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Technical Traditional smaller (dished??) steering wheel

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Hot Rod Cowboy, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I’m a big guy with very long legs (6’3”+ and mostly leg) and am looking for ideas to make enough room for my legs in a stick shift ‘32. I sat in a car tonight that was a very traditional build with an F100 box and ‘50 ford wheel. The seat is low and all the way back and there was simply not enough room for my knee between the wheel and the door to get my left foot up and on the clutch pedal. I’m not saying it was uncomfortable; there was literally no way to get my foot on the pedal.

    Anyone got any ideas of a wheel that would look great that may be smaller diameter and/or dished to give me more room for my knee? Aesthetics are really important for a period car of the late 50’s. Not looking for seat or column suggests.

    It’s either that, a blister in the door for my knee, or a find a Dr. to install hinge in the middle of my shin!


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    Elcohaulic likes this.
  2. Many a vintage steering wheel got a smaller rime cut and welded to the center of the much larger wheels of the 50's cars. Not really a big deal. They are all steel inside the plastic cover.
     
  3. I recently picked up this 17" wheel for my 36 ford, its somewhat similar to a banjo wheel but much less in cost, YMMV (speedway $59)
     

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  4. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Bump for the morning crowd. Anyone used the re-pop 15” T-bird (56/7) wheel? I need a high quality piece. With enough dish, the diameter may not matter so much. I know anything is possible with a welder and some epoxy, but I was hoping to find an easier solution.


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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020

  5. 34Phil
    Joined: Sep 12, 2016
    Posts: 319

    34Phil
    Member

  6. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

  7. 34Phil
    Joined: Sep 12, 2016
    Posts: 319

    34Phil
    Member

    no. It was linked in an old HAMB post
     
  8. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,014

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Cowboy, I have the same issue as you in a small hot rod big and tall driver . I like to use the 1940 ford steering wheels and they are 17 inch. I believe your 50 is 18 inches so a inch will help a bit but limeworks makes a 1940 for wheel that is 16 inches. I have that in my 1932 channeled roadster and works good but still tight for me.. image.jpg
     
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  9. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,889

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Excuse my ignorance because I am unsure of when ford switched from keyway and taper mount to a splined shaft. If it is compatible how about a 54 ford wheel, looks like quite a bit of dish, still a large diameter but may work for you? personally I don't care for those smaller diameter repop wheels they just look out of place to me. no offense to people that have em.....

    1954-ford-sunliner-interior-diana-angstadt.jpg
     
  10. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    John, thanks for the suggestion. I’ve heard the Limeworks wheels are quality.

    I think the dish is going to be the key for my situation more than the diameter. But every dished wheel I’ve seen looks so out of place to me!


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  11. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I agree that the repop wheels seems off. May be the best solution unfortunately. I appreciate the feedback.

    I think I remember reading ford switched from the taper starting in ‘49. Anyone know for sure?


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  12. GEBHARD
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,160

    GEBHARD
    Member
    from TX...

    Sheller made some 15” wheels for various things, you can look for one of those. Some have 40 spline tho
     
  13. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,014

    continentaljohn
    Member

    I love the dished wheels but never found a wheel that looked in place. I will agree with the aftermarket wheels and not a huge fan but works for me till I find one that works. The issue for me is raising my leg (thunder Thighs) to do the clutch as the roadster is three on the tree.
     
  14. Could always go with a vintage Covico type.
    images.jpg
     
  15. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,453

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    I think the 60s Olds was the deepest..
     
  16. 49 was still tapper and key. The switch to spline was mid year 50 along with factory turn signal switches inside the column cup. This was the same for Mercury.
     
  17. Dennis D
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 788

    Dennis D
    Member

    con2r site have anything?
     
  18. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,950

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm pretty picky but also the same height so I went with 17" wheels on both my 34 roadster and my 41 truck under construction.
    The 34's banjo is from Juliano's. Hydro dipped wood graining.
    upload_2020-10-16_17-6-14.png
    The trucks Crestliner wheel is from Limeworks and will be painted Wimbledon white upload_2020-10-16_17-10-53.png stliner is from Limeworks. It will be painted Wimbledon white.
    upload_2020-10-16_17-8-3.png
     
  19. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,074

    chevyfordman
    Member

    The thread of the ultimate steering wheels, page 2 has a roadster with a early Nova steering wheel which is smaller. Chevelle, Corvairs also have a smaller steering wheel of the same style.
     
  20. That's a '56 in the picture, first year Ford had a dished wheel. A '54 wheel is flat and probably about the same diameter as your '50 wheel, so it wouldn't help you. As far as an attractive wheel, I like the '55 Ford wheel a lot, but it's large diameter and flat. A '57-'58 Ford wheel I think may be a little smaller diameter than the '56 wheel pictured. Best I remember, '49 and up shaft has splines, '48 and earlier has a keyway. I put an original Ford wheel for my '38 on a '77 Monte Carlo column. The Monte Carlo shaft is splined but has the same taper as the Ford shaft. Just cut a keyway in the GM shaft.
     
  21. I don't know if this will help you but when building my 34, I wanted a smaller [14"] rim with early styling. I bought a 14" tubular hoop and a buddy gave me an old wheel from a 40 Buick. I cut off the damaged rim and bent the spokes up to connect to the new hoop.
    I haven't seen these hoops advertised since then but when over at a buddy's shop I spied several hoops hanging on his wall,,,they were the foot rests from a common bar stool! I made another wheel with the barstool part and a 36 caddy wheel.. 34steeringwheel1_19.jpg 34steeringwheelpainted.jpg caddywheel.jpg cadwheelb4.jpg
     
    Desoto291Hemi, Tim, Papas32 and 3 others like this.
  22. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,453

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    I like how the smaller wheel speeds up turning and has a better overall feel.. I use the plain old Grant...
     

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    chevy57dude likes this.

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