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Old 01-18-2017, 06:19 PM   #1
old51fordman
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Default Wood Wheel Rebuilers

For safety sake, it is time to redo the front wheels on my 1915 Ford Runabout.
These are of course wood felloe wheels.
In my opinion this is one of the important things to do "right". I do not feel competent to do this part of the job.
There are so few left that can do it and would like suggestions on who I might use.

I have contacted one and was surprised that, though they have done lots of them, they were unaware that the front wheels on the '15 were "dished".

Any suggestions would be appreciated as I really want to get it back on the road by summer.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by old51fordman; 01-19-2017 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 01-18-2017, 07:20 PM   #2
redmodelt
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

RE dished wheels;
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages...tml?1396570990

There are several re-builders listed here;
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages...tml?1253893349

If you update your profile to where you live there might be someone closer. I would have to get the names but for example within maybe 50 miles of Portland Or there are 2 or 3.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

If you are on the east coast try Witmer Coach Shop in New Holland Pa.
(717) 656-3411. They are Amish or possible Mennonite and do an excellent job.
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

Thanks for the reply. I hadn't noticed the profile info and have updated it to Wyoming as a location.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

I had my wheels done last year by Stutsman's in Ohio and they did a nice job and were somewhat less than others. The only thing I would caution anyone who gets them respoked. Is to check the tightness and staking of the hub carriage bolt nuts. I didn't as I assumed they would have tightened, Well they were not and on drive shortly after installation I noticed some of the nuts were gone as well as two of the bolts, I guess the lesson is. be sure to recheck everything. Steve
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

I strongly recommend Johnson's Wood Wheels in Oklahoma. He did mine in January and I am extremely satisfied with the job he did and the pricing. Just Google it.
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Old 01-19-2017, 10:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

I used Noah Stutzman in Baltic Ohio and was most happy with the result. You call him and he calls back in a few days. Shipped him the wheels and he did the work and shipped them back.

Regarding Steve's experience with hub carriage bolts. Most T parts vendors carry two bolt grades. By the better ones. Cheap hub bolts are low grade and you want grade 8's or something like that which is stronger. Mr. Stutzman made a point to tell me the bolts were not tight and noto staked so that the hubs could be removed when I finished the wheels.
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

Stutzmann has done several sets for me and the workmanship is outstanding.


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Old 01-21-2017, 01:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

I am curious if Stutzman "dished" those front wheels? I have heard such wonderful things about his craftsmanship as well as his character. When I talked with him, he seemed unaware that the front wheels in the early "teens" were dished.

I know there is some question if it really matters but from what I have read it helps to square the tread due to the amount of chamber on those cars.
But beyond that really, is the fact that the spokes and felloes I have now are original and would like to stay true to what was there, if it is possible and reasonable.
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Old 01-21-2017, 10:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

Read the info in the link I first posted, the wheels were not dished 1n 1915. It could be that earlier wheels were put on when the car was restored. ? Maybe you can post on the Model T Ford Club of America's forum, maybe someone there can help but chances are they will tell you the same thing.
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Old 01-21-2017, 01:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

Thanks for the response redmodelt and for the links. I really appreciate all the help I can receive. I have to admit I have been focusing the my "new" projects ('51 merc and touch-up fixes on my '33) so I am just refreshing myself on my '15. I remember when my dad and I were working on them about 30 years ago we were reading an old Model T book from the 20s that said that the front wheels remained dished through '15 on all cars and suggested that they remained dished on some of the heavier cars even later than that (maybe '18 or so). We tried to keep the '15 pure when we restored it and since it was a very early '15 chose to keep some of the end year '14 parts on it, as it appeared Henry was using up some old parts as was the custom. Thus I have a riveted rear axle and the forked headlight mount of the '14. If I have been in error though on the dishing, I am open to that. I will try to find the old manual I had that was explaining the T wheel dishing in the teens so I can keep this car reasonably pure.

Thanks again to all for the help.
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

My dad always said that "its the chase that counts". He loved the study more than he ever loved the finished cars. I have to confess I do too. This post got me studying. I pulled out an old copy of the 1915 Ford Manual. They were designed in a Q/A format. Question number 114 addresses the front vs the back wheels. It talks about dishing the front wheels as well as there being a 3" camber and, surprisingly, no toe-in or at least no more than 1/4". I have to confess that I may have more toe-in than that so will have to check.

Last edited by old51fordman; 01-21-2017 at 03:02 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wood Wheel Rebuilers

Ok so now it yes no maybe on anything I have checked. LOL Are the front wheels by any chance 30X3 1/2? The Canadian cars seem to have carry the dish on longer and had 30X3 1/2 all around. Another thing I have come across is the Owners Manual were updated carry over from earlier years with some updating of photos and current information added or changed as needed. Even my 1918/19 OM answer No 91 says the same thing. Ok so that's no help one way or the other.
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