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Old 07-12-2020, 06:38 PM   #1
Stoker280
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Default 17 inch split rim replacment

I am restoring a 53 Mercury M250 and it currently has the original 17 inch split rims. I would like to swap them out with something safer but still keep the same height and look of the truck. Any suggestions for a simple plug and play tire and wheel? Thanks
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Old 07-12-2020, 07:56 PM   #2
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

8 lug wheels? if so up to about 76 in the states 3/4 ton ford f250 wheels--I have four on a 51 F3 now but they are 16"
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:16 PM   #3
GB SISSON
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

Depending on your drums, some 16" wheels won't clear them. There were two drum sizes in the later flathead years. If you fit 16" wheels you could run 255 85 16s. Tall and narrow about 33.5 dia. Another option some 8 lug dodge wheels were available in the late 90s, early 2000s. Then run 7.50 x 17s.
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Old 07-13-2020, 12:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

good info GB, you know your trucks. center hole the same on the dodge 17"ers?
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:21 AM   #5
GB SISSON
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

As far as I know. If they are lug centered it doesn't matter much what center hole size. They may be too wide on those dodges to suit a skinny 7.50 x 17. Your current rims will be the lethal 'widowmakers'. No real shop will touch them or have them on the premesis. Many multi-piece wheels are still serviceable and would work fine. The '47-'54 chev and gmc one tonners used a good 17" wheel. Some were two piece and later a 3 piece. I have changed plenty of both and they are of a good design. Stu (truckdog on the barn) is the true truck wheel guru and let's hope he chimes in. He knows all the part numbers by memory and can tell you if there is a set of this or that in Utah, New York or Texas. In the meantime, research these options.
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Old 07-13-2020, 10:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

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A word or two of caution regarding the use of wheels from non-Ford vehicles, GM/Dodge on a Ford.
Correct light duty wheels, 5, six or 8 lug carry the majority of the weight on the hub not the bolts.

The Ford F250/350 have a large hub, generally speaking a Ford 8 lug will fit on a GM, however, GM won't fit on a Ford hub. I have never tried a Dodge wheel on a Ford so I can't speak about that fitment.
Most aftermarket wheels are made so they will fit on any axle, if you mount an aftermarket wheel onto most trucks, a close look will reveal that there is a gap between the axle hub and the wheel center.
The importance of correct fitment only comes into play if you carry heavy loads on the truck.
By the late '60's RV's had become very popular, it became very apparent to RV owners that OEM wheels/tires were not up to the job of carrying a large RV on stock wheels/tires, the after-market manufactures rose to the occasion making one size fits all wheels which were not DOT certified, many accidents occurred.
The simple solution to the 17" wheels on a F-250/350 is to use Ford 8 lug 16" wheels with 235/75R16 tires or the 255/85R16. The 8 lug Ford wheels up to 96 will fit all of the earlier Fords..
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

Stu (truck dog) is the authority on this. Hopefully he'll chime in.

If money doesn't matter there is a company or two out there that will weld new hoops on your centers. There are a few members over on the FTE forum that have done this to keep it closer to original. I don't know how much but, it was said to be expensive.

The early 14" Lockheed brakes are the issue with running 16" wheels. My 52 F3 has the 12" rear brakes and I'm running original 16" wheels from a 48 F2. The later F250 and E300 wheels also fit. I have a set in case I run disc brakes. The early F2 wheels won't clear "most" disc brakes.

The later f250 E300 wheels don't have the correct "innie" nubs for the stock hub caps but, You can put on Baby Moons or maybe use clips to keep the stock caps.

Stu knows all the 17" wheel options.
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

My '48 F3 has 14" rear drums (12" fronts). If you have 14" drums, the 16" wheels, will not fit.

I put 12.50 x 16.5's on the rear of my truck but, I had to machine at least 1/8" off the enter rib to make them fit. If I had known, I would have to do that, I would have looked into 17's but, I had already bought the tires and wheels.

For loaded trucks, what has been said about insuring that the pilot hole fitting the hub is important. It takes the weight and insures that the wheel runs true.
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

Had a flat on the 49 Mercury M68 (one ton) when we wanted to haul it home. And they are the old split "widowmakers". Only option I had was a spare wheel and tire stored on the farm. It was from a 49-53 GMC truck. It fit on the Mercury just fine and even the Mercury hub cap snapped right on. Not sure but I believe the GM wheels are the safer style with a separate lock ring.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

The brake drums on a 1953 M250 will be 12” Bendix style. Any pre 1996 16” F-250 wheel will get you by, but to keep the original appearance the wheel to find is the 16” x 6.00” that was an option in 1953. Sorry I don’t have Merc numbers but the Ford number is 7RD 1015B and K-H number is 31282. These were a standard F-250 wheel from 1948 to 1966 (iirc). They accept stock hub caps too. Stu
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

And Stu, those are a multi piece wheel. Lock ring style?
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Old 07-15-2020, 01:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

I still have my '48, 17" wheels and they are the split ring style.

BTW, they are for sale but, still have tires on them so, shipping might be expensive.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:34 AM   #13
truckdog62563
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

Quote:
Originally Posted by GB SISSON View Post
And Stu, those are a multi piece wheel. Lock ring style?
No, one piece drop center style. Stu
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

I can confirm Stu as accurate and correct (not that he needs it!) The 48-52 F2, not F3, wheel is a single piece 16 inch unit with the "innie" hubcap nubs; this can found on use with F250s up through 1966. Even though not exactly rare, a useable set of 4 or 5 can be hard to come across.

Not mentioned previously but also doable are the 17.5 inch and 19.5 inch Budd one piece wheels. 17.5s are easier to find than the 19.5s but the 19.5s really are the direct replacement for the two piece Firestone 17 inch wheels. I went with 19.5 Budds on my F-3 and found some knobby Goodyear radials that are 32.5 to 33 inches high. Looks right, fits right, sits right, fills up the fender as intended.
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Old 07-15-2020, 03:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

Right, alternatives that we’ve detailed more fully over on FTE are the 17.5” x 5.25” (Budd 70720 or 73240) and 19.5” X 5.25” (Budd 71410) true tubeless wheels that were introduced in 1956 and optional to 1966. The 8-19.5” tire is the truest equal to the 7.50-17” and widow maker while the 17.5” with 8-17.5” tire is close in diameter to a 7.50-16”. These were never designed or warranted for use with radial tires but are obviously the tires of choice for many today. Stu
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Old 07-17-2020, 02:29 AM   #16
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Default Re: 17 inch split rim replacment

I converted a spare set of the OEM 17" Ford Locking Ring Rims to a set of 16" Radial Rims by having the center section machined out and then machine welded to a 16" Radial Rim. That cost about $125/each back in 2008. The attached photo 1 shows the OEM 17" locking ring rim with a Firestone 7.00:17 Bias Ply Tire. Photo 2 shows the 16" radial rim with a Michelin 245/70/R16 LT M/S Radial Tire. Photo 3 shows the Tonner with the radial rims and tires. Two reasons for doing this: the locking rings started to show some hairline cracks and the bias ply tires wanted to wander. Should you decide this might be a solution to your problem check to make sure that the backset dimension of the 16" rim that you decide to use will allow the tire to fit on your truck. This is critical on the front wheels to keep them off the chassis when making a hard turn.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rim-1A.jpg (38.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Rim-2A.jpg (37.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Rim-3A.jpg (51.7 KB, 7 views)
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