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MG MGA - Aluminium peg drive wheels for MGAs Twin Cams

Does anyone have experience with cast aluminium, peg drive, wider wheels to suit MGA TC and Deluxes as made by Racemettle Ltd in the UK?
Is it important to have bare metal to bare metal contact on the spinner taper (no paint)to ensure these type of wheels stay tight? We have had a recent experience of this type of wheel coming off during spirited driving!
Am I right in assuming peg drive wheels are loacated with only one taper and the pegs, as compare to standard MGA wheels that have two tapers and spine drive rather than pegs?
Mike Ellsmore


I do not believe that the paint on the taper would make any difference and in any case it would not stay there for long.
The wheel that you said came off recently, was it a genuine Dunlop Twin Cam wheel or one of the reproductions? I have never heard of Twin Cam wheels coming off. Hard driving does not make them any more prone to come off (e.g. 24 hours at Le Mans).
The peg drive wheels do only have one taper at the spinner side.

M F Anderson

I assume the wheel coming off was a loose spinner?

Are the wheels that Racemettle sell produced by Realm?

In any case it seems like they are same wheels and that Realm are priced lower.

Neil McGurk

"I do not believe that the paint on the taper would make any difference and in any case it would not stay there for long."
That's pretty much the problem, isn't it?
Paint can be variable in thickness, so the thing seems tight, but then the paint flows under pressure and it's then loose, and soon gone. I see this is actually powder coated and lacquered. You need to treat it like any application with a gasket that can flow - tighten, wait, retighten, until it doesn't move anymore. Or remove the paint from the contact area, lube, and you still check it regularly.

Fletcher R Millmore

The wheel that came off was not a genuine steel TC wheel but rather the wider aluminium peg drive wheel as sold by Racemettle or Realm in the UK. These wheels are powder coated with a lacquer finish that covers all the wheel including the taper surface that contacts the spinner.

On the wheel that came off (had been on the car for less than 80 kms) there was evidence of the lacquer finish being extruded on the taper section. The wheels had not been retighten since original fitting to my knowledge. My thoughts are similar to Fletcher's but am interested to hear other comments.

Interestingly there have been 3 MGAs that have lost front wheels in Victoria in the last 12 months. (2) in competition events (the peg drive aluminium wheel mentioned in this thread fitted with Toyo Proxes R888 195/55/15 tyres - 8 TPI spinner; a 60 spoke 5.5" wheel fitted with Dunlop Direzza 195/55/15 tyres - 12 TPI spinner) and (1) on the open road (ironically going to a hill climb) - 12 TPI spinner. Statistically in a population of about 250 MGAs of which 50% are going at any one time this failure rate makes Toyota's recent problems pale into insignificance!

Mike Ellsmore

"When the car is new, after the first long run or after 50 miles of short runs, jack up the wheels and hammer the nuts to make sure that they are tight."
MGB Owner's book, and AFAIK every other book on WW maintenance. This particular book does not say to do ir after any wheel removal, many do. It might be supposed that any change of parts would in essence qualify as the same as "new car", since the parts are not bedded with each other - and the paint is new.
And I am quite surprised that your scrutineers don't make certain the wheels are tight. Given what I hear of govt regs over there, I suggest you get this matter dealt with inside the sport, or you are going to have a hell of a time with officialdumb.
BTW, bolted wheels suffer from the same thing - paint on hub and wheel mating surfaces, or god forbid bolt seats, will flow under pressure and leave the wheel loose. I prefer to remove paint here and use AntiSeize or even plain grease.
I ALWAYS check wheel tightness after any removal, even if I only can drive it around the block, but prefer a few miles. I torque my wheels and check after a hundred miles.
Maintenance error, not mechanical fault.

Fletcher R Millmore

If the MGA referred to as travelling to a hillclimb was at the Geelong Nat Meet last year then that was my fathers car which I was driving at the time. The knock-on stripped its threads which I have to say was not much fun at 100km/h, and the car felt fine right up until it let go. The car is on 72 spoke 6" wide wires (has been for about 9 or 10 years now) and decent 205 road rubber but not road/race semislicks. That corner of the car had admittedly been stressed previously, having suffered 2 broken kingpins in the previous few years (the second due to incorrect fitment of the replacement by a suspension workshop). The knockons had never been replaced in my fathers 30+ years of owning the car and the car has always been driven hard in various competitions, but it certainly does not seem to be a common failure.

You guys are getting too fussed about paint layers etc.

The spinners won't come off if you bother giving them a tap every once in awhile, like any knock off wheeled vehicle.

I always give the spinners a tap for good luck before a race just to make sure they haven't loosened in practice. They never have and they have never fallen off. I currently run 4 vehicles with knock offs, not 'fall offs'. Ranging in width from 5' - 7".

Mind you, I am only speaking from limited experience or racing and driving the Twin Cam and deluxe for 40 years.....

No experience with the new alloy wheels. Even for vintage racing I just use widened steel wheels - 5.5" - 6" seem to work well with stock bodywork.
Bill Spohn

This thread was discussed between 14/03/2010 and 23/03/2010

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