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Hey My 53 Riviera has a set of aftermarket Skylark wire spoke rims on it. I just got my new Diamond back tires and was in the process of cleaning up the wheels and resealing the spokes. Here is my problem, I have one wheel with two broken spokes and one with six broken spokes, argh!! Seems to me from my limited research that spoke rims are a constant maintenance concern, needing tightening and trueing every so often. I would like to get some information on repair and re trueing them. So does any one have any suggestions on who'd they use for this?

If this turns out to be over the top expensive I may just take it back to the original look of the steel wheels and wire Buick caps.

This brings up another question, what kind of steel wheels would I use? Will the Buick caps mount to any 15", 5 on 5? I am assuming I would just need to match it to the same offset and bolt pattern?

Seeking knowledge and enlightenmentpost-80012-143142173643_thumb.jpg

Rick

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You would want the 6" wide wheels...1941-64 will interchange. Although those wire wheels are pretty and I have not had any problems with them in 2,000 miles, I would not buy again at any price. They are a beeeech to clean and even harder to mount unless you make some guide studs.

Willie

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I agree with you Willie, they suck to mount and get lined up to put the lug bolts in. Did the Buicks ever have any type of alignment pin for wheel mounting? If you happen to see the style of steel wheel you mentioned send me a pic of them. Or if you know of any aftermarket vendors for them send me a link. Thanks

Edited by trickrk (see edit history)
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Hey My 53 Riviera has a set of aftermarket Skylark wire spoke rims on it. I just got my new Diamond back tires and was in the process of cleaning up the wheels and resealing the spokes. Here is my problem, I have one wheel with two broken spokes and one with six broken spokes, argh!! Seems to me from my limited research that spoke rims are a constant maintenance concern, needing tightening and trueing every so often. I would like to get some information on repair and re trueing them. So does any one have any suggestions on who'd they use for this?

If this turns out to be over the top expensive I may just take it back to the original look of the steel wheels and wire Buick caps.

This brings up another question, what kind of steel wheels would I use? Will the Buick caps mount to any 15", 5 on 5? I am assuming I would just need to match it to the same offset and bolt pattern?

Seeking knowledge and enlightenment[ATTACH=CONFIG]212177[/ATTACH]

Rick

Just the facts, no B.S.

■ Busted spokes are most likely the result of running radial and/or over-sized tires. It would be interesting to know.....what size of tire.....bias-ply or radial.....and whether the spokes are chromed steel or polished stainless steel.....that were (are) mounted on your repop wire wheel when the spokes broke. Busted spokes on 1953 (6.5"-wide) or 1954 (6.0"-wide) Buick OEM Kelsey-Hayes and all the 6.0"-wide repop wire wheels, with either type of spoke, is a common problem. I have never seen any engineering design documentation supporting running radial tires on this 40-spoke wire wheel design.

■ Don't be too quick going out and buying Buick 6.0"-wide plain steel rims. If you are thinking about mounting 1953 Buick OEM wire wheel covers on Buick plain steel rims, keep in mind that there are two widths of wire wheel covers that were made: one for the 6.0"-wide rim (Special) and one for the wider 6.5"-wide rim (Super and Roadmaster). Installing a wide wire wheel cover on a narrow 6.0"-wide wheel will have a gap between the rim and the wheel cover. Ask me how I know.

■ There are 1953 Buick wheels out there that DO NOT have a pilot hole in them. 1953 Skylark wire wheels - THE H.A.M.B.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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Al,

The tires are L78-15 bias ply tires, the rims came with car so I not sure of their history. The rim with the six broken spokes looks to be older damage except for one spoke which has a clean shiny break. The other rim with two broken spokes looks to also be older damage. Also one other rim has been previously repaired and had eight spokes replaced. So the probability that the rims have seen a few chuck holes etc, is pretty darn high. The spokes look to be the chromed steel and not the stainless.

Ok, so if I want to use the 53 Super Riv wire caps I need the 6.5" rims, correct?

I don't want to ruffle any feathers but I am actually partial to some of the earlier caps like the dog dish or full size on the 50,51 and 52's. I know that these are not correct, but I think they have a nicer look. What is your knowledge on these caps and rim size? Would I be correct in assuming that all of the Buick caps are attached to the rims using the spring clips inserted in the slots of the rim?

Thanks for your time and knowledge

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Al,

The tires are L78-15 bias ply tires, the rims came with car so I not sure of their history. The rim with the six broken spokes looks to be older damage except for one spoke which has a clean shiny break. The other rim with two broken spokes looks to also be older damage. Also one other rim has been previously repaired and had eight spokes replaced. So the probability that the rims have seen a few chuck holes etc, is pretty darn high. The spokes look to be the chromed steel and not the stainless.

Ok, so if I want to use the 53 Super Riv wire caps I need the 6.5" rims, correct?

I don't want to ruffle any feathers but I am actually partial to some of the earlier caps like the dog dish or full size on the 50,51 and 52's. I know that these are not correct, but I think they have a nicer look. What is your knowledge on these caps and rim size? Would I be correct in assuming that all of the Buick caps are attached to the rims using the spring clips inserted in the slots of the rim?

Thanks for your time and knowledge

Thanks for your reply to my questions.

■ Buick Skylarks rolled off the assembly line in 1953 with a 6.5"-wide wire wheel shod with 8.00 x 15" tires, and in 1954 with 6.0"-wide wire wheels (same width as your repop) and 7.60 x 15" tires. The 7.60 x 15" tire is comparable to a "H" tire in the 1970's Alpha Numeric tire size nomenclature; the 8.00 x 15" tire is comparable to a "J" tire. Your "L" tire is even bigger for the narrower 6.0"-wide wheel, comparable to a 9.00-9.15 x 15" bias ply tire. This cross section difference might have contributed to your broken spoke problems along with the carbon steel, chrome plated spokes.....not as strong as stainless steel spokes.....and might have been subjected to hydrogen embrittlement issues and/or stress corrosion cracking. All in addition to bad driving habits and/or wheel alignment issues.

■ Yes. You need a 6.5"-wide wheel for the wider 1953 Super/Roadmaster wire wheel cover that has the embossed "V" and coat of arms center cap to fit properly. The wire wheel cover is held on to the plain steel rim by the five lug bolts.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

"What goes around sometimes doesn't come back round." :o

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Al,

Thanks for the information. You got the goods when it comes to all things Buick. Can you give some info on the earlier caps and wheels? Here is the million dollar question, does anyone have a line on any 15x6.5 wheels for sale?

Rick

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Al,

Thanks for the information. You got the goods when it comes to all things Buick. Can you give some info on the earlier caps and wheels? Here is the million dollar question, does anyone have a line on any 15x6.5 wheels for sale?

Rick

Sorry, I do not know many of the other differences between the early 5x5 Buick plain steel wheels (rims): like, number of riveted-on or removable clips, alignment/pivot pin holes, pin striping details, etc......nor......details about wheel covers and hub caps.

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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