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Rear tire scrubbing!!?

Gr8scott87

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My most recent project with my 69 AH Sprite is tire scrubbing, specifically on the right hand rear side. I have a set of 13" wire wheels on this car. The sidewall of the tire is rubbing against the side of the fender on right hand turns and curves. My current measurement between my two rear tires (center of left to center of right tire) is 46". I think I'm sitting wide? I started out at 46.5" wide, but discovered that the lug nuts that the previous owner had were oversized, and the rear wheels were actually rubbing against the lug nuts, yikes! I have the right size on now, and can confirm that the wheels are sitting on the hubs, and not touching the lug nuts.

After fixing that, I gained half and inch, and the rubbing issue has diminished, but is still a problem. If the car is sitting flat in the garage I have about 1/4" space between each tire and side of fender. Driver side might have a bit more clearance than passenger, but they are close. Also on right hand turns, I'm hearing a bit of a rattle maybe even a knocking noise accompanying the scrubbing.

It's be a journey on this car, and have come a long way. If I can get this figured out, I'll feel good about putter her on the road! Anyone else had this problem? Know how to fix it? I'm pretty new to restoration, haven't had this project a year yet.

Thanks!
 

Pythias

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I had this problem .... 175/70 13 on 5" rims.... I had a set of performance tires with no problems, then when I replaced (twice) I couldn't get rid of the occasional rubbing. The problem went away when I got a set of Pirelli CN36 tires. The shoulders are more rounded than the the all season tires that are just about all that are available nowadays.

What brand of tires and how new are they?
 
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Gr8scott87

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I’ve got the tires it came with, Sumic GT80, 155/80 R13 tires. If I’m reading it right they are from 2011... so due for a new set.
 

Pythias

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OK,.. i just looked at pictures of those and they don't seem like they have the square shoulders of the kind of tires that rub....
perhaps something else then is going on. I don't know enough about wire wheeled cars to give any more advice... but those tires ARE more than seven years old.

Good luck finding a performance tire in that size....
 
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Gr8scott87

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Thanks, It's a head scratcher. Thinner tires might help, but I'm wondering if there's something else going on. I'm hoping someone has already fought this battle and can tell me how to overcome it.
 

Pythias

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I'm pretty sure thinner tires are NOT the answer. you're already running 155s. I'm running 175s and don't rub. Seems like one of the sizes that DID rub for me tho were your 155/80s. ..

but now I have a different question? for you.... you mentioned lug nuts with wire wheels.... Isn't there just ONE big nut holding the wheel on? Did you recently acquire the car? perhaps is was converted? https://www.mgexp.com/forum/mg-midget-forum.3/conversion-from-wire-wheels-to-4x4-lug.1179088/
 
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Gr8scott87

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It is converted! the lug nuts hold on the brake drums on the rear, the center knock off cap holds the wire wheels on. After talking with a friend, I'm suspecting that my rear bushings are bad, and I'm likely getting too much side to side action. Hearing some rattle and knocking on some of those right curves/turns. I'm thinking my next step will likely be to replace the bushings and shackles? I'm also thinking that maybe the wire wheels sit wider?
 

Scargo

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Are you saying that you have a separate set of lug nuts under the hub flange just to hold the drum on, in addition to the nuts that fasten the hub?
 

Jim_Gruber

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He's got those "unsafe" bolt on WW Adapter Hubs that Moss Sells. Grt8Scott those Adapters have been labelled as very unsafe by a very well known BE Expert in CT. Issues with those adapter breaking and departing the car with rather disastrous results. In addition, what may have fit with a stock regular wheel or Minilite Type 8 spoke wheel you now need to add the additional width of the Wire Wheel adapter. And any time the tire is rubbing against the Fender Well that's a major issue and if you've got a knock or strange noise going on, well I hope your life insurance is paid up.
 
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Gr8scott87

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knocking noise is liley from extremely worn out bushings it seems, got some feed back from a local british car mechanic. Much of the current rubbing may likely be coming from that issue as well, too much sway on turns. Don't worry friends, this car hasn't left my neighborhood as of yet :smile: I'm trying to resolve this issue before it does any real driving. Sounds like I may need to get my hands on some actual splined axels and bail on these adapters? I'll be looking around.
 

Jim_Gruber

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A baseball bat can sometimes be used between tire and fender to roll the lip a little tighter. But please get rid of those adapters for your own safety. Same thing up front, you need WW Spindles which are different from Standard Spindles.
 
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Gr8scott87

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Looking through my pictures of when I had the rear axle out... turns out I do have wire wheel axels on this car, not the bolt on adapters like I thought I remembered being on there... can’t keep my head straight...
IMG_3922.HEIC
IMG_3832.HEIC

my scrubbing problems seemed to match what I’m hearing from others about the wire adapters... but without the wire adapters... I do have about 1/4” of clearance on both sides, and am fine on straight aways, rubbing on curves. I’ve got a little bit of the bachelor squat going on with the left hand driver side. Given others input I’m also suspecting worn out bushings. Perhaps bushings are the next thing to try...
 

Joe Schlosser

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Back to the question was the car originally a steel wheel that was converted to a wire wheel?
The axle assembly for the wire wheel setup is narrower than the steel wheel. I don't have the exact numbers but flange to flange is like 45.5 vs 44 inch.
If the PO just switched out the steel wheel drive axles for the wire wheel axles the track would be wider by at least an inch. This would/could cause tire rub against the fender.
 
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Gr8scott87

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I don't know what it was originally. I know the axels are wire wheel axels. I actually picked up a spare over the weekend from a local junk yard to compare with the ones I have. They are identical. The spare one has slightly better splines. So when I change out the leaf springs in a few weeks I plan to swap the old Axel for the new. I measured from the back of the right hand backing plate over to the left hand, 42" from backing plate to backing plate. I compared that to the housing pulled from a 69 sprite with wire wheels at the junk yard, that one was also 42" from backing plate to backing plate.

This is making me think that the bushings/ worn out springs combo might be the culprit. I checked the bushings with the wheels off and they are extremely worn. I know that those need replacing regardless, so I'm planning to install the new springs, bushings and hardware and see if I'm still rubbing. Will follow up in a few weeks... hopefully with a good report :p
 

Joe Schlosser

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I just did a rough measurement on a spare wire wheel, 1/2 eleptic, that I have sitting in the spares area. Entire wheel setup from an 1100, front and rear.
The best I can measure with the bake back plates still attached is about 41-42 inch. Your 42 inch number is about right. I think when I measured that the steel axle housing is 1.5 inches wider. The track is the same on both steel and wire wheel setups.
I am betting that the worn out spring bushings are the issue. Keep everyone informed.
 

Madflyer

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If you have a spring shop You might have them check the spring ark the one side could be weaker than the other. I know boat trailers have that problem with the right side hit the road edge etc. They can also add a leaf that would only lift the car 1/2 inch or so. Another day another idea. Madflyer
 
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Gr8scott87

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Thanks are, I have a knowledgable friend coming down this weekend to help me put in new springs and bushings. I will let y'all know how it goes. I'm hopeful that is the fix!
 
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Gr8scott87

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Got the new springs and bushing on the Sprite on Friday. That did the trick. The old springs were completely worn out, and the bushings were completely shot. I've attempted to attach a picture of the bushings (not sure it's gonna work). The rear sits about a inch higher now, and feels completely different on the road! No side to side movement at all, and a much smoother ride. With the rear sitting and inch higher where it's supposed to be, and with the new bushings in, I've not had any more tire rubbing issues. This issue appears to be solved for me. Now on to the next. I'll try to attach some pictures.
 

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Jim_Gruber

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Did you add lowering wedges to adjust ride height down?
 
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