View Full Version : Stuck with wire wheels

06-01-2012, 10:21 AM
Need some suggestions here, please.
Just got my TR4A to restore (I will be posting pics as soon as I can!)
First order of day: Inspect for Cancer to decide if I go ahead or ditch it.
The problem:
Can't remove the wire wheel nuts. No visible rust, but they have not been removed in 20 years.
How to proceed? Heat? Penetrating oil?
I imagine that once the nuts are removed the wheels themselves will be also stuck there, what to do next?
I searched the forums but can't find anything quite like it!
Thanks a lot!!!!

06-01-2012, 10:40 AM
You mean the knockoffs?
You have a lead hammer?
Following the arrow directions on said knockoff?
Or, do you have aftermarket wires that actually use lug nuts?

06-01-2012, 10:55 AM
Yes they are knockoffs. Have all kinds of hammers, lead, coppper, rawhide. Following arrow directions.
They are original Triumph wire wheels.
Knockoffs are very tight, I'm afraid of breaking something.
Thanks. JC

06-01-2012, 11:13 AM
Are they eared or octagonal? I have seen a wrench to fit the eared ones. If they are octagonal you can use a cheater on the wrench. I would soak it with Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster for a while first.
Are you going to attempt to save them? Heat would probably ruin the chrome plating on the nuts.

Dan B.

Marvin Gruber
06-01-2012, 11:17 AM
JC don't be afraid to beat the ears of the knockoffs. Use the lead hammer and beat the heck out if it. You could spray some penetrating oil all over the knockoffs and also on the hub behind the wire wheel if you think they are stuck as well. The knockoffs will spin easier after you move them a bit. Let us know how it goes. I doubt you will ever break a knockoff with just a lead hammer.


06-01-2012, 11:31 AM
Knockoffs are very tight, I'm afraid of breaking something.

If they are that tight, chances are that you'll be replacing things anyway, once it's apart. When my previous TR3A came to me, the knockoffs were hideously tight, apparently because the splines were ruined and the wheels were only held by friction.

As Marv says, lay into them with a lead hammer, preferably fairly heavy, with the wheels on the ground.

If that won't do it, it's time to deliberately break something. I remember a shop that had a wire wheel hanging on the wall as a warning to regularly service the splines. They had to use a torch to cut through the wheel and splined adapter to get them off the car. Obviously the wheel and adapter were ruined; but they can be replaced.

Andrew Mace
06-01-2012, 01:17 PM
Seems to me that the knockoff itself is the cheapest AND most expendable item on a wire wheel setup. Of course, as Randall notes, if it's that tight, getting it off "at any cost" may be the least of your worries. :frown:

06-01-2012, 04:15 PM
I had to cut a wheel off with a torch on a 69 TR6 parts car. I could lift the whole car off the ground with an octagon wrench and a huge cheater. Like Randall says, it was all junk anyway.

Marvin Gruber
06-01-2012, 04:48 PM
I'll get chastised I know for saying doing this but it works. When I have a frozen wire wheel or a brake drum that is stuck I use a gallon of gas (I usually have some old gas that I removed from a gas tank) and just pour it over the wheel and drum. I catch it with a plastic tub and pour it over the wheel a couple of times. After it drains well, I can knock the wheel or drum off. The gas weeps in and washes dirt and grease loose. DO IT in a well ventilated area as well.

Andrew Mace
06-01-2012, 05:42 PM
Fascinating; I'm going to have to try that sometime!

Geo Hahn
06-01-2012, 05:55 PM
Ask the risk of stating the obvious... the knock-off on the right side of the car are left-hand threads. You probably know this and most knock-offs have the undo direction clearly marked, but I mention it just in case.

06-01-2012, 06:28 PM
Hey if your still having trouble..I'll tell you my secret to getting the really tight ones off. Set your wheel so you can use your TR crank jack under one side of the knock off and jack it up to get car weight on it but not off the ground..and then wack the other side with your lead hammer. I gaurantee its going to let go.

06-01-2012, 09:18 PM
Clever idea. I was going to suggest putting the lead hammer against the knockoff and hitting the lead hammer with something sledgy.

06-02-2012, 06:53 AM
If all else fails, hit the knock-off with a 4 lb. <span style="text-decoration: underline">steel</span> sledge hammer.

It'll ruin the knock-off, but they can be replaced.

As noted, no matter how you get them off, check all parts carefully.

<span style="font-style: italic">Note:
It's been a long time since I had a big TR, but I know some of you guys will know the answer to this:
Don't these cars have removeable spline adapters?
If so, seems like it would be fairly easy to convert this car to steel wheels.</span>

Geo Hahn
06-02-2012, 09:17 AM
...Don't these cars have removeable spline adapters?
If so, seems like it would be fairly easy to convert this car to steel wheels

Yes, adaptors can be removed but fitment of steel wheels requires longer studs. Quite doable but not a task I would rate as 'fairly easy' in the case of the rear hubs.

Marvin Gruber
06-02-2012, 09:21 AM
Correct, removable wire wheel adapters. Lugs will be short, they can be used but recommend replacing with longer ones.


06-02-2012, 12:46 PM
You'll also need the steel wheel lug nuts. The ones used with the adapters are smaller, and apt to pull through the wheel.

Replacing the rear studs on a solid axle car is a major chore, IRS somewhat less so. The solid axle studs screw in from the face, and then get peened over behind the hub. To remove them without damaging the hub, you have to grind away the peened area, which requires removing the hub &amp; half shaft from the car.

06-02-2012, 01:18 PM
Ahh..I see. More of a chore than I thought.

But still much easier than switching to steel wheels on my wire-wheel MGB.

I do like the way wire wheels look, but overall, if I had a TR4 that needed all new wire wheels and the spline adapters, I'd switch to steel disk wheels (or Minilite-type wheels).

06-02-2012, 03:19 PM
Thanks a lot to everybody for the suggestions! I specially liked the gasoline bath method.
Let me tell you what happened... Are you ready for this???
After I posted the question, I went back and sprayed a little penetrating oil on them. Hammered them a little and all 4 came out like a charm, the wheels were not stuck to the spindles either. The splines are perfect on all 4 wheels.
Happy ending, and like everything should work in life!
I posted the question because I tend to be pesimistic and expected a lot of trouble. A friend of mine used to say "have you seen that 99% of the bad things that you think will happen never do?"
Thanks again and until the next hurdle!

Andrew Mace
06-02-2012, 03:22 PM
Very cool...and very fortunate for you!