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Tech Q&A - Chassis - Wheels and Tires

HUBCAPS

Question:
In the centre of my 1929 hubcaps is a word which on first glance looks like the word 'Ford'. On closer inspection the word now looks like 'Boal' or 'Bool'. Any ideas? Please put me out of my misery. With thanks. -- David Jacobs

Answer:
Don't take this too hard. These have fooled many people in thinking it says Ford. On close inspection it actually says "Fool." These are a reproduction item (cheap) made about 20 years ago (or longer) as a cheap hub cap for the Model A . The clever script lettering at first glance looks like FORD, intending to fool people. I believe they came from Taiwan or Japan. I believe I still have a few bent up ones in my scrap box. Of no value. -- Les Andrews, Technical Director



INSTALLING TIRES

Question: I am getting ready to install a new set of tires on my 30 coupe. Depending on who I talk to, I am told to apply either corn starch, talc or nothing at all to the inner tubes. Which is best and how much does one apply?

Answer: The choice is really yours and all are correct ....The powder if used is placed in the "tire" just a couple of shakes...it makes the inside of the tire slick and reduces friction and rubbing of the tire and tube. -- Lyle Meek, Technical Director



PAINTING RIMS

Question:
I have been restoring a 1929 Closed Cab Pickup for about eight years. It's just like Grandpa's used to be. I'm having my 21" wheels sand blasted and powder coated. I wanted Straw color for the wheels and stripe (I know it was not original on the wheels). My powder coat firm cannot match the straw or DAR 3113 -Saxon Yellow, an AMC color. I'm forced to guess which of their five yellows is the closest. Have any suggestions? --Wayne Dunham, Redding, California

Answer:
The best way to check your paint colors is to order a "Paint and Finish Guide" from Model A Club Headquarters by calling toll free at 1-888-266-3352. This paint guide has sample color paint chips for all Model A colors. It will help you match the colors you want.



SPOKE STRAIGHTENING

Question:
I have a 1929 Model A. One of the rims/wheels has a slight wobble (looks like one of the spokes may have be bent). Is there any way to repair or straighten this type of rim? If I buy a used rim how would I be able to tell if they are straight? -- Ken Krejci

Answer:
Spokes on the Model A wheel should always be straightened. They bend fairly easy. I straighten them by using a 2X4 block for support and pry up on the bent spoke using the long end of a crow bar. Other backyard tools have been devised and other methods used to straighten the spokes. Straightening the spokes will not always take all of the wobble out. If the rim has been bent, straightening the spoke will not solve the problem. You can usually detect the wobble by rolling the rim on a smooth sidewalk or driveway, looking for wobble as it rolls. The sure way is to put it on a hub and spin it to check wobble. -- Les Andrews, Technical Director


Question:
I have two 1930 Model A's. Before I put new tires on my old rims I would like to make sure that the rims are not bent or warped. Is there a Co. that can straighten wire wheels and that can powder coat. Is there a company that specialize's in this. -- Kenneth Calhoun

 picture Answer: A tire and wheel shop in my town advertises that they will straighten modern wheels, so you might check with one in your area. A few Model A Chapters have their own spoke wheel straighteners and provide this service to others . I have an original wheel straightener made by Wheel Service Equipment in 1934 pictured at right. You can also go to Vince Falter's "Ford Garage" website to see his article and more pictures of my wheel straightener.

Another article; "How to Straighten Model A Wheels" can be found in "How to Restore Your Model A" Volume 8 pages 53-58. This book is available in the MAFCA Store. Several companies also manufacture wheel straightener machines priced from $7 to $22,000 but they are primarily for modern aluminum alloy wheels but might also work on our spoke wheels. -- Dr Dave, Technical Director
posted 3/11/2016



WHEEL COLORS

Question:
We are midstream in restoring our 1930 Briggs Model A Deluxe Fordor. We have decided on the all black color scheme. BUT not sure of the wheel color. Some pictures we have seen show red wheels and wide whitewall tires. Is this correct? Also where can we get pictures of where the outside pin striping goes? -- Barry & Cindy Gormont

Answer:
According to the "Model A Paint & Finish Guide", the 30 Deluxe Fordor in all Black had Vermilion wheels until Sept 1930 and Apple Green wheels beginning Oct 1930. The referenced Paint & Finish guide illustrates precisely where the pin stripping goes. -- Les Andrews, Technical Director


Last Updated: 03/11/2016
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