|The MGA With An Attitude
BOLT-ON Wire Wheel ADAPTERS, Experience - WL-205A
n Oct 23, 2016, Douglas Lessing in Blue Point, New York, USA wrote:
"Although converting to wire wheels without swapping the rear axle has risks, I decided to give it a try. Bottom line, it worked, but not by much! The loss of clearance in the rear fender requires that everything else be spot on - including rear session, body work and more.
I purchased the 60 spoke 15 x 4.5 MWS/Dunlop Wire wheels and 165/80/15 Vredestein tires from Hendrix. Allen also sent the Moss conversion kit. Following posts on this forum and Gil Dupre's video, I had an easy time of swapping the front hubs and bolting on the conversion hubs in the rear. It was absolutely required to cut the ends off the hub bolts (about 5/16"winking smiley to bring them flush with the Moss rounded nuts. If this is not done, the wheel will not fully engage the hub. Instead it hangs up on the bolts. So far so good. Conversion took about a day, at a leisurely pace.
Prior to the conversion, the car would vibrate on and off at 60 mph on the highway. All of the posts pointed to out-of-round tires. Sure enough, after the new tires went on, the car was driving like a dream on the highway - smooth as could be.
Now for the tough part. Sure enough, I had clearance problems even with the 165/15's. On bumps, the left fender was hitting the tire on the top-outside edge. This revealed a couple of different problems. First, I learned that there had been minor body work done to the left fender, and it was flatter than the right side in profile. Given some other cosmetic issues, I had the fender repaired and repainted. This gave a little more clearance outward, but not enough. It was also clear that the leaf springs were tired, as I could tell that the car was off-center to the left, about 5/8", and lower on the left by about 3/4" compared to the right.
I opted to rebuild the rear suspension using Moss parts including their leaf springs and the Superpro Polyurethane Bushings and Pads (from Australia). I also purchased rebuilt rear shocks from Worldwide. After another Saturday reading Barney's site, MGExp and watching John Twist, I had the car back on the ground with new rear suspension in place. The verdict? It worked! The car is centered, there is equal clearance left and right, and the worst bumps I could find couldn't cause a rub. The Moss leaf springs did add about an inch of vertical height compared to the old springs.
So, some conclusions:
- The beautiful new wire wheels and Vreds from Hendrix are butter smooth and worth the money. This corrected my highway vibrations.
- Using the Moss Wire Wheel Conversion works, but it removes all tolerances and requires everything especially your rear suspension and shocks to be spot on. I can't imagine a tire any larger than this would work with the rear conversion kit.
- If undertaking this project, plan on the project getting a bit more involved than you planned!
- The end result was worth the effort! The car drives beautifully and looks transformed.