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Old 02-27-2021, 07:31 PM   #1
msstring
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Default 1950 F3 Wheels

What are you all using for rear wheels on original brake drums. Today I bought a set of 17" later model 8 hole rims only to learn that they are a larger diameter hole pattern by about 1/2". I have the original rims but the are split rims and nobody wants to put tires on them anymore. I thought Ford 8 hole rims were 8 hole rims, I guess not.

Any suggestions? I don't want to break the bank on rims, would like to find something used.

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Old 02-27-2021, 07:53 PM   #2
rotorwrench
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

The most knowledgeable fellow about wheels on this forum is truckdog62563. He has posted on the early bonus built truck wheel replacements before. A search may find some info with the right search string.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:14 PM   #3
truckdog62563
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

You’re describing a problem that has been well flushed out over on the FTE forum. The 14” Lockheed rear drums on ‘48 to ‘51 F-3s dictated the use of the 17” stock widow maker wheels. No 16” stock OEM style wheel has been found to clear them. There are, however, solutions that have been found. Two of the solutions are OEM tubeless 17.5” and 19.5” wheels offered on F-250s between 1956 and 1966. These allow use of stock hub caps too. The 17.5s are either of two Budd part numbers, #70720 or #73240, and the 19.5” is #71410. As you might expect these aren’t plentiful. But they show up on eBay pretty regularly.

The third solution is to have your stock widow maker centers remounted into tubeless 17” x 7” modern outer rims. Slightly wider than the stock 5.5” wide widow makers, but when the difference is balanced with a proper offset they work well. These allow use of stock 7.50-17” tires. Several FTE members have had good service in having these built by Stockton Wheel in CA.

There is also a modern 17” Dodge wheel that works. Going from memory here they are 7.5” wide and require use of a spacer on the front axle to my recall. They don’t accept stock hub caps. I can look up the part number if this option interests you.

The other common solution is a replacement D60 rear axle from a 1972 or earlier F-250. This lets you use any 1997HD or early 16” F-250 wheels having the 8 x 6.5” pattern. Stu
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

Here are sets of both the 17.5” and 19.5” now on eBay. I have no connection to the sellers. Stu

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1950s-1960s...EAAOSwW05f0qc4
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-1966-F...8AAOSwhnZfoy-j
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

I also have an interest in truck rims and the part that confuses me here is the 1/2" difference in 8 hole lug pattern. I bet those 17" wheels were quite new, like the super duty years. That is when they left the 8 on 6.5 and for some reason went to 8 on some metric measurement. Kind of a dirty trick for us used tire/wheel scrounger guys!.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

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Wow, I had no idea... I guess I have some things to think about. I like the idea of a different axel with maybe a little lower gear ratio. But what effect would that have on the brakes? Does the drive shaft bolt up or do I have to customize that then... so many questions.

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Old 02-28-2021, 07:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

Agree the 17s were probably 1998 or later metrics. Dodge used the 8 x 6.5” right up to the present, or near present, which is why they are an option.

The rear axle swap has been written up real well too, but I’ve only paid passing attention to it. A Google search would yield a lot on it. The 34” frames were SAE standard on pickups through 1972 and a few more years on cab/chassis one tons. The prime F-250 years as I recall are ‘67 to ‘71 where it’s as near as can be imagined a bolt in swap. The 1972 requires a minor mod of some kind. Whether the others might require a switch to a combo u-joint or different yoke I can’t say. Or maybe a shortened drive shaft too I guess.

Another cheap fix is to find a guy with an F-2 and swap in the whole axle. They have 12” Lockheeds and you’d be done. Or find a late ‘51 or ‘52 F-3 and swap in its complete Timken. They have 12” Bendix brakes. You’d have to then swap in the driveline emergency brake drum on the tranny with hardware too. Stu
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

These two components have always been in question on the forums that cover the Bonus Built trucks. Widow maker wheel problems and the earlier Timken Detroit rear axle's lower than low ratios always have folks looking. Chuck's trucks is about the only supplier for the lower rear axle ratio for them. His are 4.11:1.

This is only one of the many swap threads: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/2...xle-swaps.html

Dana 60 & 70 axles and maybe a few others had widths that can work. Driveshafts generally need mod and perches vary but some may work OK as is.

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Old 02-28-2021, 10:33 PM   #9
Scotty's 52 F3
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

I swapped in a Dana 60 with 3.73 ratio from a 1972 F250. Almost a direct bolt in.

The pinion angle is not ideal as is but, I've been running it without vibration. Pinion shims might work but, I'll probably cut off the spring perches and reposition them. One of these days.

I had to shorten the drive shaft. Some people needed a conversion U-joint. I did not. The same U-joints fit. Must be variations in the yoke on the diff.

I had to adapt the brake lines. I used the stock lines and hoses up to the junction block Tee on the axle and adapted to the larger steel lines that went to the brake cylinders.

I am using original 1948 16" F2 wheels. Later model 16" stock Ford wheels I got from a E300 Van also fit.

The Dana 60 had the parking brake linkage. I have a driveline parking brake so I removed the levers that the cables connect to.

It really is an easy swap. The FTE forum has a lot of info including the conversion U-joint IF you need one.
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

i have a pair of 19.5's if interested.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:51 AM   #11
msstring
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Default Re: 1950 F3 Wheels

Thanks for all the great information guys, I really appreciate it. I happen to find a set of 6.5 to 117 adapters. Not sure if it is a permanent solution but maybe a quick fix to get some newer rubber under it. These have the bonus advantage of spacing the wheel out a bit. But they didn't come with all the nuts so I would need to find them now. I assume that shouldn't be too hard... But not without challenge. The pockets for the nuts are not big enough for the original nut & 13/16" socket. And, some of the threads on the adapter bolts are buggered up. They are too long anyway so I can cut the bad parts off. But I don't know what threads they are. They also have the tapered end and the wheels I have are designed for the newer flat style nuts.

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