Gene Carrothers and I are in the process of eliminating the runout in the front wheels of our Model T's. We have a setup to true the felloes on a mill which works very well. Once trued, we will glue on a filler strip and then re-true the felloe to the proper diameter.
We need to know the factory specification for the inside diameter of 30X3" rims. Also the outside diameter on the felloe before it is pressed into the rim or the amount of press fit the felloe should have.
That thread is about steel felloe wheels, so probably won't help you much!
Besides pressing the rim on, you can also heat up the rim, set it on, and when it cools, it will be press-fitted. Doesn't have to be red hot, just way too hot to handle!
I can't help you with measurements but I have found from experience that 8 to 12 thou metal shim strips work well, depending. The more you can squeeze into the space, the better. When I do it, I use 1/4" rivets because changing the geometry of the wheel makes the holes in the felloe and rim offset just a bit. Once the holes are lined up I drill thru the rim and felloe and countersink the rim on the inside to accept the flattened shank. It'll save the wheels for a time, sometimes for a long time.
The outside circumference of the felloes should already be true from the factory and vertical runout should already be minimal (but probably never perfect).
I wonder how productive it would be to try and true up the circumference of the felloes after the fact. With the exception of removing the rim, I presume you are doing it with the spokes and felloes still assembled. The felloe and spokes will not be under any pressure and what you think may or may not be true without the rim may not actually be the case once you reinstall the rim (hope what I am trying to convey makes sense).
Regarding rim measurements: simply measure the inside of diameter of the rims you are utilizing with a large, inside caliper. You'll probably find out that each rim has a slightly different measurement. This will help you determine the thickness of shim that you need to install around the felloe. (If the rims are already fairly loose on the felloe, you can also use a feeler gauge to measure the gap.)
My father and I tightened the original wheels from his '17 touring using the shim (veneer around the circumference) and heat method. Note that there is no mixing and matching of felloes and rims. The original rim is reinstalled on the original felloe and all original holes must be lined up. You can read about it here:
I have also posted some information regarding truing the wheel to minimize side to side run out elsewhere on the forum.
Here is the end result:
Forgot to add, I cut the head down on the oversize rivets to match the look of the originals. Its a pretty good fix, all in all.
Thanks for all the information.
To clarify what we are planing to do: With the rim removed we will attach the wheel onto a front spindle that was modified to attach vertically to a mill table. (The spindle had deep undercuts and was not safe to use on a car.) We will machine the outside diameter of the wheel felloe in the mill by carefully rotating the wheel against the mill cutter, taking tiny cuts for each wheel rotation until the wheel runs true. Then we will glue an oversize filler strip to the felloe and re-machine the wheel to the proper diameter for a press fit of the rim. I think this approach is more accurate than trying to cut the filler to the exact thickness.
I found this afternoon in a Dykes manual the inside diameter for a 30X3 rim is listed at 23.834". I will measure our rims to see if they match. Getting a good measurement is a bit difficult because the rims are not perfectly round.
I still need to determine the amount of press. One idea is to look up how much the rim expands when heated to a certain temperature. and use that as the amount of press. I'm guessing the temperature would be somewhere in the 400 degree range??
I will post pictures of our progress and setup as we proceed.
This one was done well before my time on my 16, the band is a 1/8"x1,1/4" steel plate all the way around the felloe.
To determine the true diameter you will have to use a running ruler and measure the inside diameter of the rim and the outside diameter of the felloe. Most wheel makers have them they are very expensive to purchase. They are sometimes available in antique stores but pricey. I made a home made unit from a pizza cutter that co-incidently travelled one foot per revolution. With a Dremel grinding wheel I marked the wheel into equal divisions down to one eighth. I hope this isn't too complicated, but it is real easy.
I have been thinking about the project you and Gene are undertaking. I think it would be a lot easier if you are trying to correct the wheel being off centre (out of round) to remove the hub and effect the adjustments there. Bore hole in the centre just enough larger to get it centred and then make the needed shim to make the hub fit nicely. Then open up the 6 bolt holes just enough to get the bolts back in.
Since the rims are out of round, I'd suggest you take multiple measurements of the rims, then take their average.
Please keep us up to date.
: ^ )
A way to get a exact "average" diameter would be to measure the circumference and then divide by pi. If you then make the wood felloe to this measurement (plus whatever you determine to be the correct "interference fit"). I would guess something at least 1/16" in diameter and less than 1/8" for the interference fit, but this is only a guess. Co-efficient of expansion for steel is .000007 in/in degree F. So 400 degrees F for a 23" rim would work out to about 1/16" expansion in diameter (or about 3/16" in circumference).
The "wheel wrights" that I have seen work all work in circumference.
Huh! And to think that us kids in high school thought we'd never have any use for algebra, right?
Today we machined the wheels to true the felloes and glued on filler strips to build up the diameters. Some places on Gene's wheels were out 1/8 of an inch so we added small segments of filler strips to bring up the localized really low areas to make truing the wheel easier. Tomorrow we will re-machine the built-up felloes to their final size. We think we have a good measurement of the inside circumference of one of the rims using filament backed tape. Tomorrow we will repeat the measurement to see if it is repeatable and calculate the felloe diameter to use for the rim press fit.
Thanks Art for the help getting my wheels trued up! Now I can run in that 35 to 40 range and not shake with my front wheels bouncing up and down.
We had a great working together and didn't even have any awh shoots or do overs.
We measured the felloes and rims several times, stopped and looked at them and scratched our heads but finally got all the felloes back home in the rims.
I think my wheels will now be just about perfect circles. My hubs were centered and all my newer spokes and felloes were tight but the OD of the felloes was off by at least 1/8". Lateral runout was pretty good so I didn't have any issues with that but radial runout was 3/16 to 1/8".
It took many trips back and forth to the mill and lot measuring and thinking but the rims went in nicely with the help on lots of big C clamps.
Art is posting some pictures of our setup and I'll let him give the dimensions and interference fits that worked for us.
Can someone tell me what the total width of a clincher rim is for a 30x3 and a 30x31/2 for an early round fello? I need to identify some early wheels.
Paul, Both of my front rims are 2 9/16" wide.
The rear is 2 7/8 or 15/16" as close as I could measure the rear.
Hope this helps
Thanks Gene, mine is 27/8 nice wheel but buyer wants a front.
We worked all day Wednesday machining felloes to size, pressing felloes into rims and checking/adjusting sideways wobble.
We started the day with re-checking our measurement of the inside rim circumference to make sure we got it right. We were very careful to not put any tension on the reinforced tape as we laid it down onto the rim surface to prevent the possibility of stretching it even a small amount. This is a very important measurement as it will be used to determine the final diameter of the felloe for the press fit and we wanted to get it right. The measurement was the same as the one we made the day before so we felt good about it.
The inside diameter of the 30X3 rim we measured was calculated to be 23.734"
We made some calls and finally found someone knowledgeable with the desired amount of press fit between the rim and felloe, so we now could calculate the machined diameter of the felloe. We also learned that wheelwrights use circumferential measurements since the rims and felloes are seldom round.
We were told the press fit is usually around .060". Just to be safe we decided to start with .100" press and see how things went. It was clearly too tight so we tried 080". We were able to get the felloe pressed in with .080" but it was a tight fit.
The wheels run very true and have little side to side wobble. We are very satisfied on how they came out.
All that's left is to install the rivets. We are taking a different approach to this by using grade 5 carriage bolts with the heads turned down to 1/2" diameter. Instead of riveting them to the rim we are using 9/16" long flanged weld nuts (similar to T-nuts) and counter boring the rim and felloe to accept them. This gives us the ability to get a good grip on the bolts and adds shear strength between the felloe and the bolt. The flanges on the nuts are only 1/16" thick so they won't affect the mounting of the tire. The flanges will be bent up to get a good grip for tightening then flattened back down when finished.
Very interesting Art. A picture of your "rivet" solution would be nice
I thought I posted pictures yesterday.
I seem to be able to only do one at a time.
The first picture shows the 3/16" thick filler strip clamped to the felloe. We used 33 C-clamps.
The second picture shoes the 3/4" plywood base with limit blocks to to control how far the felloe is pressed into the rim. The rim lays on the base and the felloe is pressed in from the top. If I were to do it again I would make the limit blocks out of hard wood and make them into a complete circle for better control.
The third picture shows the machining setup. A cut-off spindle is bolted to the mill table. We limited the cuts to .005" for each pass for better control. The wheel is rotated by hand. We had to be careful to not lose control of the wheel or it would self feed and make a mess of things or worse pull a hand into the cutter.
The fourth picture shows the felloe being pressed into the rim. We progressively tightened the C-clamps and monitored the progress to keep the amount of press travel even.
Here's a picture of the flanged T-nut installed in the rim. The flanges on the nut can be bent up 90 deg. to fit in a 15mm socket for easier tightening. The flanges can be flattened back down after tightening. I counter bore the rim and felloe just enough to clear the T-nut barrel and add a small counter-sink on the rim to clear the radius at the base of the T-nut. I also mud the hole with JB Weld to prior to installing the nut for a void free installation.
I tried cutting a socket to fit the tabs but just couldn't tighten the nut as much as I wanted so after bending up the tabs I was able to use a 1/2" 8 point socket which worked perfect.
My wheels run as perfect as possible now and I just can't wait to get it out on the road and see how much smoother it'll run.
I'm not sure how the pros do their wheels but we certainly learned how to put them back together in our home shops.
I know some will say those T nuts are the not the way Henry did it but we think its a great way instead of the rivets.
I've read about guys adding a shim of metal or wood between the felloe and the rim and had doubts about the quality of repair. I do think gluing a wood shim is much better than a metal shim and also taking the wheel apart is best because it then able to be pressed back in the rim as one piece instead of trying to insert a shim.
I have yet to decide about protecting the tube but will probably sand down the heads smooth and apply a tape band to cover.
Looks like it will work great
What diameter did you machine the felloe to, finally?
Roger, We cut the felloes down to 23 13/16" which gave us very close to the .080" press fit we wanted. All three of our wheels measured very close to the same so we cut all the wheels to the same OD.
One of our local wheel guy club members told me a 1/32 per side or 1/16 total is a good starting point so we ended up a bit tighter than that.
Don't know what happens if you get it too tight. If the wood swells during wet weather. You certainly don't want them too loose.