I thought, given the recent post about the questionaire for replacement options for widowmakers and split rim 20" wheels, that I would recount my recent experience for those interested.
I have a 52 F6 which came with a mix of 20" stock widowmakers, split rims and 2 Budd 22.5x6.00 rims bearing 10R22.5 tires in poor shape. I also had a bunch of extra wheels and rims that came with the truck. The inside rear wheels on the rear were not touching the pavement if you can imagine that because the 22.5s were mounted on the outside! I wanted to fix that immediately and get rid of the widowmakers using the substantial advice here on this website.
I found a set of used 22.5x5.25 Budd wheels from a bookmobile and jumped for joy but, when they were sandblasted, I found that 2 wheels were cracked at the handhole toward the rivets on the rim and the rims were not that great looking. Besides, to have those wheels enlarged to 6.00 would have cost a small fortune so I would need to mount 9R22.5s despite the fact that those tires are not spec-ed out for the 5.25 inch rim - 9R 22.5s are recommended down to 6.00 wide rims but I am told they work just the same. I did worry about an accident and having someone notice that the tires were oversize for the wheels. Besides, in short order I would have had upwards of $250 to $300 in each wheel and still need to find 2 more and then buy the tires.
So I opted to go with the new 19.5 steel wheels from American Wheel in Pasco. They arrived @ $265.00 each in silver and I had them painted white (I know that black is the stock color - I chose to be different). The wheels easily fit over the hubs and bolted up nicely. The big drawback is that they do not have stock handholes. These handholes are smaller than the stock so they do look a little odd. And the face of the wheel is flatter. I have posted a picture of them at the end of this post.
Part of the decision was the cost of rubber as well. I could get 9R22.5 Michelins for just under $350 (not shopping around) or spend only $225.00 for Hankook 225/70R 19.5s. There were add-ons to dismount and dispose of the old wheels, balance the tires ect. American Frame and Alignment in Kent Washington was where I got all my help. They are great - worked with me every step and no dumb questions from me. I also had them work on my rear end leak at the same time.
The final and most important part of the decision was to make the truck safe so going with modern wheels and tires that were warranted to fit made me go with the choice I made. And I am not trying to create a perfect, numbers matching vehicle. I just want to have a way to haul around my 52 8N tractor.
I am very happy with this although if someone would make stock wheels and tires to fit I woudl have been much happier.
Welcome to the forum nice looking F6 what engine is in it, I looked in your gallery but didn't find anything. Interesting information on the tires and wheels kinda makes me feel better when I price tires for my F1. Thanks for the heads up on the shop in Kent, I'am in Auburn so they are real close.
Eric - Thanks a lot for posting the pics and sharing your experiences. You're right that they don't look exactly original, but they don't have any cracks and rust either. I suspect that the designers intended that they'd have chrome simulators covering them as is the practice on motorhomes.
The only new tubeless wheels that I've been told would come close to matching the old design are Accuride 22.5s that Century Wheel or Wheels Now could custom stamp with the old bolt pattern. But looking at the Accuride online catalog I'm not absolutely sure I believe that they'd match very well either. Their wheels look to have an oval hole pattern, but not like the old design. And looking at the Rickson Wheel web site, their 19.5s look similar to yours. So, unless a guy does like Rick and buys the remanufactured 20s that American Wheel makes, there's no way to avoid the design differences. And with them you'd still be dealing with tubes.
So, I hope you are satisfied with how the truck behaves with them. It's got to be a huge improvement. Stu
Thanks for posting the pictures. The wheels do look different but not bad at all, IMO. They sure look better than having your truck sitting in your driveway because you don't have safe wheels to drive on.
Just for reference this is the set of RV wheels I have on my F-4:
Thanks for the welcome. The beast is powered by an old Olds engine with original tranny and 2 speed rear end. It is registered as a '50 but has some parts that may have come from a '51 or '52. Abbynormal is what some guy called his and I think that fits pretty well. She's got a lot of work to make her look nice but I can wait and do it a little at a time. First I need a plan. That is the stage I am in now that it runs and is safe to drive. Here's a pic of it now:
wow they look good, however that is a lot of bucks, having an f-4 i do not think i can justify spending 4k, i have hunted like a dog for some rims but due to the scrap prices being what they are/were many junk yards have cleaned out their piles of old rims and so i have almost resigned myself to these wm's. although i came close and found a complete set on a dodge m400 frome but they would not slide over the drums much to my dismay, talk about a let down! anyway congrats jv
Hmmm. This has me scratching my head too. The drums on an F-4 are the same as on F-5 and F-6. Those 19.5s should have fit. Budd 17s should also fit. I've seen them mounted on an F-4, and I know that the 19.5s that American Wheel Specialist builds on site are made from old 17" centers mounted in new 19.5 outer rims. I wonder what's the reason.
Those look really nice on the truck! Sure they aren't quite like the originals but they will be safer and more reliable, and less of a hassle if you have a flat or need to replace the tires. Hope I don't jynx you...
What is the reasoning about replacing the original wheels?
Why are they dangerous? My truck is running pretty good now through the fields mostly, into town soon after a state inspection. How many wheels actually made widows?
Wow Guys !
Thanks for the responses, the rims I found on the dodge mh (brentwood) were 17 inch split ring (one solid ring with an open seam). The guy was nice enough to let take the spare home to see if they would fit but while the lug pattern was ident (hence the reason for the euphoria) they just were not wide enough in back to slide over those big f4 timken drums. Boy was that a let down. I am looking for an rv junk yard and may have found one 'bout 40 klics away. By the way I am a nurse working a rehab unit for broken femurs, hip , knees, strokes so when one of you old farts decides to have one of the above come see me ha! jv