General Jumbo Wheel Restoration Clev Weld Wheels

I call these General Jumbo Wheels Because that is what they are most often called. The reality of it is that these are Wheels that were made by Cleveland Welding Co. and these eleven spoke wheels were produced for Goodrich Tire Co.

Because the 11 spoke wheels are more of a refined look than the 9 spoke wheels that General Tire Co. used, we are modifying these to take the General caps. No one that I know of ever reproduced the Goodrich caps which were made to snap onto a clip ring that was spot welded to the rim center. The caps for Goodrich were larger in diameter too.

These wheels are far more complicated to restore than the 9 spoke because of the way the center was constructed.

The rivets were drilled out of the rims and a large portion of the rivet fell inside the spokes. That was when we realized that we would have to cut the center out of the spoke section. They had a bit of rust inside them making them hard to press apart after the centers were cut at the weld on the lathe.

We had all the pieces sandblasted and installed 1/4 inch nutserts in each spoke so we could refasten the spoke section to the rim without welding after the center section is chromed. Originally they just burned some of the chrome off the back side after riveting them into the rims, and just painted it with some silver paint to cover the burn.

We are putting wider rims on the pair for the rear so the holes for the spokes will have to be indexed by our machinist.

After we install the spoke centers in the rims they will be set up in the lathe again and the lug bolt plate will be welded into place. Also the adapter ring on the face so they will accept the General caps, will be welded at this time.

The next step will be to remove the centers again and copper and file and sand until they are ready to polish for the final chrome finish.

Installing the chrome centers and painting the rims black is the final step in this complex project.

The results will likely be proud ownership of what will probably be the only set of these wheels that have ever been restored.


cdan34 said...

Glad to see you're restoring some of the old classic rims. I have likewise restored many sets of General Jumbo Wheels both 14" and 15" with 8 & 9 spokes. I've tried different methods and I think the way I do it currently is the best, no welding. I open up the bottom inside of the spoke with a 3/4 hole saw which allows a 3/8- 24 locknut. Rim side is countersunk for a flathead machine screw. All the machine work I do with index head on mill. All this is indicated in prior to machining with the center chrome plated. It looks nice and runs truer than original (maybe).

Regards Chuck Daniels

Doug Leibrant said...

Thanks for visiting my site and for the informative comment.

Yes the 8 and 9 spokes are much easier to restore than the 11 spoke wheels, because of the way they are constructed. The centers are completely different on the 11 spoke so we had to really take them apart.

I believe they will probably run truer than they did originally too.

They are back at the machine shop now for welding the bolting center back into the spokes. We used 1/4 inch steel insert nuts to bolt the centers to the rims.