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Rear axle- Converting to wire wheels


Jedi Warrior
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Can anyone confirm that the rear axle housing used on wire wheel Healeys is narrower than the housing used on steel disc wheel cars?
A member of our local AHOC is restoring an ex-USA 100-6 which was originally fitted with disc wheels. He has fitted wire wheels but now the rear tyres protrude beyond the wheel arch. He does not accept my advice that he needs to swap the axle for a "wire wheel" axle.
My memory may be failing, but I know this is necessary because in the early seventies, a few Healey owners despaired of problems related to aging wire wheels and converted their cars to steel discs.
I recall that the 'wire wheel' axle tube was about 1.5" shorter than the 'disc wheel' axle to allow for the bolt-on hub extensions for the wire spoked wheels, thus bringing the track dimension back to the same as the steel disc wheels.
Looking forward to any comments
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I was never aware of a narrower axle housing available, and the service parts list seems to bear that out; no separate listing for disc/wire wheel axle housing or axle-shafts.

MGBs have two (2), or four (4) if you count all years, axles for either disc/wire wheels.

On my own car, I just removed the w/w adapters and bolted on a steel wheel (using the w/w brake drums).


Jedi Trainee
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The disc wheel brake drums have the dished area filled in. No axle change to my knowledge, just longer studs on the hubs. I think he should look for a set of wire wheel drums.


Great Pumpkin
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Hi Pan, I think your friend either obtained wheels with no off set or some negative off set. What he will require is a set of wheels with the correct Positive offset.---Keoke
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Randy_Gay said:
The disc wheel brake drums have the dished area filled in. No axle change to my knowledge, just longer studs on the hubs. I think he should look for a set of wire wheel drums.
Correct, I didn't make that clear in my post.

Your friend is lucky, the w/w drums are much cheaper than the disc wheel drums! That's why I didn't change them (besides allowing a slightly wider wheel to fit inside the fender).


Hi Pan,

Not sure about Big Healeys (and I have a similar question to yours elsewhere on the forum as I also want to swap my BN6 disc wheels to wire wheels), but on my '66 Sprite I had to swap the rear axle housing when I converted from wire wheels to disc wheels, as I was using the car for historic racing- I think from memory the wire wheel axle was narrower than the disc wheel axle, but I could be wrong - so perhaps this is where the axle swap idea comes from.



Jedi Warrior
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Thanks for the advice. My memory obviously is failing me!
Maybe it was on the 100 only as this model never came with anything but wire spoked wheels. Most of the running gear is shared with the A70/A90 but the drive axles (or half shafts) from these cars are too long for the Healey, but A40 axles can be used.
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