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loose spokes


13CADDY
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I pretty much agree with Larry, either repair or replace.  One or two spokes not carrying their load imposes additional strain on the remainder and wheel failure will surely happen, sooner or later.  Speaking from personal experience with a spoke wheel on my '34 Packard.

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6 hours ago, 13CADDY said:

i've got 2 to 3 loose ones in each wheel-car drives ok,but i heard them klicking--any help would be appreciated--

 

First up I would agree with the previous answers, having said that it might be easier said than done depending on your locality.

 

The old school way was to hose them down and get the wood to expand, a short term solution.

If you have a bit of wood working expertise, an old timers trick was to drill down the end of the loose spokes and force in an appropriate size wooden dowel in order to expand the spoke ends, or perhaps you could find a savvy wood worker to try this one.

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You might try Kwik Poly.  Pours like water and cures like plastic. You would probably have to disassemble the wood wheel from the rim to tape up the end of the spoke hole to keep the material from pouring out.  I've done some pretty amazing things with that product.  You can also add various fillers to add in strength. 

http://kwikpolyllc.com/

Scott

 

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When the OP said he hears clicking, wouldn't that mean that he has wire spokes? I have never heard of wood spokes clicking. Yes, the wheels should be re-laced or repaired in order to hold their integrity.

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Firstly, OP hasn't said the vintage of vehicle or type of wheel. I'll assume wire spokes.

 

2 or 3 loose is unlikely. It is almost certain they are all "loose". Take a pencil or chopstick or similar and tap the spokes one after the other. They should all ring with the same pitch sound. The loose ones will have a dull thud. Every time the wheel rotates and comes under load (acceleration, braking, cornering) it "works", wearing and enlarging the spoke holes etc. It gradually becomes unrepairable.

 

Rebuild them NOW. It will be difficult to get the old spokes undone. You will need the right spanner and plenty of heat after a good soak in penetrating oil (50-50 acetone and ATF). The alternative is cut them and get new spokes and nipples made. Is it Buchanan who do that?

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1 hour ago, Seldenguy said:

The OP goes by '13CADDY. Sorry, I guessed he was speaking of that car. My apology for assuming this instead of assuming wires. --Bob

Yep....I guess I missed that, too.

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You do not say what the overall condition and finish is like  . If the outer finish is missing you may try soaking in RAW linseed oil this will have to be brushed on multiple times over weeks if you can't soak dip  . Evaluate after and clean outer surface before adding finish if it is tightened . If the wear is in fello / spoke hole or tenion ,it is time to replace . There's to little wood doing to much work to chance the lateral loads .

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The old school way to "tighten" wood spokes, was to use a spoke jack and insert open ended spoke shims. The are similar to a metal washer with a opening to slide around the spoke nipple. The spoke jack is a steel taper to fit into the hub end of the spokes, then has a threaded expander on the fellow end. You kick the spoke away from the fellow leaving a gap to slide the spoke shim into. These shims came in various thicknesses .  You install the shims 180 degrees apart working you way around the wheel. If you start at 12 o'clock then you go to 6 o'clock then 1 o'clock then 7 o'clock then 11 o'clock then 5 o'clock, then 3 o'clock then 9 o'clock, ending up at 10'oclock and finally 4 o'clock'. This keeps the wheel round and even.

 

If the spoke nipples are worn you can add quick poly or an epoxy as you are adding the spoke shims. Jack the spokes and while they are pulled away from the fellow use a hypo needle available  from any good wood working store and fill the area around the nipple then release the pressure and seat the spoke back to the fellow. Some sealer will ooze out just wipe off with a damp rag and let sit until the epoxy hardens. I suggest you keep the wheel jacked up off the ground after you have completed the shim installation and the fillers has cured. Then go on to the next wheel. I purchased stainless washers in various thicknesses from McMaster Carr and cut the opening to go around the nipple. Stainless will not rust or bleed out in wet weather such as we have here in the NW.

 

just sayin'

 

brasscarguy

 

 

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Also been there with the loose and clicking spokes on my 1913 Cadillac. The car weighs in at about 4,000 lbs. The front wheels are dished, so you not only have radial, but lateral, and angular loads at work when in motion. The rear wheels are your drive wheels, absorbing all the torque from the motor when you let out that big cone clutch, but also all the load from the rear wheel brakes when stopping. So while quick poly might sound good and even stop the clicking, just as shims help short term, they are solutions that are short term at best. The real solution for a 'heavy' car is to ride on new wheels.  Calimers Wheel Shop has been doing this for over 40 years. (I've used them and recommend them highly). I believe Coker has also set up a wheel rebuilding shop in the past couple of years. Talk to them both.  Regards; Jerry Janson

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