I would like to ask you guys who know more than I do if you see any potential problems with putting McLaren Wire Wheels on if you have Sure Stop brakes and floating hubs.
I am in the process of putting on the floating hubs and Sure Stops now, and it has been a classic case of "Murphy's Law". This stuff is going on a 1914 runabout with small drum wood wheels. When I put the right wheel on, everything hit everything else, and has required considerable ingenuity to correct the problems. I have been successful however with a bit of grinding and cutting so that the right wheel now rotates freely with no ominous noises. I then went to the left wheel, and after making the same adjustments inside the brake drum, I put the wheel on. After pulling it on with the axle nut, it was completely locked up and would not move! Pulling it off revealed that the (Sure-Stop) brake drum was hitting on the axle end plate and locking up.
I am now pretty sure that the problem is worn wheel hubs so that the taper pulls on too far, and everything hits everything else.
I will obviously need new hubs -- I don't think shims are any sort of a permanent solution. I want to go to wire wheels on this car, and now seems like a good time to do that.
The BIG question, before investing $3000 for a McLaren set, is: DO YOU KNOW OF ANY POTENTIAL PROBLEMS SINCE I HAVE SURE-STOP BRAKES AND FLOATING HUBS??? Are they compatible with McLaren wire wheels???
I WONDER IF ANYONE REALLY KNOWS???
Thanks for any help.
You might ask Ben, since he makes the brakes.
Shims can be a fine permanent solution. New hubs AND good axles are nice, but I have seen shims used for many years and many miles.
I have used floating hubs for many years. I don't know the details of your brakes. I have not personally used McLaren wheels but have used Buffalo, Ford and Phelps with no problems.
In my opinion front brakes are the real answer.
Hey Les, I've seen Gene Carrother's setup for front brakes, what do you run?
I have Sure Stop brakes and McEchern floating hubs on my 26 but have conventional wood spoke wheels. They work fine.
I have posted pictures in the past, I don't have them with me. I am working on producing a true copy of the McNerney, but they are not ready yet for sale.
Jon, perhaps Terry Woods post is the one you are looking for. He works with the brakes and floating hubs as you are setting up. The McLaren wheels are made to fit standard T hubs, so their addition should pose no extra problems.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Well, thanks to all of you. I am pretty sure that McLaren wire wheels will work. It's just that I had a bad experience trying to put on floating hubs and Sure Stops (John Stolz hubs) that I am a bit cautious about $3000 on wire wheels until I am sure they will work. In retrospect, it is probably worn wheel hubs that caused all of the problems.
I might add that John McLaren is being VERY helpful in educating me about his wheels. He has sent a full set of drawings and information, and he is also sending a refurbished hub for me to try on my car at no cost (Yet!). I like him already!!
Jon -- Ben Hardeman offers Sure-Stop kits for standard bearings and a different kit for floating hubs. Did you get the brake kit which is designed for the floating hubs?
Jon, I'm not saying this to bad mouth anyone, but Dan McEachen claims he has never had a failure or complaint from a buyer of his floating hubs. I can't speak for or say that about anyone else's.
Mike (and all of you) - Yes, I got the Sure-Stop kit for floating hubs. The bolts are a little bit longer to go through he floating hub. That can be a problem however, since then the bolts extend a bit farther into the brake drum. I shaved the ends of the bolts off right down to the top of the nuts. They STILL hit on the brake caliper springs. In addition, the bottom edge of the floating hub hit on the corner of the brake cam. The solution to the brake cam problem was to cut a 1/4 inch off of the cam corner. The solution to the caliper spring problem was to mill 1/8 inch off the backside of the brake calipers so they ride lower in the brake drum. These two fixes worked. Now the right wheel turns smoothly with no ominous noises or scraping sounds.
Here are a couple of pictures:
The problem (with lipstick on the problem area):
(You can see the scratch in the edge of the floating hub made by the brake cam.)
The solution once the culprit was revealed:
I do not have pictures of the milled brake calipers, but that is pretty self explanatory, and it worked to prevent the floating hub nuts hitting the caliper springs. Right wheel now fixed.
As I said above, when the left wheel went on with similar changes to avoid these problems, it hit on the axle housing end plate rim and completely locked up!
I now have finally got it through my very thick skull that the real problem is worn wheel hubs. The wheel just goes on too far and everything hits everything else. On my stock 1914 wheels and brake drums this was not a problem, but once you go sticking a bunch of extra stuff in the drum, it does not work.
I hope this is a valuable lesson to those who want to put floating hubs and Sure-Stops on their T. You should probably change your wheel hubs when you install this stuff.
Thanks for any comments (good, bad or otherwise),
A really quick way to gauge the wear of your hubs and axles is to slide the hub on the axle and see how much of the threaded portion projects. Maybe put the castle nut on. The cotter pin hole should be just nicely centred in the castle nut slots. If the nut goes on tooooo far, you have a problem!!!! And washers under the nut is NOT the solution.
Les - My axles are new (a Ruckstell rear end rebuilt by Stan Howe). With the wheel installed, my axle nut slots line up nicely with the cotter pin hole, BUT the axle nuts do have one flat washer behind them. So I guess this indicates some wear on the hub taper.
By the way, I am thinking of using axle shims to solve this problem until I can get some wire wheels and new hubs. Do you think that some threadlocker between the axles and the shims would help to keep them in place?
Thanks for you help,
The threadlocker will just make it REALLY REALLY hard to remove the hubs when you need to. I would just use shims and torque to about 110 ft lbs and then re-torque after you have driven it a bit. Then re-torque again after a season.
You are right about the threadlocker. I would probably just put it between the shim and the axle, not the shim and the hub, but even then it would make it hard to remove the shim from the new axle when I go to new hubs.
110 ft lbs! Wow! That's pretty tight. Is it necessary to go that tight?
By the way, one reason for going to wire wheels is the relative unserviceability of this Sure-Stop set up with small drum wood wheels. The Sure-Stop disc is locked onto the car by the brake calipers and bolted to the brake drum and wheel INSIDE. So to get the wheel off (to change a tire?), you have to first take the brakes apart! I know, some guys can change a tire on the car. I am not one of those. Yes, demountable wheels would probably solve the problem too, but I prefer the look of wire wheels. Anyway, those are the reasons for my insanity...
I believe McLaren makes some wire wheels with demountable rims. That's what I want to put on my speedster eventually.
Demountables on wire wheels do have one significant advantage. If you run a spare, you do NOT have to pay for an extra wire wheel! I think the cost for 4 is $3000 while the cost for 5 is $3600. And that price break is only if you get the extra wheel at the time you get the whole set.
Jon, the mods you made to the brake shoes [not calipers] are necessary even without problems of worn hubs. i had to do the same with a good set of hubs. Later production from Snyders has the shoes already ground in this area.
The shoe springs should be installed with the open end of the hook to the outside, away from the backing plate. This puts the coil slightly more inboard, and will give a little more clearance.
When installing a shim in a worn hub, do not fit two shims to get the desired fit. It is best to cut a single shim from thicker material. Once you have the correct shim, the washer under the nut will not be necessary.
Loctite make a better product than threadlocker for this application. It is called Quickmetal, and is used in just this type of application. A farmer friend of mine used this to good effect on machinery and on the back axle of his T. To break the bond when removing his wheel for a repair job, all I had to do was heat the hub, not enough to even affect the paintwork, and off it came.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
In regard to the brake shoes: The ones I have are the new ones from Snyder's. I got them about 2 months ago.
I tried turning the springs every which way you can imagine - bending, turning, squeezing, reversing, all to no avail. If you bend the little hooks one way, the spring bows the other way under tension. Steve Lang and I came up with the idea of milling the backside of the brake shoes during one of many phone calls. I took off 1/8 inch. That did the trick. No more strange noises when I rotated the installed wheel.
Thanks for the suggestion of "Quickmetal". I will look into that. Do you think JB Weld or JB Kwick would do the same thing?
Jon, I have no experience with any JB products. I do not know if they are even available in Australia.
Allan from down under.
Jon I had to do the same with my brake shoes in the corner so don't feel like your the lucky one.
After many years of working on industrial machines I have learned to appreciate the product made by Loctite as quality. I've also used JB products with success.
Just make sure you don't get any on the HUB! You don't want to glue the hub to the axle. I've had a problem with the shims just be careful when you put the wheels on. It's a little harder with the floaters to can be done if your careful.