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Old 06-27-2007, 12:41 AM   #1
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1955 16' Bubble
Bend , Oregon
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 254
Help with original rim replacement!

I am in great need of finding a rim replacement for my 55 bubble. I am having a hell of a time finding a smoothie or rallye rim that fits the dimensions of the old ones. I am looking for a rim that is 15X5.5 with a bolt pattern of 6X5.5 with a 6mm offset.
Will a 6 X 15 work in this application?
What has any one else used to replace their 5.5X15 rim on their trailer.
Thanks All
Beau
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:54 AM   #2
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1955 16' Bubble
Bend , Oregon
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Found Them!

OK after 12+ hours on the Internet I found a replacement rim for my original split rims. My original split rim did just as its name implies, it split. Took out the shell skin, frame, wheel well, shell rib, and a section of the floor. This is the original motivation (with wife encouragement) to do a shell off restoration.
The original tire size was 15X5.5 with a bolt pattern of 6 on 5.5. with a 6 mm offset. This explained is the tire rim height from where the tire bead sits from top to the bottom is 15 inches, this can not be measured with the tire on! The 5.5 is the with of the rim inside to outside. This is important to get this measured; Tire Factory did not measure this for me and I got a 7 inch rim. (The guys at the tire shop did with out any fuss give me my money back, plus they tried for 2 weeks calling me every day to fine a suitable replacement). I had these tires on when I placed on the shell, when I tried to take off one of the tires it would not clear the axle. I had to shear a few more rivets from the skin to get the tire off, no way was I going to take that shell of again! (what is 5 rivets when I have 300 still to complete ). The 6 on 5.5 is the bolt pattern the 6 is the number of the bolts and the 5.5 it the diameter of a circle drawn through the center of the bolts. The 6 mm offset is the distance +/- from a point considered 0 on the rim. My understanding of this is limited; what I do understand is that depending on the application and the other dimensions of the rim this should be a standard value for the rim. If you have a modification of specialty application you can have a change in the offset to fit your application.
The replacement rims I found where available at Hobby Car at this link Wire wheels, Roadster, Thunderbird. Probably the nicest, most helpful people I found, and with the greatest selection, during my search. I went with a smoothie like the one above with the baby moon caps. NO ONE makes the 5.5 inch width rim any more. The closest replacement I could find was a 5 inch width rim with all of the same other dimensions. The original 5.5's where a pain to get off the trailer so there 5 inch rims should be WAY easier. The load rating is at and above 1500 LBS each what I need for my 3000 LB axle. All of you split rim owners I encourage you to replace wheels before the enviable failure occurs. If you have had a difficult time trying to replace your oddball size rime/wheel try going the rout of finding a replacement at a retailer of wheels for mussel cars.
Here are a few links of sites I found:
American Racing: Official Manufacturer Website- custom, chrome, polished and painted wheels
Wheel Vintiques | Welcome
Coker Tire
Early Wheel Company (Semi retired, only omen Monday & Tuesday)
Rims, Tires, Tire and Wheel Packages - Chrome Wheels and Tires from Performance Plus Tire (Not! the friendliest guys on the phone)
I hope this helps, I have completed the order and I will be receiving the rims here in 2 weeks.
BB 55 Bubble
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
55 Bubble Serial # 205
 
1955 16' Bubble
Whitewright , Texas
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Did these fit on your Bubble? Could you provide one more time the spec of rim you purchased and where? Thank you
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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1955 16' Bubble
Bend , Oregon
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Rims

The best rim I did find I found at Motor Spot. They are located in Orange CA. Phone # (706) 731-7571. I bought the item code "WS-Wire Wheel" The description was "Crome smoothies 15X5". Yes they fit kind of . It turns out during the change over of the axel the fella who did the work did not realize that the axel was about 1/4 inch wider than the original. So if you have this issue you might want to consider a adjustment of the rim offset when they build them from you.
The sales fella over there was extremely helpful and knowledgeable! plus they where the cheapest around at the time. I paid $82.00 a piece.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:58 AM   #5
55 Bubble Serial # 205
 
1955 16' Bubble
Whitewright , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Rims 55 Bubble

Thanks for information. My original axle is in great shape. Finishing the last of restore which polishing with Novite F9. All is going good, the last item is wheels. I have the original rims with good rubber, but 17 years old. So I saw your wheels and really liked them.!
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