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How to know if wheels (rims) are good?

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  • How to know if wheels (rims) are good?

    I am trying to put 5 good 19 inch wheels together for powder coating. How does one determine if the wheels are good? Any tell tale things to look for?

    i thought I would put them on and spin them to check for straightness, but I don’t know how accurate this might be. I will also check each individual spoke.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Yes, spin them on the front and check for radial and lateral run out. Try for wheels 1/8" or less. They can be straightened if they aren't too bad. Also look for broken spokes and cracks in the hub.

    Comment


    • #3
      I made a tool to check wheel runout from an old axel from a ford pickup, and an adustable pointer to observe any runout.
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      Bill
      http://www.brauchauto.com/
      Eastern Connecticut

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      • #4
        After reading an article in the Restorer, I taught myself to heat & quench the spokes to bring the wheel back into alignment. I am Shure everyone knows how to straighten spokes with a slide hammer but they are no longer in tension. I make a farmers tool by clamping a piece of metal coat hanger to a jack stand. I bend the tip of the coat hanger back on itself to form a loop. The coat hanger will chatter without moving the jack stand. After verifying the drum is running true, mount the wheel and spin it to find the low spots. (wheel moves inward) Often the low spot will be between 2 spokes. Heat each spoke in turn so that you get about 1" cherry red or less, then quench in with a hand towel from your bucket. I put a plastic tray under the wheel to catch most of the water. Work your way around the wheel heating & quenching and come back to the original pair of spokes. You will most likely have to retreat these again, but be careful you can over shrink a spoke . I have gotten my wheels to within 1/16". I am not a welder so I use map gas with the new swirl tip. It takes longer but you are less likely to mess up. It is fun to do just be patient. As mentioned earlier if you find a crack the wheel is only good as a lawn ornament. If this is a old redundant subject then just send me to time out Bob

        Comment


        • #5
          LOL I tried all that once and ended up with so much runout the wheel was useless, and I only mechanically fixed 2 spokes!
          Don't bring ur bent wheels to me!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Great information guys. Very much Appreciated. I’m on my back right now recovering from knee replacement but when my strength returns I will start spinning wheels and see what I have.
            It’s amazing really how long these 85 year old wheels have lasted.

            Comment


            • CarlG
              CarlG commented
              Editing a comment
              Better than your (or my) knees

          • #7
            Hey Curly, one thing I have learned about the spokes is they are spot welded from the inside and the ring around the stem will not always be flush against the wheel rim. But a little tap with a small hammer will tell you if it is still attached to the wheel. Don't think it needs to be welded just because there is a small gap. If you are painting them be sure to get a good coat of primer sealer in and around those stems as they could start to rust after painted. If you are getting them powder coated, the thickness of the coating should close that gap up.
            You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

            Comment


            • Curly
              Curly commented
              Editing a comment
              Good advise. These are the little things I wanted to educate myself with prior to starting.

          • #8
            So true Carl. Sucks to wear out. This knee should make it 30 years he said. That should get me to the finish line.

            Comment


            • Mitch
              Mitch commented
              Editing a comment
              I will need some new knockers one day, but I'm not there yet.

          • #9
            Be sure to check the lug nut holes to see if they are wallered out oversize . If they are I would add them to the lawn ormament pile . A easy way to check is to use a good lug nut and see if they fit all the way thru the opening . If so they will bottom out and not tighten the wheel against the hub . Norm

            Comment


            • #10
              Norm, what do you think about using lug nut washers ? Pat
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              Model A's and of course the famous AA's

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              • Mitch
                Mitch commented
                Editing a comment
                I see those used all the time and they seem to work as long as the hole is not to badly deformed

              • carolinamudwalker
                carolinamudwalker commented
                Editing a comment
                There are two thicknesses of these washers out there, the thin ones just crack and have to be replaced when you take the wheel off.

            • #11
              I have hydraulic brakes. I test fitted a 19 inch wheel and everything looks good.
              Is there a rule of thumb as to how much of the lug bolt needs to come through? I seem to have less than an inch on rear.

              Comment


              • #12
                That is always the burning question. I have always thought the studs could be a bit longer, myself. First be sure the female threads of the nuts are not worn, if so, get a fresh set. There is an engineering table somewhere that tells how many threads to engage per diameter of the bolt. If you find it, I would ignore it. This is the same table that Ford engineers recently used when they came up with the idea to engage 4 threads in the head for spark plugs on small blocks in the early 2000s. Great! Oops, why are all the spark plugs blowing out of the heads?

                I like to see at least 6-8 threads, this is purely an opinion.

                I would love to see George Miller get in on this; he really knows his stuff

                Comment


                • #13
                  You do not want any of the lug nut to protrude thru the rim . The purpose of the washers is to hold the lug nut away from the hub . In my area there is not a shortage of decent wheels so I don't use the washers . Norm

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                  • #14
                    How many of you here weld the cracks of the inner wheel next to the spoke? I have a TIG welder and am confident I can get a good weld with it, but would like others opinion on this. I've seen many wheels that have been welded in the past that are on a car or pickup in our club.

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                    • #15
                      Dennis I welded one for a fellow club members truck this last summer. That truck is the yellow truck you see on the cover of the last Restorer Magazine. That weld will hold another 85 years I’m sure.

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                      • #16
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                        • #17
                          I have not needed to do it, but would not hesitate. Check for true afterward, welding, like all heating of metal, causes shrinkage.
                          Today's roads are way better than yesteryear and would expect a repair to last a long time

                          Comment


                          • #18
                            There’s a go - no go test for bolt holes. You use a coin, unfortunately I don’t remember what denomination.

                            Comment


                            • Dennis
                              Dennis commented
                              Editing a comment
                              A dime? I have a set of 5 rims and I just checked them. Dime doesn't go through any of them.

                            • Curly
                              Curly commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Makes cents...

                          • #19
                            Off the spoke subject: My powder coater told me not to bring him "Red" wheels if I was going to do a "straw " color as the red, no matter how well they sandblast, will have a tendency to bleed through the straw color. I took him five black wheels and one of them came back with a slight pinkish look around the base of 2-3 of the spokes. He re-did the wheel and it still came out slightly pink. He told me that the wheel must have been red at one time and caused this problem.
                            Another thing to remember that after powder coating and before installation be sure to sand the lug holes shiny as the lug nut won't seat well with the powder coating under the nut.
                            Advice from a newby!
                            Phil

                            Comment


                            • #20
                              Phil does your powder coater prime the wheels before he coats them?

                              And also clean the PC off from where the wheel contacts the drum
                              3 ~ Tudor's
                              Henry Ford said
                              "It's all nuts and bolts"


                              Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                              Comment


                              • Fixitphil
                                Fixitphil commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I talked to my pc guy and he said that they can prime but that there is nothing that will keep the red from bleeding through. The manufacturer says there is no cure for this problem.
                                My pc guy even tried pc'ing black first but it still happens. He says the heat brings the red to the surface from the pores of the steel.
                                Phil

                              • Mitch
                                Mitch commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I'm not a PC expert but i would get a different opinion. I never heard of this before

                            • #21
                              I don't know about priming the wheels, i'll find out.
                              What is PC?
                              Phil

                              Comment


                              • #22
                                Okay, I understand PC. Do you mean the powder coater clean the PC off after, or before powder coating?

                                Comment


                                • #23
                                  My powder coater (PC) primes all the parts before applying the powder. Many PC'ers do not do that from what i have seen
                                  3 ~ Tudor's
                                  Henry Ford said
                                  "It's all nuts and bolts"


                                  Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                                  Comment


                                  • #24
                                    I think it’s Politically Correct (PC) for the Powder Coater (PC) to Personally Clean (PC) the Project Correctly (PC) Prior to Centerfugal (PC).
                                    Please Coment(PC).

                                    Comment


                                    • CarlG
                                      CarlG commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Only a school teacher would come up with that statement . . .

                                    • Mitch
                                      Mitch commented
                                      Editing a comment

                                    • Curly
                                      Curly commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Carl that’s Practically Criminal (PC).

                                    • Jeff/Illinois
                                      Jeff/Illinois commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Yuck Yuck Yuck WOOwoo woo woo as Curly would say. Good one!!

                                    • Ted Duke
                                      Ted Duke commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      I am Politely Cynical!

                                  • #25
                                    Wow Brent, thank you so much. Very involved and expensive, I have 5 wheels hanging on the wall with bad lug holes.

                                    Comment

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