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FWD wheels and tires


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Despite the cold winter weather I was determined to begin work on the FWD. One of the tires had totally separated from the rim and the other 3 were pretty beat. I contacted the only supplier for hard rubber tires in the States and after explaining what design I had on the wheels he told me that my tires were NOT pressed on but rather wedged into place with inner rings between the rim and the wheel inside and out. OK no need for the BIG press. Getting these wedges out after 100 years was a very labor intensive project. After removing the outer band and 12 bolts the wedge was exposed . It is a tapered ring that is driven into a recess and then snugged up when the outer and inner bands are reboltediThe one that looks deformed was severely distorted during removal but a little grinding and rolling should bring it back to usable. Once the outer ring was removed the tire and rim could me removed from the wheel with a sledge hammer and the inner wedge basically falls away. Now the rims minus the old rubber can be shipped to the tire company and I hopefully will have them back by late spring . There are 12 tires ahead of me in the que.









Edited by bobs1918
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Thanks for posting. I bet it was a challenge to get the first end of a wedge ring out. So are the wheel rims coned to match the wedge ring or are the metal part of the tyres machined to match ? That would have the benifit of better retention but make the tyres non standard. All the FWDs that I have seen have had ordinary press on tyres fitted and I had been wondering about the 12 bolt holes that were doing nothing. Now I know - thanks. I doubt that the wedge rings need to be hardened so you would be ok to use heat to straighten the mangled one.



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That's interesting Bob. I am pleased to see that you are keeping yourself busy in the cold weather.


Our FWD came with new tyres on it, but I am sure they were pressed on. FWD had wheels from four different manufacturers so it is possible they were of different styles. Anyway, it is all very interesting (well to me) so I will do some more research when I get a moment.





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Yes getting the wedge out was most difficult at the start and slightly easier as we moved along . Yes it is a soft metal so should be not problem to reform it. The wheel surface is smooth and the tire rim may be beveled to accept the wedge truth is I didn't pay it any attention. I will get pictures when I get back there next week. Only got two rims removed . Took about 4 hours!!!

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These latest notes about wheels are of interest to us as we really had no knowledge of this different system of attaching tyres to the wheel rims - the ones on our operative FWD were pressed on in the way to which we have become accustomed in the past – using a big Tyre Press.


I guess that like anybody restoring an old vehicle, we are always alert for any spares that might come along and quite by chance and since we completed our FWD, two further Back Axles, complete with the “diffs” still in them turned up – and also with wheels still on them. Although we didn’t need them, they had to be bought, just in case we ever had a problem – or if any other FWD Restorer wanted them, and they are now stored in our “Spares Department” – behind the Lorry Shed!


The wheels on the two spare axles are not of the same pattern and both are different from the wheels on our FWD. So after Bob’s explanation, it is apparent that one of our sets of wheels is the same as Bob’s.





Should any FWD Restorer be in trouble and would like to have them, then do please say!

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Now that I think about this, I seem to recall seeing the same type of wheel used on the License built FWDs on some other trucks.Can't remember which now. Could they've been a commercially available wheel rather than something proprietary from FWD (who preferred to build as much as possible in house).

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good view of the inside of the rim which shows the bevel into which the wedge is driven. Also shown is the modification we found whereby the rim and the wheel were "locked " together . A large keyway was made on the rim and a key was affixed to the wheel . This was found on 3 of the 4 wheels. Also shown is how we removed the old rubber. A slot was made in the old rubber with a sawsall. Heat applied underside of the rim and the rubber was cleanly peeled from the rim . A fork lift applied a constant pressure which aided in the peeling . 2 down 2 to go!








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Very interesting! Thanks for posting the pics. Never thought much about how it was done, other than being glad I wasn't the one having to do it. I have busted down enough recalcitrant modern tires for my lifetime, let alone a 100 year old tire on a 400 pound rim. You, sir, are a certified manly-man... a throwback to the days of steel trucks and iron men.

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We de-rubbered the Dennis bands in just the same way. Mother grumbled like mad about the smell! It does work well though. The hardest bit was the first gap in the rubber which I did with a Stanley knife and a new blade. I see that you used a 'Sawsall'. What is that please? It is a new one on me!


Steve :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good day today. The last two tires were removed from their rims. Interesting find is that one rim was different than the other three. The coned surface for the wedge is offset that is not centered. Never the less that will be used as that is what we have. Also today clutch is operational and foot brake is also functioning. Waiting for a break in the weather to sandblast chassis then we can get into the engine. IMG_1717.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK really into the wheel project. All the rims are ready for new rubber. I need to wrap them up and send to Canton Ohio . We sorted out how to recondition the rim wedges. Made a steel jig to the correct diameter . Apply heat small section at a time and then bend twist raise or lower AND beat with body hammer to reshape. Two man job but got 2 of the 4 wedges almost back to shape. Found that the one odd wheel is not Firestone but must be made by a company beginning with letter G as all of these bolts are G marked IMG_1830.jpg




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