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View Full Version : Weight difference beween steel and wire rims



tdskip
08-11-2012, 08:50 AM
Just wondering if anyone has actually weighed the original steel rims vs wires? Is there much difference in weight?

TR6oldtimer
08-11-2012, 09:40 PM
Wires are classic and pretty. If that is what you want, then who cares, but my guess is they are lighter as there is not enough metal in the spokes to make a center. As I think about it, the inner hub may be heavy enough to make them overall heavier, but being a hub, not much of an issue with angular momentum, which is of concern to racers.

tdskip
08-11-2012, 09:45 PM
Hi Ray - hope you are doing well. Thanks for the response. How is the TR6 coming along?

FordFiesta
08-12-2012, 12:51 PM
I actually weighed the stock TR steel rims against the wire wheel variants once. The stock pressed steel TR rim from a TR3 was the lightest (something around 14 pounds), followed in turn by the 48-spoke, 60-spoke, and 72-spoke wheels. The 72s that I weighed were Morgan SS wheels (which look great, have the right offset, and go right on an early TR like they were made for it). TR-6 wheels would be even heavier. The 48-spoke was the only wheel that was at all close to the disc wheel but has flimsiness-issues.

The funny thing is that probably most of the "lightweight" wheel replacements (Panasport, et al) are probably heavier than the regular TR disc wheel - though they'll carry a wider tire. As time goes along I've been appreciating the stock TR3 disc wheels more and more. When every early car has been restored with alloy wheels or wires, the stock wheels will be the rare thing to see at a show or event.

Light wheels are a major fetish in the early-Miata world (have one as my daily beater, and run 14" BBS there) and make quite a difference to handling with the Miata's suspension design, but I've never been sure about on a TR3.

Would enjoy hearing from others on their experience with overall tire+wheel weight on a TR

TR6oldtimer
08-12-2012, 02:07 PM
Hi Ray - hope you are doing well. Thanks for the response. How is the TR6 coming along?


It is getting there. I still have the hood, a front fender, and door to paint. Then comes the hardtop.

Here are some shots of her as she sits now. (the white specks are buffing compound not yet washed of) Oh, notice the refurbished license plate....

https://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb247/tr6oldtimer/TR6%20Body%20Painting/P8120003-Copy.jpg
https://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb247/tr6oldtimer/TR6%20Body%20Painting/P8120002-Copy.jpg

Notice the color change in the Mallard Blue from green in sunlight to blue green (teal) in the shadows.

Not bad for a guy who does not have a garage.

tdskip
08-12-2012, 02:45 PM
WOW Ray! She looks fantastic. I know what a journey it was to get to this point, very nicely done.

tdskip
08-12-2012, 02:52 PM
I actually weighed the stock TR steel rims against the wire wheel variants once. The stock pressed steel TR rim from a TR3 was the lightest (something around 14 pounds), followed in turn by the 48-spoke, 60-spoke, and 72-spoke wheels. The 72s that I weighed were Morgan SS wheels (which look great, have the right offset, and go right on an early TR like they were made for it). TR-6 wheels would be even heavier. The 48-spoke was the only wheel that was at all close to the disc wheel but has flimsiness-issues.

The funny thing is that probably most of the "lightweight" wheel replacements (Panasport, et al) are probably heavier than the regular TR disc wheel - though they'll carry a wider tire. As time goes along I've been appreciating the stock TR3 disc wheels more and more. When every early car has been restored with alloy wheels or wires, the stock wheels will be the rare thing to see at a show or event.

Light wheels are a major fetish in the early-Miata world (have one as my daily beater, and run 14" BBS there) and make quite a difference to handling with the Miata's suspension design, but I've never been sure about on a TR3.

Would enjoy hearing from others on their experience with overall tire+wheel weight on a TR

Thanks for posting this - about what I would have expected actually. I put Koeing"s on my TR6 with same tires as I had on the stock powdercoated rims and I noticed a differnce right away for whatever that is worth.

mallard
08-12-2012, 05:08 PM
One Dayton 4.5"X15" 60 spoke chrome wire wheel weighs 18 lbs. That does not include the knock off.

Ray the car looks great, you sure can see the color change.

FordFiesta
08-12-2012, 07:38 PM
Found the weights I measured @3/1/08:

TR-3 stock disc wheel, 4" tire seat width = 14.25 Lb.
TR-3 48-spoke original wire wheel, 4" tire seat width = 15.25 Lb.
TR-3/4 60-spoke original wire wheel, 4.5" tire seat width = 16.6 Lb.
Morgan Supersport original 72-spoke wheel, 5.0" tire seat width = 19.2 Lb.

All 15" wheels, of course. And the weights above are without the knock off (around a pound or so), the wheel hub adapter, or the weight of the inner tube. So even disregarding the weight of the inner tube, the standard Triumph (pun deliberate) disc wheel is a clear winner by +/- three pounds per corner.

It would be interesting to see the weights of stock TR6 wheels - both disc and wire.

For comparison, the 14" BBS wheels that I run on my '90 Miata, pretty much the lightest stock Miata wheel, are around 12 or 12.3 pounds each. The Panasports on our other '90 Miata are something like 15.5 or 15.8 Lb. each. Though Miata wheels will take a wider tire than TR wheels, the plain ol' Triumph discs come off pretty well in the comparison. Probably a case of the original engineers of the car knowing a lot more than they're sometimes given credit for - either that or the solid wheels were terminally cheap to buy!

Using wire wheels for racing was originally, I think, because they were lighter and sturdier under side loads than wood-spoke artillery wheels, and mainly because they were quicker to change.

Vic
08-12-2012, 11:40 PM
Just weighed my 72 spoke chrome Dayton wire wheel without knock off.... 23.4 lbs!

justin_mercier
08-13-2012, 09:25 AM
When you factor in the knockoff nut, the splined hub adapter, and the heavier wheel itself, plus the fact that wire wheels look best with tall wall tires which are heavier as well, there's a significant weight difference in wire wheels vs steel or alloy. That said, wire wheels looks very nice, and looks are the whole reason for wire wheels IMO =)

Simon TR4a
08-15-2012, 02:12 PM
I think the reason wire were used in racing was for brake cooling.
I used to do Solo 1 in my TR4a and used a set of 5.5 inch 72 spoke wires with tubes and 205-50-15 R compound tyres. This combination weighed 43lbs, about 11lbs more than the stock 60 spoke 4.5 inch wheels and 165-15tyres.

I was often asked about the safety of wires and always told people they were used in F1 not long before my car was made; ( up until 1961 by Ferrari) and also by much heavier and more powerful cars like E Type Jags and big Maserati road cars.