No doubt about it, ladies love dual rear wheels. They love the DRW look and they love the stability, and maybe in some cases they like the payload capacity.
Ladies are also smart, and if there's any hint that the duallies aren't safe, they are going to lose their enthusiasm but quickly.
This is what the dual rear wheels look like on Barry Ogletree's Fred the Stretched 3B. This photo and the one above were taken when Fred was on display at "Contraband Days" in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the huge annual festival celebrating the pirate history of the area.
Barry's duallies utilize two solid aluminum spacers on each wheel, with a total spacer width of 8-3/8 inches (213mm). In this article, Barry describes the design and installation of the system. -- Derek Redmond
"There are hundreds of thousands of dually pickup trucks running around all over the place. All have good safety records. There are millions of dual-wheel 18-wheelers on the road today, all safe. If you follow the path of their designs, you are OK. Back after World War II, that was not the case.
"The old dually adapters were designed and built poorly by at least two aftermarket companies, for all sorts of uses, not just Jeeps. People were using them on all sorts of vehicles. The way that they were made, never really allowed a good fit to the wheels. The inner wheel's face is obviously rough, with no good place to mount the dually spacer. Then you have the inner side of the outer wheel, smooth yes, but there was not a really good strong point to pull against.
"I purchased two different sets of wheel spacers, assuming that they would work. One quick look at them made me doubt the safety of the design. One set was cast iron (40K JPEG) and poorly thought-out as to load bearing. Cast eyes and flanges could in no way properly fit the wheel or the lugs. Cast to steel welds are also famous for failing. The units with a large steel tube and 5 small tubes (40K JPEG) also counted on lug-centric and very long lug bolts to carry the load.
"In my testing of both types of original spacers, you would never stop tightening either of them. After a short drive, they were loose again. To me a loose outer wheel is dangerous, as that lets the inner wheel get loose also. Again, I know they meant well, but the old designs were poor and dangerous. Yes, they are good for historical interest."
"I designed a lug-centric and hub-centric set of wheels. Hub-centric is where the center of the hub has either a male or female step that supports the load and centers the wheel.Lug-centric is where the tapers of the lug center the wheel and support the load. The load is on the lugs. Usually, it is one or the other, never both in the design.
"My system is designed to use all of those to carry the load. A small step and lugs share the load. Yes, it was tough to design, but I wanted the best for my Willys and the load of passengers. We have done almost 6 months of hard driving, and we check the set up every few weeks. Visual inspections for any slipping or wear, and checking all of the lugs with a digital torque wrench.
"The critical measurement is 8-3/8 inches of spacer, total. This gives 1-1/2 inches of space between my two tires at their 'fattest'. Of course there are hundreds of wheel widths, offsets, backsets and tire widths. What you see is for my wheels with 8-ply Speedway military-style tires. Anyone who is serious should take these measurements and adjust for their needs, wheels and tires.
"As I show in the photos, the inner wheel is mounted on the drum properly, then the key is the 5 tapered washers. The load is on them, the lugs and the hub. Tough to design, but maximum strength."
"Extra long studs are needed for the extra thick billet aluminum spacers, which are hub-centric and lug-centric. This shares the load.
"Air tires to 30 PSI inside tire and 15 PSI outside tire. This lets the inside tire carry most of the load. Easier on the wheel bearings.
"The key to success. Wheel lug washers tapered on one side, flat on the other. Order from a performance shop -- used in drag racers. Complete change from the old Willys design. Do not try to use flat washers -- they must be tapered. These let the spacer pull directly on the lugs, evenly.
"Inner wheel and tapered washers on lugs. This gives a level base for the spacer. Willys tried to do it with long lug bolt/nuts. Poor design.
"First spacer added. Install lug nuts into holes.
"Anyone can adjust the measurements in my drawing to fit their vehicle. But it takes one hell of a machine shop to produce those spacers. An advanced shop with CNC (all computer controlled) capacity would be able to do it right. We are talking about a major piece of machine work here.
"Place second spacer onto first spacer, and lug it down with five nuts. Note the space between the two spacers before tightening.
"Two spacers allow for a strong boss to be formed by the back of the second spacer, halfway down it's length. Load lug nuts into holes, tighten and torque the spacers. No space seen.
"Outboard wheel added. Ready to tighten and torque the lug nuts." -- Barry Ogletree
Let's go for a ride!
Thanks to Barry for these tips and photos. -- Derek Redmond
See the full story of Fred the Stretched 3B on CJ3B.info.
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Last updated 8 May 2016 by Derek Redmond
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond