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Model T Ford SPEEDSTER Wire Wheel Info

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The37Kid, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,758

    The37Kid
    Member

    Found a Buffalo wire wheel wrench at Hershey to go with my right front hub and cap. Three more hubs and four wheels and I've got a roller!:D There is a lot of T wire and disk wheel info on some HAMB threads, lets try to post what we know on this one so new Speedster builders know what is what. The Buffalo wheels have a stamped waffel pettern that mates to the same shape cast in the hub. The knockoff holds the wheel in place, and has a spring loaded tab that locks into the outer detents inside the hub. You need the proper wrench to depress the lock tab to remove the wheel.
     

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  2. Don't shoot me for this question, but... considering the fact that Dayton, Hauck, etc wires run into big money (just for purchasing, then comes the fun of restoration, balancing, etc), would modern cycle wires work?

    I know that Harley has 21" wheels with a variety of widths for around $150 per.

    Would they work for a light car like a speedster/sprint, or am I missing something in regard to sideways force, etc?
     
  3. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,758

    The37Kid
    Member

    The motorcycle wheels would be far too light for T use, but i've seen their rims used on very early steam powered cars from the early 1900's.
     
  4. Bump for the morning crew
     

  5. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    We'' the Indian 4's ,Clevelands and old Servi-cars used em.. I think teh rim would be fine ( Kelsye made HD wheels )but you would need a heavier gauge spoke. The old Servi-car wheels have a hub to slip onto a angled shaft with a key way much like the old fords and actually used Ford brake parts ( but mind you now the cycle wheels also have less spokes so ) . There are other wheels out there that will work too. My thoughts though are this.
    1 racing with spoked wheels :/ ,,lol but that aside..to be practical and safe
    I would look for or make a reproduction style rim and lace new spokes to good hubs.
    perhaps even use old Triumpg or MG knock off hubs

    and not for nothing did'nt they use cycle wheels on old dragsters ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  6. Tom Manocchi is still making complete Buffalo wheels and hubs from the tooling his dad created 30 years ago. We have used 4 sets of Tom's wheels, and they are excellent quality. Everything but the spokes is made in his shop. He also has Buffalo wrenches. You can reach Tom at:
    626-334-9400. His shop is in Azusa, Ca.

    Tom is a genius at lacing. He laced a set of his Buffalo hubs to 18" Model B rims for my speedster. He drilled and dimpled the rims, and laced them to within .005 run out. That's probably truer than any original Buffalo wheels ever were.
     
  7. NealinCA
    Joined: Dec 12, 2001
    Posts: 2,932

    NealinCA
    Member

    Since we are talking early knock-off wires, can anyone ID the front wheels on these cars?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks,

    Neal
     
  8. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,504

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    Im sure the dayton hubs have changed that much you could get a set and have new rims laced in
     
  9. Dean,

    Thanks for the info- how much do his wheels go for?
     
  10. Okay,

    Here's an off-the-wall question for the group...

    I have a nice set of '28 Chevrolet disk wheels and rims (21") that I want to use for my speedster, but dislike using the split rims...

    SO, did/does anyone make a 21" rim (heck, I'd take 20") that has an 18 1/2" inner diameter? If so, I could, theoretically, weld the centers from the disk wheel to the new(er) rim and rid myself of the split rims for good.

    Any thoughts?

    I will PM wheelkid about this as well and post his answer when it comes.
     
  11. Don't know current pricing, but 4 wheels with hubs and nuts were around 2 grand in the early 90's.
     
  12. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,691

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I like to deposit information I might need later on the HAMB, and maybe help other car guys in the process.

    I’ve been looking for alternatives to wood wheels on Ford Model Ts, and here’s what I’ve found that isn’t already discussed on this thread.

    1) Dayton’s narrowest rim/largest diameter combination is 20x5, which doesn’t seem appropriate for a car as small as a Ford. They might be a good choice for someone building a speedster out of a Dodge Brothers or something, however.

    2) The repop Buffalos mentioned above.

    3) McLaren wire wheels, made here in Michigan by McLaren Manufacturing. $2,700 for four, $3,300 for five. Expensive, but I’ve yet to hear them criticized. I think they fit the more-common wood-spoke T hub.

    4) Antique Motorsports Aluminum Disc wheels. These look sorta like an early Chevy wheel, but are made from aluminum and don’t have a detachable rim. $1,875 for four with unpolished centers and a polished rim (adjusted up or down depending on how much or how little polishing you want. I know these fit the more-common wood-spoke T hub.

    5) ‘26-‘27 wire spoke wheels. Probably the cheapest option, but I’ve heard some decidedly pessimistic posts on how hard it is to find good-condition wheels. The problem of finding wire-wheel hubs is somewhat negated by the availability of adapters to use the wood-spoke hub.

    6) Model A wire spoke. These mount right up to T hubs with a different version of the adapter I mentioned in #5. $530 for a set of 4 adapters (T to A; T to T is cheaper, but I didn’t write down the price). If you absolutely can’t find four good Model A wheels, Coker repops both the 21-inch and the 19-inch for $285.00 per wheel.

    -Dave
     
  13. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,691

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    Some more information for possible later use: Centerline makes a California Smoothie in some large diameters and various bolt patterns that could be narrowed for speedster use.

    A cheaper, but somewhat less attractive option might be to have 20-inch 2003-08 Dodge Ram spare tires narrowed. They don’t have the raised hubcap mount like a lot of modern wheels, but the holes drilled around the outside don’t look terribly period.

    -Dave
     
  14. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    As of 01/08/13 Tom Manocchi's phone number is no good.
    Does anyone have a new contact number or the address the shop was at?
     
  15. Sorry, I don't, but SINCE this thread has resurfaced, I was able to find a nice set of 21" GM accessory wire wheels- they were on Espay a while back and NO ONE was bidding on them!!!

    If anyone has a lonely one that needs a home, I still need a spare :D
     
  16. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,691

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    The MTFCA forum indicates that as of July he was retired due to health issues.
     
  17. 777
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 196

    777
    Member
    from Pasadena

    Verified. I stopped by his shop this afternoon, it is empty with no forwarding address.
    Sure hope someone picks up where he left off.
     
  18. WDO40
    Joined: Jul 22, 2007
    Posts: 166

    WDO40
    Member

    not to hi jack but I also would like to have two more of these wheels
    I only have them on the back of my 28 roadster I was told they were ran in the indianapolis 500 in 1935
     

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  19. Those are fantastic, WDO40!

    Here are the wheels I picked up- can't wait to get tires on them and get the chassis rolling!!!
     

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  20. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,758

    The37Kid
    Member

    Are those the Hup wheels you have been looking for? Bob
     
  21. Bob,

    No, they are GM accessory wheels- I had heard about them, but figured on not finding a set, since they are hard-to-find. These popped up on Espay after Brad54 and I made that run to my dad's in Philly... Brad kept eyeing the Myford lathe that we had brought back, so I offered a trade if he would purchase the wheels for me:D. The really exciting thing is that I've been able to find a 21" wire without a split ring/rim that's NOT a T item!!!

    With the speedster on the backburner, I haven't had a chance to mount them on the chassis (one frame is in pieces and the other is hanging over the Nova), but I believe they were a dealer option for replacing the stock wood wheels.

    What I need to see is if they fit my disk wheel brakes, or if I need to find wood wheel brakes/hubs (or make an adapter), AND find one more for a spare.

    Talk to you soon, Bill
     
  22. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,211

    wheelkid
    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    Those are very rare wheels, nice find.
    Also what type of Hup wheels are you looking for?

    If anyone needs any wire made i can do it. I have plenty of hubs available and can get rims in any diameter in 3" or 4.5" wide.
     
  23. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,691

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    Well, gee golly, that opens up a whole world of possibilities! Thanks for chiming in, wheelkid.
     
  24. 25mercury
    Joined: Aug 14, 2010
    Posts: 82

    25mercury
    Member
    from California

    Wheelkid did these for me last year. New 21 inch drop center rims on my original Buffalo hubs. I'm very happy with them.
     

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  25. Those are gorgeous!
     
  26. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,758

    The37Kid
    Member

    Very Nice! I've got a set of 30 x 3 1/2 Buffalos lined up, just need to find the money to buy them. Now I know were to have them laced. Bob :)
     

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