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Case1950 02-04-2008 06:01 PM

Big truck 5 lug to 6 lug conversion
For all you 1.5 ton guys, what do I need to convert my 5 lug truck to a little more modern 6 lug set up for the wheels? I have found a newer model Ford F-600 or 700 with the six lug wheels, this would be the parts truck. Could I just change the hubs and maybe spindles?

Finding safe replacements for the big 20" 5 lug wheels is almost impossible. I found some wheels in good shape, but they are the dreaded RH5.:-banghead

Thanks guys,


1947 Ford 1.5 ton Dump truck, 2 speed rearend, 239 Flathead V8

F6Guy 02-04-2008 08:04 PM

I often wondered about that myself. You might be able to swap out the entire front and rear axles if they are the same width. Are you around farm country? If so look for an international truck as they use the five lug pattern until at least 1959 and they are the lock ring design, not one peice but loads safer than the original RH5s

truckdog62563 02-04-2008 08:24 PM

Yeah, I was wondering the same about swapping out the whole rascal. The only concern would be spring mount location and steering set up. The rear would be easy. I also like the idea of looking for IHs. As best I can tell from hanging around the IH sites and reading their jabber about wheels, they aren't faced with the RH-5s like we are. Too bad you're in Georgia. I know where a big '70s era IH sits in the weeds in southwest Missouri that has a full set of 22.5" tubeless 5 lug rims wearing pretty nice looking rubber. You'd have to buy the whole truck, pay the haul, then scrap it. The cost would be extreme, and that's why I didn't do it.

Case1950 02-05-2008 01:47 PM

I didn't know they made the 22.5" in 5 lug wheels. I have been searching for those for a while. My original wheels were the safer snap ring style, but they are rusted out so bad they couldn't be salvaged. It's kind of odd, that the truck is in fairly good shape with not much rust but the wheels were rotted out.

I guess I will keep looking. If anybody knows how to do the conversion let us know. It would be nice to just buy new 6 lug wheels and be done with it.


truckdog62563 02-05-2008 02:14 PM

Both Budd and Accuride made 5 lug tubeless in 19.5" and 22.5" sizes. Budd was bought out by Allied Signal in the mid '90s and I don't know what happened to their wheel line except that it's gone. Accuride stopped making the 5 lugs somewhere around then too. I forget what I've suggested to you on this, but if I've not suggested it yet, you might contact Chuck Mantiglia at Chuck's Trucks. I know that he keeps his eyes open for these. He is at Stu

Case1950 02-05-2008 08:04 PM

I will try Chucks trucks. I don't think you have mentioned that site before. I think I have rounded up 2 good wheels so far out of 12. They are the old snap ring style not the RH5. At this rate I will be restoring my '99 model truck by the time I get enough wheels for the '47.:)

Thanks again,


3Mike6 02-05-2008 09:15 PM

Any chance a modern-ish 10 hole wheel will work?

truckdog62563 02-06-2008 12:59 AM

Don't think so. Modern rims that are "stud piloted" don't have the 8" bolt circle that's needed here. I just went to the Accuride on-line catalog and their 10 hole rims use either an 8 3/4" circle or an 11 1/4" circle. New wheels will also require different studs that use single cap nuts on DRW applications. I'm not sure how they'd work on our old hubs.

I honestly think, Case1950, that you're where I was at a few years ago. Having to learn about and do the detective work to find these old rims. In a sense you guys that use 20" rims have some advantage because so many more manufacturers used your 20s than used my 17s. Come to think of it, you might hang around the IH web sites, Dodge Travco web sites, Studebaker sites, and even GM sites to see if anybody has any for sale. Just about everybody used the 5 lug x 8" circle back then. Since everybody is looking for the tubeless 19.5s and 22.5s, but you might find 20s that somebody is willing to part with. Make sure that any wheels you buy come with the matching ring. Mix matching rim and ring is bad business. Sites I go to are,,, and I mentioned Studebaker sites, but I've not gone to them for a while (dumped their links) because I've gotten pretty specific in what I'm looking for. Studebakers used wheels made by Motor Wheel Corp. that will fit Fords, but are a slightly different design. And try Chuck. He's good to work with. Stu

Case1950 02-07-2008 09:48 AM

Stu, here is a good question for you. I tried to google this but didn't come up with anything.

If I was to change from 20" wheel to 22.5" wheel, what would be the new tire size I would need. I have 7.00-20 on the front and 8.25-20 on the rear currently (two speed rear). I noticed the sizing is different for the 22.5" wheels.

truckdog62563 02-07-2008 01:34 PM

There's several issue here, so let me try to be organized. First, you probably want to try to match as closely as possible the outside tire diameter of your existing 20s to help you maintain speedometer accuracy. The online catalogs at Universal Tire, Denman, M. E. Miller, etc. give the respective outside diameters of new tires that will fit either 19.5" or 22.5" tubeless rims. Whether you go with 19.5" or 22.5" obviously first depends on what you can find. Be aware that I've heard some guys say that 22.5s come real close to rubbing their fender well openings. Others, like Chuck if I remember right, seem to be more inclined to the 22.5s because they yield more road speed with stock gearing.

Budd 19.5" rims with this bolt pattern were either 5.25" wide or 6" wide. The Budd part numbers were #72070 for the 5.25", and #73160 and #89340 for the 6" wide rims. The different numbers for the 6" rims is I think just due to Budd updating numbers. The #72070 and #73160 are from a 1960 book, and the #89340 is from a 1972 book. I won't have modern tire sizes to fit these rim widths, but can give you what the books say were appropriate at the time. The 5.25" rim would accept a 7.0 or 8.0 width, the 6.00" would accept a 8.75 width. I'll assume a modern tire shop can advise based on the width of the rims.

The 22.5s came in 5.25" (Budd #69930), 6" (Budd #76310 and #76320), and 6.75" (Budd #72540 and #89810). The 5.25" and 6" are same as above, the 6.75" accepts 8.75 or 9.50 tires.

My friend Bob Jones over on the 48-60 page has a set of 19.5" #72070s on his F-4, so I can ask him his tire sizes if it would help you. I also know that both Budd and Accuride used the same part #89340 on their last edition 19.5s. I've found one set of 22.5s (mentioned above), but found no numbers on them. So, that's another thing I need to acknowledge. There may be other wheels out there that were made by Accuride, Motor Wheel Corp, K-H, or some other that I just haven't run across yet. Also, I've seen wheels that no matter how hard I looked, didn't have numbers. Hope that helps. Stu

bobj49f2 02-07-2008 07:58 PM

The 19.5" tubeless I have on my F-4 stand 32.5" high and shod with 8-19.5 Goodyear Cushion Miler tires. The original 20" tires the '48 truck had on it when I got it were 33" high.

The F-4 is a combination of a '51 chassis with '48 sheetmetal. The '51 had the 22.5" tubeless when I bought but I went with the 19.5" because the 22.5"s, I thought, made the truck look like a circus wagon. The 22.5"s had 8-22.5 tires on the front and 7-22.5 on the back. The front tires came close to rubbing the fenders and I could only find 9-22.5"s so that would have made the wheels come even closer. Chuck has told me that the way the front suspension on the '48 and up trucks are built the tires would not have rubbed because when the front suspension is loaded the wheels swing forward but I still thought they would rub if I use the 9" tires.

I was able to find the 19.5"s on a mid to late '70s RV with a Dodge M-400 or M-500 chassis. In fact I found two sets within 50 miles of each other. The first RV was a total wreck that suffered a lot of leakeage damage, the second RV was tossed around in a tornado. Both sets I had to use about $150 worth of gas to get, unfortunately, I didn't learn about the second set until a week after I got the first set, I got the first set for $300 and the second for $150. The first had seven wheels and the second had six wheels, all with good useable highmiler tires. I'm just telling you to let you know they're still out there, you just have to look. I recently found an old RV in CT on eBay and let the guys on the '48-60 board know about it. One of the member got it for something like $150. Of course the biggest hassle is getting rid of the rest of the RV, most junk yards don't want them because they are mostly wood, insulation and plastic.

One thing I like to tell people looking for replacement wheels. Save your Widow Maker wheels, they are good for one thing, if you do find a wreck that has good wheels you can swap out your Widow Makers for the good ones so the wreck can be dragged off to the scrap yard. I could not have gotten either set that I found unless the sellers had a way to drag the hulks to the scrap yard. They would not sell them to me if I didn't replace the wheels I was taking.

truckdog62563 02-07-2008 08:43 PM

Thanks Bob.

BTW - I mentioned somewhere, but maybe not here, that our member Phyrphighter has a set of 22.5s listed for sale over on the MSN site. I see that he also has them listed on the Bonus Built site ( You might private message him if you want to go that route. Good luck. Stu

F6Guy 02-18-2008 07:42 PM

I just scored a set of 19.5's today for $370.00 for six.

truckdog62563 02-18-2008 09:46 PM

Good goin', F6Guy. Your wife should read all the chatter that goes on with guys simply trying to find them. And here you found them and got a deal to boot. It's all about SAFETY, explain to her, "SAFETY dear".

BTW, I posted it on the 48-60 page but not here. Chuck Mantiglia at Chuck's Trucks has a set of 22.5s in hand now for sale. Don't know how much, and have no financial interest in the deal, but I suspect he'll want a bit more than F6Guy paid for these 19.5s.

rbaker6336 02-19-2008 01:22 PM

Originally Posted by Case1950
For all you 1.5 ton guys, what do I need to convert my 5 lug truck to a little more modern 6 lug set up for the wheels? I have found a newer model Ford F-600 or 700 with the six lug wheels, this would be the parts truck. Could I just change the hubs and maybe spindles?

Finding safe replacements for the big 20" 5 lug wheels is almost impossible. I found some wheels in good shape, but they are the dreaded RH5.:-banghead

Thanks guys,


1947 Ford 1.5 ton Dump truck, 2 speed rearend, 239 Flathead V8

if it is the same series front and rear they normally will sometimes takes a bearing change
ford used the 15k lb eaton rear axle in the f-6 and f-600 for many years and front were same other than lugg configuration
if I had my bearing book handy I could tell for sure which were the same

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