A little over a week ago, Philip and I were going back and forth on how to get really cheap and easy disc brakes for customs. Among the ideas for cutting a clean hole in some sequins, Philip also suggested metal washers instead. And voila, thanks Philip!

Left: with metal washers; Right: as-is

I stopped by the hardware supply store and a few washer sizes to work with. So far I’ve only bought the 2mm and 2.5mm ones I still want to give the 3mm and size #6 lock washers a try too. So far 2mm is a bit small. I’m sticking with the zinc plated ones over the stainless steel ones since they’re shinier and also cheaper (you get 5 instead of 4 or 30 instead of 12 at the same price).

These lock washers come as an advantage. I can actually bend the opening a little to fit them onto axles where the wheels aren’t removable. The opening can easily be hidden behind the rims anyways. You can even slab something small over that opening to cover it and act visually as a brake caliper.

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Here’s how the 2.5mm looks on the Mini GT Civic Type R, which has a bigger outer diameter (and smaller inner diameter) than those TE37s I got off eBay. I think they’re a bit too small. But maybe if I use the 3mm or larger, the inner diameter of the washer might end up too big. I could always end up crimping the larger ones on.

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And here’s the other side where I tried using some hand-cut sequins. A little big but I can still trim them with scissors.

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My favorite thing about these? They’re a great balance between cost and efficiency.

Top to bottom: none, 2.5mm washer, hand-trimmed sequin

I’m still experimenting but we’re off to a great start and now my Mini GT Type R’s wheels no longer look empty and hollow!