It's not that i'm cheap but why are rims so expensive
Is it that they are difficult to make. I would think they are rolled out, made into a ring, attach the lugs then punch a hole for the air valve and you have a rim.
I can understand that the shape could make it difficult to bend.
Could it be supply and demand?
I could see about $150 to as high as $175 but not $265! Mac has them for $255
Its costs a lot to make things these days. Labor, materials, machining. There is plenty of good used ones to get for a fraction of that cost. Dave Huson has a few for sale I believe.
I'm pretty certain Dan Hatch them as well
Why not get them from the source - John McLaren? Then they cost about $120 - $185 (instead of $265) depending on what you want.
Here is his website:
I guess it's a matter of Supply & Demand combined with the need for high quality. -Whereas all Model T owners will have to buy tires at fairly predictable intervals, many—if not most—will never need to buy rims, so they become a low-production item, which makes their cost higher per unit. -
Aside from their relatively low-production numbers, rims are high-stress, safety-critical parts necessitating quality material, and unlike door-hinges and latches which can be stamped out from garbage scrap-metal and filed to fit when the overseas manufacturer makes them to the wrong dimension, rims have to come out to the perfectly correct size, because if not, the tires will either fall off or be impossible to install in the first place. -Likewise, the wooden spokes.
The new ones are expensive because of the cost of production. Used ones can be pricy because good ones are scarce. There are lots of old ones, but a lot of those have rusted sharp. If you find good used ones at $30 to $50 you've found a deal. Really good ones are usually more.
Like several folks on this forum I make a few parts for myself rather than buy the repros just for the fun of it. Nothing as elaborate as rims. It's a good way to spend time, very satisfying and you can make them as good as you want. When you look at the time it takes you get a better appreciation for the folks that make the parts that are for sale. I don't think any of them are getting rich and we owe them a lot for making things available to us.
But yes, that is a lot of money for a rim.
Mike, you think thats bad...try a 600x20 two piece rim (the one with the lock ring-widow maker) for a TT....$750 apiece!
I've always figured I overpaid for my TT project. But after seeing Tim's comment, maybe not.
I heard the new rims are lighter gauge than originals. Would like to see that refuted.
I suspect the difference is simply due to the materials available today. The originals, I believe, were .125" which doesn't correspond to any current gauge steel. You can get .120" (11ga.) or .135" (10ga.) easily but custom thicknesses can double the price and you generally have to buy it by the truck load. Using 11ga, .005" isn't going to make much difference in strength. Most original wheels have lost more than that in oxidation.
I guess the bottom line is i can go to my local junk yard and find hundreds or thousands of late model Chevy, Ford and Chrysler rims plus the Japanese cars and the rest of the imports but how many junk yards are going to have 30X3-1/2 demountable Model T rims and if they should happen to have some, not bent like a pretzel or rotted in to the ground. So it shouldn't surprise me that they can charge whatever they want
Think of it this way: When guy a guy buys a new truck they will add a new set of custom rims and high dollar tires.
You can spend at least 150-300 apiece on custom wheels.
The cost of new rims or wheels for a T is not really out of line with what you would pay for modern custom wheels.
Good clincher rims are scarce in Australia too. I'm like Steve. I pay up to $40 for good originals, have them heavily grit blasted, [ my man hates them because of the black rust in under the bead ],and then I make necessary repairs to the loose lug footprints. Once they are newly electro zinc plated, I ask $100 each, $120 for a really nice one.
But it is hard to get rims worth persisting with.
Allan from down under.
I'm Bringing 4 of these 3-1/2 clincher rims to Hershey. Brand New sill in the paper.
Spot OBD 3-4
John, a truck wheel looks like it should cost $300 but a T rim does not
12 wood spokes-$126
That"s $531 a wheel $2,124 for 4
I'm not complaining just giving an opinion.
I'm glad there out there!!
If I showed a new T rim to a car guy that knows nothing about model t's and told him it costs $255 he'd say i'm nuts
Allan: A little trade secret, use a needle scaler to clean under the lip(bead). It will make short work of the rust there. Dan
Thanks for the tip Dan. I let the blaster do his thing as it gives an ideal surface for the electro-plating. He is the one with the complaints, but I still get to pay the bill!!
I have never used a needle scaler. Saw one on offer in a Shinano catalogue but the price was more than scary. I have a Shinano die grinder and random orbital sander and appreciate the quality of their tools, but having never used a needle scaler, I guess I am not in a position to appreciate their worth.
Allan from down under.
The advantage of the needle scaler is that it knocks off the thick, relatively loose rust that sandblasting is slow to remove. It cuts down the blasting time.
Mike, if you're paying $126 a dozen for spokes it's too much. I bought two dozen from Stutzman for $158 (shipping included).
I had to kick my Model A friend square in the tuckus yesterday and ended up threatening to buy the part myself and hang it on my shop wall.
Evidently 28-29 wheels are becoming harder to find and he hesitated at paying 60 dollars for one that had perfect spokes and a flawless rim. I wish T wires were still that price.
The only T parts I spotted at Gilmore was a carburetor and windshield arms. It was a great A-meet though.