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How to avoid damaging knockoff wheel spinners?

Posted by stolizino 
stolizino Avatar
Gary Kinslow
San Antonio / Seattle, TX/WA, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB MkII "Camille"

First, here's a copy of some email correspondence for background information:

-----Original Message-----
From: stolizino@yahoo.com [mailto:stolizino@yahoo.com]
Sent: 08 February 2005 19:30
To: Derek Mathers@ThorHammer.Com
Subject: Hammer for automobile wire wheel knockoffs

I recently purchased a vintage MGB roadster with original wire wheels
attached to the hubs with chrome-plated two-eared knockoffs.

The MGB came with an old Thor copper/rawhide hammer, but the rawhide
face is missing. I had to change a flat tire and I used the copper
face to strike the knockoff. The copper hammer blows blemished the chrome finish and even dented the knockoff, shredding a "protective" diaper in the process.

I need a different hammer that offers enough weight to loosen a
stubborn knockoff, but WILL NOT blemish the knockoff chrome finish.

Which model Thor hammer do you recommend, please?

Thank you,

G. Kinslow
San Antonio Texas USA

email:tolizino@yahoo.com

REPLY:

"Derek Mathers" <Derek.Mathers@ThorHammer.Com>
Wed, 9 Feb 2005 09:06:25 -0000

The hammer that was normally supplied in the oe tool kit was the Thor
Number 2 Copper/Rawhide - the Rawhide Face to drive the spinner round
once it had been loosened by the Copper Face and once again the Copper
face to finally tighten the spinner.

When the cars were in production, damage to the spinner was accepted
since it was cheaper to replace a spinner than to rectify the wheel and
hub spline damage caused by insufficient tightening of the spinner. The
really hard knock of the Copper face is required and if too soft a
material is used it will not adequately secure the spinner.

There are 2 solutions for concours vehicle to avoid spinner damage -
there is a company that makes a wood device that fits over the spinner
- it adds leverage so that less actual hammer force is required and
protects the spinner from damage, but is a little awkward in use.

A source for the wood spinner spanner is http://www.gbautoparts.com/asp/offers.asp - towards the bottom of the
page - I do not know if there is a supplier in the USA - maybe Moss
Motors or somebody like that.

The other option is to use a pure lead mallet which minimizes damage to
the spinner, but has a relatively short working life as it quickly distorts in use and since it is fitted with a slip on handle, the top of the handle protrudes a little from the hammer and care must be taken to avoid catching it in the spokes.

This is, I believe, the solution recommended by the UK MG Owners Club
and is the Thor 26-7744 available in the USA from:

The Hammer Source
toll free 877-496-2537
sales@hammersource.com
www.hammersource.com

PS - As in my youth, the owner of a number of MGB roadsters, both early 3
bearing and 5 bearing engine models, the worst part of the car was the
lever type front shocks - when driven hard they had to be replaced
every 2 or 3 thousand miles or the cornering on bumpy roads became
unpredictable - I believe there is now a telescopic conversion availale.

The other common problem was the door splitting by the quarter light -
I do not think they ever cured it in production.

In their day they were the best value sports car available and I believe the styling has stood the test of time better than any contemporary vehicle. I used to replace the rearmost silencer with a piece of copper pipe - the sound it made at full chat was great!

If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to
contact
me.

Regards

Derek Mathers

===============================

So, folks, I think any hammer is out, other than for decorative display. I'm considering the wooden wrench he mentioned...it's listed on sale in the VB sale catalogue for less than Moss. Does anyone have experience with it?

Also considering the 23" metal wrench that fits over the spinner...one model for the 2-eared and another model for the octagon spinner. Moss claims they will not damage the spinner. Does anyone recommend that wrench?

Actually, the octagon spinner with the MG logo appeals to me and I may buy a set, in addition to the single damaged eared spinner.



Post Edited (02-23-05 01:07)



1969 MGB roadster "Camille" Pale Primrose, OEM hardtop and vinyl soft top, Prestige Sunfast tonneau cover, four MWS 14" 60-spoke painted wires with 175/40R14 Kumho Solus KH16 tires and one OE spare, OE dealer optional luggage rack, M4+OD, balanced and blueprinted (so said my builder) engine rebuilt w/all ARP, OE head 3-angle P&P w/large valves, Moss +0.040, Crane 342-0010 camshaft, duplex vernier timing gear chain, Crane PS92 coil, Crane XR3000 ignition, dual SU HS4 carbs, OE exhaust manifold, SS exhaust, HD clutch and oil pump, flywheel lightened and balanced, Hella E-code H4 flat lens headlamps, Hayden electric fan, entire car restored to reliable daily driver level and ongoing. NGK BPR6EIX Iridium IX spark plugs, WIX oil/air filters, Valvoline 20-50 VR1, Chevron Supreme. Weekend driver.

2012 Mercedes E350 sedan palladium silver/grey leather.

2006 BMW M Roadster Interlagos Blue/black extended leather & carbon fibre dash 6M 3.2L I6 S54 330 hp 22,000 original miles

2000 Audi Avant 2.8L QTip Santorin Blue/grey leather
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cfrench Avatar
Carl W. French
alfred, Maine, USA   usa

Just get the metal handled, lead hammer. I think it is a four pound model. The lead is soft enough to NOT damage the brass and will still tighten up he spinners. I usually replace them about every 2 years. They cost between 15 and 25 dollars depending on the vendor. The Moss number is 386-180
it is on page three of this PDF the picture is to the right below the wooden wrench that you asked about. I bought one of those..........and returned it a couple of days later. It was clear it was not going to do the job.

http://www.lbcarco.com/catalogs/wheels%5B1%5D.pdf





Carl W. French
Alfred, Maine
Southern Maine LBC welfare shelter
67B will be in our will
73BGT Daily driver
73BGT Wife's car
Many more that change often

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y183/leylandauto/


AL Bradley Avatar
Abingdon, VA, USA   usa

I use the wooden wire wheel wrench and it works fine. It has sustained some damage from use, but better to damage the wrench than the knockoffs! AL Bradley


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Ken Lessig Avatar
Nevada, Tx., USA   usa

Actually, the octagonal spinners would be correct for your car. The eared knockoffs were outlawed in the U.S. about 1968, to prevent injuries to pedestrians' shins (!?!). How they could get that close to a spinning knockoff without getting their feet run over still escapes me!!

Attachments:
sigpic5.jpg (18.7 KB) –
sigpic5.jpg

cfrench Avatar
Carl W. French
alfred, Maine, USA   usa

Yeah, but if you have knockoffs you HAVE to have the winged ones. They are just too cool!! I love driving behind another brit car and watch the wings flashing in the sun.





Carl W. French
Alfred, Maine
Southern Maine LBC welfare shelter
67B will be in our will
73BGT Daily driver
73BGT Wife's car
Many more that change often

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y183/leylandauto/


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George Herschell Avatar
Webster, NY, USA   usa
1966 MG MGB

The easy way is to go to a shoe repair shop, and but a pair of a replacement neolite shoe soles. (Wait until you try to explain to the guy behind the counter why you want it.) Use that between your hammer and the knock off and you will never mar the knockoff. I've been using one for years on my TF and it works fine. It is also a lot less expensive than a new hammer.

George Herschell
stolizino Avatar
Gary Kinslow
San Antonio / Seattle, TX/WA, USA   usa
1969 MG MGB MkII "Camille"

That's a good one! Would've never thought of it. I thought you were going to tell me to kick them (I already did)!





1969 MGB roadster "Camille" Pale Primrose, OEM hardtop and vinyl soft top, Prestige Sunfast tonneau cover, four MWS 14" 60-spoke painted wires with 175/40R14 Kumho Solus KH16 tires and one OE spare, OE dealer optional luggage rack, M4+OD, balanced and blueprinted (so said my builder) engine rebuilt w/all ARP, OE head 3-angle P&P w/large valves, Moss +0.040, Crane 342-0010 camshaft, duplex vernier timing gear chain, Crane PS92 coil, Crane XR3000 ignition, dual SU HS4 carbs, OE exhaust manifold, SS exhaust, HD clutch and oil pump, flywheel lightened and balanced, Hella E-code H4 flat lens headlamps, Hayden electric fan, entire car restored to reliable daily driver level and ongoing. NGK BPR6EIX Iridium IX spark plugs, WIX oil/air filters, Valvoline 20-50 VR1, Chevron Supreme. Weekend driver.

2012 Mercedes E350 sedan palladium silver/grey leather.

2006 BMW M Roadster Interlagos Blue/black extended leather & carbon fibre dash 6M 3.2L I6 S54 330 hp 22,000 original miles

2000 Audi Avant 2.8L QTip Santorin Blue/grey leather
. You can hide this ad & support this site by upgrading to a Gold Membership ~ click here for more info
USA   usa

I've used a lead loaded 3lb black rubber hammer for years. Works great.
Al
chris Avatar
Chris Roop
Pendleton, OR, USA   usa

Al, you mean those no bounce fiberglas hammers like Snap-On came out with in the early '70's?



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Jim Lema Avatar
Sunny Seattle, USA   usa
1967 MG MGB

The PO had bought one of those Moss bars that fits over the ears of the knockoff. Worked fine for a while, then the weld on the bar cracked. Also to get the wheel tight I had to stand on the bar. I have gone back to a hammer and use a old piece of thick leather to cover the knockoff ear. Takes a little longer to remove and tighten, but does not mess up the knockoff ears. You should remove your wires at least once a year and clean the hubs and re-grease. I just tighten until I think it is real tight, how do you know when to stop trying to tighten a wire wheel knockoff?
AL Bradley Avatar
Abingdon, VA, USA   usa

James: If the wheel and tire pass by you when going down the highway, you either didn't have them tight enough or didn't pay attention to the "on" and "off" sides while replacing them. The voice of experience here! AL Bradley


USA   usa

I don't know what those are Chris.
My rubber hammer is about 16" long and the head is about 3" in diameter. It's black rubber ( I've seen them in hunter orange too ) and lead filled. Eventually it will disintegrate but I've used mine for years. It was about $15.00 Canuck at Princess Auto store. It doesn't make a mark on the knockoffs.
Al
Steve S Avatar
On The Road, Lost in the California mountains, USA   usa
1925 Ford Model T
1939 Ford V8
1949 MG TC
1953 MG Y-Type Saloon
1958 MG MGA   → more

I use one of the wood pieces. Works fine but it doesn't look like it will last for long. I plan to eventually make my own out of better wood, perhaps oak.

I tighten my knockoffs a bit more than required but not so much as to damage the inner side of the wheel hub. With a good hard blow, if the ear doesn't move more than 1/8" then I figure it's tight enough. That's worked for me for 15 years. Well, except for that wheel that spun on the MGA one day but that's another story.






Matt Mugherini Avatar
Boston, MA, USA   usa
1965 MG MGB
1967 MG MGB

Just picked up the wood wrench this winter. I agree it works well- I use about the same method as Steve for determining the point at which the knock offs are tight enough. I was planning on trying the 4 lb lead hammer Carl mentioned, but the wrench was a gift, so I'm going with that for now. No marks on the new knock offs I've taken off a few times for suspension work and such.







Matt Mugherini
1965 MGB
1967 MGB
Steve S Avatar
On The Road, Lost in the California mountains, USA   usa
1925 Ford Model T
1939 Ford V8
1949 MG TC
1953 MG Y-Type Saloon
1958 MG MGA   → more

I forgot to mention to ALWAYS tighten wire wheels off the ground. Tightening them on the ground is asking for your wheel to pass you on the highway. I feel better when I bring that up in knockoff threads. smiling smiley






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