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Thread: New Build Stock Wheels?

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

  1. #21
    Moderator drooartz's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by apbos View Post
    Our daughter is now attending university in Stockton, Ca. Stockton Wheel has been making custum wheels for over 100 years. https://www.stocktonwheel.com/index.html We are only a 30 min drive away. If I get some encouragement I could take my spare and see if they could make a replica. I also wonder if making the rim slightly wider would allow us to use a more widely available tire?
    I'd be interested. I really like the stock wheel look, but wouldn't mind if it was just a touch wider (and, let's face it, a lot newer). I've contemplated contacting Stockton wheel myself when I'm ready to be doing Bugeye wheels. If you do have a chance to swing by I'd be curious to see what you find out.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

  2. #22
    Yoda
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by SaxMan View Post
    The '69 Sprite had the pressed steel wheel. The Rostyles didn't debut until the Round Wheel Arch Midgets, IIRC.

    I'm no longer looking for wheels, as I found out the existing wheels can be straightened out. I should be taking them and the new tires to the wheel shop towards the end of this upcoming week.

    I tried using the string method...clearly I was not doing it right. I'll try the board method. Is there a particular number that you came up that I could use as a baseline?
    David, I just go for somewhere around 1/16 to 1/8" in my measurement from just in front of car to a measurement at the end of the 8' boards. I like to keep it at a minimum to keep the tire wear down so I might not be using enough since I would guess the toe changes with load on the car.

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

  3. #23
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Thanks, Kurt!

    Tires should be in tomorrow. Tires and wheels go to the shop the following day and should have them back after the weekend. Will let everyone know how it goes.

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    Jedi Knight apbos's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Drew
    I will check it out. I would think a 13 x 5 wheel? Seems we are going over almost weekly.
    Paul
    1949 TR 2000 roadster
    1960 MG MGA
    1-1959 AN5L/9477 AH Bugeye Sprite
    1- 1958 Triumph TR3 TS 28115

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    Yoda
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by nomad View Post
    David, I just go for somewhere around 1/16 to 1/8" in my measurement from just in front of car to a measurement at the end of the 8' boards. I like to keep it at a minimum to keep the tire wear down so I might not be using enough since I would guess the toe changes with load on the car.

    Kurt
    Be sure to flip each board after the first measurement, measure again and average the two measurements to account for any warpage in the boards.
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    I dropped the wheels off a Rim Renew in Catonsville, MD. Neither the owner Sam Friedman or I recognized each other, even though I played his wedding back in 2011. My little dinky 13s looked a bit out of place among the modern rims of 17, 18, 19 and more. But, it turned out Sam is an LBC guy, too, with a very original and very clean TR6. Sam looked at my tires and said "Man, you really do drive this car". We put the wheels on his machine -- every single one of them was out of whack to varying degrees, with the problematic left front being the worst. It was so bad, he suggested using the spare instead of trying to fix this wheel.

    His recommendation was that the two best wheels after straightening should go on the front while the two lesser wheels go on the rear. I don't have an issue with that. When it comes to tire rotation, though, can I cross rotate the fronts and rears, put the left tire on the right side and vice versa with no front to back rotation? The BMC Manual has the fronts going to the rear, then the rears going to the opposite of the fronts, i.e. right rear to left front, left rear to right front.

    Sam will have the wheels for a couple of days. I'll let everyone know how it turns out. He thought that there would be a dramatic improvement based on how wobbly the wheels currently are.

  7. #27
    Moderator drooartz's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by apbos View Post
    Drew
    I will check it out. I would think a 13 x 5 wheel? Seems we are going over almost weekly.
    Paul
    That would seem like the right sizing -- same as the Minilites that Moss sells.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

  8. #28
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Update: Wheels are almost ready. Sam had a problem with the wheels -- the lug holes on the Sprite's wheels were smaller than the lugs on his straightening machine, so he had to order an adapter to make them able to be worked on. I should have them back within the next few days.

  9. #29
    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Like 13 inch wheels , 3/8 inch stud holes are not very common these days.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

  10. #30
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Got the wheels back -- slapped them on the car and WOW. What a difference! Even more remarkable is that I nailed the toe-in almost perfectly just using dead reckoning. I'd say my adjustment was around 95%, and I'm not sure trying to chase that last 5% is worth it...I'm just as likely to go backwards as I am forwards.

    Even though there was a light drizzle in the area, I couldn't resist taking the car out. It feels like a slot car now. I didn't realize how much the bent rims were disrupting the handling of the car. I took the car up to 65 miles per hour and it was still riding smoothly.

    The wheel straightening came out to $240. The set of tires came to $252. So, for under $500, I dramatically improved the Sprite's handing. That's a pretty good investment.

  11. #31
    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Congrats on the improvements. That is the way the car is supposed to feel like it is glued to the road.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

  12. #32
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Schlosser View Post
    Congrats on the improvements. That is the way the car is supposed to feel like it is glued to the road.
    Thank you. I think the Kumho Solus tires are a big improvement over the Uniroyal Tiger Paws, too. My 2015 Rogue has the same type of tires (but much bigger, obviously), and it handles well for a crossover SUV. Of course, that may be as much because Nissan makes very good electronic Nannies to keep the rubber side on the bottom.

  13. #33
    Jedi Knight Bob Claffie's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    In my everyday search for a "bargain" LBC, tonight I ran across an ad on Craigs list from someone selling some used OEM bugeye wheels. The listing is on the Delaware CL site.. As I recall $40 for 5 wheels and a total of seven for sale. NFI
    Thank goodness the MG is finally gone, replaced by another Corvette

  14. #34
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Last update on this: I gave the Sprite a pretty thorough wringing out today. I found that I was able to take curves in 4th gear that I used to have to downshift to 3rd to get through. Still a hint of a shake from time to time -- they couldn't get the wheels 100%, but got really close. And, the toe-in adjustment is pretty close to perfect. It was weird because my steering wheel was off-center prior to the adjustment, and now it sits dead center.

  15. #35
    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Centering the steering wheel "Should" be part of any competent alignment. Sounds like you are having some serious fun with it.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayless View Post
    Centering the steering wheel "Should" be part of any competent alignment. Sounds like you are having some serious fun with it.
    Agreed -- However, like just about everything I've done with the Sprite, I usually get it right the second time around.

    Weather was perfect again today. Put 80 miles on the car between yesterday and today. Between the weather and the wheel issues, I had only put 400 miles on the Sprite all year, and I usually put about 2,000 on each year.

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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    I know exactly what you're saying Sax man- I've tried everything to get my steel road wheels to run straight and true for my TR 3A with incremental improvements to the point where its "OK"... I borrowed a friends wires a while ago and the diference was marked- lovely smooth ride. Trouble is I prefer the look of original steel wheels and certainly dont want mags. Perhaps we could star a list of "expressions of interest" in new wheels. If we got enough people interested pwe may be able to interest a manufacturer??

  18. #38
    Obi Wan
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    It's entirely possible -- I mean they are building just about everything else for these cars in the aftermarket now.

  19. #39
    Jedi Knight smaceng's Avatar
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    Re: New Build Stock Wheels?

    With all this talk about BE wheels, there were actually three different designs. The first one was where the rim was riveted to the center. The second one used had the rim welded to the center and the brake adjuster holes were in line with a ventilation hole (see post #9). Evidently when racing, cracks developed between the brake adjustment hole and a ventilation hole. The third design "clocked" the position of the brake adjustment holes and the ventilation holes so they were no longer lined up. This third design was considered the strongest.
    Cheers, Scott in CA
    1973 TR6

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