Spoke shimming limits

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Spoke shimming limits
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 08:54 pm:

If I have a wheel start clicking or showing other signs of looseness my go to solution is placing shims between the spoke end and the felloe on the tenon. I have been doing this for years and as a result all of my spokes have shims of various thicknesses.

When someone asks when a wheel needs rebuilding instead of shimming I usually say that it rarely is necessary. I feel that a loose wheel is dangerous, so I keep mine tight. I do begin to worry when I find shims in my driveway instead of on the spokes. You see, as a wheel wears if a spoke is shimmed it can have the shim loosen and come out.

When things get loosey goosey you must either shim or replace spokes. I have a box of my best spare spokes which I sometimes call in to service.

So today I started on the right rear then the fronts finally getting to the left rear ... just tightening up the wheels and making sure the shims are in place.

I do have my minimums and have found that one spoke has reached that minimum and so must be replaced. (Hold onto your hats now...)I even am considering going ahead and replacing all the spokes on all the wheels!!!!

Here are two photos which show graphically a spoke which I feel is no longer a candidate for shimming. If you feel I am a bit premature and you want this spoke on your car I will gladly send it to you for the cost of shipping!



For those of you not sure what you are seeing here is a sure fire test to know if the spoke needs attention. 1) Can you see space where there should be a tennon? 2) Can you pass a business card, popsicle stick, or phone book through between the felloe and the spoke? 3) When you remove the rim is there an empty hole on the felloe in a spot where there should be a spoke?

I have a friend who pulled a wheel off of his car for inspection and found a tennon the size of a toothpick. He did not replace that spoke... he bought a replacement wheel... this is a viable option.

Now I have a rather unique problem: I am unable to get the wheel off as the hub is stuck on the axle. My axle knocker is not working and I usually would drive around a mile or so with the axle nut loose to break it free. Unfortunately this wheel is so loose I don't relish that option. I am thinking on using my heat wrench, but don't like the idea of heating up a hub.

Any suggestions? I can't find my antique hub puller, it has never worked in the past anyway!

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 01:50 am:

Sorry Terry. I loaned my good model T hub puller to a good friend about twenty years ago, and never got it back! In all fairness, I knew he would use it more than I would have and told him to keep it.
I suspect my good gear puller could be easily adapted to do the job (a steel bar bolted across the back side of the spokes?). If you would like to try it? I would even help make the bolting bar to fit.
I would however want my gear puller back, because I use it a lot!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 02:08 am:

Rather than use heat, I would much prefer a hub puller. If the threads are bad, and it happened, I would use a knocker. I have never had one that refused to move but I have thought about it.
If the spokes are that far gone, then itís probable that the six hub bolts are useless, so cut them off and remove the outer plate, the spokes and the feloe. Now a regular big puller should do the trick.
Iíve never had to do it, but I refuse to loose.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 07:15 am:

That will teach me to read the OP's name. I just ASSUMED this was Steve Jelf.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 08:09 am:

Try driving! just loosen the nut, and drive it in and out of the garage with a maybe out of the driveway, and onto the street (90 deg turn) back it back in a few times. I have done this before I bought a hub puller. It worked quite well. Once it was on good and tight and I drove in circles around in the street in front of the house.

The other thing I have done is grabbed my large 3 pound hammer, while the car was lifted up, and pounded on the tire, around and around we go. Usually I gave up before the wheel popped off.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 11:09 am:

If you can, have the wheel you are pulling on the ground and the other side jacked up. It seems to work better knocking the axle out of the hub rather then knocking the hub off the axle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 11:37 am:

Wayne: Backing the spokes and using a gear puller is an option.

Tony: Knocking toff the hub bolt heads might give me hub access. Does anyone know if the hub bolts offered by vendors are any good? Years ago I tried some and they didn't seem to be hardened.

Hal: I can see how you might be confused, we both have very stunning appearances and both hail from Southern Calif.

Jason: I wasn't going to try that because of the now floppy wheel status, but you are the closest to what my next attempt will be.

Mark: That is how I usually try it with a knocker (that tool name always reminds me of an interaction between Gene Wilder and Teri Garr in "Young Fankenstein"). Couldn't do it because of loose spokes, but it is now second on my list of planned actions.

All these Ideas are great so I now have a plan: I will tighten the spokes by shimming them all extra tight, even the one with no tennon. Then I will drive it a bit on my dirt road. If that doesn't work I will then try the Given technique of knocking. Failing that the Sheldon gear pulling technique will be next. Before I trash the bolts with the Bowker technique I just may try the Davis technique of dressing up in "overhauls" and a straw hat and draw a beard on my chin... disguised as Steve should do the trick with any of the above techniques!

I know it's not 0-dark-30 anymore, but additional ideas are welcomed.

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 06:28 pm:

Well I have my solution. This afternoon I shimmed up the wheel in question and went for an 1/8 mile ride on my dirt road. I left the axle nut 1/4" loose and drove with abandon... popping from low to high and aiming at every pot hole... stomping on the brake and behaving like a new model T driver.

The wheel is as tight as a new wheel... that is spokes to hub and felloe. The wheel is now riding out against the axle nut so it is ready to come right off. It is interesting that when I stopped at the half way point and picked up the mail the wheel was still jammed tight onto the axle.

So I now have another technique in my armament, when trying to work on a losey-goosey wheel first shim it up tight and then all the easy methods will work much better!

This wheel is so tight and nice now that I think I will make a replacement wooden tennon. I will center drill it and the spoke. Then with a wood screw attach it to the spoke to keep it centered in the felloe. That way while I am waiting for my new spokes to arrive I can conservatively drive the car! (Yes, I think I can hear the howls of disapproval out there in MTFCA-Land!)

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 04:23 am:

OW-ow-ow-Howl! :-)

Sounds like something I would do.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Seress, Prescott Az. on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 08:55 am:

I have a friend that had a problem of loose spokes and were sharp as a pencil tip from all the movement by the time he decided to fix the situation. He made some hardwood dowels about five inches long and drilled through the rim into the spoke and glued the dowel into place. It has been holding for a few years now. I refuse to get into his T even on a slow moving parade, guess why!!! Frank


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A Bartsch on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 09:04 am:

When this thread started I assumed it must be a joke. I could not imagine anyone actually driving on the wheels shown and described. Unfortunately, as the story unfolds it simply becomes more frightening. Please do not drive any of these 'repaired' vehicles anywhere near any of the folks I know, I hate seeing friends and family maimed or killed. Drive careful, jb


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Wrenn-Monroeville OH on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 09:13 am:

I'm with James. Sorry to offend the guys who believe in shimming, I'd rather even borrow the money to buy new wheels from a professional wheelwright than risk my, or others, lives on less than perfect wheels. Just my two cents. Adjusted for inflation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 09:35 am:

I understand the howlers' position. I have long bristled at the Kevlar band liner cabal whose favorite defense is "Ive been using Kevlar for years and have never broken a drum" (yet). So I won't make that claim regarding shims and wheel failure.

The shim process does have the advantage that the shim repair is out where you can easily inspect it each day and failure is obvious by shim loss, spoke looseness or wheel clacking. I would feel better for the Kevlar guys if they daily inspected their drums for bluing, but that probably wouldn't head off most of the catistrophic drum failures and lesser cracks.

So for now Rusty is parked and awaiting new spokes. Today that freshly tightened wheel will be removed and will receive a replacement spoke from my stock of spares... and then it will be retightened.

Ok, message complete, it is now safe to resume howling!

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 09:48 am:

Terry,If you do cross to the dark side buy Round House Bibbs.Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By R.V. Anderson on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 11:14 am:

To answer your question on hub bolts, the ones I make are excellent (shameless plug). They have the correct heads, are unmarked, and are Grade 5. Ford's were about Grade 1-1/2. You can get them from me or from Lang's.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 12:31 pm:

R.V., thanks, that is great news!

You always do great work. That mag you wound for me is still doing a fantastic job in old Rusty. Your mag work is still the best I have ever seen! I will be ordering hub bolts shortly.

This morning I rebuilt the wheel replacing two spokes.



Even I concur that this spoke has finally reached the end of it's useful life!

Next I need to shim the wheel tight and go for a ride. (Hey, howlers, please hold it down a bit, it's getting noisy in here!)

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 12:32 pm:

That spoke is still good, it just needs a smaller rim to go in!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Horlick in Penn Valley, CA on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 12:45 pm:

Tim,
I did that a couple of years ago. This came out of an old wheel a few years ago and I turned it down to go into my 1927 21" wheels. I guess it is good to reuse if anyone has a Shriner Model T go-cart!

TH


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Codman on Sunday, July 01, 2018 - 12:16 pm:

I gotta agree with Frank, James., and Tim. This is not the place to try to save money. JMO and no offense intended.


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