Today I discovered that a rivet on the felloe plate of our non-demountable clincher type wood felloe wheels was projecting up about a quarter inch. That prompted further investigation. In looking at the inside surface of the rim, I see that the rivet has sunk or rusted away --- even on the side of the wheel opposite the obviously loose rivet. The felloes seem pretty tight in the rim, with no obvious gaps. Probably time to remove & replace the rivets. Is this done cold? Hot? Simply buck & pound? Who's done this repair? What should I be mindful of, when I do this. Thanks - Craig
Craig, I doubt the rivets would be done hot. Think of charred wood. I suggest that the holes in the rim be slightly countersunk so the rivet will have room to spread a little for better engagement. Depending how smooth you can make the ends of the rivets, this may be the time to add a rim liner to your rims, to keep the ends of the rivets isolated from the tube.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Craig, I've had good results using a grade 5 carriage bolt with a T nut on the rim side. We dressed the heads in the lathe to look just like the rivet head. I appears like your felloes may have shrunk or be a bit worn? If they're a little loose in the rims I might not trust them to stay tight with only the riveting.
We have also had great success with adding a piece of shim material on the outside of the felloe then machining the outer diameter to give a proper interference fit when pressing back into the rim. Food for thought and let me know if you'd like more info.
You can't re-rivet them with any success. The wood has shrunk and things are worn out. I've used the bolt method too. That way, you can crank down on them and tighten them good. I've put many miles on wheels that had some rivets replaced with bolts.
Just install a new rivet.
Loose or broken rivets is a sign of a loose rim.
It is the pressure of the rim against the felloe that keeps the rim on and the wheel tight. The purpose of the rivets is to assist in keeping the rim centered on the felloe so the wheel runs true.
I would not simply re-rivet the wheels or use bolts with the idea that either method is a safe and permanent fix.
A real fix involves tightening the wheel.
If the wood is sound, you should remove the rim, put a wood veneer or sheet metal shim around the circumference of the felloe, heat the rim and reinstall it.
Thanks for the ideas on the proper fix. Gene - I have questions about how you do the carriage bolt with T-nut inside. A carriage bolt has a square shoulder. Do you screw in the T-nut with pliers holding the thin edge? Because the carriage bolt shouldn't turn. James -- do you position the carriage bolt from inside the rim and have the nut exposed on the top of the felloe plate?
I just examined an old front wheel that I replaced several years ago. It looks like whoever did that rivet replacement many years ago used a single slot machine screw with countersunk head from inside the rim and then put square nuts on the top of the felloe plate (and everywhere else on that rim). I replaced that set of wheels when they started doing the loose spoke clickity click noise when slowly pushing the car forward. Is it time to replace these rear wheels? The felloes seem pretty tight with no obvious gaps between the outside felloe surface and the rim. Thanks, Craig
The T nuts from MCMaster Carr have flats on them so you can use a wrench to tighten on the inside. They are nearly flat but a bit of sanding to taper the edges makes them very smooth and super strong. The spokes must be tight in the rim which requires an interference fit. Like Erik said the purpose of the rivets is only to keep the felloe centered in the rim.
Of course this is pretty important when your in a turn at speed!
Craig... I used a round head carriage type bolt with the bolt head on the inside and the nut exposed on the outside. They were the original un-restored wheels and I knew that re-wooding was in the future plans but I wanted to get another season or two out of them. It worked well.
Maybe I'm wrong and probably am, but that rim doesn't look too healthy to me. Looking at that break in the metal gave me shivers. I'd be looking at replacing everything. Why trust your life to a bad rim/spokes, etc. Not worth it.
Tim, I saw what looked like a crack in the rim but looking closer I would hope it is just some rubber debris that looks like a crack in the picture.
James, Those nuts on the show side must have looked sort of shade tree but at least they were strong. That's why we used the T nuts on the inside where they don't show.
I got the rivets from Langs.
Ken in Texas
Tim - No cracks in the rim. It is just a bit of duct tape (cheap & easy rim liner substitute) debris as Gene suspected. The rim is not compromised with cracks. Based on what I'm hearing from you folks, I think I need to remove all of the rivets to see just how tight the felloes are inside the rim. That will be my jumping off point for determining if I should go the re-rivet or T-nut & bolt direction. If I find that the wood is loose in the rim, I probably better put in a shim or veneer between the felloe & the rim. Or have new spokes and felloes installed in that wheel. Thanks again for all the helpful advice - Craig
Craig I'm glad to hear that. I'd hate to see something go wrong. I took a 3rd. look this time from my phone & it actually gives a clearer picture than the computer & I could see its just some "junk"...good news plus saves some $!
When I had to replace rivets on my wheels I made this jig. Using the J bolts over the rim edge it allows the rivet to be pulled tight against the wood felloe so it can be peened against the inside of the rim.
Clever, very clever. Thank you Pops, for sharing.
Well, I drove all the rivets (none of which had mushroomed heads) back down into the felloes about a quarter inch. Some were already down a ways - others flush with the outer rim surface. They all were tight, but appeared to be more like alignment pins rather than rivets that held the felloe to the rim. I lightly tapped the wood felloe around the circumference as if to drive the wood out of the rim. I didn't whack it. The felloes moved. That doesn't seem good. My understanding is that the felloes should be TIGHT in the rim. You can see the area exposed in the photo below, where there is a slight rusty-dirty area with another clean area below. Any new thoughts? Thanks, Craig
Time to send it to Stutzman, or one of the other wheelwrights.
I'm with Thomas in regard to your wheel needing to be rebuilt; it is time. Good luck with your project. Bill
I know there are opinions all over the spectrum BUT Looking at these pictures the wood looks sound and without removing the spokes from the rim and checking for loose tennons or rotted and cracked spokes one can not give good advice on what would be a safe and sound repair. Some will always suggest that replacement is always a must but that is not the always the case. Many a new wood wheel after a couple of years in some really dry weather can develop signs of movement. A good interference fit is important when pressing the wood assy into the rim.
I have not found anyone that will say how much that interference should be even if you could get an accurate measurement of the ID of the rim.
I believe from looking at the pictures of Craig's wheel that a thin hard wood shim glued to the OD of the felloe and pressed back into the rim and properly secured would provide years of safe driving.
OH Wait,, did someone say those were OAK??? Ralph Ricks RIP wanted me to ask that....
HO HO HO
AaaK! No oak spoke! It's original hickory stickery - Doc.
I use when wood is solid a product called " kwik poly" it's two part wood resign that is used restoration shops
Been using it for years tighten loose wheels and top bows on cars and buggies
This stuff works great as a gas tank sealer and electrical insulator
Even works great rebuilding steering wheels
Only enemy of this product is oil
When properly done gives the same strength as hard wood but stronger can be drilled tapped and sanded like hard wood
Ofcourse there many ways to fix a wheel only you know what you can live with and be safe
Again this is my fix for loose wheel
If the wood is sound and tight the wheel can be repaired. Carefully sand the outside circumference of the felloe just down to clean wood to keep the wheel as round as possible. Sand blast etc. the inside diameter of the rim to get a clean surface to bond to. Check the fit of the wheel in the rim. If it is close then J B Weld can be used to mount the rim. If not round or has a loose fit a shim and machining will be needed as reported above by Gene.
The new rivet assemblies consist of Grade 5 1/4" carriage bolts with the heads turned to the proper diameter and weld nuts to secure the bolts. The edges of the weld nuts can be bent up 90 deg. for tightening, then hammered back down or ground off. The weld nuts can be ordered from McMaster-Carr. Pn.90594A029. They have the grade 5 carriage bolts also.
To assemble the wheel with J B Weld, spread a thin coating of it on the felloe and the inside of the rim. Mount the rim to the felloe while keeping the holes aligned. The felloe may need to be clamped to the rim, especially at the joints if needed. Best to have a helper or 2 to help with this phase of the project. It's a mess.
When the JB Weld has cured, Drill the rivet holes 1/4" dia. through the felloe and rim. Counter bore the rim and felloe 5/16" dia. deep enough to accept the weld nut and lightly countersink the hole to fit the radius on the shank of the weld nut. This allows the weld nut to fit right up against the rim. Pre-fit the bolts and weld nuts to check for proper fit.
Coat the carriage bolts and weld nuts with J B Weld and assemble. The Larger dia. of the shank of the weld nuts along with any gaps in the assembly being filled with EPOXY gives a very strong shear joint between the rim and felloe.
That's basically how Gene and I did our wheels, except we used shims machining, and press fits on 3 of the wheels and J B Weld only on the 4th.
A member of our local club probably has the best idea when it comes to felloe safety..and fellow safety!... rather than just rely on the usual three rivets spaced around the felloe between the spokes, he's suggesting, and has done so, putting a rivet between EACH SPOKE...a bit more effort, but really sounds like a good idea. Those felloes aren't going anywhere then. It will be in my future for sure.
When I repaired one of my wheels, I used iron on veneer from Lowes around the fellow, then heated the rim to expand it. Placed the wheel inside the heated rim and used long punches to align the rivet holes and let it cool. I used a clamp to press the rivets into the fellow and then welded the end into the rim. Made a very tight wheel.
When you're done with the spokes fix those 2 piece brake shoes that are leaning out and hitting the outer wall of the brake drum. Some put the springs on backwards to prevent this. Not sure how good that works. As I'm familiar with drum brakes I worked up a bracket to positively hold them back on my car. Their also hitting the drum bolt heads by the look of your photo . Plus, as you can see, the outer seals are shot.
I don't think his shoes are leaning out, I think they're getting pinched because the hub sits too far inboard, which is also causing the bolts to rub. Either a worn out axle, hub, thrust bearing or all of the above could be the cause.
I think Jerry Kramer has your answer.