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mounting tires, wheel backs and wheel covers on early (1959-1960 or so) Jo-Han model kits


Motor City
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I have a few original Jo-Han kits from around 1960.  The instructions want you to use blocks of wood and a hammer to mount these pieces together.  Should I forget about risking damage to the wheel covers and wheel backs by using some other tires?  If so, what tires should I purchase since the kits included the wider whitewalls that were used prior to the industry going to a narrower whitewall for 1962.  Thank you.

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You could open up the hole in the tire, or file down the area that goes into the hole, to eliminate the interference.  The wheel could then be epoxied into the tire.

With the 1960 annual kits, the wheel cover attaches to an open rim which then goes into the tire.  The wheel covers stick out quite a bit on those, you might think about other wheels and rims to get a cleaner, more correct look with those.

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38 minutes ago, Mark said:

You could open up the hole in the tire, or file down the area that goes into the hole, to eliminate the interference.  The wheel could then be epoxied into the tire.

With the 1960 annual kits, the wheel cover attaches to an open rim which then goes into the tire.  The wheel covers stick out quite a bit on those, you might think about other wheels and rims to get a cleaner, more correct look with those.

I completely agree with Mark. That's exactly what I do if I want to use the original tires.  Trying to force the parts in can easily damage the tire and/or break the old plastic. If you want different tires, Roger gives good advice, you can also get tires from Modelhaus, I do that myself sometimes.

Mark's also correct about the hubcaps sticking out too far on some of the models, especially the 1960 Johan kits. It's not hard to modify the original plastic wheels to fix this.

 

 

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Another thing to watch with a lot of Jo-Han annual kits (and especially USA Oldies reissues) is the track and/or how deep the tire is in the wheel well.  The Oldies in particular have those short plastic rod axles and inner wheels with short bosses that put the wheels too far in, leaving a narrow track.  A lot of them sit too low also.  Jo-Han probably used some of those parts in several different kits leaving them having to compromise them to fit everything.  Mock up the body/chassis and move that stuff around to get the right look.  If you lengthen the wheel back axle bosses, you could also ditch the plastic rods and use wire axles instead.  It also wouldn't be hard to make new axle blocks with smaller holes right where you want them.

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Thanks for all of the great advice, guys!  I've noticed the funny wheel cover positioning on some of the old Jo-Han kits and sure don't want that look.  I'm not sure I still have any with the later plastic axles, but I'll keep all of these points in mind when I get around to building them.  Now that I'm retired (finally), I will have time to get back to building.  The last non-promo-type kit I built was the MPC '82 Trans Am.  It's hard to believe it has been 40 years.        

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On 9/9/2022 at 6:11 AM, Motor City said:

Steve,

I think I should send all of my unbuilt kits to you to finish for me!  What tires did you use on that '59 Dodge?

Sorry to get back to you so late, but I was out of town over the weekend and not paying attention to the board.

 

The tires pictured above are some of the Modelhaus Johan promo reproductions.

 

 

Steve

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  • 1 month later...

The old Hubley plastic kits had a similar mounting, and it was for me a disaster.  I had an offer that came in Shredded Wheat cereal boxes in late '59 that let us boy the new '60 Corvair kit for fifty cents, with proof of purchase, postpaid!  I eventually sent for about four of 'em, and they were good practice for the expensive AMT 3 in 1 kits for $1.39 (printed right on the box!  And they said we had inflation back then!) but I don't have anything but one dash-board and an instruction sheet.  However, the block of wood method was theirs, and 14-year-old me managed to ruin a few wheels!  They were thick-axle style, with a one piece wheel/hubcap, all chromed!  We seldom saw Hubley kits in N CA (the rural part!), and JoHan only at the old 88-cent stores... which even with wierd promo wheels and tires, was a good deal!  Minimum wage was just about a buck, back then!  Ole' Wick

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I used to put the tires in hot water and then put them on the wheels, but now I use a sanding drum in a Dremel and open the tires up until the wheel slips inside. It seems like it doesn't cause the tire material to attack the plastic as much.

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