Posted in: Austin Healey 100 (BN1) Engine & Drivetrain Front Suspension Rear Axle & Suspension Restoration Techniques Wheels & Tires

Tire truing … Chapter Two

Some of you may remember my first foray into tire shaving using a table saw. Although this exercise was quite successful it was somewhat dangerous and very time consuming. Ever since shaving the tires on my 100 in this way I have been blessed with a very smooth ride and no signs of scuttle shake however, all good things must come to an end, and the time arrived to replace the tires on B.#174.

In an effort to preserve the car’s originality I have opted to use the original “flat center” 48 spoke Dunlop wire wheels. Unfortunately, these 60-year-old wheels, although still in fairly good condition have some run-out and are not perfectly round and, after installing a new set of tires, the scuttle shake gremlins came back with a vengeance.

I had previously looked into having my wheels and tires shipped to one of the very small number of companies providing this service in the U.S. but very quickly learned that the shipping alone was prohibitively expensive

Coincidentally around the same time a very good friend was disposing of a Kensway Tire Conditioner for which he had no further use.

Although this machine was somewhat beat up and looked a bit sad after being modified to be used for shaving 10” mini race tires a couple of days of fettling returned it to some semblance of its original glory.

This is quite a device and nothing like it is available today because modern automotive wheels and tires are made so accurately that shaving is really no longer required.

I spent quite a bit of time turning up a pair of adaptors specifically for Dunlop wire wheels and creating a new tread profile cam to suit tires for regular road use.

The result was nothing short of miraculous as both tread shaving and static balancing can be performed very accurately with this machine.

I did learn quite quickly that when shaving tires which have been used on the road that it is absolutely essential to ensure that all stones, regardless of size, need to be dug out of the treads before starting as contact with just one is sufficient to dull the cutter blade requiring that it be resharpened.

The biggest win resulting from this exercise is that something that took all day with the table saw method can be achieved in a couple of hours and, with the balancing produces even better results.

Comments (5)

  1. Hi I have a original kemsway tire truing machine ,with a box of blades. The only problem I’m having is getting the old blade off due to rust. Do you know how they come off? Removed the center screw and washer tried pulling with pliers with no luck.

    1. Hi Bill, the blade on my machine is very easily removed after taking out the center screw. Does your blade arrangement look the same as mine?

  2. Mike, I drive down to PA to get my new tires shaved but would like to have it done locally (Ontario). Is the service available to fellow Healey owners ?

    1. Hi Dave, although this is really just a hobby for me I can certainly shave and balance mounted tires for you.
      If the tires have been used on the road it is very important that any stones are dug out of the treads before shaving them which can be a little time consuming but other than than no problem.
      I’m up near Dwight. Ontario 2 75 hours north of 400 and 401.

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