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Technical What was ford thinking when they changed to wide fives?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rusty rocket, May 12, 2020.

  1. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,828

    rusty rocket
    Member

    As the title says. Does anyone know what the thought process was to change to wide fives for three years? Henry was at the tail end of his reign and I know he hated change so why did they do it? Just got me to thinking, the other day when I took my single seater project to the old school tire shop to spin balance the wheels. Get there and get set up and the shops 70 year old equipment quits working. I like the looks of a wide five and it totally fits the build style of my car but what a pain in the ass to deal with.
     
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  2. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,822

    anthony myrick
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    The wheels were probably a penny less to make.
     
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  3. I think Speedway has adapter discs to go on “normal” bolt patterns. You could use one of those to access shops with newer equipment...if that is the problem.
     
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  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,163

    Rusty O'Toole
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    My guess is, that it was a matter of cost. Previous models used wire wheels. As tire diameters came down and brake drum diameters went up, it made sense to change to steel disc wheels and the cheapest way to make them was to put the bolts to the outside diameter of the brake drum. This saved a bit of material in the wheel center and made the whole assembly rigid. After a few years they decided it made more sense to center the wheel on the hub and put the bolts more toward the middle. There was nothing much wrong with the wide 5, VW used it until 1968 when they started putting disc brakes on some models.
     
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  5. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 305

    bill gruendeman
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    Are you saying Henry was cheap?
     
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  6. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,867

    Marty Strode
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    I think Henry had the forethought, that circle track racers would need a lightweight, strong wheel, for those rough and tumble racers, willing to destroy all of the early V-8 Fords he was producing at the time. I bought a balancing disc, from Dick Spadaro. Not sure if Jim Ford, (55 Willys) on here, still makes something similar.
     
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  7. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,019

    Boneyard51
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    Like said, it was change and a good design! It is stronger than its successor! The real question is why did they stop using them.








    Bones
     
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  8. slim38
    Joined: Dec 27, 2015
    Posts: 367

    slim38
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    from Sudan TX
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    20200512_205635.jpg I dont know why but they sure are purty. I like mine.
     
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  9. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,471

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Personally, I like the look of the wide fives. Nonetheless, I believe that, as produced, the wide five wheel/drum combination is probably weaker than the ‘40 up design.

    The wide five wheel itself, is surely stronger in side loads, but I submit the drum is not. With a stock Ford wide five drum side loads are applied at or near the outer diameter and controlled/absorbed by the hub. I suspect that greater distance ‘leverages’ the load compared to the smaller wheel bolt pattern and surely deflects or bends (maybe breaks) more easily when seriously side loaded.

    True, the circle track guys loved the wide five wheel’s strength but typically needed the heavy duty full floater truck hub to take advantage of it. It was ‘standard equipment’ on the right front of just about every old dirt tracker I ever saw. The HD wide five hub design was replicated in the aftermarket hubs and, of course also used with the rear axles, especially the quick change types.

    Ray
     
  10. Interesting discussion.
     
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  11. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,003

    Ned Ludd
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    It was a design which made the pressed-steel wheel necessary. The history of automotive technology is to a truly enormous extent the history of seeking high capital investment requirements for their own sake. On the one hand, reinvestment of profits in capital is a structural requirement inherent to the prevailing business model; on the other, the industry is vulnerable to lesser-capitalized interlopers unless the product is redefined to preclude techniques with lower capital investment requirements.
     
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  12. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,471

    Hnstray
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    from Quincy, IL

    @Ned Ludd .......That is @ very interesting sidebar to the wheel discussion. When in the early 20th Century everybody and his brother was attempting to build automobiles and trucks, innovation and superior engineering must have been key components to any hope of gaining traction over the prolific competition. Next would be the capital required to build it, promote and distribute the product.

    Then, if at all successful in the first part, The second part, gaining sufficient market share (sales volume) to more than cover costs and permit expansion was life or death. It’s no wonder that in the first half of the 20th Century, in just the USA, over 3000 makes were known to exist. Many of those makes were one off’s or only a handful before disappearing.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  13. thintin
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 167

    thintin
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    in the northeast in the 60's and 70's pretty much every dirt and pavement circle track modified used wide fives, most of the time on all four wheels..... I think Geoff Bodine was the first guy I ever saw using standard bolt pattern wheels( i'm guessing they were grand national(NASCAR'') stuff. The guy won alot and gradually, at least on the pavement cars the trend moved away from the wide fives. There is still a lot of those wheels around up here, and still getting used.
     
  14. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,003

    Ned Ludd
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    In the early days the aim was to save costs, and anything which lowered capital investment requirements was pursued vigorously. That changed with the New Deal, when the firms privileged with a special relationship with the state began to follow Ford's hitherto-embryonic strategy of actively seeking out capital investment requirements as a way to insulate against competition.
     
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  15. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,846

    51504bat
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    Don't where I heard it or if it even has any truth to it or not but the reason I was given for the wide 5 was a reduction in weight. Might just be another old Ford myth.
     
  16. In his own words, "I'm not cheap, I'm thrifty"
     
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  17. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,390

    jimmy six
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    When I worked in the auto section of Sears in the 60’s we had an adapter for VW, Pontiac, and old Ford rims for the bubble balancer. It was aluminum and made by Coats with tapered lugs and about 1/2” thick.
     
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  18. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,996

    tubman
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    You had to mention Pontiac "eight-lugs". I like them for probably the same reason I like "wide-five's". I always wanted to put a set on a "Hot Rod".:eek:

    Yeah, my dirt mod (avatar) has "wide-five's" and specialized aluminum hubs made by "CAE".
     
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  19. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,846

    51504bat
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    There was one for 8 lug truck rims as well.
     
  20. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,592

    Malcolm
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    from Nebraska

    I sure wish Bruce Lancaster were still around. I'd love to hear his take on this discussion.
     
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  21. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
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    51504bat
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  22. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,867

    Marty Strode
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    They are lighter, and as far as circle racing, the only drawback, is the time it takes, to change tires on a pit stop, from the lack of a center pilot. That's why, you don't see them in Nascar's top category series.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  23. Maybe Henry liked his buddy's wheels for the people over in Germany so much he copied it?
     
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  24. Primered Forever
    Joined: Jul 7, 2008
    Posts: 247

    Primered Forever
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    from Joplin,MO

    I read a sales brochure once for the 36 and it stated that it was to reduce unsprung weight.
     
  25. He knew the VW would be coming out in a few years and he didn't want people thinking his Fords were VW's.
     
  26. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,473

    GearheadsQCE
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    How about some pics of the CAE hubs?
     
  27. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,996

    tubman
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    How much time go you have? I have a spare one at my shop in Minnesota, but I'm stuck in the Florida Keys for the foreseeable future because of this Covid-19 situation. I should be back anywhere from a couple of months to a year or so depending on the situation. I'll try to remember when I get back (if I ever do).

    It kinda looks like later (90? fin) Buick drum.

    (EDIT : Wait a second - I found this picture on my laptop. It's not very detailed, but at least you can get a general impression.)

    racecar.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  28. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,520

    rusty valley
    Member

    i have one in the barn, will dig tomorrow
     
  29. GearheadsQCE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2011
    Posts: 2,473

    GearheadsQCE
    Member

    @tubman
    Just think if you lived in the keys but were stranded in Minnesota.
    I'm interested in anything Quickchange related. CAE made some nice QCs and everything I have seen from Jim Culbert is heavy duty ad first class.
     

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