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Wheel interchange for 1948 Spartan Manor tvl trailer?


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I'm helping a friend prepare to transport his 1948 Spartan Manor travel trailer (single axle, 25' long) 300 miles to a semi-permanent location.  Original wheels are 15-inch 2-piece "widow-maker" truck wheels, 5 on 5.5 (five bolts, 5.5" bolt circle, 4.0" pilot hole) with **9/16"** wheel bolts.  The etrailer white-spoke design is OK because authenticity is not a consideration, but the 9/16 bolts are the unresolved problem:  there just aren't any that I've been able to find so far--1/2" is the largest size available.  Changing hubs might be even worse.


Does anyone have any truck wheel interchange information to get us to a single-piece wheel?  Again, 15-inch (there's clearance to go to 16" if other parameters are met, but 5-bolt 16" wheels are hens' teeth), 5 on 5.5 bolt circle, 4.0 (or 4.25) pilot hole, WITH 9/16 BOLT HOLES.


Thanks in advance for your help!

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The Hollander gives interchanges but not bolt sizes or centre opening sizes.


Buick '34-35 ser. 50 had 16x4.5 on 5/5.5". The same spec. was an option on some Graham of the same years.


'33 Chrysler CT, Lt 8 had 15x5.5, 5/5.5".   Wire or wood.

Buick '38 60 had 15x5.5, 5/5.5".    Disc.

Buick '36 60, 80 15x5 or 15x5.5 on 5/5.5.  Steel.

Chrysler '41-48 C30, 33, 36, 37, 39.

     "         '46-48 6  7 pass. 15"

 De Soto '46-48 7 pass. 15"

Dodge '46-48 7 pass. 15"         all had 15x5 or 15x5.5 on 5/5.5"   Steel

Mercury '41-48 15x5 5/5.5"     Disc.

Lincoln '42-48 15x5 5/5.5. Steel

Mercury '49-51 15x5.5 5/5.5" .  Disc. Lincoln '49.

Chrysler '49-50 8 cyl. 47, 50; 15x6.5.

Chrysler '49-50  C45, 46, 48, 49, 7 pass.; DeSoto D14, 7 pass.; Dodge D34, 7 pass.   15x6.  Steel

and that's it from 1952! They don't make this easy.


Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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Thank you, Spinneyhill, I appreciate your research.  I'm leaning toward TRUCK wheels which would work, given the 9/16" wheel bolt holes required.  Even my >5,000 lb 1930s Pierces use 1/2-20 wheel fasteners.

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5 on 5.5 is Ford 1/2 ton truck isn't it? 


Could the holes be bored out? Even if this is not possible on a "stock" type rim, possibly some aftermarket HEAVY (overweight) pickup wheels, like the white spokes that are just thick flat steel at the center, or maybe some aftermarket alloy wheels.

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I was just about to ask about boring out the holes on the white spokes - it's not like you are going to go cross country or tow it much.


Barring that, if you have the original wheels most big truck repair places (at least around here) still have a cage in the corner "just in case" and will install new tires and tubes for you .... probably won't be cheap. The last one I had done was at a local garage and he had quoted me $10. When I picked it up he told me up front the next one would be closer to $40.   

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Trailers put a lot of stress on their wheels, so they are usually heavier than a car wheel. This may account for the larger bolts as well. Whether a truck wheel is strong enough is a good question, you won't go wrong using trailer wheels.

When you say semi permanent does that mean you won't need good wheels or tires after the trip? If that is the case maybe a trailer dealer will rent you some wheels. Or  a professional mobile home transporter.

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Thank you very much, gents.  Yes, this will be a one-way trip where my friend will live in the trailer while building a second home, after which the Spartan will become guest quarters.  As I mentioned, the 9/16 bolts are the problem, as easily available trailer wheels with generous weight limits are bored for 1/2-20 bolts/studs..  I proposed drilling out the trailer-duty white spokes to Customer Service at etrailer.com and was advised against it--but that may be legal CYA on their part.  This is a single-axle trailer of about 4,500 lbs, currently with NO spare, and I clearly need one.  I agreed to tow the Spartan to its new home with my F-350 diesel DRW, but only if we have decent wheels and tires.  My friend is willing to buy trailer-spec tires,


13CADDY, I'll research foreign truck wheels, thank you--hadn't thought of that.  Bloo, postwar Ford pickup is a possibility too, but Hollanders doesn't show bolt size.  Once we find suitable wheels, I'll check clearances and get trailer tires to suit.


I'll look at the spare trailer white-spoke wheels (15-inch) for one of my car trailers and see how much meat is left should I bore out readily available similar wheels.  I'm DEFINITELY not running over 55 mph!


I REALLY appreciate your help!  This started out to be a simple task but isn't due to the 9/16 bolts.


BTW, I have tasked my friend with contacting other Spartan owners for their wheel solutions.

Edited by Grimy
added one sentence (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Grimy said:

Bloo, postwar Ford pickup is a possibility too, but Hollanders doesn't show bolt size. 


I don't believe the studs are as big as you want, however Fords of that period (60s, 70s) in general used bigger (larger hex) nuts than similar Mopars, etc. on the same size stud, and so the holes on a Ford wheel may be bigger than expected. It wouldn't surprise me if they went on without drilling.


The 4" pilot hole might be a problem. but I'll bet aftermarket white spokes would have a huge center hole.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Thank you, gents.  Drilling looks like the best solution now, if there's enough meat--but I will check out foreign truck wheels. Will have to taper the new holes as well.


I need one spare (one additional wheel), but believe me, at this stage, the two original wheels are a real possibility.


Aftermarket white spoke of sufficient capacity have 4.25" pilot hole, which will work.


I'll keep you posted.  Thanks for the ideas and support on this.

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