2 Questions about Wire Wheels

Formatted for SOL's Morgan Web Page by John T. Blair WA4OHZ

Last update: July 18, 2009 - corrected email address and reformatted page

The following are a couple of questions about wires wheels that have been posted on the Morgan mailing list. I though the replys was worth sharing.

From: Bob Cameron
Subject: Morgan wires

Can anyone comment on the use of other wire wheels on the morgan plus 4, I know my car had 60 spoke wheels from pictures of it in 1963 when new, but am wondering if the offset is different from say the Healeys....

Any help appreciated!
Best Regards,
Cameron, Lori and Bob Bowie of Maine
Brewer, Maine 04412

From: "Greg Solow"
To: Morgan mailing list
Subject: Re: Morgan wires

Morgan +4 s came with 60 spoke wheels which were the same as the optional "racing" wheel that were available on Austin Healey 3000s. They were 4 1/2 inches wide.

TR-2,3,4 , MG-As, all came with 48 spoke wheels. These were also standard fittment on the Morgan 4/4s. These are the wheels that gave wire wheels a bad name for breaking spokes and always needing truing.

TR-6s came with 72 spoke wheels that are 5 1/2 inches wide. They will fit on the rear of a Morgan but will not clear the steering arm in the front.

MG-C wheels are 72 spoke but have a different offset that moves the rim in toward the centerline of the car. They will not fit properly on a Morgan, there are clearance problems with the suspension. Morgan +4+s and later Super Sports and some 66 and 67 +4s came with 5" wide 72 spoke wheel that I believe also came on some Aston Martins and nothing else to my knowledge. Their offset is different than that of the MG-C wheels.

These correct 5 inch wide, 72 spoke wheels are available and are made by both "Wheels India" which is the current manufacturer of the original Dunlop wheel and by Dayton Wire wheel and are sold by British Wire Wheel and by Moss Motors and possibly others. The 72 spoke wheels are very strong and on a Morgan Never have spoke or truing problems in my experience. I have even hit curbs hard enough to bent the edge of the rim, and the wheel itself was still true. For any serious high performance work they are definitely the only way to go. For normal road use with normal profile tires, the 60 spoke wheel are adequate.

Regards, Greg Solow

From: Brad Faar
To: Morgan mailing list
Subject: Knock off wheels

I have a question that may appear somewhat basic. How tight do the hubs for wire wheels need to be? And how does one know how tight is tight enough? From the distant past I recall comments on this list that over tightening can cause problems, but how do you judge? By the weight of the hammer you use?

I just removed all 4 wheels to bleed the brakes, and the front locking nuts (I have the newer, hex shaped nuts that require the adapter to remove, rather than the more stylish 2 eared spinners) appeared to be much tighter than the rear. Do the fronts get tighter on their own (from brake heat, perhaps)?

Do any of you use safety wire to keep the wheel nuts on?

From: Dave Vodden
To: Morgans
Subj: Knock off wheels

The usual problem is not tight enough, in which case the wheel will chatter against the spline and eventually wear out the spline. I doubt that you could get it too tight.

1. The wheel is held in place by 2 tapers the first on the hub behind the spline which mates with the inside of the wheel and the other on the inside of the nut mating against the outside or the wheel. Make sure that both tapers are clean and well greased. Contamination causes a small space and hence a loose wheel.

2. A 2 to 2.5 pound soft faced hammer such as copper or similar should be OK. The ones the car comes with seem to be some type of lead. The factory have a spanner that must be 1.5 metres long and they just lean on it.

3. Do it up as tight as you can. That is until you don't see any movement of the nut when you belt it and then just a bit more. Don't be afraid to hit it hard but watch out for fingers and unexpected bits of bodywork.

4. The nuts are threaded to tighten under vibration, so wiring is not required. This means they tend to be tough to get off. They always undo in the direction of travel i.e. LHS of car has a standard Right hand thread.. (For some reason F1 cars work the other way rhs has right hand thread, can't say I know why, but they do have safety clips.)

Dave Vodden
Plus 4 4 seater
Hampshire UK

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