View Full Version : Wire Wheel Knock Offs - How Tight?

04-25-2010, 09:10 AM
Just curious,

How tight is sufficient? Should I be hammering these on with all my might until the knock-off moves no more. Or, just knock them on until sufficiently snug?

I use a lead hammer and have the wooden knock off wrench from Moss.



04-25-2010, 09:34 AM

When our cars were driveable and our daily drivers (TR4A and Spitfire), I always knocked them on until they didn't move using moderate blows. I was using the copper-faced regular sized Thor hammer so not enough force that I felt I was going to deform the knock-off.


04-25-2010, 09:43 AM
I always tighten until pretty snug - not un til they don't move. It's my understanding that they tighten more while driving.

04-25-2010, 10:11 AM
As a point of reference, the new Porsche GT3 with center lock wheels has a torque requirement of 365 foot pounds. I doubt if you want to go that high, but...

04-25-2010, 10:35 AM
The knockoff should be tightened to a point where the wire wheel isn't loose on the spline. Then lower the tyre just barely onto the floor to take the shock, rather than through the suspension, and finally tighten two-three more hits.

A double ended Thorex 716 engineer's hammer with 50mm replaceable nylon heads is the ideal tool to use, as it can't bruise the knockoffs.


04-25-2010, 10:47 AM
I fetch 'em a good lick.

04-25-2010, 10:58 AM
Here is what Dayton says :

<a href="http://www.daytonwirewheels.com/pdf/installationinstructionsfork-o.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dayton

Wheels PDF</a>

04-25-2010, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the Dayton info RG. Put it in my tips file.


04-25-2010, 05:18 PM
Wow, they want them really tight! I guess I've been leaving mine too loose all these years.

Thanks for the link!

04-25-2010, 10:03 PM
I know nothing about Dayton Wire Wheel adapters, for which those instructions were we written. Nor do I know about Porsche's recommendation, but I suspect that's for a peg drive, not the Rudge-type hubs on British cars.
Vivdownunder's post is right on. And yes, Rudge hubs in good shape with tapers in good order on wheels and caps will self-tighten.

04-26-2010, 12:04 AM
I have been told overtightening on our style of wheels can eventually deform the wheel hub leading to quicker wear of the splines.
I give mine a few solid whacks but don't go ballistic and they stay tight.
I also suspect Daytons recomendations are driven primarally by concern over litigation of a lost wheel rather than proper technique to give the wheels longevity. Just a thought.

04-26-2010, 01:09 AM
Could be, but I put all new Dayton wheels, adapters &amp; knockoffs on the Stag and tightened the knockoffs just a few hits (Stags have safety knockoffs, so I used an original steel knockoff wrench and ~2 pound brass hammer). A year later, although the knockoffs were still quite tight, there was visible wear on the splines.

If I ever do get that car back on the road, I'm going to keep them tighter as per the Dayton instructions.

04-26-2010, 10:33 AM
One thing I beg to disagree with Dayton on is lubing the hub tapers. I leave them dry so they get a good friction grip once the knockoff it tightened.

Lubing the hub tapers makes it easier for them to slip back and forth with stop start driving, thus causing premature spline wear. Also by leaving them dry you don't have to belt the daylights out of the knockoff to get the wheel on tight.

The actual spline itself is all that needs a smear of grease.

When refitting a wire wheel I wipe some WD40 around the outer taper so the knockoff doesn't bind.

Over 40+ years of driving many wire wheeled cars over long distances, I've never replaced a set of worn splines.


Andrew Mace
04-26-2010, 11:45 AM
Some information, FWIW, from the VTR web site:

Wire Wheel Tightening (http://www.vtr.org/maintain/wire-wheels-tightening.shtml)

04-27-2010, 12:06 PM
ya gotta really tighten those BUGgers'


04-28-2010, 05:35 AM
I tighten the two-eared knockoff on my MGB <span style="font-style: italic">reasonably tight</span>, drive it a bit, give a couple of more slaps with a lead hammer, and then safety-wire one ear to a spoke.

I notice that some racers drill a tiny hole on the outer end of one ear to make this easier.