will interchange too.
Many of the rims AMC used like the five spoke 'Rally Rims' are made still and
can be found in Hemming's Motor News. Magnum 500's are CHROME ONLY, and
do NOT take a trim ring, as the Rally Rims do. Rally rims are
"painted". AMC also had several types of Rally rims like the 8
slots, 14" and 15" starting in 1971. The most common are the Rally
rims however AMC started using in 1969, these take a trim ring, and like the
Magnum all-chrome 14X6 1/2 500 rims, also take a small Dixie Cup style
centercap. The little 'American Motors' decal in the middle has been
reproduced and I usually stock them, about $40 for a set of 4. The centercaps
were also used by various manufacturers, and interchange with Ford and Mopar.
You can still buy brand new all chrome Magnum 500 rims also for about $150
each, and they come in some neat sizes like 14X7, 14X8, 15X7 and 15X8.
Be sure you don't get too big of a rim for your 68-70 AMX or Javelin, as you
only have a limited amount of room under there to work with. The 71-74
Javelins and AMXs have a bigger area and I have stuffed 27560R15s under them
with no scrapage. Same with Rebel, Ambassador and Matador, they have some big
rear wheelwells so larger meat.
Which brings me back to this. If you are even considering a different rim, or
replacing your existing ones, take off one of them and hold a piece of
cardboard behind the rim, and draw thru the center hole and lug nut holes. You
can then trim the cardboard down to a smaller size. Armed with this, when you
go to a swap meet, speed shop, or wheel store and those 17 inch Momo's look
sweet and you are considering them, or you come across a set of Rebel Machine
rims (used from 1970 thru 1972, these are called AMC 15 inch styled road
wheels by AMC) you can hold your piece of cardboard behind the rim to see if
it is the same bolt pattern as your car at home in the garage or on the field.
Granted, this won't determine if the rim is bent, but it will however
tell you quickly if the rims will fit your AMC. And 90% of the times at swap
meets I guarantee you damned better make a quick decision as if you walk away
to buy a corndog and come back someone else has bought those rims while you
fiddle faddled with your weenie in the corndog and you missed your chance.
Many of the Rally rims AMC used from 69-83 were used on all their models like
Spirit, Gremlin, AMX and so on. Used rims usually top out at $50 a hit, while
new ones sell for about $100 a rim, although bigger rims like 15X7 sell for
more. Again, you can buy many of these rims new in the pages of Hemming's,
look under "services offered". You can also find these same rims in
junkyards (take your cardboard template with you mentioned above!) for as
little as $10 a rim.
And lastly please remember bigger is not better, make sure the tire you will
be putting on that rim will clear the wheelwell housings and leaf springs in
the rear, and on the front make sure it will not scrape the inside of the
fender or the upper or lower ball joint or in some cases in 66-69 the trunnion.