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Servicing wire wheels and hubs

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Tobyallen Avatar
Tobyallen Michael A
Maple Ridge, BC, Canada   CAN
Just what is the proper protocol for servicing your wire wheels and hubs. Many a time I’ve heard mention the importance of lubrications and inspection of the hub splines. So much so that I pulled all my wheels off and inspected everything. That being said, I’m not really quite sure what I was supposed to be looking for. Was very pleasantly surprised to find what appeared to be be new hubs. Wire wheels are like new ( chrome, a matter of taste, not really mine)and knock off spinnners are in perfect condition ( these spinners are a work of art , weigh a ton, and beautifully finished)What lubricant, grease, should I be using on the splines, and how often. Are the wire spikes prone to loosening? Any other maintenance procedures I should be aware of?thanks in advance for info!

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mhbva Avatar
mhbva Marc Botzin
Lorton, VA, USA   USA
1976 Triumph TR6 "Monty"
The usual recommendations are a light application of either anti-seize or brake grease to keep the hubs from sticking to the splines.

My experience with loose spokes comes from my '58 TR3 with 48 spoke wheels. I would run a screwdriver over the spokes and listen for the clunk of a rusted spoke that I would remove with a bolt cutter and replace from a bag of spokes I kept in the boot. I did not usually take the car on the freeway so I didn't bother with wheel balancing (not that I had the money for such a luxury at the time).

I would like to think that chrome wheels with stainless steel spokes (if that is what you have) can easily be tightened with a spoke wrench if needed.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
New splines have a truncated pyramid shape to them, with sloped sides and a flat or slightly rounded top. As they wear, the sides disappear, until the top becomes a sharp point. This is a good time to consider replacing them, they are "worn out".

If you continue to run them after that, the pointed top will start to lean to one side. At this point, they are actively dangerous and should not be reinstalled on the car (or any car)! They are very close (or beyond) letting the wheel slip on the adapter, meaning your brakes can no longer stop the car.

ISTR There used to be a good article on the VTR web site, but I can't find it now. Here's a similar one http://them-g-c.com/?p=1009

Triumph waffled back and forth a few times on just how to lube wire wheels. The final edict (I believe) was to "liberally" apply grease to all spines, threads and tapers on both wheels and adapters. They also specified "PBC" grease, which is still available (but rather expensive)
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Nissan-Fluid-99990-00939P-Grease/dp/B00BNVJQDC

Something else I just found (again): Dayton specifies to tighten knockoffs with a hammer (a wrench alone is "not sufficient" ), with final tightening done with the car on the ground. "Hammer the caps until there is no movement under the hardest blow of the hammer." Run the car 25 miles, then tighten again. Continue to tighten every 100 miles for the next 500 miles, then every few weeks after that.

No, I'm not kidding! http://www.daytonwirewheel.com/pdf/installationinstructionsfork-o.pdf



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L Once and future daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-02 12:00 PM by TR3driver.

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Tobyallen Avatar
Tobyallen Michael A
Maple Ridge, BC, Canada   CAN
Yes, when I took off all four wheels each wheel and hub had liberal amounts of grease. I had thought initially brake cylinders were ALL leaking, but it was the grease from the hubs. Perhaps lubricated a bit too liberally! I’ve got a really complete factory tool jkit but missing the knockoff hammer. So I use a large solid rubber mallet. Seems to do the job.But I plan on ordering a knockoff hammer from Moss. What was the proper size hammer and it’s compositionin the factory issued tool kit?

brucejon Avatar
brucejon Gold Member Bruce Jones
Santa Cruz, CA, USA   USA
1960 Triumph TR3A
1963 Triumph TR3B "Tupperware TR3"
1969 Triumph Spitfire MkIII
1972 Triumph TR6
I bought a lead hammer, and started beating the heck out of it in regular use. I ended up resting a piece of two by four against the ear and hitting that with the lead hammer, then tested whether i could get tighter with just the hammer. I couldn't, so i use the two by four each time now saving wear and tear on the hammer, and swapping out the 2x4 occasionally. I wouldn't trust a mallet.



60 TR3A (red), 62 TR3B project, 72 TR6, 69 Mk3 Spitfire EU setup
https://spitfiremk3.wordpress.com

Geo Hahn Avatar
Mt Lemmon, AZ, USA   USA
In reply to # 1593748 by TR3driver ...Hammer the caps until there is no movement under the hardest blow of the hammer." Run the car 25 miles, then tighten again. Continue to tighten every 100 miles for the next 500 miles, then every few weeks after that.

No, I'm not kidding! ...

I know you're not kidding but in my experience they tighten significantly as you drive. You can prove this to yourself by marking the hub and a spoke with a Sharpie.

I wonder if those instructions were written by a lawyer?

I use a 6# lead hammer -- overkill for a TR but necessary for a Jaguar. At my age I don't so much swing it as lift it and let it drop in a controlled fashion.

ArtL Avatar
ArtL Art Liefke
Kings Park, NY, USA   USA
I don't know how correct it is, but I've been using heavy wheel bearing grease for the hubs, splines and knock-offs. It's thick and doesn't migrate past the wheel. Rubber or dead blow type hammers don't work for me. Lead is the best choice, as it will apply sufficient force and will not mar the chrome. Any other metal used in hammers, including brass will. Of course, as Bruce mentions, lead hammers are a consumable. They do get smashed up. My 4 lb hammer in the picture is about four years old, but I have no idea how many times it's been used.



Art


Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benjamin Franklin



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-03 07:16 AM by ArtL.


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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1593922 by Geo Hahn I know you're not kidding but in my experience they tighten significantly as you drive. You can prove this to yourself by marking the hub and a spoke with a Sharpie.
I'll try that; if the occasion ever presents itself. Seems hard to believe that they would tighten much further after being treated as Dayton suggests ... or that they could be removed after being tightened as far as possible and then self-tightening even more.

They do self-tighten after being tightened the way I've been doing it; but that is apparently wrong (which probably explains why I could see significant wear on the splines after just 20,000 miles or so).



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L Once and future daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

Tobyallen Avatar
Tobyallen Michael A
Maple Ridge, BC, Canada   CAN
What exactly did come from the factory toolkit in the way of a knockoff hammer, and what size and weight?It does seem obvious that lead is the way to go. There is no way I want to risk damaging the finish of the spinnners. All four are pristine condition. Good point from Randall regarding spline wear. I was ok with my rubber mallet until reading about the probability of the splines wearing much quicker unless knockoffs tightened to the tenth degree.... and then beyond.

jrinaz John Reynolds
Tempe, AZ, USA   USA
I would recommend the wheels be removed once a year to check for "grease". I've had wire wheels that hadn't been removed for a couple of years that were a "bear" to remove. I was glad it wasn't on the side of the road for a flat change!

My high school physics teacher may be turning in his grave about hammering on a spoked wheel while on the ground. Only half of the spokes are holding the car up with the top spokes really taking a pounding! What as that lecture? Tension and you can't push a rope...……...

andy303 Avatar
andy303 Gold Member Andrew Blackley
Chardon, OH, USA   USA
Michael:

Looking in both the Spare Parts Catalogue and "Practical Hints" the standard tool kit did not have a hammer, but if wire wheels were fitted then the wheel brace and combination tool were omitted and a copper faced hammer was supplied. In Piggot's Original TR, he shows a tool kit with a Thor double copper headed hammer. Looks small, so maybe 1 1/2 lbs.

ckeithjordan Avatar
ckeithjordan Gold Member Keith Jordan
Shawnee, KS, USA   USA
In reply to # 1594027 by andy303 Michael:

Looking in both the Spare Parts Catalogue and "Practical Hints" the standard tool kit did not have a hammer, but if wire wheels were fitted then the wheel brace and combination tool were omitted and a copper faced hammer was supplied. In Piggot's Original TR, he shows a tool kit with a Thor double copper headed hammer. Looks small, so maybe 1 1/2 lbs.

I have a lead hammer similar to Art's above, it came with the car from the PO. Since I have an almost complete tool kit (lacking the tire valve tool), I purchased a Thor lead hammer from TRF in lieu of the copper version. It's listed as "standard size." I will keep it as part of the tool kit (for use on the road) and use my other as the shop version.



Keith

1957 TR3 TS20447LO (2017-)
1962 TR3B TCF1183L (1979-1982)
1966 Spitfire 4 Mk.2 (1972-1975)

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1594023 by jrinaz I would recommend the wheels be removed once a year to check for "grease". I've had wire wheels that hadn't been removed for a couple of years that were a "bear" to remove. I was glad it wasn't on the side of the road for a flat change!
I used to frequent a foreign car shop that had a wheel they had to remove with a cutting torch! Kept it on the wall as a reminder ...



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L Once and future daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

TuRtle5 Avatar
TuRtle5 Kevin Kelly
Absecon, NJ, USA   USA
1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster "Coral Mistress"
1959 Triumph TR3A "Drandulet"
1962 Triumph Vitesse "Ohtoseethelightofday"
1968 Triumph TR250    & more
I grease only the splines, use a lead hammer and tighten while off the ground. you could likely smack em tight with a dead chicken about as well as a rubber mallet I think. - K

GilsTR Silver Member Gil Sissons
NoCal, CA, USA   USA
1960 Triumph TR3A "The Redhead"
I use one of the wood devices that the vendors sell
that has a cutout that fits right over the ears of the
knockoffs. Keeps the chrome ears looking very nice.
Best to tighten while car is jacked up is correct...IMHO.

Gil. NoCal

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