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We wanted to center the crest on the blank wheel caps.  Some suggested we do it by eye, but we knew that would not be sufficient for most of our meticulous readers...yeah, a few of us here are pretty anal as well. Besides, it would give us a chance to use all that high school geometry that we don't nearly get to use enough of for all the work we put into it.

First we traced the diameter of the cap and determined it to be 3".  Next we drew a circle with a compass...you do have a compass, don't you? Using what we remembered from high school geometry, we drew an equilateral triangle inside the circle.  If you don't remember, do what we did and ask the 16 year old intern.

When we placed the crest inside the triangle, we notice something interesting.  Some of the designs in the crest aligned perfectly with some of the lines on our diagram!  The center line ran true with the center line in the crest.  The upper curve ended right at the edge of the sides of the triangle (top left and right arrows).  Also note that the bottom horizontal line is in perfect alignment with the bottom of the triangle.

By aligning the points marked by the red arrows above, the crest will be perfectly centered within the circle.  The next task was to figure out a way place the crest on the blank wheel cap. 

We decided the easiest way was to just trace the outline, poke a hole through the corners, place the template on the cap, and mark it with a Sharpie.  If we were going into mass production, this wouldn't be the most efficient method, but for this project it worked just fine.

Our next decision was whether to hot glue the crest on or see if the 3M film would hold.  We decided to give the 3M film a try.  The main reason was if we didn't like how it looked, we were pretty sure we could use something like GooGone to dissolve the adhesive and get the crest off.

Everything was clamped together and let set for a few hours (probably overkill, but we had other things to do).  When we removed the clamps, the crest was on tight.  We tried prying it off with a knife, but it didn't budge.

We are not sure yet if we like the "raised" look.  We may try to give it a more OEM look by embedding the crest in the cap...this is where the Dremel is going to come in handy.

UPDATE: After much discussion, we realized another point we can use for centering the crest is the intersection of the two main axes on the design.

We mounted up some silver crests to see how it would look.  We actually like the look of these a lot better.


Porsche Boxster

Wheel Center Crests

By Wan Chi Lau

A set of Porsche Crest wheel centers would have set us back about $400.  If you are a long time RainyDayMagazine reader or you have seen our PVC Boxster speaker project, you KNOW we are NOT going to fork over that kind of cash... especially if it is something that can be made in our shop :-)

We knew there were 3rd party crests we available in parts stores and on EBay.  We just didn't know if they would be the right size.

After searching for a while, we decided the crests for the hood was too large, but the ones available for the steering wheel was good enough.  So we got a few to see if they would work for this project.

Usually we don't write things up until we are done, but we have been getting requests from you, our readers, to post the project as they progress... so here it is :-)  We'll update this project as we move forward.  Send us questions, comments and suggestion as you see fit.

Wheel Crest Project:

1. First Attempt

2. Blank wheel caps

3. Centering the crest

4. Always "Up Right" crests

Project parts:

1. Blank wheel caps: $28 for 10

2. Gold/Silver crests: $20 each

Total cost for a set of 4: $91.20

Note: we purchased the wheel caps and crests in larger quantities to save on shipping cost.  We could also have saved more money by buying the crests individually at auction on EBay, but who has time to monitor 8 auctions!  We got the first one at $20 and made an offer to buy 7 more at the same price.  You may be able to do better :-)  We were happy since the catalog price for these crests were $60 each!

Photography by Wan Chi Lau
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