Arcane Stellar – a Fully Forged, Motorsport-inspired Monoblock designed with a friend

whalesalad

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Location
Costa Mesa, CA
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2016 GT PP
Many months ago, when I had my blizzak's on and Michigan was still dumping snow... I started to think about the coming spring/summer season and began to plan some of the modifications I was interested in making to my GT.

My good friend Alex operates a full-service wheel customization and refinishing service out of Southern California called Wheelflip. I built his website.

Alex also founded his own bespoke forged wheel brand called Arcane Wheels. This isn't your average fly-by-night wheel shop... these are carefully designed and manufactured - to exact vehicle specifications - here in the USA.

Here's Alex's S2000 [ame="[MEDIA=youtube]dzy8wPPfMW8[/MEDIA]"](featured on the smoking tire)[/ame] rocking his own 3-piece wheels at Auto Club Speedway:

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I approached Alex with some questions about other wheels on the market and after a few weeks of considering different options he suggested we design and manufacture his first monoblock design.

I was apprehensive at first. I am a total OCD perfectionist. Alex put my concerns at ease, "I think there will be an element of satisfaction there that you won't get with other wheels - that you had a hand in how it looks."

So we started to walk through some of the characteristics that the wheel should have. Concavity, a deep, open lug design similar to the Forgeline GA1R, windowing detail to add character, and the right balance of masculinity and smooth curves. Alex was adamant from the beginning: we do not want to copy another wheel. We want a cohesive design that can borrow elements from other, successful brands, but it needs to be unique.

I think we accomplished just that.

Here's a look behind the curtain at some of the steps along the way.

Some of my horrible math calculations trying to determine how concave this would look. Turns out a 10" wide wheel is physically wider than 10". The more you know!

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After a lot of back and forth and a few phases of renderings, Alex and his engineer reached a final design. I was completely shocked by the final product and couldn't wait to see them machined.

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The raw forgings ready to be machined:

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After machining:

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On the scale:

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The center detail:

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Window detail:

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Another close-up after machining:

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The next step was to have them prepped and finished. I tossed and turned about this for days. My first thought was to go for a traditional brushed bronze look, where the wheel is brushed and then powdercoated. I also considered the classic "DDT" finish, or double-dark tint, which is a similar process applying various layers of powdercoat to achieve a tinted/clear finish.

Then Alex pulled a trick out of his sleeve: liquid bronze. It was a more expensive process because it's painted in a booth like a car, but the finished product would be incredible. You can do it over a brushed or a polished finish for completely different effects.

I decided to pull the trigger and go for the liquid bronze look. After all, this is a one of a kind set of forged wheels! Go big or go home.

Seeing them finished for the first time was a jaw-dropping experience:

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Alex's racecar and his new Integra make a cameo here:

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And in the sunlight, the color takes on an entirely new personality:

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I LOVE how wet and dynamic the finish looks. From every angle, time of day, parked or rolling, sunny or cloudy, the wheels come alive.

Final steps were TPMS and tires. I ordered TPMS sensors on eBay and had them sent to Alex's shop.

I also ordered a set of Firestone Indy 500 285/35R19 tires and TireRack got those to him overnight.

We ran into a few issues with TPMS that are worth noting. The stems are a little, ahem, girthy on the OEM units. After looking around on the forum, I found this thread that talks about Dill VS 925B valve stems. I ordered a set from Vampa Tire in Miami and had those rushed to Alex.

Here is a shot of the OEM stem barely fitting into the wheel and then sorta falling apart:

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And here is how things came together with the Dill stems:

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Now for tire mounting whih was performed right next-door to Alex's shop at R Compound USA.

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Getting tagged on the 'gram with a shot of the wheels/tires mounted was exhilarating. We started this process at the beginning of March and it was finally coming down to the finish line!

I was checking for the UPS guy probably once every 2-3 minutes for the entire day. He showed up at 8PM!!!!

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I wish I had more photos of the packaging because it was above and beyond. The wheels were shrink wrapped, surrounded by double-walled cardboard as well as foam sheets. I was worried they'd get damaged in shipment but these things were absolutely protected.

My wife couldn't stop petting them because the finish was so smooth

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And finally... after building up the courage to mount these fine art pieces on my Mustang... here they are on the car!

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I am so incredibly happy with how these turned out. Forged wheels are not cheap, but I would do this again in a heartbeat.

For those interested in the sizing, these are 19x10, +35, on all four corners.

Huge thanks to my bud Alex for putting up with all the non-stop questions on the design, window options, finishing options, colors, tires, TPMS sensors, stems, shipping options, it goes on and on. A lot of work goes into producing something like this.

I hope those of you who are excited about this design (or some of the others will reach out to Alex at Arcane Wheels to discuss a solution for your Mustang!

 
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