1962 Triumph TR4 Restoration

Brian Sanborn, Groton, MA

Converting to Wire Wheels

Chrome Wire Wheels Really Pump Up the Car

The conversion from disc wheels to wire wheels is not difficult. The biggest problem is the high cost of the parts involved.  New from the Roadster Factory at 25% off and free shipping, the price was still around $1,300. You naturally require 4 wire wheels and if you want an effective spare tire, you will need a 5th wire wheel for the spare.  You also need 4 winged spin on hub nuts, 4 wire wheel spline hub adaptors along with 16 special nuts for attaching the adapters to the hub.

You can try to find used wheels and hub adapters, but this is risky because it is hard to tell the true condition of the parts.  New hubs on old wheels is a bad match because the old worn wheels will quickly wear down the new hubs.   If you do buy used, don't pay very much unless you absolutely know the mileage on the components.  I bought a used painted wheel on Ebay for my spare.

The choice between silver painted or chrome is a matter of personal choice.  Painted is the original part.  But chrome looks so sexy that it's hard to resist the option for a little more money.  I saw all these TR beauties at the VTR convention in Portland, ME with chrome and decided to "invest" in chrome wire wheels.  But every once in a while I second guess that decision and wonder whether the painted wheels would have been better...  but only for a moment.

You have two brands of wheels to choose from.  Dayton wheels are made in the US and are supposed to be the best. They come with 1 year warranty and are said to be stronger than the wheels from Dunlop.  The Dunlop wheels are made under license in India. Some folks complain that the Dunlops rust very early in their life.  TRF carries Dayton... while Moss offers Dunlops.  British Wire Wheel carries both and the correct tires, bands and tubes as well.

The hub adapters and knock-off nuts come in RH and LH versions.  You will need 2 of each.  For the conversion, the studs need to cut or replaced. I cut mine off to be just a little bit longer than needed to leave threads showing beyond the special nuts. The splines and wheel nuts get ant-sieze grease where ever metal touches metal.