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ew1usnr
02-20-2016, 04:03 AM
Here is some interesting wheel trivia. A mechanical engineer friend of mine at work has a 1967 Fairlane and he is an amazing source of of information on old Fords. He told me that prior to approximately 1966 the center spokes on wheels were riveted to the rim. After somewhere around 1966 they were welded.

I have 1963 Falcon with a 260 V-8 that has 13-inch wheels with five lugs (Six cylinder Falcons have 13-wheels with four lugs). I pulled the spare tire out of my trunk and saw that my friend was indeed correct. My wheels have three rivets securing each of the four spokes to the rim. I would have never noticed that if he had not mentioned it.

Here is the back side of my 1963 13-inch 5-lug 4-spoke wheel:

5515

Close up of rivets. The original inspector's "188" paint-pen mark is still visible:

5516

Falcon wheels probably changed to a welded design by 1966.
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Jeff W
02-20-2016, 11:33 AM
I don't think I ever noticed the change either. They must not be a performance or safety concern or else there would be warnings to not to use one type or the other on every classic car site on the internet.
I have a umounted pair of 14" rims that Steve powder coated for me. Now I will have to dig them out of storage and give them a look.

dhbfaster
02-22-2016, 11:35 PM
Interesting. Probably a cost savings and potentially aligned with a quality improvement. Ford or their supplier came up with a way to weld the wheels, eliminate the rivets (probably a purchased item?), eliminate the drilling of the holes, maybe improve reliability- but at least not make it worse. ;:)
I wonder how much money they saved on all those cars...

SmithKid
02-23-2016, 10:28 AM
Possibly went to welded as a cost saver (done robotically)?