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View Full Version : TR2/3/3A What is a set of good used TR3 steel wheels worth?



karls59tr
10-01-2009, 04:44 PM
Anyone sold a set recently and have a ballpark figure?

NutmegCT
10-01-2009, 04:52 PM
Karl - I think the keyword is "good" used steel wheels. If good is defined as not bent, true, no wobble, strong and good appearance, to me anyway, $75/wheel would be cheap. Thing is, I spent nearly a year looking for "good" steel wheels, and every darn single one I looked at was bent/warped and wobbled.

You can find not-so-good wheels from lots of online sources. If you're looking to buy, be sure you actually spin them before paying - or get a money-back guarantee. And hope the shipping costs won't kill you. If you're selling, and they're *good* wheels, then you can often name your price.

Of course, if the wheels won't be driven, and only displayed, then it's a whole new ballgame.

Just my 2.
Tom

TRMark
10-01-2009, 06:05 PM
I have a set of TR4 steel wheels. How can I bench check them for wobble etc.?

karls59tr
10-01-2009, 06:06 PM
Thanks for the info Tom. :-)

NutmegCT
10-01-2009, 06:22 PM
I have a set of TR4 steel wheels. How can I bench check them for wobble etc.?

On my TR3, the original steels were "not exactly perfect"; I guess after 50 years of driving, they'd hit a few chuck holes and street curbs. Car had a front end shimmy, usually between 45-55mph.

Wheels and new tires were balanced with weights, but still had a wobble (steering column, front end, back end) at speed.

I put each wheel on a spin balancer, spun the wheel, watched looking directly toward the front of the wheel, and saw the wheel actually wobble side to side. Pointed my finger from the side toward the edge of the steel rim, and watched the wheel move in and out, toward and away from my finger.

You could probably also do the same "finger test" just leaving the tire/wheel on the car and spinning it there.

I tried a few "wheel shops" that said they could straighten the rims - for $50 each. Bought 3 more used steel wheels ($25-$50 each), found they were bent also. Tried straightening again. No luck. You can slightly bend the edge of the rim itself (where the tire sits), but usually can't bend the center of the steel wheel without weakening the steel. Mortgaged the farm, sold my first born male child, buckled down and bought four new wheels from Moss. Put the tires back on, re-balanced, and the car runs smooth as glass. What a difference.

By the way, when I saw a wheel described by the seller as "balanced perfectly" - that sure didn't mean the wheel wasn't bent.

Your mileage may vary.
Tom

alfa33047
10-01-2009, 07:20 PM
Used steel TR-3 wheels. One of my friends came by yesterday and picked up three steel wheels as possible replacements for his warped powdered coated wheels. Put them on his car and checked the wobble. One was out .040, He didn't tell me what the others were. Is .040thou. too much? How much is too much?
I gave him the wheels for free. Thanks, Bill C. Mesa, Az.

Andrew Mace
10-01-2009, 09:11 PM
'Wobble -- The lateral variation measured on the vertical inside face of a flange shall not exceed 3/32".

'Lift -- On a truly mounted and revolving wheel the difference between the high and low points, measured at any location on either tyre bead seat, shall not exceed 3/32".'

Above from the Service Instruction Manual, Third Edition

3/32" = 0.09375"

Don Elliott
10-01-2009, 10:10 PM
I bought another bare wheel rim last summer for $20.00. I haven't checked it yet. This winter, I'll jack up one corner of my 1958 TR3A, remove the wheel with tire and I'll bolt on the "new" wheel rim without a tire. I'll spin it slowly and watch it for wobble, etc.

I have 5 wheels on the car (4 on the corners and one spare). I also have 5 others which are not a good as those on the car. I took all 10 of them to a tire shop and he mounted them on his adaptor and we watched them spin on his balancing machine, picked out the best 5 and that's what I have been using for the past 19 summers (102,000 miles). The two best ones are on the front. The next two best ones are on the rear and the 5th best one is my spare which I have never needed to use. The other 5 wheels plus this "new" un-tested one are all lying around.

More about this adaptor. Modern wheel rims are centered on a drum or rotor with a concentric center so that the wheel rim fits very centrally onto the drum or rotor. There is a step to ensure that the modern wheel rim is truely centered on this "pilot" step.

Our TR steel wheels hace a central hole which bears no connection to the true center. If the "kid" in the tire shop you just went to used the self-centering cone to lock your TR steel rims onto the balaning machine, he knows nothing about wheels for antique cars. He has been trained how to do modern wheels where the cone will center the modern rims.

So for our TR steel wheels, he has to use an adaptor. This is a kit with up to 4 or 5 steel disks full of holes on various bolt circle diameters. Ask the foreman or owner of the tire shop if he has a set of these adaptors. After half an hour, he may find where they have been hiding or "lost" for the last X years. Then he may have to spend 15 minutes to find the proper center disk and which 4 holes are required for our TR wheels. He will mount the adaptor plate onto his balancing machine and the he will use nuts to bolt the TR rim onto the adaptor. Just like we do when we mount the steel wheel onto our TRs. Our rims are centered by the bolts.

Then he will perform the normal balancing "act".

The reason for all this is that the central hole in our TR rims is not a truly central and round hole as on modern rims. Look at this hole on one of your TR rims and you will see how it is not round - nor is it central. Then look at your rotors and drums. You will find no step or "pilot" for centering the rim as on a modern car.

The rims you have might be acceptable if you can find a tire shop with the right adaptors and if they know how it should be done. And if they are willing to go through all this for you. What you want is "SAFETY" first of all.

NutmegCT
10-02-2009, 05:49 AM
Our TR steel wheels hace a central hole which bears no connection to the true center. If the "kid" in the tire shop you just went to used the self-centering cone to lock your TR steel rims onto the balaning machine, he knows nothing about wheels for antique cars. He has been trained how to do modern wheels where the cone will center the modern rims.

So for our TR steel wheels, he has to use an adaptor. This is a kit with up to 4 or 5 steel disks full of holes on various bolt circle diameters. Ask the foreman or owner of the tire shop if he has a set of these adaptors. After half an hour, he may find where they have been hiding or "lost" for the last X years. Then he may have to spend 15 minutes to find the proper center disk and which 4 holes are required for our TR wheels. He will mount the adaptor plate onto his balancing machine and the he will use nuts to bolt the TR rim onto the adaptor. Just like we do when we mount the steel wheel onto our TRs. Our rims are centered by the bolts.

Then he will perform the normal balancing "act".

Another reason that I'm very pleased with the service I get at my local tire shop, Kelly's Tires in Putnam CT. That's exactly what he did, and he had the adaptor plates right at hand.

Thank heaven for knowledgable people. Let's keep them in business!

Tom

TR4nut
10-02-2009, 06:32 AM
Interesting, I didn't realize that the steel rims were problematic for balancing. I wonder if there are a bunch of rims that are in reasonable condition but were simply taken to shops that didn't know how to balance them?

Vaark01
10-02-2009, 04:23 PM
Tom,

Does Moss still sell steel wheels? I have looked at their web site and Roadster Factory's and can't find them. I have bought used wheels and had them balanced, etc., only to have a wobble at 55-60 mph. I just bought new tires and had wheels balanced and still have the same wobble. The tire place put the worst wheel on the left rear.

I would love to buy new wheels that will run smooth.

Thanks.

Paul

angelfj1
10-02-2009, 04:29 PM
Tom,

Does Moss still sell steel wheels? I have looked at their web site and Roadster Factory's and can't find them. I have bought used wheels and had them balanced, etc., only to have a wobble at 55-60 mph. I just bought new tires and had wheels balanced and still have the same wobble. The tire place put the worst wheel on the left rear.

I would love to buy new wheels that will run smooth.

Thanks.

Paul

If you mean, <span style="font-weight: bold">does anyone sell reproduction steel disc wheels for TR's </span>, the answer is definitely <span style="font-weight: bold">NO</span>. In fact a pristine set of NOS steel wheels is probably worth more then a set of American Racing Silverstones , which are selling for up to $2K for four. That is , if such a set could be located.

Vaark01
10-03-2009, 05:09 AM
Sorry. I thought the wheels from Moss were new as I read the entry. I guess I'll have to keep looking for one near-perfect used wheel to get rid of my wobble.

Paul

NutmegCT
10-03-2009, 05:49 AM
Paul - as I couldn't find usable original steels or repro's, I went with Moss's Minators (on sale). Not period correct, but safe and easy on the eyes.

Edit: there are many reasons other than bad wheels that could cause "wobble". Do a search here on <span style="font-style: italic">wobble</span> if you're trouble-shooting.

Tom

Vaark01
10-03-2009, 06:21 AM
Tom,

Thanks for the help. Your TR is very nice looking. Funny, I was just thinking about abandoning my stock wheels and switching to new wheels similar to yours.

I plan to take my car to a British shop here to get the front end aligned and have them look at my wheels. Depending on what they find, I will go from there.

I had the entire front end rebuilt about four years ago. My car doesn't pull to either side. I did have some wear on the outer edge of my left front tire before I replaced all tires last week. The tire shop said my wheels were ok except for one which they placed on the left rear.

This wobble is driving me crazy. My car is totally restored and has OD. It bugs me not to be able to drive it past approximately 55 mph without that wobble.

I drive my car every weekend as long as the roads are dry and
have won first in my class at two big British car shows here for the past several years. My car is stock except for racing headers and a Monza exhaust. I would like to have a set of wheels that are correct for the car.

Thanks again for the advice and picture.

Paul

Twosheds
10-03-2009, 10:09 AM
This wobble is driving me crazy. My car is totally restored and has OD. It bugs me not to be able to drive it past approximately 55 mph without that wobble.

Have your driveshaft checked for balance and straightness.

Vaark01
10-03-2009, 12:10 PM
Thanks. Will do.

Tomster
10-08-2009, 08:55 AM
I took my wheels into an oil field tool service shop here and had them spun and trued on an oversize metal lathe (not machined but spun and trued) The wheel welds were also checked and the rims were then blasted in prep for paint
This was an expensive fix but this worked very well.

angelfj1
10-08-2009, 12:30 PM
I took my wheels into an oil field tool service shop here and had them spun and trued on an oversize metal lathe (not machined but spun and trued) The wheel welds were also checked and the rims were then blasted in prep for paint
This was an expensive fix but this worked very well.

Tomster: I can visualize how a wheel could be spun on a large lathe. It also seems fairly simple to check for "true", but can you explain how were the wheels "improved"? Can you explain the process?

Thanks