Pre-XK Stuck Wire Wheel

Posted this to a similar thread in the XK forum. Here it is again where I should have posted.

The stuck-wheel gremlin bit me. Blew a left front tire on my Mark IV saloon on I-95 after leaving Ameila Island show yesterday. Spent almost 3 hours alongside the highway trying to get the wheel off. Didn’t help that I’ve got a blown disc in my back so was in agony the entire time. Couldn’t get it off by myself. Unfortunately didn’t have any WD40 with me. Got the wheel out about an inch before it ‘froze.’ I could rock it back and forth a fraction of an inch, but couldn’t pull it any further with my screwed up back. Mechanical agitation (rubber mallet,) on the backside of the wheel didn’t help. Someone finally stopped to help. His idea was to remove the remnants of the tire from the wheel to get a better pulling grip. Took 3 hands, 2 long screwdrivers, and the rubber mallet to do it. With him rocking/pulling on the rim and me hitting the backside of the rim with the rubber mallet, it finally came off. I had that rim (and all others) off about 6 months ago and had reinstalled it with copious amounts of grease in the splines. I was surprised to find the splines dry and rusty. Not a spot of grease on them. New greased wheel slid on with no problem. Need to come up with a better process for this…especially considering the possibility of worst case situation…alongside a busy highway, at night, in inclement weather. Anyone else been-there, done-that?


Try using graphite grease. Even if the grease element gets lost the graphite gives some lubrication. I use graphite grease for all joints in the car.


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Okay Peter. Thanks. Someone else said they used a very light coating of never-seize, but I don’t think that would prevent rust.


Having been roadside with two blowouts on wire wheel cars when driven at highway speeds, here are suggestions to go along with the grease issue.

1.) Make sure the wire wheels are very well “true” in their spoke alignments. Local misalignment leads to local stress and heating on the tire when at highway speeds.

2.) Make sure the tire and tube rubber is new enough to have the intended full flexibility for its use. Tire rubber hardens over time and with age becomes more prone to failure at highway speeds.

3.) Make sure the tire pressures are correct. Under-inflated tires flex more during the wheel rotation than correctly-inflated. This causes increased rubber deflection and heating.

So sorry to hear of the agony you experienced. It may well have been unavoidable, your urge to reduce chance of repetition is well placed!

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