Spare Wheel(s) carrier

This week I finished off the fabrication and machining of the mounting that will hang 2 spare wheels at the rear of the car. This is a classic vintage car look but having TWO spare wheels is a little more unusual. The challenge was to make a mounting that looked like it was always supposed to be there. You may recall that back In November I started mocking up a wood template which looked like this:
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The wooden template was then transferred to a sheet of 5mm steel, cut to shape, welded together and then welded to the rather substantial cross tube handily placed at the rear of the chassis.
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Next I need something to secure the wheel to the bracket – that took the form of a rear axle splined hub which was then bolted to the bracket. The spare wheel then slides onto the hub in the same way as it would fit to the axle. But there is nothing stopping the wheel working its way off that hub and bouncing into traffic so I needed something to secure it into place. A normal wheel spinner would have worked except that i also need to use this mounting for the rear number plate and rear lights so I needed an engineering solution. My chosen solution is a 10mm steel bar secured to the rear plate with a spin on securing handle to lock the wheel into place
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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that i was making a component on the lathe – well this is where *that* component is fitted. I had a nice chrome fitment that I *think* may well have been used to secure the spare wheel in the boot of the car (I dont actually know what it was for – it came with the car) but the central hole is about twice the size of my 10mm bar. So I machined a spacer to take up that difference which slides onto the bar and is held in place by the spin on handle.
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The spin on handle now clamps the whole thing together and I think looks pretty nice.
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Or it could fit on this way round which is not ‘normal’ but is pedestrian friendly.
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Ah I hear you say, what about the 2nd spare wheel…

Well… ages ago I saw on Ebay a fellow selling what he called an extended wheel spinner for very few pennies. I rather suspect he didn’t know what it was and he only had one hence the incredibly low price. I saw the potential for it to be used to mount a second spare wheel so I grabbed it. I have not seen another one ever!!!
What this extended hub does is spin onto the end of the splined axle hub just like a normal wheel spinner does and therefore clamps the spare wheel down tight. I had the thought that the extended part was sufficiently long enough to support another wheel but now i needed a longer 10mm bar for the securing handle. Making one was a thing of moments.
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The second wheel slides onto the extended hub and the whole caboodle is clamped down as before. When the 2nd wheel has a Tyre they are both realistically clamped together. You now know why the bracket had to be welded on – its carrying quite a bit of weight.
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Voila – i can now mount 1 or 2 spare tyres on the back of the car. As a design feature the exhaust pipe is designed to slightly curve towards the edge of the 2nd tyre, no one will ever notice this feature but it looks really nice 🙂 oh and the Bentley petrol cap is easily accessible with either one or two tyres fitted. This is something else that had to be thought about when the fuel tank was made.

I am now realising that restoring cars as they came out of the factory is easy in comparison to having to design everything way in advance of getting around to fitting it. So far I am doing okay with the advance thinking – fingers crossed / knock on wood etc.
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