Was wondering if anyone here has made a jig to try to true their wheels? I have an extra axle-shaft that is straight after rebuilding my rear end and was thinking about trying to utilize it to straighten out my wobbly rim/wheel assembly's. Has Anyone done this with any luck?
John, You don't mention what type of wheels you want to true. I have a wheel true used in building laced wire wheels. Adjustments can be made by working on the spoke nipples.
This cannot be done with T wheels. If you have T wire wheels, a wheel true will tell you where it is bent, but it cannot be used to true the wheel.
A friend in Spokane made a jig to true T wire wheels. A T wire wheel hub is mounted on a tube stand which has a large foot on the ground. When a wheel is bolted to the hub, a hydraulic jack is placed between the foot of the stand and the edge of the rim and pressure is applied. I was surprised at how little pressure was needed to get the rim back into true.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Can you even true wooden wheels?
John, as far as making a fixture, I was/am going to make one for a set of TT rear hubs I need to modify using an old axle. Basically I was just going to clean up the taper part to make sure it is smooth and free of burs and not put the key back in. Put a little light grease on the taper, then put the nut back on but not tighten it all the way so you can easily rotate the wheel--or hub in my case. Mount up a dial indicator and you should be good to go. I think on modern wheels the tolerance is something like .030-.040" both laterally (side of wheel) and on the circumference.
I have modified moving the centers on more modern steel wheels and have never had an issue shooting for that .030-.040" range--some have been slightly more with no issues either, obviously the closer to zero you can get the better. But a T is slower speed too. You can usually see a wheel wobble at about the .045-.055" range.
By the way, a easy way for the front wheels is just use an old spindle. I have one that on the outside looks like it came from the Titanic, but the stub area where the bearings ride is in excellent condition. Just mount your front wheel as normal and put up the dial indicator. I use old spindles and brake rotors as a fixture when I do modern steel wheels when I move the centers for different offsets.
"Can you even true wooden wheels?"
I trued one on my Fordor. I removed the hub. Then, cut out a wood disc that laid on the steel felloes. The disc had a hole on the center that allowed my router to reach down to the spoke faces that fit against the hub flange. I refaced the spoke faces, reinstalled the hub and it now runs dead true. Very little stock removal was needed so the spoke strength was not affected. I also took a small skim cut on the hub flange to eliminate any run out there.
In the early 1950s I worked for a fellow named Cliff Lionberger in Columbia, Missouri who had a salvage yard. He owned a Bear wheel machine. I spent lots of days straightening wheels. I could easily straighten a badly bent wheel. It had tools to straighten the bead area.
I did not know that the minimum wage was $0.75 per hour and he paid me $0.60 per hour.
In the old days wheels were straightened. Beeline made a wheel press with attachments to straighten just about any wheel damage. Check this instruction manual for some ideas.
"Just mount your front wheel as normal and put up the dial indicator."
Chad -- You're kidding, right? Dial indicator? For most Model T wheels a yardstick would be just right.
I have a Bear wheel press, 40's vintage. It straightens wheels like a champ. I have probably had over a hundred T and A wire wheels across it. Wood wheels? Another whole ball game.
The Bear wheel straightener was very similar to the BeeLine. It would straighten wheels that were crumpled badly in a wreck.
"Chad -- You're kidding, right? Dial indicator? For most Model T wheels a yardstick would be just right. :-)"
Mike--I have to admit, I have never done a Model T wheel wood spoke wheel, but sure, why not? I understand that things like a wheel will be a mile off compared to new age stuff, I still like to know though--it would bother me if I didn't know actually. But that's ok, I get laughed at by the club for using a torque wrench too. I like to be as precise as I can. :-)
Chad - In making the jig to straighten wood front wheels, (see above) I'm not clear on the mounting of the spindle? I would appreciate more detail info, if you would furnish? Thanks much! George