Topic: need 38 Ford model 81"u" wheels; 1 1/2 to 2 ton    -- 12-28-2021 @ 2:43 PM
  I restored my truck in 1986 to new condition. Due to age, we restoring it again; [ 1938 Ford 1 1/2 ton to 2 ton dump [81"U" 134" 85 HP] . I discovered we have 2 bent wheels which seem to be specific to the 1938 1 1/2 to and 2 ton trucks. Manual shows part number is 81T- 1015. A good Sameritan on another forum thinks a Budd #34909 20" x 6" might work but I can't locate a source
Does anyone have these or some clue where I can look for them?
This forum or better Email at of 793-759-2371 anytime
Thanks to all
Wayne38    -- 12-31-2021 @ 11:21 AM
  Got my truck back and mechanic walked me thru his operation on possibly bent right front wheel. They lifted it then spun the right front wheel and it did wobble but the hub and front end rock solid. It is not a bent hub as originally thought. Put some kind of gauge on it. Wheel bent x 3/8".Swapped out with the spare behind cab but spare was bent worse so put it back. Then swapped out with outer right rear and it seems to run true. Bent one put on outside right rear double and wobble does not seem to be noticeable but I want to at least replace this one.
Got a lead to look at rear wheels for a number stamp on wheel near lug bolts. The bent one on right rear has no stamped number but the
left rear wheels has a stamped number that looks like
[see photo attached]
Little blurry but pretty sure this is it.
The front wheels are facing out [ not in like rear outside ] and no stamped numbers found.
I understand there are places that carry wheels by this stamped number but I have
not been able to find anybody that has any.
Any clues?
Thanks for any help
Wayne 38

truckdog62563    -- 01-02-2022 @ 9:18 PM
  Wayne - please keep in mind the other things I told you. The Ford number 81T 1015 may not have a direct connection to your wheel given Ford’s tendency to substitute and interchange like specification wheels. My references link the Budd 34909 to this Ford number, but clearly your Budd 35260s were a close match. Also, you said another of your wheels has no number. That tells me that wheel was made by Kelsey Hayes because they never did not permanently stamp numbers into their wheels. Budd Company wheels of your era generally have their Budd numbers stamped on the concave flat of the center disc, as you pictured. You made comment that you’d heard that the Budd number could also be located on the concave side rim lip of the wheel. This is true, but on later production wheels.

So what matters here are the design specs I detailed on your FTE post. The 20” x 6” width shown in the Chassis Catalog is the old industry standard prior to around 1940. The National Wheel and Rim Association changed from measuring width across the rim lips (6”) and adopted a standard of measurement down inside across the base rim (4.33”). A new specification 6” would swallow your truck up.

All OEM wheels of the era would have had Firestone outer rims given the family friendship. In your case the “RH” style. Other wheels having Goodyear rims would substitute if found, but would most likely have Dodge or IHC origins.

The other key measurement is offset, more easily determined by measuring backspace. The Budd 34909 measures 7” from the rear rim lips to the center disc. The Budd 35260 measures 7.25”. Finding a wheel that matches the 4.33” width and similar backspace is the goal. Stu

Stu McMillan

'47 Tonner Marmon Herrington V8
'52 F-3 Marmon Herrington I6

This message was edited by truckdog62563 on 1-3-22 @ 3:41 AM

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