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RE: Wire wheel restoration

To: "David Lieb" <dbl@chicagolandmgclub.com>, "Kid Vid" <kidjoevid@yahoo.com>, <spridgets@autox.team.net>
Subject: RE: Wire wheel restoration
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2005 11:45:36 -0500
Sender: owner-spridgets@autox.team.net
Yeah, what he said, with one exception: The Spridget is so light, and puts
such a comparatively small load on it's wire wheels that, unless you INSIST
on driving through every pothole you can find, a new set of wires should
last a long, long time.  BTW, I've heard lots of bad reports about the new
Dunlop (made in India) wire wheels.  The Daytons, however, seem to be "the
real deal".
As far as wires vs. discs: The disc wheels are superior in every department.
Period.  Did David or I mention that disc wheels are way, way less
expensive, assuming a correctly done wire wheel installation?  However, I've
been living with a set of wire wheels, on my '72 Midget, for the 23 years
and 100K + miles I've owned it.  No, they aren't the same wires that were
originally on the car.  And, yes, it's a love/hate relationship.....they
really are a pain in the ass.  I've got all of the bits I need to convert to
disc wheels, but, I just can't quite bring myself to do it.  I just LOVE the
look of that red, RWA Midget with wires......even old, slightly grubby
wires.  I've decided to replace them with new wire wheels for the upcoming
driving season.  My '73, and my Mk.I Midgets will have discs, and
Panasports, respectively, while my Mk. I 1/2 will have wires, as originally
Bud Osbourne

-----Original Message-----
From owner-spridgets at autox.team.net
[mailto:owner-spridgets@autox.team.net]On Behalf Of David Lieb
Sent: Thursday, December 29, 2005 10:43 AM
To: Kid Vid; spridgets@autox.team.net
Subject: Re: Wire wheel restoration

If they are chromed wires with rust on the spokes, RUN AWAY!
If the rust is on the rims, you are ok, likewise if they are painted rather
than chromed.
The chroming process renders the spokes brittle. They tried this in the late
sixties/early seventies, I believe, and there was a major problem with
spokes breaking. Nowadays, when you get "chrome wire wheels", the rims are
chromed, but the spokes are stainless. Hence, if the spokes look chrome but
are rusting, they are probably the old brittle ones.
Remember that wires are primarily for looks. By the time you factor in the
weight of the hubs, the unsprung weight exceeds that of disk wheels. The
aggravation of dealing with wear on the splined hubs and wheels as well as
the expense of replacing them as frequently as you should will keep me away
from them forever. Disk wheels are much cheaper and easier to replace.
David Lieb
1972 RWA Midget

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