All original factory fitted wheels for all models of Series Land Rover were made from steel and designed for rugged use. Early wheel rim components were riveted whilst later versions were of welded construction. Aftermarket equivalents are now available but many Series Land Rovers are still riding on their original wheels. It is also possible to fit steel Land Rover Defender wheels to all Series models as the mounting configuration is the same. There is a need to check the stud holes however because they are prone to fatigue and cracking, causing the hole to increase in diameter and resulting in the wheel not being securely held to the hub. If buying used wheels as replacements, or as a means of easily exchanging vehicle tyres, then always check the stud holes carefully. The wheel is scrap if the hole is damaged in any way because the vibration set up due to the enlarged hole can quickly cause other wheel nuts to loosen. The life of the stud hole can be prolonged if you are careful to remove any grit from the mating surfaces between the nut and hole rim before tightening the nut. The wheel nuts should not be over torqued and this is particularly important for the early wheel studs that are a screw fit into the hub flange.
There is also a potential problem with corrosion of the valve hole for the original tube-type tyres. If the valve hole is corroded, then sharp edges are produced that can cut into the rubber valve stem. Most commercial tyre fitters can supply plastic protectors for the valve stem if you do not have them fitted already. The valve hole is also a possible point of entry for water and can result in corrosion occurring around the inside of the hole; this can be abrasive to the inner tube and lead ultimately to a puncture. Inner rim corrosion should be removed with a fine file or abrasive paper and the surface treated to prevent further deterioration.
outside of valve hole
The standard wheel rims for all Series I, II, IIA and III Land Rovers were 16in diameter. However, for the North American market, short wheelbase vehicles had 15in diameter wheels as standard (part number 526753). This was due to the difficulty there of obtaining tyres to fit 16in rims. The rim width for 16in wheels is 5in for SWB models for Series I,II,IIA & III(part number 231601). For basic LWB models the rim width is 5.5in and for the 109in One Ton models it is 6.5in (part Number ANR1534PM. - PM just means supplied in primer paint). Forward Control models IIA,IIB also have 6.5in wheel rims (part number 569203).
For the basic LWB rims, the amount of offset was 1 13/16in from 1956 until late 1968 (part number 272309) then the offset was reduced to 1 5/16in (part number 568966) and this was then in line with the military wheels used at the time (these military wheels can be identified by the number FV607510 stamped between two mounting bolt holes). FV stands for 'fighting vehicle'.
Measuring the 'inset' on a wheel rim.
It should be noted that the technical definition of 'wheel offset' is the measurement of the distance from the actual centre of the wheel rim to the surface where the stud holes are located. This distance is not actually measurable directly with a ruler, even if the tyre has been removed from the rim; It has to be calculated - not very user friendly. So by "inset" here we mean the distance as shown being measured in the photo above. The Land Rover wheel shown in the photo is actually from a Defender 110 and has an inset as measured of about 2.5inch (standard Defender rims also fit Series Land Rovers). So for LWB rims the following information may be useful when searching for a particular rim to match existing ones.
part number 272309 offset is 1 13/16in: measurable 'inset' is 1 3/8in
part number 568966 offset is 1 5/16in:measurable 'inset' should be about 7/8in
Split rims (part number 217267) were fitted to some Series Land
Rovers used by the military; they were also available as an optional extra for civilian use. Split rims enable the wheel to be dismantled by removing bolts (part number 243471) that hold the two halves of the rim together; this means there is no need to use tyre levers to remove a tyre. Split rims have advantages for speed in replacing a damaged tyre and can be advantageous in remote areas - hence military Land Rover applications.
Wheel nuts used to secure all wheels from 1948-69 fitted the 9/16" BSF thread and were tapered at both ends; they were 1in long and spanner size 59/64" AF (part number 217361). For part of the Series IIA production (1968-69) wheel nuts became single taper 11/16in long and 59/64" AF(part number 561254). There is also a wheel nut available (part number 576103) for the 9/16" BSF thread which is tapered at one end, flat on the outside and 1 1/16" or 27mm across flats; this nut could be used on the Series I,II& IIA hubs to make them appear the same as Series III wheel nuts -useful to know if you have mixed hubs and only wish to carry one wheel brace. Series I.II,IIA wheels hubs are hard to find these days.
For Series IIA from suffix H onwards and all Series III models the wheel nuts were metric thread and M16 (27mm) - (part number 90577473).
Wheels were generally painted at the Land Rover factory in the same colour as the bodywork, for both bronze green and red Series Land Rovers; for most others the wheels were painted in limestone. Limestone is represented in the British Standards colour code sheet BS 4800: 2011 as code number 10B17. In the Dulux paint range this colour is called "Hopsack". The bronze green colour is represented in the British Standards colour code sheet BS 381 as code number 224 and the ICI paint code for it is 2651.
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