The MGA With An Attitude

The pictures should tell the story. Space-saver spare tire from SAABs pre-87 fit the MGA and MGB perfectly. This makes for a lot more room in the boot too! Cost at local salvage yard $11.
space-saver spare upright space-saver spare in boot
The problem is a little different for a wire wheel car, as it would be difficult to find very narrow wire wheel with compatible splined hub. But original MGA 48 spoke wire wheels are only 4" wide, so this is more a problem of overall tire size.
space-saver spare on a wire wheel
At 10:38 PM 5/22/06, Jim Ferguson wrote:
>"To solve some space and fit problems with the 165sr15 spare, I got a space saver compact tire mounted on the wire wheel rim. It is for "limp-home, repair" only. I would not use it in the West where a repair was more than 25 miles away. (I don't want to damage my differential.). The tire dealer said the old tube was ok since it was ONLY for very temporary use at low speed and very limited distance. The tire used was a T125/70-15. The overall diameter was reduced about 4" and the width 1.5". The top folds better and more space in the trunk."
split inner tube from a fold
A word or warning here about the tube. It is definitely taboo to use an oversize inner tube. If the tube has a fold or wrinkle it will rub and chafe on itself and will fail with only a short amount of driving. Click for larger picture. An antique tire dealer may have a tube small enough for this application, as some older cars used much smaller tires.

Another possibility could be to seal the spoke holes in the rim and run this one tubeless. The original 48 spoke wheels are not too difficult to seal, as all of the spokes go along one edge of the rim in the bead area of the wheel.

The difference in tire diameter should not bother the differential significantly for a short run. The 15% difference in tire diameter, makes the smaller tire turn less than two revolutions per second faster than the larger one at 50 MPH. As long as you are not running at higher speed or towing a heavy trailer or climbing steep mountain roads, this should not overheat or wear out the differential. Of course it is not recommended to make a habit of running long miles with the small tire. Most space safer tires are rated for 50 miles at 50 MPH, and may have 3000 miles total tread life expectancy.

There is another approach for welding a splined center hub from a wire wheel into the center of a modern space saver (bolt-on) steel wheel.
Since the srandard 48-spoke wire wheel rim is only 4" wide, this appears to be more an issue of the tire size than the wheel. I don't know if it gets much smaller than the space saver spare on the wire wheel shown above. So perhaps the welded hub may not be worth the effort (or cost).

On 06 March 2017, Brian Paddon in the UK wrote:
"I have purchased a Volvo V40 wheel and tyre off Ebay. Fitted it today. space-saver spare from Volvo Works fine and is 600mm o/a diameter which matches my alloy wheel/tyre combination".

On 08 March 2017, Brian Paddon wrote:
"The wheel hub is marked 6-02 Netherlands, Rim 2.5 ET40, 3.50Bx15H2. The tyre which came with it is a Continental T125/90R15 96M, which is approx. 600mm o/a diameter which matches the 186/65R 15 road tyres. I believe the wheel is off a 1995-2004 Volvo sport? Yes it fits and spins with no problems over the front caliper".

See next page for Twin Cam/Deluxe space saver spare.

Thank you for your comments -- Send e-mail to <Barney Gaylord>
© 2002-2017 Barney Gaylord -- Copyright and reprint information