Military Vehicles, June 1997,: Re: [MV] 1945 MB Combat Rims

Re: [MV] 1945 MB Combat Rims

Antoine Compin (
Fri, 27 Jun 1997 18:27:39 -0700

At 12:45 PM 6/27/97 -0400, you wrote:
>My question: I was told I have 2 combat rims. I can tell I have 2
>types of rims, but I do not know which is which. Can someone tell me the
>difference, and what the benefit of one over the other might be?

Re: combat wheels: You can tell the combat wheels from the one-piece wheels
by looking at the inside of the wheel...If there are a number (eight, I
think) of studs and bolts at the periphery, just inside of the rim, you
have a "combat rim" also called a split-rim...They were devised so as to
pinch the bead of the tires between the two flanges and a third piece of
metal, like an inner rim, so that you could keep on driving with a flat
without losing the tire. Another way to tell if it is a combat wheel is to
look for a little rectangular plate (behind the valve stem) embossed with a
danger warning message telling you to deflate the tire before removing the
rim nuts. The plate is sometimes hard to read, when it has been covered by
layers after layer of paint and crud... look for it between the domed heads
of the big "carriage-bolt" heads which correspond to the studs and nuts on
the inner side of the wheel.
The one piece rims where standard on early "Bantam" jeeps and MA's, and
were made in large numbers after WWII by Willys and also by Hotchkiss in
France for the M201, which was a GPW/MB licensed from W/O and Ford. The
M201 was made through the mid-sixties, and France is still a good source of
Jeep parts, totally interchangeable with original Ford/Willys, and
sometimes better since they are made with better post-war steel and
improved technology. These are usually marked WOF,
(Willys-Overland-France). Many of them still get in the US of A, and are
sold as "NOS" by some dealers. Some of the dealers will list parts as WOA
or WOF, but not everybody does.
The combat wheels tend to get out-of-round easily, and acquire some wobble
over the years. One-piece rims are better if you intend to drive a lot, but
of course, if you're a purist...The Combat wheels ARE the Original
Equipment on all Jeeps (WO or Ford) made
Hope this helps!
Antoine Compin
Sherman Oaks, California
AND/OR: Normandy, France
Jeep Willys MB 1943
Trailer MBT 1943
Harley-Davidson 42WLA
Harley davidson 42XA

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