I'd like to build city-scale (6 studs wide) vehicles motorized with either PF motor or clockwork. The primary problem right now is connecting wheel(s) to motor. Are there small enough LEGO wheels with axle hole? Any other idea on how to connect it to motor (with gears, friction, or by any other means)?
There was also an all-rubber tire with an axle hole in some of the old space sets, though that may have a rounder shape than you're looking for.
Ever since this question was asked I wanted to build something that would fit that scale. Here's the result:
I know this is not using only LEGO pieces but, I thought that there was no way to make the LEGO motors fit 'inside' a normal looking LEGO City vehicle. So, this is basically a homemade motorized brick made of a 2x2 brick glued to the 2x2 wheels-brick. I then gutted out the insides to make place for all the electronics.
It's controlled by an ATtiny chip (similar to the Arduino chip) and uses a 3.3V LIPO battery. The motor is a small 'pager motor' that I got from an old toy. The chip is programmable and can run the motor at different speed. I'm pretty sure I could figure out a way to make a steering mechanism to go with it and, if I go really crazy, a BlueTooth brick to remote control it...
Most vehicles in modern city sets use wheels with ∅20×12 mm tires. Such tire can be put on 12 tooth double bevel gear or combination of narrower ∅11×8 mm wheel and 12 tooth bevel gear to connect with axle. The only problem I see with this solution is that tires are swollen a bit by gear so they are not freely turned when covered with mudguard with arch.
You could try connecting your wheels using the friction pin/axle
This provides some friction to the wheel hub while also giving the motor an axle to turn. It won't work if there is too much resistance, but for small setups it might be okay and it will fit in all the existing pin-connected wheels. If you're feeling crazy, you could always glue the axle into the wheel hub, or use a bar piece jammed into the pin to increase the friction. Not that I would recommend such techniques!
There are also some wheels that are turned by axles, such as this one. In fact, on this page you can see many wheel/tire assemblies that Lego has shipped, and there are lots where the wheel hub is connected with an axle. Any of these can be easily motorized, though not all of them will be small enough for 6-wide city scale.