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Old 08-30-2019, 04:28 PM   #1
55Trucker
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Wheel question

Hi everyone. I have a 1955 second series 3100 1/2 ton. I bought it with painted wheels, trim rings, and baby moon hubcaps. Looking at various online catalogs, I know this setup is wrong. In fact, the steel wheels have a center ring with 3 "nubs" that the baby moons press fit onto. The wheels are 15x6, 5 lug.

What are the correct steel wheels for this truck? The correct hubcaps should be attached with clips, right? Can anyone recommend a source for either NOS or used correct wheels? Thank you.
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Old 08-30-2019, 04:54 PM   #2
joedoh
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Re: Wheel question

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Originally Posted by 55Trucker View Post
Hi everyone. I have a 1955 second series 3100 1/2 ton. I bought it with painted wheels, trim rings, and baby moon hubcaps. Looking at various online catalogs, I know this setup is wrong. In fact, the steel wheels have a center ring with 3 "nubs" that the baby moons press fit onto. The wheels are 15x6, 5 lug.

What are the correct steel wheels for this truck? The correct hubcaps should be attached with clips, right? Can anyone recommend a source for either NOS or used correct wheels? Thank you.

if they are 5 lug, sounds like someone upgraded the suspension (stock was 6 lug). you wont be able to run 6 lug original 55 wheels on your setup.

if you have smoothie style wheels, the nubs will be inside the center ring. you can get the stock style hubcaps from wheel vintiques or from thewheelsmith.net. the reason I think you have smoothies style wheels is you call them baby moons, which are usually the small moon caps that fit the small 7" rallye style inner nub.

if you have stock/gennie/oem style wheels, you can still look at wheel vintiques and thewheelsmith.net for the correct hubcaps but you will need to measure the caps you have first, just the od of the mounting surface, and find the right caps on their websites.

if you have smoothie style wheels and want an oem looking wheel, both places sell those also


pics would really help. good luck.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:18 AM   #3
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Re: Wheel question

I cannot believe in this day and age that someone would buy a modified truck and not understand that it was modified/changed.

Some research shows that it is doubtful that a 55 truck hubcap will fit a 15 inch chevy car wheel that has the inside clips.

That means that the simple but not inexpensive way is to find a set of aftermarket wheels that the stock caps or stock looking caps will fit as Joedoe mentioned. Order, receive take to the tire store and have them swapped.

To regress to 6 lug you have to change the front hubs and drums to 55 six lug drums and swap out the rear axle to a six lug 55/59 axle.


Still before you get carried away with this "I want it original" stuff what else has been changed on the truck? What engine does it have? What transmission does it have?

I think all of my corrections made but I haven't had coffee yet. Ref: Mongoncanfly's comment in post four when I got off track and somehow thought you had a 55.1 gotta stop checking the board after midnight.
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Last edited by mr48chev; 08-31-2019 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:04 AM   #4
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Re: Wheel question

55.1.??....hes got a 55 2nd series
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Wheel question

like mr48 says, if you want a stock truck you really should look at what else has been changed before you spend cash on swapping out the wheels and hubcaps etc. a real stocker would have a solid axle, not sure what you have. some pics would help thee as well. if you just want the stock looking wheels and the rest of the mods, if any, will stay the same then possibly check out joedoh's suggestions for wheel suppliers. there are clip options for attaching different moon caps but you gotta know the size, like joedoh advises.
kinda hard to see but here is a pic of a 58 with a stock wheel. there were clips rivetted onto the wheel to hold the hubcap which would have had a small cone shaped center I believe, like this link shows
https://oldchevytrucks.com/blog/inde...-1960-hubcaps/

55 would likely have been close, like this link shows
https://oldchevytrucks.com/blog/inde...cond-series-2/

and this write up from hemmings shows hubcaps as mentioned with a torpedo cone center
https://www.hemmings.com/blog/articl...-2-ton-pickup/

hope that helps. 1/2 tone wheels had a smaller center than the 3/4 ton wheels if you happen to come across some and think they may fit.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: Wheel question

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Originally Posted by mongocanfly View Post
55.1.??....hes got a 55 2nd series
DANG i have to quit checking the board after midnight.

I'll correct that with a notaton
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My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:45 AM   #7
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Re: Wheel question

55 Trucker, can you post some photos of your truck such as the suspension and under the hood?

It is really hard to give all the correct info the first go around if we don't have all the info we need to come up with the correct answer.

Things like does the truck have the stock frame, leaf springs and I beam axle under the front or did someone install a coil spring subframe or a coil spring or coil over MII style front crossmember or ????

If it is pretty much original with leaf springs and the I beam axle under the front changing to 5 lug drums in the front and swapping axles in the back was real common in the 70's and 80's and maybe later to be able to put custom wheels on that often had 5 lug bolt patterns on them. There may be photos of the truck floating around with Crager SS or cast 5 spoke mags on it as that was how you did it. The only six lug choices then were chrome wheels or what we usually call trailer wheels now.

The 5 lug swap usually gave you a lot better road gears for highway driving than the stock 3.9 or 4.11 ratio that caused the engine to run a lot faster than comfortable on the freeway.

Lets see those photos so we can come up with a viable solution for you.
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Founding member of the too many projects, too little time and money club.

My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:17 PM   #8
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Re: Wheel question

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Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post

Some research shows that it is doubtful that a 55 truck hubcap will fit a 15 inch chevy car wheel that has the inside clips.


wheel vintiques and wheelsmith both make any (common) cap to fit any (common) wheel type. so you can get 55 truck caps fit ralley wheels (7" inside nubs) or oem wheels (8.5 or 10" outside nubs) so its just a matter of understanding what wheel you have.

and wheelsmith will gladly custom make any cap to fit any wheel, common or not, for a gigantic price though (they quoted 140 per cap for GMC inside clip style to fit rallye style, I made my own with new clip caps and blem ralley poverty caps).
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New Project! Project: KECHI
my L35 4.3 4L60E S10 49 chevrolet 3100
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=782525


if there is a problem, I can have it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:13 PM   #9
55Trucker
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Re: Wheel question

Sorry for the delayed response everyone, and thank you for your replies.

I misled you in my original post. I just went out to double check, I have 6 lugs. This is what one of the wheels looks like. I'll post more pics when I have a chance to get under it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:44 PM   #10
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Re: Wheel question

Someone just put later model wheels on it then. Meaning probably mid 60's.

That could be for any one of a dozen reasons. Wider wheels or came with a set of tires or took off custom wheels and stuck those on. Bigger tires than fit on the stock 5 inch wide wheels. Plus who knows how many more.

That means you just need to hunt down a set of stock wheels.

From what I see here 55 3100 second series tires were tubeless so that solves that issue if you get the correct wheels and not earlier wheels made for tubes.

Side notel the GM Heritage archives have a ton of info that you will no doubt be looking for with most all of the specs. https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/gm-...tion-kits.html Click on truck and then open up the 55 second series link. that will give you a lot of info.
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Founding member of the too many projects, too little time and money club.

My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:47 PM   #11
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Re: Wheel question

thats a dog dish type chevy wheel, mostly 1960 and later (6 lug, they used them earilier on cars)

10 1/8 oem hubcaps SHOULD fit. no one makes a 53 cap in that size, but you could find some that have a bowtie on them, the 57 car caps look good, I happen to really like the 62 impala caps.




and the 64 impala caps too




if you ONLY want 53 caps, you would need earlier wheels or a set of new wheels with the right caps. see wheel vintiques or thewheelsmith.net
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the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation

New Project! Project: KECHI
my L35 4.3 4L60E S10 49 chevrolet 3100
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=782525


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Old 09-02-2019, 11:08 PM   #12
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Re: Wheel question

That was what I was thinking too. Some of the small oem car caps from 55/early 60's look nice and would look "original" to 70% of those looking at them.

I'm not positive what year these are off but I snagged two at a swap meet and have been looking for a couple more as alternate caps for my 48. It has later wheels on it.

That is a small dog dish cap but my phone sure made it look big.
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Founding member of the too many projects, too little time and money club.

My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:39 PM   #13
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Re: Wheel question

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Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
That was what I was thinking too. Some of the small oem car caps from 55/early 60's look nice and would look "original" to 70% of those looking at them.

I'm not positive what year these are off but I snagged two at a swap meet and have been looking for a couple more as alternate caps for my 48. It has later wheels on it.

That is a small dog dish cap but my phone sure made it look big.

those are the same as the second cap I posted, they came on 1964 chevys and buicks (the buicks had the three shield buick logo). they are great looking caps.

here is the buick caps on my 65 C10

IMG_0305 by Joe Doh, on Flickr
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the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation

New Project! Project: KECHI
my L35 4.3 4L60E S10 49 chevrolet 3100
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=782525


if there is a problem, I can have it.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:43 PM   #14
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Re: Wheel question

Cool, I know what I am looking for now. They have just enough design features to be interesting but not cluttered.
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Founding member of the too many projects, too little time and money club.

My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:37 AM   #15
57tailgater
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Re: Wheel question

If you want to, you can buy just the clips to mount the original hubcaps to your steel wheel as they go inside the raised area. I believe LMC has these. Not sure of the exact location to drill but someone may be able to derive a measurement from this board or even the supplier.
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:14 PM   #16
mr48chev
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Re: Wheel question

I wish someone would make an adapter ring that popped over the later wheels that took a stock cap that took clips. Or a setup that was held on by lug nuts like the old fake wire wheel hubcap locks that were common in the 70's and 80's from the factories. That would just be a stamped ring with the clips. One for six hole and one for five hole. You might have to have special lug nuts to hold them but they can probably be sourced.
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Founding member of the too many projects, too little time and money club.

My ongoing truck projects:
48 Chev 3100 that will run a 292 Six.
71 GMC 2500 that is getting a Cad 500 transplant.
77 C 30 dualie, 454, 4 speed with a 10 foot flatbed and hoist. It does the heavy work and hauls the projects around.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:10 PM   #17
55Trucker
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Re: Wheel question

Thank you everyone for your input and insights!
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:29 PM   #18
55Trucker
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Re: Wheel question

One more thing, for anyone who hasn't seen this I found this link on how to install the clips. The wheel looks pretty similar to mine

http://devestechnet.com/Home/HubCapClips
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