I've seen quite a few old photos of T's with disc wheels yet with our modern day T's disc wheels seem seem to be confined to the speedster set. Are there negatives to running discs on full bodied cars besides folks mistaking a Model T for a Chevy?
The C^%#^%# disk wheels I have on my speedster are HEAVY!
Other than the high cost of disc wheels, they don't anything negative to bodied Model T's.
Seem to be stout in a wreck, no broken spokes
But disc sure are made for speedsters
Here's a set of Michelin clinchers on my wife's Fire Chief's rig but then I also have a set of discs on my Racer (see profile photo)!
It is not easy to find a spare set of disc wheels. They do not come up on tbay very often. I am still trying to find a second pair that matches my first pair. Most owners are just sitting on them or they were all picked up during the metal drives in the war.
I'm still looking for a fourth for 2 different brands.
Yes they are strong, yes they take lots of paint and look good. Yes they are something that would be used on an army tank.
A wood wheel is something that sits on the axle like a stump and all the weight is on the lower spokes. A wire wheel is hung from the top spokes and there is no pressure on the bottom spokes so it can flex (wood wheels don't flex well).
A solid disc wheel is robust but heavy and acts like a sail on a boat on a turn. The rears are fine on a straight line but the fronts turn and no air can go through like on a spoke wheel.
If a disc wheel flexes the center will crack and break, if a wire wheel flexes it is made to do that like a motorcycle.
I am not a fan of disc wheels, it is like putting a flywheel on each corner and then spinning them at high speed and expecting no side stress.
A guy in our T club has a T that has had solid wheels since it was new. His grandfather had the dealer install Chevy discs on his T because he didn't trust the wood wheels, Don.
Got Michelin Disks on our racer and they look great. Think it'd look odd with anything else on really. On a windy day they do catch the wind though so you've got to keep a strong grip!
Great looking racer there, Joe
What's under the hood?
I can understand the part about having to hold a strong grip at speed when it's windy - I can feel it with wooden spoke wheels, with disc wheels and std steering it might be even more interesting..?
I must be the only guy with a set of original USW 21" disc wheels for T. They have demountable lock ring rims and I finally found a fifth for the spare
Seems some of the cars above have new alloy(?) disc wheels. Who is making these? Which Ts do they fit?
That's Bill Bohlen's items! Great parts he makes too.
For the do-it-yourself types that want to cover your wood wheels.
This might work.
Is this a Model T disc wheel or is it Dodge?
I have a front axle with disk wheels and an extra disk wheel. I will try to take a photo of them tomorrow and post it.
I've been searching for a "spare" Michelin disc for a couple years now - sure would be nice to have a "mounted" spare ! Anybody ?????????
Mark, it is probably Chevrolet because there are many Chevy parts on this old farm.
Marvin-I believe that is a Star disc wheel, but you see quite a few of those with T hubs in them. I have a set on a T that has the hubs riveted in- not bolted, so they were done "back then" and I built this car over 30 years ago. One issue with them is rust builds between the fellow and the flange of the wheel and it is difficult to repair.
Dan, these wheels are mounted on a Model T front axle. Thanks for looking at it. This is off a farm loaded with all sorts of old cars and parts for salvage.
Bill, do you have any photos of your aluminum disc wheels in painted form on a T? Also, what is the rim width of these...are the the same width or wider than T wire wheels. Could you fit 600x21?
Constantine, Had a customer powder coat a set. Did not get a photo of them. The rim width is the same as a 21" rim.
I know that this is not the want add section, but since the subject of disk wheels is Open.
If anyone that is going to Hershey has some
"Disteel" wheels that they want to sell please contact me thru this forum and we can discuss the details.
So what is the rim width...is it 2.5"? On another post I've asked that question but nobody seems to know!
Also, are your disc wheels only for Ts which are set up for wooden wheels...or can they be put on T that's using 26-7 wire wheels?
Hello Bill, to echo Constantine's query, can your aluminum discs be drilled to fit wire wheel ('26-'27) hubs? What does an aluminum disc weigh? How does the weight compare to wood and wires?
If you put discs on it, you are transforming a large and highly visible part of your car to non Model T. Some people never stop with this sort of thing until the car becomes unidentifiable. It's your car though.
Dave, you're right, disc, as well as 30x3 1/2 wire wheels, are not factory items; and you're also right that they transform a large and highly visible part of the car...but that's the whole point of why people were spending a lot of money to add these to their cars during the Model T era. Together with the fact that disc wheels are stronger than wood or wire wheels. Not factory items but disc wheels are certainly period correct items. If you happen to buy a car with disc wheels I'd be happy to come over and take those evil critters away or you could do the smart thing and just unbolt them and swap them for a thick stack of Benjamins.
So, whether you love or hate them, how many brands of them were produced. I had heard about converting Chevy wheels, but didn't realize there were other options. While on the subject, what year Chevy wheels fit and what is a set worth? I know condition is key, so let's say surface rust, but solid.
Marvin- you have PM from me. Dan
I will look for it Dan.
Dan it hasn't shown up as of yet.
I almost bought a Packard years ago with discs. I thought they looked odd,
even if it was a high end car. To my eye, pre-1940 cars should have an open
wheel, be they artillery type spokes, wires, or good ol' T-type wood jobs.
What comes to mind with discs is the image of Bonneville speed racers and
even T-era speedsters, or more accurately, early Indy 500 type racing bodies.
People come to this hobby for all sorts of reasons. To me, it is about the sleepy,
backwater America I caught a momentary glimpse of as a child. Old cars like
ours sputtering into town to the feed store or the Post Office. The owners, aging
Depression survivors, whose practical outlook said "the car is still perfectly good"
and never traded it off for something newer. Is about those sleepy street scenes,
old fence lines, weathered barns, all that stuff our modern America can hardly wait
to trash and replace with vinyl siding ... THAT is the ambiance I try to capture
with my old junk. I guess disc wheels fit into a different place and feeling for me.
I want the quintessential appearance of something that fell out of a Grapes of
Wrath world. Youzalls are free to take all my discs.
Hi Marvin- I sent it again- have you checked your spam folder?
There were many brands of disc wheels made especially for the T. And many made for other makes of cars, some that can be re-purposed and fit to the T.
Discs came with non-demountable clincher rims, some with demountable clincher rims, some with 21" drop center rims too. Most were being sold beginning in 1918-1919, and then up through the 20's. They really are the forerunner to modern all steel wheels.
Period manufactures known to me are Disteel, Globe, Indestructible Wheels, Dixie Pressed Steel Wheel, Ideal Steel Wheels, Harvey Steel Wheel, and Forsyth Disc Wheels. Am sure that there are others.
Burger, there were even disc wheels for guys like you. I cannot think of something a more sleepy backwater America feel than Cornfield Wheels with solid tyres on a TT.
Got it Dan. Sent back answer.
Speaking of the Grapes of Wrath world....
I guess I missed it ... the Model T's and TT's I saw all had plain old wood spoke
wheels. Anyway, that's MY paradigm. Others' "mileage" may vary.
Constantine, The Disteel wheels Have a special hub that has to be placed on the Model. It has three large bolts that the disk wheels fits over and a special round plate that holds the three large nuts. The rim is part of the disk wheel.
I think they are mostly used on speedsters.
Chev discs are an easy fit if building a T speedster . use 27 chev spindles on the front to give an additional I inch drop. Chev spindles are an easy fit to Ford T axle. The pre 26 chev discs have a nicer profile but rare - the 26 - 28 chev 21 inch discs are still easy to find. Down side is they are bloody heavy in combo with split rims. Up side is they are bloody strong. Chaps rodding chevs usually ditch the discs foe 30s wires so they turn up on the market reasonably regularly.
Willie, I'm looking at your profile pic; those disc wheels look good on your car. Painting them body colour was a good choice.
What's the current price for a good set of Disteel or other brand of originals?
I like the look of those Chev wheels but if they're as heavy as people are saying, it doesn't sound like a good match with only a 20-26hp engine...and neither will they help with braking.
A painted or powder-coated set of Bill's alloy discs could be a better way to go.
Constantine, Disteel wheels are not available new.
They are hard to find and the price seems to be unpredictable. I have been looking for a rear hub and several wheels, no luck, but Hershey PA swap meet is coming and I will be looking.
Constantine, Rod, The alu. wheels where designed to use a Model T wood wheel hub. Reason, there are ALOT of them around. 26-27 hubs will not work. The wheel weight is 32 lbs. with out the tire. The wheels are made by a wheel co. that makes motor home wheels and dunbuggy wheels. The weight rating per wheel is 1600 lbs. That far exceeds a Model T weight requirement. Go to http://stores.ebay.com/antique-t-motor-sports-llc
There is an item listing with photo of the hub assembly and more info. The photo above of the 1914 roadster is my, "sort" of speedster that I use to go on speedster runs. It has an over head in it. It can run up wards of 60 miles an hour. The wheels and tires have about a 1000 miles. There been not flats. Running the 440/450 tires just make a Model T ride and handle nice. The 30-3&1/2 are not as save for higher speeds.
Hi, I'm new here. I,m running 28 chevy wheels on a 19 coup. The look real good. I just checked the weight 28 1/2lbs wheel and rim. that AL wheel must be pretty heavy duty!! If anyone is interested I have 4 good 28 chevy wheels and 6 good rims I,ll part with. Don
Buffalo made disc wheels.