I have just acquired a set of 21 inch split rims. The latches are long since missing. I am going to make a set of latches for each. What have some of you folks done to solve this problem? Could you post a picture?
You could find a rusty set of split rims with the same type of latch and try putting those latches onto your rims. Ive had rusted rims and always remove the lugs before scrapping the rest but don't bother with the latches. Sorry, but I don't have any rusted rims now.
I've always thought about making a bunch of the swing style latches for 21" Hayes rims, but I would like to get the print for them instead of just copying an old one. If anybody happens to have a copy of the Ford print that shows the latch and they send it to me, I'll get some made up within the next few months and I'll send them a half dozen new latches in return. Otherwise, the latch is on my list to see if I can find the next time I get to Dearborn which could be over a year away.
There are two common types of latches for these rims. The difficult part for the "swinging" type latch isn't making the swinging part. I could make that out of flat-stock with a hacksaw and a bench grinder. The tough part is making the shouldered rivet to hold it tight but still turn it by tapping with a hammer.
I would consider modifying these rims to the other type. A simple piece of flat-stock about 3/4 inch wide with about a 1/2 inch hole near the outer end attached in the center of the end of the rim that does not have the valve stem. The originals were riveted, braze would probably work. A 1/4 inch fine thread nut can be carefully brazed onto the other end of the rim to EXACTLY line up with the hole in the flat-stock with the rim in place. Then re-drill the hole and tap it for 5/16 fine thread. (The reasons for all the foolishness with the nut, is that with only a little work, it fits well. The flat sides attach well to the brazing. And it re-drills and taps easily following the smaller threads. You would be amazed at the pieces I have built or repaired by brazing nuts together.)
Now for my requisite dispelling of a myth. These "one piece" split rims, although generally called split rims, are not the notoriously deadly split rims that are two or three part rims. Either the two or the three part rims (also called split rims) can blow apart with many hundreds of pounds of force throwing a three pound steel ring with enough speed and power to separate your head from your shoulders.
The common split rims used by Ford and a hundred other companies (almost) can't do anything like that. It is not really recommended. But you can actually use these rims without a catch. Mount the rim and tube in the tire. Then air it up slowly, making sure the ends of the rim are lined up straight. Once the tire has about 35lbs of air and the rim is being squeezed and held in line by the tube and tire by many hundreds of pounds pressure. It doesn't want to come apart. But I prefer it on a wheel now, not loose.
If the rim DID manage to slip aside (which it cannot do if it is on a wheel) the tube would blow out with a bang heard for miles. You could be surprised enough to fall down, hit your head, have an accident with a power tool. Something like that could cause serious injury or death. Just like any unexpected catastrophic blowout a few feet from where you are working. But the rim itself cannot hurt you, unless you have your finger in the perfect wrong spot. You could get bit and have a boo boo.
I go through all this because many people have heard about the dangers of split rims and become afraid of these on their model T. I want them to feel secure on the original type wheels and rims.
Drive safely, W2
Here is a picture of a homemade latch somebody made on my spare. It is not very pretty but it works. I hope you can see the picture clearly enough to tell the they made a sort of door hinge with a 1/4 inch bolt. I think I would have used a clevis pin instead. Maybe this will give you some ideals that you can improve on.
The previous owner of my T had the split rim fasteners redone. He had someone make the parts and he welded them in. He had extras made so I have a few. I have not removed a tire to see what the insides of the rims look like.
Here are a few pictures;
Jason, et al,
That is a good repair. I like that. Thank you for posting those pictures.
Drive safe, W2