Honda S90 - Wheel Building

The Honda wheel rims and spokes were corroded.

This page shows how they were rebuilt using some home-made jigs and some new parts.









Here are the details needed to re-build the Honda S90 wheels.

Each wheel contained 36 spokes, but with 2 different spoke heads used. The rim had 36 holes to match (obviously) but there were 4 different angles of hole.

Both wheels on the S90 were identical, but fitted with different hubs; so during the rebuild one wheel was kept complete as a pattern to build the other.

So the numbers for each wheel were :

  • Spoke quantity = 36.
  • Different spoke types = 2.
  • Rim hole quantity = 36
  • Rim hole types = 4
  • Valve hole = 1 (reference point).











New rims were purchased from David Silver spares and some new spokes were purchased on EBay. For reference the spokes need to be 196mm long.

Old and new rims

Old and new spokes









The types of rim holes are shown on the right.

  1. Hole pointing to the right side of the hub and forward
  2. Hole pointing to the left side of the hub and forward
  3. Hole pointing to the right side of the hub and backwards
  4. Hole pointing to the left side of the hub and backwards

Rim hole details




















To re-assemble the wheels, a simple jig was made to get the relative position of the rim and hub close. This jig was only approximate but saved a great deal of time when it came to truing the wheel.

The jig was a piece of flat board with a hole bored in the centre to take the axle (12mm). Then 3 holes were drilled just outside the rim to take some 12mm threaded rod. These 3 holes were actually drilled 16mm in diameter, to allow some adjustment of the rod position.

Click for larger image

Each rod was held in place with a large washer and nut on both sides of the board. The rod was allowed to protrude through the underside of the board to give 3 feet for the jig to stand on and create clearance for the centre axle.

A third nut was then adjusted on each rod to just touch the underside of the rim, on the fully assembled wheel. Actually - self locking 'Nyloc' nuts were used because the ordinary nuts (as shown on the right) didn't hold their position well enough.

The jig was now ready to use. The hub was located by the hole in the centre, and the rim position and height was given by the rods and lock-nuts.

Rim support detail









Wheel Dismantling

The wheels were dismantled by loosening the spoke nipples with a spanner and then undoing then with an electric screw driver.

The hubs were spun on the lathe and cleaned using abrasives. The roundness of the brake bearing surfaces was also checked in this setting and they were found to be OK.

















Wheel Lacing

To lace the wheels, the spokes on the inside of the hub were fitted first. These were of the type 1 as shown in the picture below.

The first spokes were fitted on one side in alternate holes as shown above.










The inside spokes were also fitted on the other side of the hub. These were also located in alternate holes, however the holes were off-set from the first side so the starting hole on the second side of the hub was the one shown on the right.









This photo shows all the inside spokes fitted.









Next the hub was placed inside the rim. One spoke from the first side was threaded through the hole to the right of the valve hole.

Datum spoke inserted










Moving clockwise, all the spokes on the first side were threaded in each 4th hole.

A nipple was fitted to each spoke but not tightened, just put on a couple of turns.









Next the spokes on the lower flange were threaded.

The first spoke on the second side of the hub was the one to the left of the datum spoke (spoke to the right of the valve hole). This was then threaded through the 11th hole to the right.









As before the spokes on the second side were threaded through every 4th hole. With all the inside spokes threaded the wheel should be symmetrical and look like this.









Next the outside spokes were threaded on the first side. These were of the type 2 spoke.

The first spoke fitted was the 5th one to the left of the datum spoke on the hub. This was threaded through the 3rd hole to the right of the valve hole.

Subsequent spokes were all threaded clockwise in every 4th hole.









To finish the lacing. The outside spoke on the last side were threaded through the remaining holes in the hub and rim to give the final layout shown on the right.

Click the image to get a larger view of the completed wheel.









With the wheel in the centring jig the spokes were progressively tightened.

If the situation shown on the right occurs with the leading spokes showing less thread than the trailing ones (or visa versa) it is because the hub needs twisting within the rim. This can be corrected by slackening the tighter spokes and tightening the looser ones.









After all the spokes had been tightened so that there was no slack in any of them, the wheel was removed from the jig and placed on a spindle in the vice.

A DTI was used against the rim to measure radial and axial run-out. Each was checked in turn, and the spokes were tightened or loosened to correct things until the wheel was running true.

It was found that although the rim was basically round the DTI picked up on tiny imperfections in the rim surface. So using the valve hole as a reference, surfaces 180 were compared to ensure they were the same. This got the rim running true enough.









The wheel jig did a good job. It was particularly good at ensuring the hub and rim had the correct axial off-set. It also helped with the truing of the rim but this still had to be checked with the wheel on a stand (vice) and corrected by adjusting single spokes.


To finish the wheels were equip with Michelin M45 Road Tyres