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Thread: Wire wheel question

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    Wire wheel question

    I am confused about one thing that I was hoping someone could answer. I was lucky to find 5 wire wheels at a estate sale at a very good price. So I want to convert to them. If I use the spacers that are available so I do not have to cut the studs, what lug nut do I use with the spacer? The wire wheel studs which I understand to be less tall than the steel wheel nuts or vice versa? Thanks

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    Yoda
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    Re: Wire wheel question

    They are in the Moss catalogue with the wheels for a couple of dollars; they are basically like a stubby lug nut.

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Wire wheel question

    Still have to use the wire wheel nuts. The regular nuts won't fit in the space between the wheel and adapter. The spacer does not change that, it only makes up for the studs being too long.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: Wire wheel question

    IIRC, the proper nuts are "conical" on both front and back.
    -- Andrew (Andy) Mace, VTR's Triumph 10/Herald/Sports 6 vehicle consultant and keeper of the North American Triumph Sports 6 and Herald Database

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    Re: Wire wheel question

    Thanks for the answers! Bruce

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Wire wheel question

    Here is a warning . Old wire wheels may be very unsafe. The splines inside the wire wheels wear as do the splines on the hubs. The result is that the wheels may spin on the hubs and you have no brakes or traction to go forward. The worst time you don't want to find out about this is on the braking part. I found a used set and discovered that there was a definite clank whenever I backed up. I had to replace both wheels and hubs with new.
    Charley
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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Wire wheel question

    Amen! My previous TR3A had wire wheels when we bought it (birthday present from my late wife, back in 1983 or so). Not long after, I had to replace the tube on the right rear wheel. Noticed the knockoff was really excessively tight, but didn't think much about it. Fixed the tire, put the wheel back on "normal" tight. Backed out of the driveway and started to drive up the hill. All I got was a loud ZIZZZ as the splines spun inside the wheel! Had to get help to push it back into the driveway; installed 4 steel wheels and never regretted it.

    One other important point; those special nuts also have to be tightened tighter than normal lug nuts. I strongly recommend using a torque wrench, so you can be sure you got to the recommended 65 ftlb. My Dad's old TR3A lost the left rear wheel several times. I noticed there was something wrong when the car tried to go sideways going down a freeway off ramp (some 1000 miles from home). All 4 studs were badly damaged, one snapped off entirely. Second or third time, my Dad was driving and failed to notice there was a problem, until the departing wheel ripped off the fender!

    As you might guess, it's also a good idea to check the nuts for tightness, every year when you pull the wheels to clean and lube the splines.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: Wire wheel question

    I am aware that they do wear but reading what you guys are saying gives me pause on this changeover. The splined hubs I got seem to look very good with well defined splines but I do not have a new one to compare. I have not done this yet because it's been raining (seems like forever) and I have to get out to the shed and retrieve the wheels but I was wondering if I inserted the hub into the wheel and checked for play would that be enough to tell if there is play? Or I suppose I could "mock" up the hub to the car and mount the wheel and check it that way. Is there a test or should I abandon this? When restoration is complete my wife will be driving with me and I do not want her (or me) to be at risk. I do have the steel wheels and got the chrome beauty rings with the car so I think that would look good too.

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Wire wheel question

    I wasn't really trying to talk you out of it; just wanted to make the point that some care is required. Wheels are something we normally just ignore (until a tire goes flat), but wire wheels do require a certain amount of periodic inspection and maintenance.
    https://classicmotorsports.com/artic...-classic-cars/

    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Andrew Mace  (02-27-2020)

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Wire wheel question

    My experiences are more MGB related than with the TR4a, but they are all the same. I bought a few sets of used wheels and the time and effort it took to make them right wasn’t worth it. I ended up buying new adapters and wheels and to me it’s peace of mind. I used one of the new adapters to check fit on the used wire wheels and it felt nice and tight, same thing with a new wheel and used adapter. The splines on both used wheels and adapters were sharp and I knew they were worn, but the snug fit fooled me into thinking they were safe. The worn part will quickly wear the new one and you’ll be back where you started.
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Re: Wire wheel question

    Randall our diagram you sent showing the splines was very helpful. Despite looking good at first look I cleaned them up a bit and used a magnifier and found that the splines "leaned" as show in your diagram. So a lesson that cost me but a lesson learned. Steel wheels are sounding better now. I really do appreciate the advice - this is why I come here. thanks Bruce

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