In my first posting on my 15 it was pointed out that my car was equipped with accessory 5 lug wheels. When I got it home, I realized that the rear wheels consisted of the 5 lug wooden centers with 4 lug outer rims (mounted with solid rubber). At Hershey I picked up a pair of 5 lug demountables that are most likely of a different make. I was hoping to use the rims from the new wheels I picked up on my "re-finished" centers.
Do you if it would be safe to mix and match parts like this?
My lugs as they are look tapered in a way they could support the rims, but the edge of the rims are definitely different. The inner diameter of the metal is also either very similar or exactly the same, although I don't recall.
On another note, I realized that one rim was cracked. Are these safely repairable?
The 5 Lug rims are one of the earliest demountable rims. They were made by Firestone.
You can make the rims work if you have suitable clamps to fit the rim. Various clamps are out there at swap meets, just find the type you need.
With any of these clamps, sometimes you have to make shims to reduce the gap and to have the rim run true on the wheel felloe. Shim stock or tin cans work for making the clamp shim.
So... did they make a similar 5 lug wheel in a 21". If so that might be what is on the front of my car?
Can't tell for sure, but the fronts don't seem to be Ford. The spoke diameter at the hub makes them look like another car brand. And maybe someone put Ford hubs and plates on that split rim demountable wood spoke wheel.
Note you have '26-'27 large rear drums. Do you have a Ruckstell underneath or is it a later Ford rear axle? Very nice straight looking coupe
An interesting picture.
Note the rims in the picture.
This US Mail model T was only equipped in the rear with what seems to be 5 lug Firestone demountables: http://www.shorpy.com/node/5027?size=_original
Richard, a photo of the cracked rim would help others to give suggestions on repair methods (but most cracked mild steel parts can be repaired safely by welding)
I'll try to get one up once finals are over.
Thanks for the suggestion. I don't know why I didn't do it earlier when I had the chance.
1. I would guess your finals are over by now, so I will go ahead and post what I have run across. I think it is probably a little more complex than you may initially think it is. Some 5 lug 30 x 3 1/2 demountable rims will fit properly on some but NOT all five lug demountable 30 x 3 1/2 felloes. Even for the Model T Ford the factory equipped demountable 30 x 3 1/2 wheels came in 5 different types of rims of which several were not interchangeable. They had some rims made to the same design by 3 different manufactures and those rims would interchange. Ford also had rims made at various times by the same manufacture and they would not necessarily interchange with previous or later versions made by the same company (including the Ford Motor Company’s own production). .
2. In the case of your car what I believe you are looking for is a set of wheels and rims that would look nice, be safe, and allow you to use a single spare rim on any wheel and if possible keep the 5 lug accessory demountable wheels and rims. That should be able to be accomplished in several ways.
3. Check the wooden wheels and the felloes (the part the rim mounts onto) that are already on your car. Are the wheels and felloes sound or do they need rebuilding? From the photos I have seen in the past – they looked sound – but since your life and the lives of those that ride with you depend on them – check them for wood rot etc. Does your finger nail easily go into the wood? That would not be a good sign etc. Are the spokes tight or loose in the wheel? Etc.
3.a. While you are checking the wheels and felloes – determine if they are all the same type of felloe. It is common to have different brands and types of wheels on the same car. Three out of four of our Ts came with a mixture of wheels. The only one that didn’t was one that had previously been restored and it needed a replacement for one of the damaged rear wheels. If the felloes are the same width, diameter, and have the same style clamping mechanism – then all you need is five rims that will fit them properly. Don’t just assume the rims that came on the wheels are the correct ones. Just about any 30 x 3 1/2 rim will fit on any fellow designed to hold a 30 x 3 1/2 rim. But just because it will fit over the fellow doesn’t mean it will function safely. Again – the factory supplied rims by Ford would all fit the other felloes – but would not bolt down as originally designed.
3.b. From previous photos of your car – it looks like the front and rear wheels/fellows are the same and that someone in the past adapted them to work with the 30 x 3 1/2 solid rubber rear demountable rims or they may have just put the rims on and hoped it all worked out ok. It also looks like they didn’t try really hard to make everything fit nicely. They probably drilled an extra hole or two and bolted them on. They may have been lucky and/or stopped by the junk yard and asked for some that would fit and were provided ones that were very compatible. Or they may be like the 30 x 3 1/2 rims that someone welded onto our 28 x 3 rims on our Model S – yes it works but it was done by a blacksmith (and in our case it looks like it was done by a blacksmith in training) and it was fine for the slow speed dirt roads. QUESTION: How well do the front rims fit onto the fellows? Are they well supported by the fellow or are they only supported by the bolts and there is an air gap all around between the fellow and the rim? Same question for the rear rim.
3.c. From those previous photos – it appears you have different types of lugs on the right front wheel. If so, do you know which lugs are the correct ones for the fellow and rim you are using? While some mix and matching would not hurt, other types of mixing and matching could undermine the integrity and safety of your wheel.
4. It appears there are several different styles of 5 lug demountable wheels available for the Model T (and other cars as well).
4.a. In the case of the Firestone demountable rims – they apparently put the rim on the fellow, added a ring that went next to the fellow and the rim, and then tightened the 5 lugs down. You can see that rim in the Firestone advertisement that was posted above and is reproduced below:
4.b. In the case of other 5 lug demountable wheels for the Model T they do NOT all have that ring that fits next to the rim. Shown below is another advertisement for a different brand (name was not provided):
4.c. Note that the inside portion of the rim is different on the two rims. The Firestone rim has a beveled edge on each side that is designed to be wedge tight. While the lower style the inside of the rim appears
4.c.(1) The Firestone Type A demountable clincher is shown below (taken from page 597 of the 13 Edition of Dyke’s Automotive – complete page is reproduced at the end of this posting). (Note there are several other Firestone Types – type A is one of them).
4.c.(2). Below is one that is NOT a clincher but rather a straight sided rim. However, it shows how the mounting of a rim with a smooth inside diameter -- relatively flat without any wedge or ledge on either side of the inside diameter of the rim (rather than with the angled areas of the Firestone Type A) is secured to the rim.
5. Additional demountable rim information – not directly related to the 5 lug question but…might as well save it while we know where it is.
5.a. While not a five lug demountable, the same Firestone wheel below could be used to hold their demountable clincher or their demountable balloon tire rim. (ref 1920’s Firestone brochure, “Tire Equipment for Ford Products.”)
5.b. From the winter 1924-25 “Western Auto Catalog” page 19.
6. I haven’t had any of those 5 lug style rims, but I would suspect that different makes would fit differently. That some rims would be close enough to interchange ok while others might be the same size tire/rim but not interchange safely. That is just a guess -- as again, I do not have any first hand experience with the 5 lug demountables.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Tonight I finally got both wheels apart and took these pictures. Unfortunately the rims are definitely different. Please let me know if these parts look familiar.
Here are the photos of one of a pair of wheels I bought hoping for an interchangeable rim.
Thanks for looking