Would like to change to demountable wheels on my 15 Roadster what do I have to do? And where can I find them?
Would like to change to demountable wheels on my 15 Roadster what do I have to do?
You'll need the wheels and rims; they should go right on. If your car has 30x3 front wheels & tires now, you'll need different tires for the front. The demountable ones all are 30x3-1/2.
And where can I find them?
The Classifieds section of this website is a good place to start.
Expanding a little on Mike's comment, you can find them already finished and ready to install, or you can scrounge the parts, buy new spokes, and put them together yourself. That all depends on how much dough you're willing or able to spend, how much research you want to do, and whether you're in a hurry. Some folks enjoy DIY, and some don't.
Do you plan to keep the non-demountables in usable condition...possibly a trade to someone for parts? If so, you will then need hubs, bearings, etc.
Some folks would like what you have...offer to trade for what you want. May be easier on your wallet. (No, I do not want them - just sharing my experience - having done what you are contemplating).
I have a some requiring new wood.
I have a set in primer, would trade strait across if yours are in good condition. We usually go to the Grizzly Bear tour if you don't need them right away. They are from a 26, 27 so you would need the small brake drums, or keep yours. I'm sure I could come up with some more.
You have a lot of options and you may want to share what your goals and limitations might be. I.e. do you want to keep the car as close to how it originally came from the factory in 1915? Do you want to keep it as close as you can to how it may have been outfitted by a local Ford Agency? Do you want to keep it as close as you can to what the owner would have probably done with a 1915 that he wanted to have demountables on in 1920 or 1925 or 1927?
And do you want to accomplish it for a little cost as possible and still be safe? Or do you have a good supply of “Model T” money in your budget, or are you an undisclosed winner of one of the recent power-ball winnings?
In the case of changing the original non-demountable wheels to demountable wheels you or any future owner can easily convert the car back. All that is needed is an original set of wheels – which can be made new from parts (note – unlike the demountable 1919-1927 Ford wood spoked wheels that are fairly easy to safely respoke, I would NOT recommend a novice start their respoking training on a set of non-demountable wood felloe wheels.)
If you want to stay as close to authentic to the way the car left the factory – then be sure to keep your tires in good condition and carry a spare tire (both sizes) and tubes when you tour and drive along with the tire irons. I’m not a “spring chicken” anymore, but I could still change a clincher if I had to on the side of the road. And the odds of having to do it at night in the rain or snow is really really low for many of us as we are not planning to a 1915 in the rain and snow at night.
If you want to stay as close to as it left the factory but still not have to fix the flat in order to keep driving one options might be: Purchase anther correct 1915 style non-demountable front wheel and tire and another 1915 rear wheel and tire. Carry the tools to remove and replace either the front or rear wheel. You can mount the spare wheels on the running board next to the driver’s false door. It is a lot heavier than just a rim and tire. While two spare wheels were not an option for the car from the factory – clearly any dealer could provide them. Front wheels are very easy to change and rear wheels with the proper tools are usually not that bad either. Sometimes they are but usually they are not. Note because of the hubs – they may stick out a little past the running board.
You could purchase an after market set of demountable wheels that were available in 1915 or later depending on your desires. Firestone made a 5 lug demountable. Some companies made the entire wood spoke wheel demountable (see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/464057.html?1406330649 ).
You could purchase antique wire wheels and rebuild them or purchase new wire wheels that are available so the wheel can be changed or the rim can be changed. See : http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/109549.html?1255297259
Probably the easiest way to go demountable would be to obtain a matching set of the four lug wheels and 5 matching rims with emphasis on matching. That is what has been suggested earlier in the post. Caution: It is possible to have 4 original demountable wheels and rims that match them that came with new Model Ts but the rims will not interchange between any of the other wheels. Ford would not have sold it that way – but if you purchase 4 wheels be sure they all use the same style rim. Please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/135230.html for a more detailed explanation about that.
You could also use the later 21 inch wood spoke balloon tire wheels that Ford supplied. The 21 inch tires are a little less expensive, probably last a little longer, and give an smoother ride. I personally think they don’t look authentic – but 99.9999% of the people in the USA would never know the difference.
You could mount the Model T wire wheels by switching out the hubs (someone needs to confirm you can put the 8 inch earlier brake drum on the later 26-27 wire wheel rear hub – I’ve seen them on the cars but they may have used the next recommendation).
You could use adapters to mount the Model T wire wheels or adapter to mount the Model A Ford 21 inch wire spoke 1928-29 or 1930-31 wire spoke that were 19 inch. See: https://www.modeltford.com/item/2888T.aspx And how do they look? See: https://www.google.com/search?q=1928+Chevy+disk+wheels+on+Model+T+Ford&biw=981&b ih=617&noj=1&site=webhp&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=2erfVIy6HseWgwTDhoPgC w&ved=0CB8QsAQ#imgdii=_&imgrc=JGWVxEiAdL-MnM%253A%3BE7xxccT_Hde65M%3Bhttp%253A%2 52F%252Fwww.rare-autos.com%252Fsites%252Fdefault%252Ffiles%252F201275181280.jpg% 3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.rare-autos.com%252Fcars%252Fford-model-t-depot-hack-0%3 B800%3B553 That is a short link….
And of course there are other car makers, Chevy for one that have rims and/or wheels that can be adapted to Ford Model T use.
The Chevy disc wheels are often adapted for use on Fords. You have several options on fitting the Chevy Disk wheels on a Model T Ford. For example with minor modification, you can use the Chevy front spindles and hubs and the wheels fit great. See Frank Harris’ comments at:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/127261.html and a photo of the Chevy spindle on Franks T at the bottom of:http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/127246.html :
There are also several comments about either redrilling the Chevy disk wheel or the Model T wood hub so they can be used together. But I don’t have any good photos of that. Perhaps someone will post a few. Note several different sizes and makes of 21 inch disk wheels are out there. And I was told that Chevy used different styles of disc wheels – so if you start looking – be sure to obtain four that use the same rim so a single spare will work on any wheel.
And other disk wheel choices including brand new aluminum ones see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/188643.html?1298457896
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Do most people who want non demountable because they want to be more original. I like the demountable in case you have a flat on tours at least you can easily replace the tire. I am new to the T world. Had two in my life and one was about 50 years ago the other was when I was 14 years old and that would have been about 1947. My T is a 1915 Roadster pretty much stock as far as I can tell. It does have a starter and a distributor so there are some modifications. What would be the feelings of the crowd? Keep the ones I have or put on demountable.
Thanks Hap for the information I think I must have been typing my message that followed yours as you were typing as I did not see it before I started the message. Looks like you answered my question have to reread it and digest all the information.
There isn't a right or wrong answer as long as you keep it safe. [Note mounting the wrong loose lug rim on a wheel will allow the rim to move (especially on the rear wheels). That will eventually cut the valve stem and can cause accidents when the tire goes flat very quickly.]
Many of us do things that are a little bit of a contradiction. For example I drink my diet coke and eat a candy bar. And while I personally like to keep things looking reasonably period correct on my car, I put the four lug Hayes clincher demountable wheels/rims on our 1918 years ago. I was living in the southern USA at the time. And I would rather have the option of fixing the flat in the early summer morning when it is cooler than at 2 PM without any shade in Jul or Aug on the road side.
Ironically the only flat I have had on that car was the spare tire. Ok, it was a really old Sampson brand that finally just gave up. Which goes back to if you have good rims, tubes, tires and keep them inflated properly you should not experience very many flats. Yes, there is the occasional tack etc. on the road. [Once a long time ago in Shreveport, Louisiana a work truck had a cardboard box fall from the back of their work truck. It happened to have a lot of tacks or nails etc. There were more flats than normal that day on I-49. But since I don't drive a T on the interstate it probably would not have impacted me.] If you are planning to enter the car for Stynoski judging then you could always put the original wheels back on the car for that event.
Good luck with your decision and have fun with your T. And if you have a chance, please take a look at the forum posting “Home for the Holidays” at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html and let me know if you have a body number, letter, or rivets in you 1915 cowl.
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