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Had Stock Lark Wheels Widened GOT EM BACK! New Pictures.

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  • Wheels / Tires: Had Stock Lark Wheels Widened GOT EM BACK! New Pictures.

    After doing lots of research, I finally sent 2 of my stock 62 Lark wheels out to be widened for the rear of my car . I'm going to use a company called Trudesign wheel out of Denver, CO. I found them at a show and they actually specialize in widening and reproducing muscle car wheels but I asked them about the Studebaker wheels and they said no problem. The guy there has been very responsive to my many questions. They put the Stude center in a new shell. After careful measurements I determined that I can run a 7" wheel with 2" added backspacing to bring the total to 5 1/2" backspacing. It will also add 1/2" to the depth on the front but that will be fine. With this, I'm positive I can run 235/70/15 tires. I want the widest tire possible plus the height these provde (28" tall) because I'm running a 327 with Muncie M21 with a 3:73 rear.
    His price is $120/wheel. I think this is a good price considering it will allow me to run the stock dog dish hub caps. Just thought I'd share this with you guys. I'll let you know how it goes and will post pics of before and after if anyone is interested.
    Last edited by Dougie; 02-24-2012, 01:55 PM.

  • #2
    I would be interested in those pics Dougie...



    • #3
      I imagine it will be 2-3 weeks before I get them back, but I will post them.


      • #4
        I would like to see the clearance you'll have with such a large tire by the firewall/ hinge post area. With stock wheels I've seen 215's hitting that part. Cracking with the stock Stude wheels has been reported here in the past. If the cracking is in the "web" of the wheel, then one might not go through the trouble & cost of welding on a new rim section which would put more stress on the web itself.
        59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
        60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
        61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
        62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
        62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
        62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
        63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
        63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
        64 Zip Van
        66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
        66 Cruiser V-8 auto


        • #5
          These are only going on the rear and i want to keep as stock a look as possible. I'm going to run 185's or 195's on the front. It will give it a little rake, but it's an old school car with the 327/muncie so I think it'll look cool.


          • #6
            Yep..fairly normal as long as you measure correctly to get the tire to be exactly where you want it.

            I've had several car and truck (Suburban) wheels widened over the years. And normally today, it's easier to just press the original center into a new rim of the desired width. As long as the rims center drop is the the correct diameter.


            I've also seen guys go with narrower rims on the original center for skinny front wheels.


            • #7
              I just got the Lark rear wheels back today from Trudesign Wheel and they look great. Here are some pictures. The backspacing is now 5 1/2" compared to 3 1/2" stock. The center was also moved in 1/2" from the front. They are now 7" wide (8" overall at the outside of the bead) and I plan to use 235/70/15 tires. I put one on the rear and I have 2" clearance from the outside of the rim to the springs. The tires have a 9.4" section width on 7" rims, so at their widest will be a total of 1.4" wider (9.4 -8) than than wheel. Divide that by 2 and I should have .7" (approx 3/4") of tire beyond the rim, leaving me with about 1 1/4" clearance between the tire and spring. I could probably even go to a 255 tire if I wanted to.

              As shown they have been sandblasted with the new shell welded and are in bare steel. I'm going to sandblast the front wheels and paint them all stock white to match and use my dog dish hub caps. Cost was $122 per wheel. I'm stoked!
              Attached Files


              • #8

                I really love the "could have been stock but better" look like that.

                I saw these wheels in South Bend in 07...

                ...but I like your idea even better with the stock ones in front, widened in the rear, but with just a tad more front spacing...stock off white paint and small caps.

                You might consider the redlines. A great period correct look.
                Dick Steinkamp
                Bellingham, WA


                • #9
                  But this does not address the known weakness of Lark rims in the area surrounding the bolt circle. I'd hate to spend 120 bucks per wheel, and wind up having to discard them in a year or so after finding cracks develop around the perimeter of the mounting plane.

                  Good luck, i hope they work out well for you.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gordr View Post
                    But this does not address the known weakness of Lark rims in the area surrounding the bolt circle. I'd hate to spend 120 bucks per wheel, and wind up having to discard them in a year or so after finding cracks develop around the perimeter of the mounting plane.

                    Good luck, i hope they work out well for you.
                    What? Me worry?

                    I'll certainly keep an eye out for cracks but I'm not sure I believe all the folklore. They sure look like every other steel wheel I'e seen, and I can't believe Studebaker used inferior steel.


                    • #11
                      Those are Lookin good!

                      I think the more important question is: how far are the big Tires on the rear going to be from your fender wells when installed and loaded!

                      I am sure they were good quality steel, just not as thick as the heavier Car wheels like the Ford Crown Vic and Ford/Dodge Cop Car wheels.
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                      SDC Member Since 1967


                      • #12
                        Brad Johnson,
                        SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
                        '56 Sky Hawk in process


                        • #13

                          It seems the wheels are in fact prone to cracking. In my relatively short time I've seen a few different ones crack at the bolt center. It startled me to see it the first time, but seeing it subsequently convinced me there's a problem. Here's Gord's picture:

                          This is why folks have for years endeavoured to find replacements (cop car wheels, etc). I look them over carefully and use them to putt-putt around in my Lark VI, but I have cop car wheels for the others. I thought the better effort would be to figure out how to get the stock dog dish caps to fit the better wheels.

                          I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but it's a serious enough safety concern that I took the time to find these threads and Gord's picture. Have a look and think it through for yourself:


                          And, Gord's thread:


                          Best of luck.
                          Proud NON-CASO

                          I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                          If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                          GOD BLESS AMERICA

                          Ephesians 6:10-17
                          Romans 15:13
                          Deuteronomy 31:6
                          Proverbs 28:1

                          Illegitimi non carborundum


                          • #14
                            I don't mean to be flippant with the Alferd E. Nuemann quote and and i do appreciate the thoughful comments. I had read about some of the cracking concerns prior to this, and a lot of people have different opinions. I can't argue with the photographic evidence, but what's unkknown is the cause. I'd be surprised if people haven't seen cracked Ford wheels as well. Hoenstly I would be more concerned if these were front wheels and I was building a corner carving road racer, but these are going on the rear and wont see the side stress that fronts would under cornering. This is a cruise night car and I'm going for a cool stock look and nothing looks cooler than those white wheels and Stude dog dishes.

                            Having said all that, and since the wheels are still in bare steel, does anyone think there would be a benefit to running a nice bead of weld around the wheel over the areas that may crack to increase the strength? It would be under the hubcap and wouldn't show.


                            • #15
                              .......I was suspect of the widening strategy, and held off, thinking if the company had been doing this for some time, and there would be some evidence of failure on older wheels...What did the company performing the process say ? Do they guarantee there work ? (I doubt it)......Anyway, I think you're very wise in checking the wheels every so often (say every oil change)...and be somehat vigilant on it.....I had a Champ truck that had 3 wheels cracking around the lug holes......when I bought it, the truck had oversized tires on it and was used to trailer a 64' show Hawk to Internationals......I thought the oversized, radial tires on the stock rims (wheels) and the open, heavy mileage caused the breakdown...and oh, to repeat myself again....when I tore the engine down, not only were the cam bearings disintegrated, but both heads were cracked and the exhaust valve seats worn beyond help......this truck did see unusual duty....