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!6" Wheel Shells

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  • Wheels / Tires: !6" Wheel Shells

    I have 2 , 6 lug Centers for my 55 E12 3/4 ton . I am looking to buy 16" wheel shells so I can have new set of non split-rims to mount radial tires to for everyday peace of mind driving because no-one (other than myself) will breakdown the split rims to change tires. I found a fabricator who will do the wheels once I have everything. He does racing wheels and cant locate wheels that are 16 x 5 . Any help greatly appreciated
    Mike
    sigpic My 1955 E12

  • #2
    Hi, Mike,

    It's your truck, so do what works for you. Just sharing the following for anyone else with an '49-early-'56 3/4-ton.

    Some of us have been driving Stude 3/4-tons with the two-piece wheels since they were new and don't find them a problem at all. Real Truck Tires with tubes are much tougher than the wimpy passenger car tires. My first set of 215/85-16" Michelin radials ran twenty-five years and never needed any attention during that time; seldom even needed air added from year to year.

    FWIW, the 3/4-ton wheels are not the same as big truck "split-rims", as the rings are solid one-piece. Larger truck wheels have the split-retaining-ring. We're out in farm country, so there are plenty of trucks, farm equipment and forklift dealers which change two-piece wheels every day. Should you need tire work, seek out a truck shop rather than the neighborhood car tire store.

    Just be aware, when having the Studebaker Budd wheels cut down to fit inside modern drop-center rims, most of the scalloped design will have to be cut away and it will completely change the look of the wheels and the truck. Again, just my opinion, but to me the Budd wheels are an integral part of the attractiveness of the R/E-10, 11, 12-series truck and I'll never part with them.

    The one weakness of the Budd wheel design is after sixty or so years, especially east of the Mississippi, the wheels can rust in the riveted area between the center and the rim. MikeK, you should ask over on the truck forum, http://www.network54.com/Forum/23885 as some there have had to replace rusted wheels. The centers should be still good for your intended conversion.

    jack vines
    Last edited by PackardV8; 06-29-2017, 07:06 AM.
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      Jack, I plan on saving the originals.. I received 2 centers from the truck forum. I am looking for 3 more. I'm also trying to locate the rim shells to do the fabrication. I see they will be somewhat different than originals but some creative paint can make them look good enough. I have the equipment and resources to change the tires on these split rims. Its when I am traveling out of state which is my concern. Just something I wish to do.
      I have the original 17.5 inch front rims and cannot find a radial tire to fit them.
      Mike
      sigpic My 1955 E12

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      • #4
        I have the original 17.5 inch front rims.
        Has anyone else seen a '55 E12 with 17.5" wheels? I know I've never seen them on a '55. All I've ever seen were 16"s.

        some creative paint can make them look good enough.
        Consider powder coating; it's much more durable on wheels.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          I drove to Studebaker International Meet in Warwick RI last year . A gentleman who Knew his trucks there actually came out looked my truck over climbed under to look at trans and then checked the numbers on wheels for 1955 E12. he was baffled like you are, after some number searching through build sheets I guess he concluded that these wheels were in fact available for the "55, though he had never seen a truck with them. they were an option that year. I would love to get my hands on another set of 16".
          Part # 1685911 tubless rim according to notes was available to 2E after serial E12-2732 mine is E12-1389 so a PO put them on ...just like they swapped my 224cu V8 and put a 1956 Comander 259cu V8 in this truck.
          Last edited by MikeK; 06-29-2017, 06:22 PM. Reason: added part #
          sigpic My 1955 E12

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MikeK View Post
            I drove to Studebaker International Meet in Warwick RI last year . A gentleman who Knew his trucks there actually came out looked my truck over climbed under to look at trans and then checked the numbers on wheels for 1955 E12. he was baffled like you are, after some number searching through build sheets I guess he concluded that these wheels were in fact available for the "55, though he had never seen a truck with them. they were an option that year. I would love to get my hands on another set of 16".
            Part # 1685911 tubless rim according to notes was available to 2E after serial E12-2732 mine is E12-1389 so a PO put them on ...just like they swapped my 224cu V8 and put a 1956 Comander 259cu V8 in this truck.
            There is nothing in the parts books, 1955 truck data book, or 1955 sales literature to indicate that 17.5" tubeless wheels/tires were available on 3/4-ton Stude trucks before the middle of the 1956 2E model year. That said, such tires WERE available on the market before then, and it's certainly possible that the company would have equipped a truck with such wheels for a special order. Studebaker was hemorrhaging money in 1955, in its truck sales were particularly dreadful. They probably would have built a truck with wooden-spoke wagon wheels if a customer had been willing to pay for them.
            Skip Lackie

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            • #7
              I would get something like this:

              http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wheel-16x5-S...hY4Qwg&vxp=mtr

              but for a cheaper price and use my sazall to cut out the center then carefully grind the welds down nice and smooth. Then your guy can install the new centers. But that just me.

              treblig

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              • #8
                FWIW, many modern 16" rims are 7" to 8" wide and there's the temptation to go that way and maybe fit wider more common tire sizes, such as 235. Be aware any more rubber on the ground than the 215/85-16" tire becomes impossible to turn at rest. Wider tires also rub the inner fender at full lock.

                use my sazall to cut out the center then carefully grind the welds down nice and smooth.
                All the custom wheel makers I've visited have a large lathe as a necessity of their process. They routinely do a much better and quicker job of cutting the centers from wheels than we at home with a sawzall and a grinder. If having wheels made, let them handle it all.

                jack vines
                PackardV8

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                • #9
                  There's plenty of 16 X 6 wheels for a decent price here:

                  http://www.car-part.com/cgi-bin/sear...y=&userPage=19

                  All you have to look for is 02-06 Dodge sprinter 2500

                  treblig

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                  • #10
                    Took a tape to some 17" steel wheels off a late Crown Vic, and they seemed to be a better fit than any 16"s I've seen. Thinking about a similar fix myself, but I'm still in the study phase. I also found some bare rims on one of the farm tractor boards; a few older implements still have clamp-on hub/rim setups, and take fairly narrow rubber.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                      many modern 16" rims are 7" to 8" wide and there's the temptation to go that way and maybe fit wider more common tire sizes, such as 235. Be aware any more rubber on the ground than the 215/85-16" tire becomes impossible to turn at rest. Wider tires also rub the inner fender at full lock.
                      Jack , thats prob the biggest issue is getting it right for turning, I know I need to stay around 215 or 225 / 85-16 anything fatter will be harder to turn at stop and less turning radius in well.

                      I'm also searching for a good wheel maker on east coast or as far west as OH.
                      sigpic My 1955 E12

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                      • #12
                        treblig,
                        I was also looking at this as option ... prefer a 16 X 5 but may end up 16 X 6 then adjust the offset of centers.
                        sigpic My 1955 E12

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MikeK View Post
                          Jack , thats prob the biggest issue is getting it right for turning, I know I need to stay around 215 or 225 / 85-16 anything fatter will be harder to turn at stop and less turning radius in well.
                          Stay with the 215/85-16; larger is more trouble than benefit. BTDTNA.

                          The Michelins are the most expensive - $180 - $225 each, but the best. However, you'll never live long enough to use all that goodness. My first set ran more than twenty-five years and showed no tread wear. If price is the consideration, there are Chicom round black things for $75-100 each.

                          jack vines
                          PackardV8

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                          • #14
                            If you need another wheel center, we have an NOS wheel (minus the lock ring) at S.A. Only have one. Surface rusty but solid. mystudebaker.com

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