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Three worn hubs and wire wheel centers - What to do next? 1960 BT7


Jedi Hopeful
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Hi all,
I had a friend come and help me bleed the brakes on my BT7 last week, which I have owned for 28 years. The 72 spoke chrome wires have been on for about 27 years (i bought them in Houston where I was working at the time, and now live back in the UK).

My friend asked me when did I last check the splines and I said never (despite being aware of the issue from Norman Knocks book). On examination three of the four hubs showed worn splines (sharp knife edge at the top of the spline). One had only a slight movement, which the other two had about 1/4" movement on the outside of the tyre. As expected the wheel centers are also worn. Rather oddly the left rear was OK. The hub on this wheel had clearly been replaced by a previous owner as it did not match the other three hubs. The spare was fine as its never been used.

I now have three worn hubs and three worm wheels with a pair of decent wheels.

My options are:-
1) Buy four new wire wheels (ÂŁ1080) and change out all the hubs,

2) Get three wheels repaired (ÂŁ900) at about the same cost of three new ones (ÂŁ810) and change out the hubs. This will leave me with a full set of original wheels.

3) Buy two new wire wheels (ÂŁ540) and pair them on the front and use the two good originals on the rear (all with new hubs).

Is there a safety issue with the cheapest option, using two different sets of wires on the front and rear? What does everyone think?

Thanks Phil

John Turney

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When you say “original wheels,” I assume you mean the 72-spoke chrome wheels you bought 27 years ago, and not the 48-spoke wheels that were original to the car. If so, there is no problem with using the two good wheels with two new wheels. You could keep one of the old wheels as the spare, if you need one and understand that it would only be temporary. My old wheels when I bought my BN4 had about 3/4” of play.


Jedi Hopeful
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Thanks John
I really should have said current rather than original.
Thanks for the advice regarding using two new and two of the current wheels.


Jedi Trainee
From purely a maintenance standpoint, whatever option you choose to get all four into operational limits is acceptable.


Country flag
Is there an option to unlace the center (disc) from the wheels and install new ones?


Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Thanks for all the advice.
I am planning to buy two new 72 spoke wire wheels, which I shall put on the rear with new hubs (thanks Rick). I shall keep two wheels from the current set (one being the unused spare and the other with good splines) and put these on new hubs on the front.

I did find a wire wheel outfit who would lace in new wheel centers and re-chrome but the cost was more than the cost of a new wheel.

Thanks all.
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