|The MGA With An Attitude
DEFORMED Wire Wheel Hubs - WL-104A
On January 12, 2014, Terry Sheppard in Hampton, Victoria, Australia wrote:
"Trying to track down causes of two possibly related problems - wheel shake at around 55 to 60 MPH after having the wheels properly balanced, supported on inner and outer cones, and also knock from the front wheels when applying brakes. Thought I would start by looking at the wear on the splines as cause of the knock, and they don't look really bad, but are obviously worn.
"But I was really concerned when I saw the witness marks on the back face of the wheel hub (photos attached) and some corresponding damage on the brake drum attaching nuts. It appears that there has been contact between the wheel center hub and the nuts which hold the brake drum in place. Also the conical mount on both the front axle hub and the wheel hub shows what is either fretting corrosion, or rust stains which may indicate that the cones have not been properly seating".
Notice in your first picture there are spline bite marks in the outboard end (minor diameter) of the cone surface. This indicates that at some time in a past life the knockoff nut was severely overtightened, deforming the female cone in the wheel hub. That would push the wheel hub inward enough to come into contact with the hex nuts, or for the wheel hub flange to come into contact with the brake drum.
I think the only reasonable cure is to replace the wheel hub, or replace the whole wheel. For a temporary emergency fix you could install a shim between the conical surfaces.
Here is another example of the damaged hub. Once you see the bite marks in the male hub cone, the female hub of the wire wheel has already been damaged beyond use.