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self made aero wheels

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,856
7,166
Brea, Orange County
I always liked the idea of the 'pizza pan' wheels to get a little more range. There are many ways to increase range and increase efficiency. Adding pizza disks to the wheels seemed like a very inexpensive way to get about 4-6% (depending on what source you believe and what speed you are driving at) more range.

The Moon disk people wanted $150 for each disk plus $700 to create a mold and they would need a wheel shipped to them. Kind of defeated the idea of keeping it simple and inexpensive. So I found some pizza pans on Amazon, drilled 5 holes into the rim and attached them. I know many will cringe at the thought of putting holes into their rims, but I don't really care. So far I have done only the front wheels as a test and see if any issues come up. Once it all goes well and I have all 4 wheels I will do a test to see how much of a difference it makes.

Here is a photo of the disk. Everyone that saw it thought it actually looked good.

diskwheel.jpg
 
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Matias

Active Member
Apr 2, 2014
3,447
4,153
Finland
There's a thread somewhere on TMC where one guy did some break temperature measeruments with those pizza plates on.
 

Panu

Member
Jan 9, 2015
289
45
Uusimaa, Finland

I'm surprised Tesla is not any more offering any solution to enable this huge gain. The best solution would be pizza pans that can be quickly installed and removed. You could add them when going to a road trip or whenever more range is needed.

Pizza pans painted in the same color as the car might actually look good.
 
Last edited:

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,000
24,679
Texas
Doing it "right" would require some ventilation holes like the original Aero wheels had--or a quick release for charging. If I were designing it, I'd find a way to affix them using the centre cap hole, which would eliminate the need for drilling the wheels. An ideal installation would have a small motor or spring which would push the plates out about 75 mm when parked. This would eliminate the need for ventilation holes. Ideally, they would present only when parked and plugged in, making it automatic. The trick would be powering the motor.
 

Cattledog

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 9, 2012
2,227
3,355
San Antonio, TX
Doing it "right" would require some ventilation holes like the original Aero wheels had--or a quick release for charging. If I were designing it, I'd find a way to affix them using the centre cap hole, which would eliminate the need for drilling the wheels. An ideal installation would have a small motor or spring which would push the plates out about 75 mm when parked. This would eliminate the need for ventilation holes. Ideally, they would present only when parked and plugged in, making it automatic. The trick would be powering the motor.

Could be programmed to move in and out in unison with the door handles. Like.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,398
14,408
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I know many will cringe at the thought of putting holes into their rims, but I don't really care. So far I have done only the front wheels as a test and see if any issues come up. Once it all goes well and I have all 4 wheels I will do a test to see how much of a difference it makes.

Wow. I literally grimaced reading about your drilling into your wheels. Did you then tap the holes to make a thread to match the screws that hold the pans on?

I wonder how Tesla will react if you ever have a problem with your wheels (cracks develop at the screw holes, a bent rim from a pothole, etc.) and want a wheel replaced under warranty? I am guessing you just invalidated the factory warranty on those wheels.

I understand you "don't care", I'm just posing a general question.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,856
7,166
Brea, Orange County
The range gain at freeway speed is pretty significant. Since I drive freeway most of the time it will make a difference.
Supercharging is not a problem. The fan isn't blowing through the rim, it is actually just blowing onto the tire. There is very little difference in airflow with the disk on in regards to the cooling fan. Supercharging cooling is definitely not at all an issue.

Tesla did offer an aero wheel that was almost a disk with very small gaps. They said they sold so little of them that they discontinued them. There was not enough demand.

I'm fully aware that when I drive in death Vallely at 120 degree and drive like a maniac and use the brakes all the time the heat build up will eventually cause overheating 3 min earlier than with normal rims, but I'm not doing this. Even on long mountain downhill sections there is no way the brakes get used enough to cause any issues. The disk only covers the outside, the inside, where the rotor is, is still open and air still flowing there.

The disks can be removed in less than a minute. I will do a test drive with disks on and off. Just need to find the time...
 
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Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,014
4,692
McKinney, TX
What would be awesomely cool would be a cyclone-type wheel that could be configured for its blade pitch to change at highway speeds to become flush enough to approximate an aero wheel. When the car slows, the blades would rotate to their normal cyclone position for aesthetics and ventilation. I know: too complicated, too expensive, etc. But it would be cool...
 
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FLDarren

Member
Apr 19, 2014
620
26
Seminole, Fl.
Doing it "right" would require some ventilation holes like the original Aero wheels had--or a quick release for charging. If I were designing it, I'd find a way to affix them using the centre cap hole, which would eliminate the need for drilling the wheels. An ideal installation would have a small motor or spring which would push the plates out about 75 mm when parked. This would eliminate the need for ventilation holes. Ideally, they would present only when parked and plugged in, making it automatic. The trick would be powering the motor.

Artsci, git-r-done. :biggrin:
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,000
24,679
Texas
So the car gets warm there while supercharging.. so what? I dont get the connection with this story.
It can get warm enough to overheat things. Even the Tesla car covers have netting over the wheel portion so that air can flow freely.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,856
7,166
Brea, Orange County
I did some unscientific tests today driving about 100 miles on a route that I drive very often. I have good idea about energy usage on that route from driving it for many months in different conditions. Today I got the best efficiency on this route ever! That's pretty encouraging considering that so far I only have the two front disks installed. Hopefully next week I have time to do the rear wheels and a more controlled test.

- - - Updated - - -

It can get warm enough to overheat things.

The fan blows to the front of the wheel well onto the tire. It doesn't blow through the rim. The airflow is from the front of the car, through the heat exchanger (radiator) into the wheel well where it then exits out to the side. The disk doesn't cover the gap between the tire and the wheel well, so the main airflow is not changed. The car cover would cover that gap and prevent the airflow thus they added a mesh.

- - - Updated - - -

I wonder how Tesla will react if you ever have a problem with your wheels (cracks develop at the screw holes, a bent rim from a pothole, etc.) and want a wheel replaced under warranty? I am guessing you just invalidated the factory warranty on those wheels.

I'm fully aware that I'm out of warranty on my rims. I'm fine with that.
 

CHG-ON

Still in love after all these miles
Jun 24, 2014
3,079
648
Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
What would be awesomely cool would be a cyclone-type wheel that could be configured for its blade pitch to change at highway speeds to become flush enough to approximate an aero wheel. When the car slows, the blades would rotate to their normal cyclone position for aesthetics and ventilation. I know: too complicated, too expensive, etc. But it would be cool...

Now THAT would be cool!
 

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