Thoughts on Loose Spokes

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Thoughts on Loose Spokes
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Daniel E. Snell on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 10:38 am:

I have one wheel that has one loose spoke. I am curious to know what the experts think about the safety in continuing to run with it that way. Appreciate your input. Happy New Year!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 10:55 am:

Daniel, just like types of oil, you'll soon get all sorts of opinions, some very good. Bottom line is, it's what makes you comfortable as you're tooling down the road, maybe with other people in the car with you, at 30-35 mph, and in some peoples cases, even faster. I "babied" 3 loose ones and 2 loose one's on the front of my '20s demountables by using Kwik-Poly for two seasons. Late this fall two of the "fixed" ones started clicking again. I have both wheels at Stutzmans at the moment. Not taking any chances over a coupla hundred dollars. Just my opinion.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stephen D Heatherly on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 11:01 am:

Daniel, the wheel is going to continue to get looser and looser the more you drive the car if you leave it as it is. Others will tell you to shim the wheel but, I would rebuild the wheel and rest assured that it is safe and will remain tight. It does not really cost much considering what can happen if the wheel fails.

Stephen


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 11:19 am:

If you continue to drive with it loose, it will just keep getting worse.

At the risk of being labeled a heretic, if your wheels have steel felloes you can easily shim the end of the loose spoke to make it tight again. I make my shims from 1/32 inch thick stainless steel washers. I cut a slot on one side so that I can slip or tap them in once the felloe is pushed away from the end of the spoke, creating a gap.

How do you push the felloe away? With a spoke jack! I found mine on Ebay, but you can make your own with some stout threaded rod and a couple of hardwood blocks, shaped to fit the hub and felloe:

pic2

pic3


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 11:29 am:

Some background on my experience with shimming spokes (other's experiences may differ):

When I got my '24, a couple of my wheels had one or two loose (but not cracked) spokes. Based on what I read on the forum, I decided to buy the hubs, felloes, and new spokes to build up a new set of wheels. I built a wheel press using the plans available on the Fun Projects website. The new wheels turned out great, see this thread:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/454203.html?1404960383

Once I had my new wheels built, I decided that I had nothing to lose by experimenting with shimming my few loose spokes. So, I bought a spoke jack and the washers on Ebay and shimmed my loose spokes. I put a white dot on the felloe at the location of each shimmed spoke so that I could monitor them over time.

Well, two years later, the old wheels are still tight, still on the car, and my new wheels are sitting in the basement waiting for their turn, if or when the old wheels finally get loose again. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 11:43 am:

FIX THEM

Now you can respoke them professionally, or pull them apart and shim at the hub or use metal shims at the feloes. I personally use the second option of shimming at the hub though on really bad wheels I have installed new spokes. A suitable wheel press is easy to make, so all it takes is a few hours work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 12:31 pm:

I've shimmed a metal felloe wheel. Still tight as ever. I shimmed it at the outer end where the tenon goes through the felloe. I've also shimmed wood felloe wheels by taking the rim off the felloe and wrapping a layer of veneer around the felloe then heating the rim and shrinking it back on. These are still very tight as well. In all the cases above, the spokes were still sound, not rotted. They had just shrunk. In another case, I had spokes that just didn't seem solid anymore, THAT wheel, I respoked myself using a spoke press I built as mentioned above. Spokes were from Langs.

Bottom line is make sure it's safe. Loose Spokes are not safe. If left loose, they will wear very quickly to the point replacement is necessary, not just a repair job.

Someone will likely be along soon to tell you just how dangerous what I've just told you is. Of course, if you look at a Volvo commercial, they'll tell you any car but a Volvo is not safe for your kids to ride in, so you ultimately must make up your own mind.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Landry, Hudson, NH on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 01:38 pm:

Mark,

I can't find those thin washers at Albany County Fasteners. Maybe they no longer carry them. I'm sure I can search up some similar shims. What is the ID required to go around the spoke end? (Easier to ask than go measure the spokes. I guess I'm lazy!)

thanks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Landry, Hudson, NH on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 01:43 pm:

Mark,

I can't find those thin washers at Albany County Fasteners. Maybe they no longer carry them. I'm sure I can search up some similar shims. What is the ID required to go around the spoke end? (Easier to ask than go measure the spokes. I guess I'm lazy!)

thanks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Sunday, January 01, 2017 - 02:32 pm:

Spoke tenons come in two diameters, 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch. Mine were 1/2 inch, so that is the ID of the washers that I bought (I think I got them on Ebay). By a stroke of luck, their OD is a perfect match to the OD of the spokes, so the only trimming I had to do was for the slot.

Grainger or other hardware suppliers will probably have similar or identical washers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Landry, Hudson, NH on Tuesday, January 03, 2017 - 09:25 am:

Thanks for the lead. I found them on ebay. Surprised they're not on the Albany County Fasteners regular web site.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Menzies on Tuesday, January 03, 2017 - 10:44 am:

I had some early wheels that were shimed with lead washers


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