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Old 10-14-2018, 06:06 PM   #1
Colonel
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Default Tips to select good Model A wheels

I am going to look at a pile of Model A wheels. Besides the overall condition of the metal, the hub, the spokes and the lug nut chamfer what other things can I do to pick good straight wheels. I won't have access to any special equipment to spin the wheels for example. It's a cash and carry deal - no return policy. All help appreciated.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:18 PM   #2
Dennis Pereira
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

Roll slowly on a hard surface like concrete they will wiggle and hop if bent .
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

28/29 beads rotted out or full of rust.
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:53 PM   #4
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

If I was in the market for wheels I would make something to spin them. There is a lot of bent wheels out there.

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Old 10-14-2018, 10:38 PM   #5
Rich in Tucson
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

Jack up a front wheel, remove it. Mount a prospective wheel. Place gauges to show runout on front of rim and on outside of rim. For gauges all you need are rods mounted in a base so that you can place one rod on the front side of the rim and one on the outer side. The rods ought to meet the wheel at the mid-height of the rim at whatever height you have it above the ground or floor. I have a lead brick that makes a good base but anything heavy will work.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:09 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

The last time I bought some "A" wheels. I took along a rather heavy, but
accurate home-made tool for checking wheel run-out. A Model-A front spindle C-clamped to a metal jack stand. With bearings and a drum properly mounted. Placed the "tool" on a concrete floor and bolted the wheels on using three lug nuts. Very clumsy way of checking a wheel, but tells you what you need to know.


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Old 10-15-2018, 06:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob-A View Post
The last time I bought some "A" wheels. I took along a rather heavy, but
accurate home-made tool for checking wheel run-out. A Model-A front spindle C-clamped to a metal jack stand. With bearings and a drum properly mounted. Placed the "tool" on a concrete floor and bolted the wheels on using three lug nuts. Very clumsy way of checking a wheel, but tells you what you need to know.


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I made something similar and use it to balance the wheels. It's not sophisticated (but then, neither am I) but it works. I've been to about 65mph on wheels balanced this way and no sign of vibration. I also use it to check runout.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

I made a tool to check wheels by welding a ford pickup axel to a plate,and adding a pointer to check wobble and runout.
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File Type: jpg wheel trueness checker.jpg (45.5 KB, 44 views)
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:49 PM   #9
Lee Mitch
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

A friend taught me to use a wrench and tap on each spoke. They should sound the same. A broken one will sound very different. Definitely roll them on hard surface as post #2 says. Avoid deep pitting as even with powder coating they can't be covered entirely.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:52 PM   #10
Don Turley
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

If you have absolutely no tooling to check them, then lay one on a flat surface, then stack another one on top of it. If it rocks on the one below, then one (or both) of them is warped. Try another one until you get two that do not rock. After that, then roll them on a flat surface and watch for wobble. Of course, having a spindle to rotate them on is best, but at least this method will weed out the worst ones.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:57 PM   #11
Ray in La Mesa
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

RE Lee Mitch: Good tip Lee, sounding the spokes not only tells a broken one but also it tells the tension. Helps you to see if a broken one has been welded as the tension will sing a different note, even if you can't see the weld. All should be the same note,people watching you at a swap meet will either think yo are playing a tune or are crazy.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

Carry a lug nut with you to check the bolt holes. If the nut sticks thru on the back side the hole is washed out or starting to wash out. If the nut sticks thru the wheel won't tighten and then you would need to use the washers that venders sell.
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Old 10-16-2018, 12:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

If they are 28/29 shake them and also listen to them as you roll them to see if there is a bunch of rust inside the bead.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

It all depends on how much is being charged for the wheels. If reasonably priced and you start doing 21 point inspections on them, you might get thrown out on your rear!
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle View Post
It all depends on how much is being charged for the wheels. If reasonably priced and you start doing 21 point inspections on them, you might get thrown out on your rear!
Yep!
And even "junk" wheels are still good for making chairs or yard art. I've seen nice chairs made from junk wheels, and that's why I have saved a few that aren't good for a car.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tips to select good Model A wheels

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Last edited by eagle; 10-16-2018 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Unimportant
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