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Re: Wires vs. Rostyle

Subject: Re: Wires vs. Rostyle
From: "A. B. Bonds" <>
Date: 26 Jul 1995 17:34:39 -0500
In <4342181726071995/A04059/KSCSC/1197D4522800*@MHS.KAMAN.COM>, MACEDONIA wrote:
>To All, 
>For the last month or so, I've been trying to track down a chrome-bumpered MGB
>to restore. So far I've been unsuccessful. (Actually, I can find either basket
>cases or fully restored ones but not much in between) But, in my searching I
>have come across a couple of prospects but I stayed away because they had
>Rostyle wheels instead of wires. My question is, what are the difficulties,
>problems, concerns, costs, etc. in refitting a Rostyle'd MGB with wires? Is it
>possible? This may be a stupid question, but I'm a novice to all this.

On the plus side, wires are stylish.  On the minus side, the hubs wear
out, they corrode, wires break, they get out of tune, they are weak
(not really suitable for racing) and you can't use tubeless tires
unless you are very careful and very brave.  Unless you are willing to
deal with the maintenance, which can be very expensive, Rostyle wheels
are actually an advantage.

Hub wear is a big concern, and not thought about by many people.  
Snug a wheel onto a hub, but do not tighten the knockoff very much
and check for rotational slop.  If it is more than about 1/4 inch at
the outside diameter of the tire, the splines are worn out (due to
poor lubrication and poor tightening of knockoffs by the DPO).
Usually both the wheel and the hub must be replaced.

If you _really_ want to convert to wires, you will need two front
hubs, a complete rear axle assembly and of course five wheels and
suitable knockoffs.  Hubs can sometimes be gotten from junkyards, but
good ones (not seriously worn) are very hard to find.  Expect to pay
about $50 each.  New ones are about 3 times that.  The reason you need
a whole rear end is that the wire wheel axle shafts are about 1"
shorter than those for disk wheels due to hub length.  If you can find
a WW rear end (with decent hubs) you are probably talking $200 plus,
and the rear end gearing could well need service to lessen The
Dreaded Clunk. Wheels (painted) are about $130 each and knockoffs are
about $20-25 each.  Used wire wheels from junkyards are essentially
useless due to wear and corrosion.  It is my opinion that a conversion
will cost you somewhere around $1000 plus a lot of work, and you may end
up with a car that is less satisfactory overall.  But it sure will
look good.... 

        A. B. "yeah, I've got wire wheels" Bonds

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