So the other day, some guy in a pickup pulls me over and says my passenger-side rear-wheel is wobbling. Well, that sort of explained the little shilly-shally I've been feeling at 35 mph. Thought it might have been an unbalanced tire, but no; if a wheel is wobbling, that would be the culprit.
So I put my tail-end up on jackstands, placed a square against the tire sidewall and gave it a twirl. Oh yeah, the wheel was definitely wobbling. I eyeballed it at about 3/8ths of an inch. Now, I've heard that a little wobble is allowable with demountable wheels, but I've got the old-fashioned kind with wooden felloes, so that didn't bode well.
I tugged and pushed on the wheel and there was no play in the axle. Okay, that was good. Nothing left to do but pull the wheel off.
Fortunately, Lang's had, just this week, sent me an absolutely gorgeous, vintage wheel-puller with sharp, crisp-looking threads (Thanks, Ashley) and this was a good excuse to use it. I pulled the cotter-pin and unscrewed the castle-nut (which seemed maybe not as tight as it should have been), yanked the wheel and the woodruff key fell out as usual. Well, I think those are the original axles and maybe I need to find an oversized woodruff key somewhere, but for now, I'd just deal with it. Anyway, I checked the tightness of the lug nuts on the wheel and they were already as tight as I'd dare make 'em, so that wasn't the problem.
I remounted the wheel, climbed on a chair and stood on the wrench this time. Now that castle-nut was good and tight. With the square up against the tire sidewall again, the wobble looked like it was down to about 1/4 of an inch or less. It was then I noticed the remaining wobble wasn't steady — meaning it wasn't a smooth wave that went from maximum to minimum to maximum every 180 degrees. Rather, the wobble appeared to be in a short segment of the wheel, maybe 1/4 of the wheel's circle. That lead me to believe the problem wasn't in the axle.
So okay, as the problem doesn't seem to be in the gears and cogs and bushings and bearings, it's probably not as serious as if it were. Apparently, my new wooden wheel is a little warped (which kind of surprises me as it was made by Mr. Stutzman). I'm not sure whether 1/4 inch of wobble is within acceptable tolerance, so I'll ask what you guys think.
Oh, by the way, I also checked the other rear wheel and its trueness is also off, but only by about 3/16th of an inch.
Thoughts? Comments? Recommendations?
I must not understand but where is there a [Woodruff] key on the outside end of a model T axel?? Bud.
I think your wheels are just good usable wheels.
There was a discussion here lately where somebody said Ford gave a tolerance of something like 1/4" runout.
I don't worry much about wheel wobble. It does sometimes give the car a little shilly-shally as you called it (my spell check didn't like it, but it makes sense to me). I have known people to run wood wheels with that much wobble at high speeds for great distances without any trouble attributed to it. As long as everything is tight, no hub cracks or anything similar, the wheels should be just fine. Stutzman's wheels should be great!
Good tight wood wheels sometimes do settle in with a little warp and wobble.
That has been my stand for many years and I am sticking with it.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
On my wood wheels with metal felloes I have decreased wobble by making a fixture to true the hub area of the spokes to the rim with a router.
For smaller runouts on my wooden felloe wheels I use a mallet against the rim before riveting the felloe. That way the rim can run close to true even if the felloe is a bit out.
If you want you can use the router trick to true the wheel, or even a hand held sander you must do this against the spokes before inserting the hub (no duh!).
If you are using the Regan Press to simultaneously assemble the wheel and press in the hub you are out of luck in trying to true the wheel this way.
3/16" sounds pretty good to me. I doubt the runout is caused by Stutzmann's workmanship. More likely the axle is worn on one side, or the key is too tall, or the hub is worn where it meets the axle, or you have axle shims installed that offset the wheel.