Is there anyone who can straighten, make round, and true up 21" split rims?
Thanks, Bill Vaughn
I have done a few, years ago. It is not that difficult. They are softer steel than you may expect. As I recall, I used the tongue of a trailer to pry them against. A ball-peen hammer and a large Crescent wrench did most of the rest. It helped a lot to rig a large compass and draw near-perfect circles to compare the rim to. When comparing roundness, the rim must (of course) be in its latched/extended position. And check for roundness on both the inner and outer sides of the rim. It bends and twists to straighten better when not latched.
The most important thing is to closely examine the entire rim. Check for any sign of cracks anywhere, possible looseness of the lugs, or excessive rusting making the rim material too thin. And that the latch (whichever type) is functional. Whatever type of latch a rim had, there is one type that can be easily made and brazed onto the rim and will work well. I wish I had a picture of one to post, but I don't. I don't know if I still have one buried in the parts pile.
A side note on the rim latch. I said to make sure that it is in good condition and functional. That is good advice, and many people would say it is extremely important. I actually disagree with that. If the rim is reasonably straight, and the ends line up like they should, It can be mounted onto a tire and aired up without a latch. (AIR UP SLOWLY to make sure it lines up properly) Once the tire is aired up, there is about 400 pounds pressure pushing the rim ends together. They do not want to slip apart, even off of the wheel. When mounted onto the wheel, it is almost as safe as any model T 21 inch wood wheel. These rims are not the seriously dangerous (two part or three part types) split rims of legend ripping people to shreds. These type split rims used by Ford for three years and several dozen other manufacturers throughout the 1920s are nearly as safe as any modern rim on any modern car.
Have fun, good luck!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Bill good luck
I have concluded after much trial and tribulation that rim straightening may be possible and there might be someone out there with the right stuff to do it, but it isn't me. I will be buying new rims if I ever need one.
Wayne, thank you for the input. I am going to work with what you have said and see how it goes. I do appreciate. Thanks, Bill V.