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Old 12-04-2017, 11:04 AM   #1
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Single Out the rear of a short skoolie question

Just curious. Has anyone singled out (removed 2 of the 4 wheels in the rear) a short skoolie? Does anyone have any experience with this type of modification?

I see the benefits to this being better traction (more pounds per square inch of tire patch) and lower rolling resistance ... which might give a little better mpg's. There is also less weight for what that's worth.

The negatives are less carrying capacity and less rear tire patch for braking. Also ... two less spare tires.

I did a google search but didn't find much.


This is a very common modification on some trucks. I've done this to my daily-driver bobbed M35a2 Deuce and a half and got all the benefits (2-3 more mpg's! Much better traction in the wet.) have had no problems.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tedd View Post
Just curious. Has anyone singled out (removed 2 of the 4 wheels in the rear) a short skoolie? Does anyone have any experience with this type of modification.

I see the benefits to this being better traction (more pounds per square inch of tire patch) and lower rolling resistance ... which might give a little better mpg's. There is also less weight for what that's worth.

The negatives are less carrying capacity and less rear tire patch for braking. Also ... two less spare tires.

I did a google search but didn't find much.


This is a very common modification on some trucks. I've done this to my daily driver bobbed M35a2 Deuce and a half and got all the benefits (2-3 more mpg's! Much better traction in the wet.) have had no problems.
The tires are designed to cope at the maximum laden weight of the axle.

If you are not approaching that, and the actual weight on the rear axle is accommodated by the load index of two tires, then it should be fine.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:48 AM   #3
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Me... I LIKE having those two spares on the rear.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:52 PM   #4
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Thanks T&T ... I know about the loads on the tires and using the rear tires as spares, but I was really hoping to find somebody who has done the job ... and maybe even run into problems with it.

I'd like to hear from them maybe ESPECIALLY if they had problems with it or didn't get the gains they hoped for.

No sense re-inventing a way for the wheel to fall off if somebody has already done it.

If this works, I kind like the idea of a couple or three more mpg's. On a 1,800 mile trip they kinda add up. The increased traction just might make my short skoolie more useful for some boondocking.

I'll keep digging around on the net.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:25 PM   #5
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I wouldn't do it based on the fact the axles and bearings are designed for the load to be on the center-line (of the paired wheels). Removing the inner wheel affects the wheel bearing and axle loading which could shorten the life of both.

If I wanted to single out the rear axle, I'd swap to those great wide "super singles" which ride fairly closely to the original centerline.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:48 PM   #6
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The super singles defeat the purpose since OP didn't want that much rubber on the ground.

I've run dually trucks on four tires in the past but always without a load and never long enough to affect the bearings. Perhaps there is a wheel with a different offset that would center under the bearing better.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:57 PM   #7
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I just did a search, and it turns out that there is a ton of material out there on this.

There are even companies that sell kits, just a simple set of spacers and extended lug bolts.

These things were commonplace in sports car racing, I just didn't think of them in this context.

I didn't want to endorse a company I haven't had any experience with ... so I found this guy. It's sort of a grass root consumer report.

This is something I'm going to look real hard at. I'm interested to learn more.

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Old 12-04-2017, 06:18 PM   #8
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That is very clever. It actually recenters the wheel load under the axle.
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