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Advantages of Billet Wheels

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Here Are Some of the Advantages of Billet Wheels

Today, billet wheels are quickly becoming the No. 1 choice for many custom truck enthusiasts. There are numerous reasons behind the growth of the billet wheel industry, but for the mini-truck side of the business, the main reasons are the custom backspacing and lug-pattern options that enable endless tucking possibilities, not to mention the possibility of one-off designs that can really set your mini-truck apart from the rest. The billet wheel was originally invented more than two decades ago. Boyd Coddington designed the first billet wheel in his home garage in 1979. This took the wheel industry to new heights and immediately opened the door for the custom-truck builder.


Rather than making this a history lesson, we thought it would be awesome to go behind the scenes and actually show you how a billet wheel is made, from the design concept to the finished product. This is by no means an easy process. Boyd Coddington employs nearly 50 people to handle the entire manufacturing process.

Let’s start by defining the term “billet”, since it’s thrown around (sometimes incorrectly) as often as the term cantilever. Billet simply means to take away from a solid chunk (or carve). So, if you make a little wooden sculpture, it is technically billet. Billet wheels are machined from a solid chunk of material.

First, a piece of aluminum alloy is produced (or bought from a vendor). Since this piece of stock is generally extruded, the grain runs through the stock much like the fibers within a single strand of wire. The stock aluminum is then sliced up into sections, which are machined down into either complete wheels or just wheel centers. Since they retain the grain structure of the extruded stock material, billet wheels are extremely strong. This grain structure, which is not present in a cast wheel, gives the final product a backbone and makes the wheel stronger without adding weight. Of course, billet wheels are also more expensive to produce because some of the original material is wasted and a lot of time is spent machining the original stock down to a finished wheel.

In reality, however, most billet wheels are generally billet centers that have been bolted or welded into stamped or spun rim halves. Entire wheels forged from a single piece of aluminum are generally one-piece forged wheels and don’t offer the option and luxury of custom backspacing, wheel repair, and so on.

Over the years, popularity waned for awhile as custom trucks fell out of favor, and as other types of vehicles became more popular. It’s strange how a certain style of wheel will become popular with certain types of cars, and other types of wheels are forsaken.

You wouldn’t put billet wheels on new Porsche CGT  any more that most people wouldn’t put spinners on a 1963 Jaguar. However, as the sands of time continue to shift, some of the Billet wheel styles we used to carry are no longer in production.  However, Boyd Coddington Wheels still offers a range of billet wheels. You can find them HERE

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