Pierce-Arrow Tool Question

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am looking for a couple more Pierce-Arrow toolkit items. The first item is the proper lug wrench for my car.

    While at Hershey, Ed Minnie showed me a Pierce-Arrow lug wrench, for what we believe to be a demountable rim equipped car. My car has demountable wood wheels.

    A 1931 Pierce-Arrow toolkit listing I have calls out a part number 725741 lug wrench for a demountable rim car and a part number 740551 lug wrench for a demountable wood wheel and a wire wheel equipped car. The part numbers are not stamped on the tools, no such luck!

    I have attached a photograph of a representative tool that looks like Ed’s lug wrench. Ed’s lug wrench was approximately 7 inches long and approximately 1.5 to 2.0 inches deep (under the handle to the end of the tool) I assume the correct lug wrench would need to be a minimum of 3.0 inches deep to clear the collar that the lug bolts/nuts sit in on my car.

    The lug wrench should have the Pierce script and say FAIRMOUNT, FAIRMOUNT CLEVELAND or FAIRMOUNT CLEVE on it. The lug nut size is 7/8 inch.

    Does anybody have a lug wrench that they know is correct for demountable wood wheel or wire wheel equipped car? If so, please post a photograph or provide dimensions so that I know exactly what to look for or request in the next Emporium.

    Side question, the tool photographed is 5 and 5/8 inches long, 1 and 9/16 deep (under the handle) and for a 5/8 inch bolt. It is marked with the Pierce Script and has FAIRMOUNT CLEVE on it. Was this tool for a car or a bicycle?


    John Dillman


    I don’t believe that this is a lug wrench. There are many of these wrenches in many different sizes with and without the Pierce stamped logo. I think these wrenches were used like a socket wrench would be today.

    Most Series 80 wrench sets had one of these ‘handled socket’ wrenches that would fit the cylinder head nuts.

    In the list of tools in the owners manual it is described as “Wrench”- “Socket” – “Cylinder head Nut” I have several of the handled socket wrenches in 5/8″ which is the cylinder head nut size for the S80.

    And the tool kit also came with an actual lug wrench, often stamped ‘Firestone’. The owners manual list of tools described this as a ‘Rim Tool” . The owners manual shows the use of the ‘Rim Tool’ on page 69.

    The lug wrench was a socket, centered on a bent piece of 3/8″ round steel rod. The rod is bent sharply up from where the rod enters and leaves the hole in the socket. Then the rod is bent 90* away from the socket. The resulting wrench looks like a ‘T’ with the socket for the center vertical leg, and the 3/8″ rod forming the top of the ‘T’. One end of the lug wrench was sharpened like a screwdriver. This screwdriver end was used to pry the rim off the wheel. there are three slots on the wheel for the tool to use to pry the rim off the wheel. .

    And in the illustrations in the owners manual, the sharpened end of the tool was used to pry the ends of the rim apart and back together when changing a tire.

    I’ll try to get a photo of the S80 lug wrench soon.

    As for the ‘handled socket’ I have numerous sizes of this type of tool, I do not think they are lug wrenches, but an early socket wrench. The correct size could be used as a lug wrench, but your knuckles would get pretty close to the tire..

    Greg L


    Hi John, here is a photo of the same wrench, on a head stud and cylinder head nut.

    Same 5/8″ hex size.

    Greg L


    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for the note, but your comments raise more questions for me (figures)!

    Your comments helped me identify the 5/8″ wrench as a head bolt wrench for series 80.


    Did Fairmount make tools for Pierce from the early years up through 1935? I ask because I thought (assumed) that Fairmount only provided tools from 1929 to 1935 and that Billings and Williams provided the earlier tools.

    I have a Fairmount 5/8″ hex wrench that is approx 5.5 inch long x 2 inch deep (“L” shaped tool just like your photograph). I could not figure out where a 5/8″ hex tool would be used on a Pierce 8!

    I understand about your Firestone tool comments, but I have seen both a Williams and a Fairmount tool that has the same “L” shape and has a 7/8″ hex. The only 7/8″ bolts/nuts that I know of on a Pierce (Series 80 or 8 cylinder cars) are for the rim or wheel bolts/nuts. Am I wrong?

    Please note that the lug wrench nomenclature is mine. In the 1931 Pierce tool description they called the tool either as a:

    Wrench, wire and demountable wood wheels


    Wrench, tire rim, artillery wheels with demountable rims

    (With their own unique part numbers)


    Hi John, my understanding is that Fairmont was the tool supplier from the start of the Series 80, Billings and Spencer supplied most of the earlier cars’ tools.

    The 7/8″ could be the big cap nut on the Series 81 head nut. it was a plated acorn nut.. I’ll have to go dig one up and measure it..

    Most lug nuts are 3/4″ or 13/16″. but it seems that they were all over the place.

    On one ’30 car I’ve worked on, some lug nuts are 13/16″ some are 7/8″ both look old.

    BUT, there is no way that this type of wrench would work, the nuts are way down inside the wheel hub, at least 5″-6″ down from the hub opening. A modern “X” wrench is the best tool i’ve found.

    The nut used at the rim, holding the rim against the wheel also seems to vary wildly.. I’ve seen 11/16″ up to 7/8″ but most are 3/4″

    I’m wondering what tool was supplied for the cars equiped with the deep hub with nuts at the bottom of the 5″ deep hub ??

    I know on my ’33 836, I have to use an ‘X’ wrench or a modern socket, extension and ratchet.

    I do have an old socket/extension/crank combination, I’ve looked it over for any names or logos.

    but it would work on a wheel with a deep hub.. I’ll try to get a photo posted later.

    Good luck in your search!!

    Greg L


    John, Pierce started using Fairmount in 1925 and continued until they stopped giving tools to owners in 1935. It is my understanding that 1936 and newer only got a lug wrench. Billings would be found in the earliest sets, then Williams in the early twenties. This said I have seen a few rust marked tool rolls that have had both Billings and Williams them for a long time. This may have been a running change where they used up all the Billings first? If only tools could talk. Karl



    The Fairmount tools being used on series 80 and 81 make things interesting. I am enough of a purist (unfortunately) to try and have an authentic, correct and complete toolkit for my 1931.

    The thought of Pierce-Arrow providing an 8″ long, 1/2 inch diameter wrench to remove lug nuts seemed strange to me. You would either hurt your hand or your foot would inevitably slip off the tool while trying to remove and tighten the nuts.

    It will be interesting to hear if the series 81 head bolts are 7/8 inch hex.

    A lot of other cars used a combination hand crank/lug nut wrench. A nice heavy tool that was deep enough to extend past the wheel hub. Pierce-Arrow did not do this on the 1929 through 1931 cars.

    FYI, on my 1931, the wrench would need to be a MINIMUM of 3″ deep to clear the wheel hub.

    I wish somebody had a Pierce parts index that showed exactly what a:

    P/N 740551 “Wrench, wire and demountable wood wheel” looks like.

    and a

    P/N 740966 “Wrench, tire rim artillery wheels with demountable rims” looks like.

    I too carry a modern “X” wrench for the lug bolts/nuts and a good hydraulic jack in my car. I look at the original hand crank jack and that heavy Pierce-Arrow and hope that I never have to use it!

    I would still love to hear (and see photographs) what owners that think they have original toolkits, have for lug nut removal tools on circa 1931 Pierce-Arrows.


    Having a useful jack for the old cars has always been a problem. I forget who gave me the lead on Land Rover style bottle jacks. Externally, it looks just like a regular bottle jack, slender , red, neat looking. As you pump it, when the outside cylinder reaches maximum height, like magic another cylinder comes from the center, giving the height we need to access the high frames on our cars. I have bought a number of them on Ebay, from $30’s to $90’s depending on condition.

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