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15" steel wheels

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15" steel wheels
#1
  This topic is about my 1957 Morgan Plus 4 (+4)
wfs5101 Bill Sirine
Valrico, Florida, USA   USA
1957 Morgan Plus 4 (+4) "Speechless"
I am new to this forum and also a recent owner of a 1957 Plus 4 , which has 16" steel wheels. I would like to secure a set of 15" steel rims , since there is a large variety of 15" radials tires available , whereas the selection of 16" radials is somewhat limited. I would appreciate feedback from anyone , who has a source or is willing to part with theirs as a result of changing over to spoked rims . Thanks in advance, Bill Sirine

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DQuegg Avatar
DQuegg David Quegg
Iowa City, Iowa, USA   USA
Forget the 15". Buy some 3 ply black Firestone Champion tires from Coker Tire. Put in rim straps and tubes, and nitrogen. Classic look.

rawilliams50 Avatar
rawilliams50 Rick Williams
Orinda, California, USA   USA
I'm with you on this one Bill. I have a '51 flat rad with 16's and twin spares so I need six tires and tubes. Gets expensive very quickly.
Does anyone have experience with handling, camber adjustment, etc when switching these old mogs to radials?
Rick
'51 Morgan +4
'53 Chevy 3100
'70 MGB roadster

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wfs5101 Bill Sirine
Valrico, Florida, USA   USA
1957 Morgan Plus 4 (+4) "Speechless"
Hi Dave, They happen to be what is on the 57 now ( 550 16 " bias belt Firestone ) except the spare which is a Michelin 165 R400. So , me thinking I go to Coker & get a set of new 165 R400 Michelin's. No problem , except these do not fit onto the rims. Ha! 400 mm is.1/4 smaller than 16 " . , yet the old spare is a 165R400, so figure. All sources stated that the 400 mm should work , but would be tight , but in my case it is a no go, so back to Coker they went. My experience with Firestone has been less than satisfactory over the years , so probably I will consider one of the other Coker 16" radials. Bill

SHAWRY Chris Shaw
Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Hi Bill,

Why not convert to 15" wire wheels? I have made up stud adaptors for my '55 Plus 4 and using bolt on hubs from a Triumph TR4 I have the best of both worlds, 15" wheels and the ability to revert to the steelies if I wish.
Pics. available if you wish to consider.

best regards
Chris Shaw

1955 Morgan +4
1913 Belsize

wfs5101 Bill Sirine
Valrico, Florida, USA   USA
1957 Morgan Plus 4 (+4) "Speechless"
Hi Chris, I recently purchased 5 - 15" Morgan wire wheels from another member in CA who was converting from painted spoked wheels to chrome . Your suggestion may be an alternative in lieu of securing all the conversion parts from Morgan ($ 2200 US ) " if " the TR hubs will match the Morgan splines??. I realize the stud pattern is different on the TR6 , but if I just switch out the hubs to accommodate the wire wheels , would I need to be concerned with stud patterns ? , but please send me any information on the stud adapters. I have a 76' TR6 , however it also has steel rims . As you can probably deduce my experience with Morgan's and wire wheels is very limited. So, any help Is certainly welcome. Please send your pictures and any other suggestions that would be helpful . Thanks, Bill


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SHAWRY Chris Shaw
Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Hi Bill

Sorry to take so long to reply.

Find attached pics. of the standard mid 50's four stud brake drum and the adaptor plate I have machined from 25mm thick 6061 aluminium.

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TomS Tom Surrency
Cave Creek, AZ, USA   USA
Bill,

I just sent you some info on your carb screens.

Let me start by saying I agree I agree with what everyone above have said. I own three Morgans. A 1958 which I have owned since 1972. Four seater with steel wheels. Basically the same as yours. It came with 16" steel wheels and cross ply tires(John Bull Tyres at the time as I was living and bought it in Hong Kong). HK has more rain in a year than Miss., Florida and Louisiana combined. Heavy rain, diesel taxis and 550 x 16" cross ply's are a prescription for disaster.

Therefore, I bought 5 x 15" steel wheels from the factory and shipped them out to HK and monuted 165 x 15 Pirelli Cinturatos. Wonderful. These old 15 style wheels are no longer available so you will have to buy used if you want to stick to the "original". I did not have to change anything. Today, I run Verdestein's on the same wheels.

However---a few words of caution. Any used wheels you buy will be at least 40+ years old. Be very careful to check around the stud holes very carefully for fracture/stress cracks.
You might want to take them to a shop to be magna fluxed.

Full disclosure: In 1974 I started racing the 58 on the Asian Circuits. Using above brand new factory issue 15" wheels. Combination of racing and radials resulted in departure of left from wheel from drum, leaving me with four washers where the wheel separated. After that, I bought new VW beetle wheels which are much stronger. Slots instead of holes, but they are only for racing. 41 years later and running 175 x 15 Avon racing tires they are still good. Original Morgan wheels for ordinary daily driving. One final thing. If you go to radials it would be worthwhile to have your stub axles magna fluxed as radials do put more stress on them and they too are old.

As they say, life if full of choices. I really believe in originality, but also use it as it was intended. Maybe covered somewhere else, but since you are talking about wheels, tires, etc., all related to safety issues, strongly suggest you change out your three rubber brake lines for stainless type. Much better braking, especially if you have radials and if not already done change master cylinder to twin circuit. Driving in Florida is not what it was when I was in High School in Punta Gorda, FL in the mid-50's.

Good luck.

TomS
+4 1958
+4 1986
Morgan 3 Wheeler

woody0327 Elwood S
Wall Township, new jersey, USA   USA
this is an old post, so I realize I may not receive a reply, but the topic is exactly related to my dilemma. I own a 1954 plus four roadster, but I'm no mechanic. As above, I have considered replacing my original 16" wheels with 15" alloys and 165x80Rx15 tires. (I'm not a fan of wire wheels). I did purchase 15x4.5 VW wheels, but had to return them as the backspace was too deep. Dealer sent me a 15x5 alloy with a shallow backspace, but the wheel stuck too far out past the fender. I'm also told that the offset may be slightly different due to radial tires. He has suggested a 15x4.5 wheel with a 2.75 backspace and 0 offset. Naturally, if he drills the bolt pattern and it doesn't fit, I'm stuck with the wheel. I hope there is a 15" wheel that can be installed without modifying the front end. Can someone recommend a 15" wheel that might fit the Plus Four or perhaps know the appropriate backspace and offset for a custom made wheel?

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tjmga Thomas Boes
Coopersville, Michigan, USA   USA
Fellow Morgan Owners,

Not trying to hijack this thread but as a fellow Morgan owner (51 years) if it would help anyone wanting to convert to wire wheels, I have 5 - 15" x 4.5", 60 spoke chrome wire wheels I am thinking of selling The wheels have Michelin XZX tires with about 15,000 miles on four of them. The fifth was used for a spare. I have attached some photos of the wheels. I will be putting these on ebay etc. shortly.

Good luck in your adventures,
Tom Boes


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DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Backspacing on these is 3.25" so they ought to fit a Morgan and might provide an extra 1/8" between the suspension and the tire sidwall (however, note that these are 6" wide rims, as opposed to the original 15" wheels on a Morgan 4/4 or Plus 4 which were 4.5" rims):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Wheel-131-VW-BEETLE-GHIA-15x6-4x130mm-Steel-Silver-Ea-Wheel-131-5630-/192059025745

Some years back I found an ad in the back of "Hot VWs" magazine in which a set of Minilite-lookalike 15" wheels for VWs were being sold for about $90 each. I doubt they're much over $100 now. The offset and backspacing were right for the 4/4 I owned at the time. After looking at my old notes I think proper back spacing for a Plus 4 is 3-3/8" (about 86mm) but it would be best if you remove one of your wheels and check how far it is from the innermost surface of the wheel (the part the tire's bead locks against, not the turned-out flare at the edge) to the back of the center plate where the wheel studs poke through and then start checking ads for aftermarket 4-bolt VW wheels.



Duncan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-06-15 02:01 PM by DuncanCharlton.

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
I followed up on the 15" wheels advertised on eBay and checked the online catalog of the seller, Summit Racing -- looks like there is probably an error in the listing regarding backspacing. When I entered the part number on the Summit site the wheels were listed with 4-1/4" back spacing.

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