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Technical Wheel run out acceptable limit

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jellowe, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. Jellowe
    Joined: Jan 27, 2014
    Posts: 34


    I’m building a traditional 1931 AV8. I’ve sourced four wheels off HAMB and swap meets. I’m running 1935 Ford 16in wire wheels 700 and 500 tires. I plan to put the best wheels on the front. Before I go thru the expense of powder coating my 85 year old wheels I would like to know how much radial runout is acceptable for a car that will never see 100 MPH.
  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,306

    from Quincy, IL


    Assuming the wheels in question are otherwise sound....i.e. not seriously rusted rims, flanges, etc., the lug bolt holes are in good condition, no broken spokes, I think it’s kind of personal decision about radial runout. Maybe up to a 1/16” ? I think I would put it on my balancer and see what it ‘looks like’ when rotating before actually measuring it. Lateral runout (sideways), maybe up to an 1/8” ? Just my considered opinion. Others may vary.

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,868


    It depend a lot on how sensative you are to vibrations. I've had customers who noticed even the tiniest bit of runout in a wheel or vibration and others who had wheels that were way off that didn't notice the difference.

    I wouldn't want a wheel with more than what Hnstray mentioned though.
  4. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 2,008

    from kansas

    Yep I'd allow 1/8 myself. I've seen new wheels with alitte more than that brand new.

    Also IF I did run across one with 1/8 run out I'd mark its location on the rim and then try the other side of the rim to see if it's in the entire rim or just a bent lip on one side of the wheel.

  5. Test them the old fashion way.....mount up tires on rusty rims,and go for a ride.If their all fine great.If you feel something you dont like swap axles,and see if it can be isolated.Once you have 4 that roll nice finish them.
  6. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,440

    from VA

    Off topic Weld Racing wheels SFI for speeds over 300 mph plus or minus .030 thoe @ the bead of wheel /rim .
    (I would think .000-.001 but not a engineer)

    So @ the tire near foot print more then 1/8 of inch . I in stalled a new front wheel & tire gave it a spin ,(spindle mount) A major wobble that could be seen by eye , That's what prompt the call to weld tech.
    Maybe one of the Salt flat / Land speed guys will chime In .
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021
  7. hotcoupe
    Joined: Oct 3, 2007
    Posts: 520


    I had some "wide-five" wheels for my '37 1/2 ton made by Marsh Racing Tire in Arkansas (no longer in business). The wheels that they made were within 0.015" T.I.R. (total indicator readout), Marsh was a first class operation.
    Decades ago when the OEM's were still using stamped steel wheels, i read that their criteria was 3/32" out of round.
    I sent you a P. M.
  8. American racing used to use .050" for warranty purposes. I have no idea to what tolerance the older wheels were when new. If you consider how poor roads were, maybe finding good wheels will be very difficult and finding someone who repairs them may be your next search. :)
  9. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,866



    Those wire wheels are old. (although wire wheels are basically the same structure and build.) Even new ones need to be checked for roundness, alignment and tightness of the individual wires and nibs. If you have access to a spinning wheel balancer, that technician will adjust your wheels to a good balancing point.

    Then put them on the old car and see how much difference there is/was and you will see the difference. Some good hot rod shops will have a technician that can do the adjusting and straightening, if your local alignment place can’t do the proper work.

    upload_2021-3-24_5-17-6.png thanks, @themoose
    It was the crossroads for turning the Impala into a faster car or add some custom car stuff and wait until I come across a faster car. That never happened, so I bought a set of Buick Skylark wire wheels. Now, the custom axle mods allowed me to be the only 58 Impala in So Cal with Buick Skylark Wire Wheels. The admirations were there and it sure looked good cruising by the myriad of huge plate glass windows in our local cruising grounds.”

    The wheel and tire guy at a shop in the Northeast industrial area of Bixby Knolls had the skill and knowhow to adjust each spoke and get the whole hub and wheel aligned, before he spun the wheel. It took a while and then, he put them back on the Impala for a drive.

    Despite his talents, he still needed to run the car on the alignment techniques for the smoothest ride. He even put on some blue thread lock on each spoke, to keep the settings. The Buick Skylark Wire Wheels were now balanced and back on the Impala. (The next door shop was Henry’s Machine Works and they did the conversion on the Impala axles and hubs)


    I am a stickler for total balancing and alignment for every car we have ever driven. There is nothing worse than a car that pulls left or right, has a high speed wobble or even a low speed hump or two. But, there is nothing better than starting up a hot rod and going down the highway with the smoothness in the driveline and tracking straight. See our second purchase of a hot rod 327 powered, 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery history for this point.
  10. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 36,078


    There is no tech nor spec for SCTA racing on runout. Only fully welded centers on steel wheels. But, there are a few folks building wheels for racers and they are damn near perfect.
  11. Jellowe
    Joined: Jan 27, 2014
    Posts: 34


    Thanks for all the info. All four of my 1935 wheels have about .030 radial runout. They came from four different sources. I’m beginning to think that’s the way Ford made them. Side to side runout is from .060 to .250 and they have obviously been bent. I’m going to try sledge hammerology to knock out the worst defects.
  12. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 3,169

    rusty valley

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