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Ford Steel Wheel Tech

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wheelkid, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    Hey everybody, heres a tech on some of the more common Ford steel Wheels that hot rodders use. Hope somebody finds this useful.

    Wide Five Wheels

    [​IMG]
    36-39 Ford

    The '36-39 Ford had the "wide five" bolt pattern, the actual bolt pattern is 5 on 10 1/4 and it is also easily identified by just looking at it. All the normal cars and pickups had 16x4's, but the ones that had the V8-60 engine had 16x3.5's. The hubcaps on these wheels are held on by clips. In 1936 only, the heads of the rivets that hold the hubcap protrude from the mounting surface and the back of the rim. These wheels MUST be used with drums that have a recess for the head or they will not mount flush. The 36-38 Lincolns and '39 Mercurys also had 16x4 wheels. A separate company, not Ford; converted Fords to 4-wheel drive and they put wide five wheels on their cars from 36-47. They were 16x5 and 15x5.5 and they didn't have the spokes around the bolt pattern. These wheels are fairly rare. Wide 5 wheels also came in 18 x 3.62 for high clearance needs.

    40-48 Ford and Mercury, 39-48 Lincoln

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    40-48 Ford

    [​IMG]
    Aftermarket wheel for 28-35 Fords with mechanical brakes.

    [​IMG]
    42-48 Lincoln

    The Pre-War Fords, 40 Merc, and 39-40 Lincoln were 16x4 and the bolt pattern was 5 on 5.5. The Ford and Mercury wheel hubcaps were held on by knobs that were on the inner part of the wheel and connected around the outside of the hubcap, this is called an inside knob hubcap. The Lincoln wheel hubcaps were held on by clips. In 1940 the Fords that came with V8-60s had 16x3.5 wheels. In 1941 Merc and Lincoln both had 16x5 wheels, Merc still had inside knob hubcaps and Lincoln still had clips(The Merc 16x5s are deeper in the bolt pattern area than the later 16x5 pickup wheels). Post-war to 48 Fords were 16x4.5" and still took inside knob hubcaps. The 42-48 Mercury and Lincoln wheels were 15x5 and again Mercs had inside knob hubcaps and Lincolns had clips. Also a 18 X 3.62 wheel with the 5x5.5 bolt pattern was made for cars and light pickups, sometimes called milk truck wheels or divco wheels. They have 8 vent holes and they also used the stock 40 thru 48 hub caps These wheels could be had on 40 thru 48 fords cars and light trucks in the US and thru 64' on pickups in Canada.

    49-56 Ford, 49-51 Lincoln and Mercury

    [​IMG]
    49-51 Mercury

    [​IMG]
    15" 49-56 Ford

    [​IMG]
    16" 49-52 Ford

    Normal 49-56 Ford wheels were 15x5 with a 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern. Their hubcaps were outside knob which means the knobs are on the inside of the hubcap and on the outside of the center of the wheel. The hubcap that these wheels took measured 10 1/8 accross the back. From 49-52 Ford offered a 16x4.5 as an option, same bolt pattern and hubcap. From 49-51 the 6-cylinder cars came with 16x4.5 and from 52-56 the station wagons had 15x5.5 wheels on them, both same bolt pattern and hubcap. The 49-51 Mercurys had 15x5.5 wheels with a 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern. The hubcaps were 11", but they are still outside knob caps. 49-51 Lincolns also had 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern, but were 15x6s. They also had full wheel covers instead of hubcaps. They had little bumps on the rim to hold the wheel cover on.

    Ford Pickups

    [​IMG]
    49-64 Pickup

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    65 and up Pickup

    Up until 1948 Ford pickups just used the same wheels as the cars,. They stayed with 5 on 5.5. The wheels they used from 48-64 are much like 40-48 in that they had inside knob hubcaps and 5 on 5.5 bolt. From 48-53 they had 16x5s standard, and switched to 15" as standard in 1953 but still had 16x5s as an option. The early wheels were 15x5 and the later ones were 15x5.5, I'm not sure what year they switched over to the 5.5 width. There is also a 16x5.5" wheel that has tapers on BOTH sides of the rim that I haven't been able to identify. In 1965 Ford trucks switched over to an outside knob wheel and kept that wheel up to the mid 80s. There was also an optional 16x5 version of this wheel.

    Hope this is useful
    Thanks, Jimmy
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  2. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,141

    revkev6
    Member
    from ma

    weren't 40-48 merc rims 15"

    whoops, just read more carefully and realized you had it right
     
  3. Jimmy,

    Great piece. I hope these wheel ID posts are being moved to the Tech-o-matic eventually.

    The pic above caught my eye. I have three wheels that look very similar. All are 16x4.5 with a 5x5.5 bolt pattern. All are marked with the Ford script and the Kelsey Hayes "KH". They have the tiny, almost non-existant slits around the center. Mine have nubs in the lug area for the hubcap - no clips.

    I need one more to complete my set. You have any idea what these came off?

    Thanks, JH
     

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    olwood likes this.
  4. Definitely one for the archives. Thanks!
     
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  5. kustomfordman
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 438

    kustomfordman
    Member

    I have a pair of those wide 5's that measure 16'' X 5". I thought they were Lncoln rims, but according to this post they are not. Some time ago there was a pair of wide 5's listed on ebay that measured 15" x 5". The guy said they were an ambulance option or something like that. I will have to check my rims out and see if there are any markings that will identify the manufacturer.

    Any other info about wide 5's would be appreciated.

    Kurt
     
  6. Winfield
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 58

    Winfield
    Member

    Great Ford wheel tech article. Thanks for taking the time. Do you sell wheels?
     
  7. Big-Olaf
    Joined: May 9, 2006
    Posts: 241

    Big-Olaf
    BANNED

    Now... do one for Chevy.....:D
     
  8. Rolf
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,828

    Rolf
    Member

    Great tech, thanks for taking the time.
     
  9. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,070

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    EXCELLENT! Glad someone posted a thread like this!!
     
  10. Where do you get replacement wheel clips like on the 40-48 Fords?


    Excellent tech.
     
  11. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,052

    Mart
    Member

    Thanks for the post, very informative. I got a bit mixed up, but realised the heading for each section appears above the first pic in that section, the captions are below.
    I can now state that my 58 f100 has 49-52 merc wheels on it, and my 40 coupe has 49-64 pickup rims.
    Thanks for that, all good info.
    Mart.
     
  12. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,643

    50Fraud
    Member



    '39 - '47 3/4 ton truck wheels are 16 x 5 wide 5's, and they have little bitty slots around the centers like a '40 wheel -- not the bottle-cap centers typical of '36 - '39 passenger car wheels. The Early Ford V8 Times did an article on these maybe 5 years ago, with part numbers and details, but I don't have it handy. The picture shows one of these wheels with a '39 Std passenger car hubcap on it.

    I've been told, but can't confirm, that this wheel design was also made with wider rims and with 15" rims. Maybe these were for the Marmon-Herrington 4x4 conversions that Jimmy referred to.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. DICK SPADARO
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    DICK SPADARO
    Member Emeritus

    Nice picture post, since this is going to be a tech piece here are a couple. One question check the statement on the 15" pickup wheels as I think that the wheels with the inny bumps stopped in 56 and in 57 went to the more conventional outty bumps to hold the hub cap on.

    Ok here are two wide 5 wheels both NOS. One is 16" x 5" which is supported in the Ford system as a Heavy Pickup wheel 3/4 ton 1939-41. the other i have not been acble to identify as it is exactly the same but measures 16" x 5.5"

    Hey where are my Jpegs?/
     

    Attached Files:

  14. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford
    Member

    K-H also made wide five's in 15X6 part # KH 28028, I have a set of 4 if anyone needs them.:)
     
    triumphleroy likes this.
  15. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    Hey guys,
    I talked to my dad, and was confused earlier about the wide five wheels, he says that the company that made the 4 wheel drive Fords made their wheels in both 16x5 and 15x5. The earlier ones were 16" and later ones were 15". The 16" had the short spokes like the car wheels had and the 15" had the slots like 50 Fraud was talking about. I don't know about the 3/4 ton truck wheels but you guys are probably right, I'll look into it in the morning.

    As for those wheels harrison has my dad didn't know what they could be off the top of his head but he said that he'll go through some of his books and see what he can find out. They are some really wierd wheels, from what I've heard lincolns are the only ones that use those small slots in them but I've also heard that lincoln never used an inside knob hubcap. My dad thought they might be off a trailer that used a wheel like that but then how would it get the Ford script on it? Anyway i'll try and figure it out in the morning

    And yes winfield, we do sell wheels. My dads been in the wheel bussiness for almost 40 years now, He started by making bent-spoke kelseys into ajustable spokes and just kinda went from there, He went on to manufacture his own wheels called McLean Wire Wheels, eventually sold that bussiness, went into a few other bussiness ventures with places like Roadster Wheel and Wheel Vintiques (he designed the wire wheels for Wheel Vintiques) and now he just works out of our garage in Fresno, CA and calls the bussiness Rally America. I've been helping him all my life make the wheels so I know a pretty good amount, but nothing compared to him. Right now I'm going to UTI in Arizona because I thought I wanted to be a mechanic, but after working at a dealership for a few months I decided thats not what i want to do with my life and now plan to help run and expand the bussiness after I get out of school here in a few months.
    So yeah, we sell wheels...
    Thanks Jimmy
     
  16. Jimmy,

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I want to complete this set desperately.

    Thanks, JH
     
  17. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    I had my dad look it up in his books and you're right, the 39-47 3/4 ton trucks came with 16x5 wheels
     
  18. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    Not sure about this one but my best guess is that that 16x5.5 wheel is another one of those Marmon-Harrington wheels
     
  19. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    We have some that came on the lincoln wheels, Ford and Merc didn't have clips, they had knobs to hold the hubcap on. If you call my dad he'll sell them to you for a couple bucks a piece if you need them. 559 322 2128
     
  20. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    well my dad couldn't find anywhere in his books what they could have come on. So he thinks they might have come on a 47-48 Ford or Mercury.
     
  21. I thought the 16"x4" Ford solids were 1940 only and then the rest were, or at least after the war at least, the were 16" x 4.5"...
    Sam.
     
  22. Me too.

    Sam, you have any idea what the wheel I'm hunting came off?

    Thanks, JH
     
  23. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,128

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member

    BTTT for those who missed it
     
  24. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    I asked my dad and he said that you might be right. He said that he thought the same thing but none of the books he has said that. They all said that they were 16x4 all the way from 40-48. But hey the books could be wrong, they have been before. We have a bunch of 40-48 style wheels that are 16x4.5 so they had to have come from somewhere, so you are probably right.
     
  25. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    Thanks for all the people that said it was a good post, and thanks to those that asked questions and added more. Does anyone have any good ideas for what kind of wheels I should do next?
     
  26. lil32b
    Joined: Aug 3, 2006
    Posts: 23

    lil32b
    Member
    from Belgium

    Hi,
    when checking out with a friend to buy a A Vicky, inside i found four steelies to fit the A as the vendor said. I've never seen wheels like those for a Ford car, stud pattern is old Ford style and wheels are 16" by 4" , they have 5 clips to hold the dish. I don't think these are Ford ones.
    Any idea what wheels they are ? :confused:
    Fil.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Those are more than likely mid '30s Renault. Same bolt pattern. Was that the Vicky from Ebay Belgium for 5500 euro ?
     
  28. lil32b
    Joined: Aug 3, 2006
    Posts: 23

    lil32b
    Member
    from Belgium

    yep Gaz... that's the one, been inspecting the car yesterday, if you got a couple of year to restore a car "other than on your list" you must buy it. Big holes, in your wallet and the car.... car is in poor condition, but has good parts with it, butt still to expensive ! My guess, buying all for 2500 euros is a fair price.

    Gaz gaz... i need a Gaz 67 engine to put in my 32 sedan... !!!
     
  29. didgeytrucker
    Joined: Feb 24, 2005
    Posts: 92

    didgeytrucker
    Member

    Ford pickups had 16" wheels through 1955. 15x5" wheels were available in 1956 and (I believe) 15x5-1/2" wheels became available in 1957, still with "innie" bumps. I have seen some "innie" wheels on Ford trucks up through 1969, but through the years they could have been changed. I know the taper on the back side of the "innie" wheels won't clear Ford F-100 disc brakes.

    Tracy
     
  30. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 7,267

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hey, Fellas...I see some 'famous' names here, but some errors have been made. That wheel with the clips on the center is an early Chrysler product. Ford never used clips on factory (or Kelsey-Hayes) wheels.
     

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