After going on a ride I push Henry back into the shop instead of backing in. when I get up onto the concrete and roll him back you can hear the spokes clicking or creaking as he rolls. is this normal? I know the car is old, but are the spokes supposed to make noises?
thank you, luke
NO! Check your spokes, rap on them with your knuckles or lightly with a rubber mallet...the ones that are loose will make a thud sound with a small nick sound as the tennons slip in their sockets. The ones that are tight will have a woody sounding ring, it's hard to explain, but if you've ever heard a marimba, it sort of sounds like that only quieter.
Then either go to your club or onto John Regan's site and download the spoke press drawings. Build or borrow one and get yourself some new spokes. Watch Steve Jelf's video on how to press the spokes at www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKZ7WrfHdf8 and make old Henry safe to drive again.
Wheels should be like Gary Cooper—the strong, silent type. _If they're clicking or creaking, something is wrong. _Twisting the individual spokes by hand usually tells the tale. _If your wheels make noise, but the spokes won't move when you twist them, perform the same test with the wheels jacked off the ground. _Also look for cracks in the felloe.
In the event of a wheel with loose spokes, it doesn't pay to butchie-boo around with stop-gap fixes like C-shaped washers or resin injections; not when Stutzman's Wheel Shop will completely rebuild a wheel for about two-hundred bucks. _Peace of mind doesn't come much cheaper than that. _Do it right and be done with it.
Stutzman's Wheel Shop LTD
33656 CR 12
Baltic, OH 43804
330-897-1391, ext 1
Leave a message and he'll get back to you.
I had my wheels re-built by Johnson’s Wood Wheels in southern Oklahoma and installed them on my car last January. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the job he did and the price. I picked them up at his shop and he gave me the grand tour. Google “Johnson’s Wheels” to check his website.
Ditto what Bob Coiro just posted. Including the wheel-man. They're great, very affordable.
If you can hear your spokes creaking and squeaking its definitely time to check them out. If you have wheels that are original and if you want to drive your T its time for a new set of spokes.
Johnsons in Oklahoma does a great job. You send him your rims and hubs and he will do the rest.
If you have them shipped back to you he will crate them as good as you wheels will be built. I have two sets he did for me and they are fine.
From Belton he's about a 3 hr drive from you in Okla.
Thanks guys. Guess Henry might be in the garage for a little while, until I can that done. How difficult is it to do the job myself?
If you had the earlier wood-felloe wheels I'd say send them to Stutzman or take them up the road to Steve Johnson. They both have earned a great reputation. But for your steel-felloe wheels I'd buy new spokes, build a Regan press, and shove them in myself. I'd get the spokes from Stutzman, not one of the parts dealers, unless you like paying nearly double.
Clinchers or demountables? Fun Projects has instructions for demountables. For clinchers and wood felloes, go to a wheelwright.
what kind of cost am I looking at per wheel If I do it myself vs. sending it somewhere to get it done?
The vendors sell wood spokes for just over $10.00 each. If Steve's estimate is correct, let's say you can get them from Stutzman's for $6.00 each. You need 48 spokes (12 per wheel) if your work is perfect. If you're like me, you'll buy 50 just in case you mess one or two up.
50 x $6.00 each = $300.00 for spokes
Then, add the cost of making the wheel press and the sealer, varnish, or paint of your choice to finish the spokes.
Rough estimate - $400.00 total, could be less if you already have scrap wood for the spoke press and wood sealer and finish for the spokes.
One caution - you need to find out what brand of metal wheel felloes you have (post pictures of your felloes on the forum). Kelsey felloes and Hayes felloes use spokes that are 1/32 inch longer than Ford felloes. Also, be sure to get the correct diameter tenons on the ends of the spokes, they come in 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch sizes.
Re-spoking your own wheels is a great learning experience!
thanks for the information everyone. I'll post pictures of the wheels a little later today.
Going by the pic you have on your profile page your TT looks to have steel felloe wheels.
When I had my wheels done by Johnsons in Okla. I cleaned up the felloes and hubs, painted them and shipped them to him.
He built my wheels for 135.00 each which included balancing them. I had a race in one of the hubs that was worn more than I thought it was and he replaced it with no charge with a good used one he had.
Hope this gives you an idea about cost.
It's good to have a few spare wheels. At least one front and one rear. Then You can paint up the felloe and hub and send it out to be re-spoked while you still drive the car on short tours not too fast. Then when you get the newly spoked wheels back, install on the car and have the others done. Keep the old ones for spares.
I have a loose sounding wooden wheel on my rpu but am looking for a replacement, used. Tim
here's a picture of the wheel. tapped on the spokes and looks like all wheels need to be respoked.
one question. How would one go about getting the spokes out?
Your tire is slipping on the rim - you run the risk of ripping the stem off the tube...Need more air pressure in that tire - valve stem should be parallel with the spokes.
Check the owner's manual or tire side wall for the recommended minimum pressure. I run my 30 x 3.5 inch tires at 60 psi.
To correct the slanted stem issue, jack up that corner of the car, deflate that tire completely, and see if you can manually slide the tire around a bit on the rim to bring the stem over so that it sticks out straight. Then, re-inflate the tire.
Luke, if the spokes are loose enough that they're rattling simply take the wheels off, then remove the hub bolts and plates, then knock the spokes out with a hammer.
Luke, once you have the hubs out you knock the hub ends of adjacent spokes in opposite directions. Work your way around until you get one out, the rest will be very easy to remove.
I am in disagreement with those who condemn all loose wheels. Wheels can be tightened and kept in service. I do it with a spoke jack and shims. You do have to pay attention to them and keep up on your maintenance. I carry a jack, a wrench and shims on every drive.
If you are really going to tear those nice wheels apart I would dearly love to obtain as many of the old spokes as I can get. I turn them down on my lathe to rebuild my 21" wheels. It is time to start preparing for the next rebuild. If you go to this link you can see what I do with used up spokes.
(Message edited by thorlick on August 13, 2016)
Mark strange sent me a PM and told me about using shims. I am definitely leaning towards that than completely rebuilding the wheel. Does anyone have a link or a place that I can find a spoke jack?
You can make a spoke jack easily from a piece of 3/8" all thread and some nuts and a couple blocks of wood. It's not rocket surgery.
I use a spoke jack and fill with kwik poly
Get large bore " hypo needles "
Never had a wheel fail yet knocking on wood
I even do wood fellow wheels
I had a loose wheel several years ago and needed the vehicle for an event. I has some oak veneer on hand so I took the wheel apart and put a layer of veneer between every other spoke. the tenons were also badly worn, some being half the diameter, to remedy that (temporarily) I built up the worn area with sensor safe (the dark grey type) RTV and wrapped them with cotton cord also covered with RTV. I intended this to be a temporary fix, but that was three years ago and about 3 thousand miles. I check the wheel (all actually) regularly and it has never gotten loose yet..
I'm with Bob Middleton....the first person on this thread who has any common sense. I have *repaired* many wheels with epoxy and similar materials. They were loose as described in this thread....and never had a problem. In fact, I would like to have someone show me a spoke failure on the road that has not been caused by a two-car accident. And don't show me that photo of a rear end of a car with both rear wheels destroyed..that is a hoax.
"It's not rocket surgery."
You're very confident in Luke's abilities to do a spoke repair I guess. It's the type of thing I might try on my own wheels, (and have), but I wouldn't recommend someone else do it, unless I knew their skill level. The advice I usually give here is based on the safest possible approach, given that I'm not always certain how skilled or mechanically inclined the individual is. If anyone was ever hurt or injured based on any of my "cheapskate fixes", I would be forever sick about it. Wheels are important and they do fail, even if I don't have any photos to prove it. By the way, a wheel doesn't have to collapse on its own, as a single event, to cause an accident. It may actually fail during an accident or some other loss of control incident that puts a high stress on it. That's when you want to know you've got the strongest possible wheels to help you through.
Yeah Jerry, That "rocket surgery" is next only to "brain science" I got a chuckle only after you pointed it out!
"Brain science", love it!
Is this the picture which you judge to be a hoax?
There were more pictures of that incident from several angles. Not a hoax by any means!
That picture of the two busted off wood wheels was posted here, and these are a first hand observer's comments of the accident with the busted wheels.
By Gregory Stewart on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 01:25 pm:
Only the two rear wheels failed in that picture. The car is on a slight downgrade, which may explain why it looks level. He had just rounded a corner and we assumed the rough washboard surface of the road wreaked havoc with the loose spokes. What a time we had moving the car to the side of the road! James is right, the picture is worth a thousand words. After being there for that incident, the money spent for new spokes all of a sudden does not seem like very much. It sure is money well spent.
(Message edited by Dan_Treace on August 16, 2016)
Of course spokes can be shimmed but, remember your life depends on those spokes and they are not expensive nor difficult to install.
Read the information on that accident: "washboard surface of the road wreaked havoc with the loose spokes."
Wheels gain all of their strength by being a tight construct. When you allow the spokes to "creak, click, and be loose" you are asking for that kind of result. The hub bolts and spokes must be tight to resist lateral forces. The rear wheels have the added problem of forces tangential to the hub due to driving and braking forces through the axle and the brake drums.
If your wheels are loose and you don't want to destroy them as seen in that photo then correct the problem, make them tight and strong. You can do that by replacing the spokes if you are able to do it right so you end up with a strong wheel. You can also do it with shims if you are able to do it right so you end up with a strong wheel.
Do it wrong and end up with a crappy wheel... then feces happens. I have shimmed my 1913 wooden felloe and my 1927 steel felloe wheels very successfully. The wood felloes get shimmed between the non-demountable rim and the fellow. The steel felloes get shimmed between the spoke and felloe.
If you do it right you will know... the wheel spokes are all tight. The wheel doesn't flex when you push on it. It no longer creaks, clicks or makes any other sound. Despite what I have seen folks write in this thread a shimmed wheel is strong and safe... as strong and safe as a fresh spoke wheel. In fact I would trust one of my wheels I have shimmed before I trust a newly built fresh spoke wheel done by a first timer who may not have any previous experience with wheels.
Actually, that is not the photo that I had in mind. There is another in color showing a bunch of splintered spokes from rear wheels. But I agree that if spokes are allowed to get too far loose, then anything can happen. In the photo of the failure shown, I can't imagine how the owner/operator could not notice something was wrong and stopped. It seems unlikely that both wheels could have failed simultaneously without adequate warning. He must have been unconscious.
I am working on trying to shim up a wheel in the same way as you are.
Do you make your own shims? Or purchase them?
Does it help to loosen the 6 hub bolts?
Any additional info appreciated.
No need to loosen the hub bolts.
Spoke jack and shims, made from 1/32 inch thick stainless steel washers:
Mark Strange, In your post above on August 13th at 12:53pm, you suggested buying just the spokes from Stutzman's and assembling the wheels yourself.
I talked with Noah Stutzman this afternoon and he no longer sells just the spokes, he now does only the whole thing.
He quoted me $150.00 for the assembled wheel, $10.00 for new hub bolts, and $35.00 for UPS to Wisconsin. Sounds fair to me.
Thanks for the update on Stutzman. I bought the new spokes for my Kelsey wheels from Lang's, but Steve Jelf had purchased spokes from Stutzman's in the past. Guess that option no longer exists.
Perhaps one wheel failed and as the car crashed to the ground lateral pressure resulted in a second failure. In any case I would guess that both wheels, perhaps all four wheels, had similar neglect leading up to the excitement.
I am with Mark, leave the bolts tight and just jack the spokes and insert the home made steel shims.
I always carry a spoke jack and wrench, assorted thickness shims, a hammer and chisel to push shims home. They don't take much space in the tool box. You can see my spoke jack, shims, and wrench (long one, it takes a lot of force to do this) in my photo.
Whenever I see a spoke jack in a swap meet I buy it. I had two others, one like the photo and another a machinist friend made for me. I loaned them to two forum members and never got them back... so this last one isn't going anywhere that my car doesn't go!
About two weeks ago a wheel started clicking on a drive. I pulled over and placed two shims. I was off the road about 3 minutes, however my hands did get dirty.
One secret is I have some strips of gasket rubber about 1.5" X 3" which I lay over the pointy end of the spoke jack to protect the spokes. I have used that under the flat end also, but it makes the spoke jack tend to walk upon tightening. On my car I don't care if the felloe gets scratched, if you use a piece of rubber there then the paint survives.
Here is a link to a forum page you might find interesting: Spoke Shims
(Message edited by thorlick on August 18, 2016)
Luke, your spokes don't look bad, probably just some shrinkage, not dry rot. They can be tightened. I don't use a spoke jack, I have a tool made for this purpose with a die that swages the hole in the rim down tight around the shrunken nipple of the spoke at the same time as jamming it tight into the hub, after which you tighten and re stake the hub bolts. There are two kinds of these, I use one that looks like a C-clamp that can be used with the wheel on the car, there are some that require it be removed. I can post or email pics.
I also had loose spokes on my wheels and looked into the various methods of tightening them, and decided to force the spokes back out into the fellows by forcing metal shims between the spokes at the hub, this increases the diameter at the hub which pushes all of the spokes outwards back into the fellows. I know there will be a few critics out there but I have seen this done to a few vehicles and I have done over a thousand kms since with the wheels still tight and solid.
Perth Western Australia
Erik - one of our local wheel wrights refuses to replace spokes on any rim that has been "dimpled with a tool that you described - too much time consumed in matching spoke length or something to that effect.
If they are only a little loose you might try the old fix my grandfather did. Remove the wheels. throw said wheels into the pond/tied off in river for a few days. Wheel spokes will swell and should be tight again. Believe it or not this worked for him, still has those wheels 40 years later and they are not at all loose.
Odd, Matthew, I thought they should dry out over time?
Maybe if they were bought loose from a really dry place like Arizona and since that wet cure were kept in a more humid area?
I am aware that pinching the rim will be a problem for wheelrights. I knew this would come up. Given the fact that unmolested steel felloe rims are plentiful I don't worry about it. I can't give them away at swap meets. Lots get recycled. Anyway, in normal use, the wheels we have saved will not need respoking in the lifetime of the guys currently in that business.
Forget all the back yard mechanic solutions and check out http://www.woodwheels.com/.