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wheelkid 06-16-2006 11:50 AM

Ford Steel Wheel Tech
Hey everybody, heres a tech on some of the more common Ford steel Wheels that hot rodders use. Hope somebody finds this useful.

Wide Five Wheels
36-39 Ford

The '36-39 Ford had the "wide five" bolt pattern, the actual bolt pattern is 5 on 10 1/4 and it is also easily identified by just looking at it. All the normal cars and pickups had 16x4's, but the ones that had the V8-60 engine had 16x3.5's. The hubcaps on these wheels are held on by clips. The 36-38 Lincolns and '39 Mercurys also had 16x4 wheels. A separate company, not Ford; converted Fords to 4-wheel drive and they put wide five wheels on their cars from 36-47. They were 16x5 and they didn't have the spokes around the bolt pattern. These wheels are fairly rare. Wide 5 wheels also came in 18 x 3.62 for high clearance needs.

40-48 Ford and Mercury, 39-48 Lincoln
40-48 Ford
39-40 Lincoln
42-48 Lincoln

The 40-48 Ford, 40 Merc, and 39-40 Lincoln were 16x4 and the bolt pattern was 5 on 5.5. The Ford and Mercury wheel hubcaps were held on by knobs that were on the inner part of the wheel and connected around the outside of the hubcap, this is called an inside knob hubcap. The Lincoln wheel hubcaps were held on by clips. In 1940 the Fords that came with V8-60s had 16x3.5 wheels. In 1941 Merc and Lincoln both had 16x5 wheels, Merc still had inside knob hubcaps and Lincoln still had clips. The 42-48 Mercury and Lincoln wheels were 15x5 and again Mercs had inside knob hubcaps and Lincolns had clips. Also a 18 X 3.62 wheel with the 5x51/2 bolt pattern was made for cars and light pickups, sometimes called milk truck wheels or divco wheels. They had a spoke look like a wide 5 but with only 8 wider spokes. They also used the stock 40 thru 48 hub caps These wheels could be had on 40 thru 48 fords cars and light trucks in the U S and thru 64' on pickups in Canada.

49-56 Ford, 49-51 Lincoln and Mercury
49-51 Mercury
15" 49-56 Ford
16" 49-52 Ford

Normal 49-56 Ford wheels were 15x5 with a 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern. Their hubcaps were outside knob which means the knobs are on the inside of the hubcap and on the outside of the center of the wheel. The hubcap that these wheels took measured 10 1/8 accross the back. From 49-52 Ford offered a 16x4.5 as an option, same bolt pattern and hubcap. From 49-51 the 6-cylinder cars came with 15x4.5 and from 52-56 the station wagons had 15x5.5 wheels on them, both same bolt pattern and hubcap. The 49-51 Mercurys had 15x5.5 wheels with a 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern. The hubcaps were bigger than normal Ford hubcaps. I'm not exactly sure of what size the hubcaps are, but it's something like 11", but they are still outside knob caps. 49-51 Lincolns also had 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern, but were 15x6s. They also had wheel covers instead of hubcaps. They had little bumps on the rim to hold the wheel cover on.

Ford Pickups
49-64 Pickup
65 and up Pickup

Up until 1949 Ford pickups just used the same wheels as the cars, but when the ford cars moved to the 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern the pickups didn't. They stayed with 5 on 5.5. The wheels they used from 49-64 much like 40-48 in that they had inside knob hubcaps and 5 on 5.5 bolt. The early wheels were 15x5 and the later ones were 15x5.5, I'm not sure what year they switched over to the 5.5 width. In 1965 Ford trucks switched over to an outside knob wheel and kept that wheel up to the mid 80s

Hope this is useful
Thanks, Jimmy

home brew 06-16-2006 12:03 PM

Thanks for the info wheelkid. :thumbup: It will be nice to have that info when poking around junk piles.

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wheelkid 06-17-2006 05:26 PM

thanks guys, does anyone have any ideas for what kind of wheels i should report about next?

hotrodjimmi 11-29-2006 10:11 PM

wheel tech
how About some info on thsoe cool military wheels.

Brian_B 11-30-2006 12:10 AM

That is a nice post. I knew about the truck wheels. I have 4 of the correct ones on my truck, but my spare is a post 64. I need to find one more that is pre 64 so I can put a "dog dish" cap and trim ring on it.

I have no clue what the width on them are though. If you find out when the switch to 5.5 was, please let me know. I want to put the correct ones on.

Mine is a 56 f-100. Thanks.

Deuce 11-30-2006 06:44 AM

wheelkid ... you look a lot like Henry Ford ... Ha ha ... :D

Great post ...
you should add this to the Wiki ... Hot rod encyclopedia

Deuce ... Moderator

FrankR 12-03-2006 08:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by wheelkid
thanks guys, does anyone have any ideas for what kind of wheels i should report about next?

I am really confused about the Divco wheels or what I thought were. Anyone have any pictures of these?

I'd like to find some of these David Bradley walk-behind garden tractor wheels.

willowbilly3 12-06-2006 10:14 AM

Awesome stuff, thanks. Maybe some tech on different artillery style wheels would be helpful if you are looking for another project.

FrankR 12-26-2006 08:56 PM

Can anyone identify this rim on the right? Both came off a 60's Ford truck. The one on the left is the typical KH 15" 5 on 5.5" x5"w. The one on the right is 15" but its 6" wide and there are no provisions for a small hubcap. No springs or nubs. I'd like to find a match to it but not sure where to look. I could not find another like it among the three early 60's Ford trucks this wrecking yard had.

xntrik 01-07-2007 06:31 PM


Originally Posted by wheelkid
thanks guys, does anyone have any ideas for what kind of wheels i should report about next?

Sure. Most car lines of the mid 60s had the Magnum 500 as an option. :cool: There were lots of variations of widths, back spacing, trim rings, etc.

66 Hertz GT-350s had a chrome 6 x 14 wheel with shallow backspacing so it looked really wide on the outside. So did the 75 Cougar XR7 and the Maverick but they both used the trim ring.
Mopar used the 6 x 14 with a deeper backspace and it looked shallower, so did Rambler.
Some cars had even more backspace so the wheels looked "flat".

Fords used a 7 x 14 sometimes a painted center, sometimes a chrome center and painted wheel with trim ring.

Chevelles used a 6, 7 x 14 in varying trim ring styles.

I have some 14 x 6 Ford wheels with medium backspace and the 70s Olds Cutlas wide trim ring fits perfectly.

Later, the Boss cars upped the anti to 15 inch wheels.

I have some 14 x 7 painted center Ford wheels and cannot find a suitable trim ring.

I like the 60s 14 inch look on my car but cannot find 14 inch performance tires to fit, so I might up to 15s if I can find them to fit.

I prefer the "flat" trim ring look over the chromed wheel look so I am stuck running the Radial TAs in 235.60x14 size on the 14 x 6 (hoping to get the 7s on with decent performance tires :sweat: ).

thanks :cool: :cool:

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