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Packard Disk Wheel Hubcap


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I have a 1931 Standard eight.  Everything I have tried I cannot budge the driver's side rear hubcap. Is there a possibility that it is left hand threads?  I have used a heavy duty strap wrench, soaked the opening with a release all product, used the heat gun three times, even tried the old iodine trick, nothing works.  It is a mint hupcap and I really don't want to destroy it if I don't have to. All the other three cap off no problem.  Any suggestions?

Many thanks

 

Bill

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That must be a bit unusual with disk wheels?

 

The LR hubcap should be the same thread as the left front, assuming that is the driver's side. I also assume it is aluminium with internal thread.

 

Penetrating oil. 50-50 ATF and acetone. Paint on so it gets into the thread. Wait overnight. Paint on more. Wait overnight. Paint on more. Wait. Try GENTLE tapping with a hard plastic hammer around the thread. Attempt to remove after tapping. If you can get your strap wrench on and apply torque and tap together, better. You could even heat it with the heat gun and paint on penetrating oil so it might be drawn in as it cools. The coefficient of thermal expansion of aluminium is about twice that of steel so that should be helpful. Can you heat the cap and and hold a bag of ice on the hub at the same time and apply torque? You could also heat the hub and cool the cap: it might crush the corrosion holding it on. These expansion coefficients are pretty small so it won't change much with a small item.

 

Patience is your best friend here! Keep us posted.

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There is a combo tool in the shape of a lever with the hex on one end. A simple low cost solution is make one out of hard wood and perhaps include felt on the contact surfaces. Drill a hole to get a cross bar into it. That Strap Wrench will not give the torque that the hex will provide.

Packard Hubcap Tool.jpg

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PAC-008.jpg

 

Is the strap wrench slipping, or are you getting good torque on it?

I might put rubber over it, cut a piece of a bike inner tube and stretch it over the cap, then put the strap wrench on and the rubber may allow the strap to grip tighter. Maybe even glue the rubber on with silicone sealant, which would have to be cleaned off after.

Or like was said above, an oil filter wrench of the proper size might grip better.

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If the hubcap has an indented hex as shown in mike6024's post then I would get/or make  the Packard Hubcap Tool suggested by Friartuck. Using a strap wrench on a tight/stubborn cap would make it more difficult to remove as excessive force would tend to tighten the cap on the thread in my opinion.

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Eventually you will just have to apply some muscle. If it's gaulded in place like it seems to be likely the aluminum threads will shear off regardless how you remove it. Interesting question that arises from time to time when you restore cars professionally. As example; Do you spend several hours and quite a chunk of the customer's money trying to remove a very nice cap with no damage or do you first find a good replacement cap ( if not very expensive) and just rip the existing cap off? Some folks would say to do whatever is necessary to keep the "original" cap. Others would say to just go the least expensive route.

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48 minutes ago, Stude17 said:

If the hubcap has an indented hex as shown in mike6024's post then I would get/or make  the Packard Hubcap Tool suggested by Friartuck. Using a strap wrench on a tight/stubborn cap would make it more difficult to remove as excessive force would tend to tighten the cap on the thread in my opinion.

Wander thru any early car flea market and you will see caps where the center has been twisted out or at least badly distorted by applying excess torque to the center hex. Better to use a strap wrench on the larger diameter of the cap.

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8 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Wander thru any early car flea market and you will see caps where the center has been twisted out or at least badly distorted by applying excess torque to the center hex. Better to use a strap wrench on the larger diameter of the cap.

I am not suggesting using excess torque on the cap via the centre hex. What I am saying is that on a problematic cap it can be counter productive using a large amount of force on a strap wrench as it would compress  the cap onto the threads.  I am saying using a properly fitted hex into the indentation may actually need less torque to loosen the cap.  The OP has already stated that he has used a heavy duty strap wrench to no avail so where is the problem in trying the centre hex approach?  He has already stated he does not want to destroy it if possible and time would not appear to be an issue so there is no way I would suggest "Just rip it off" just yet.  I am well aware of the issues surrounding aluminium on steel but as the other 3 caps came off hopefully he can save this one as well. 

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On the cap in question the strap wrench would not be used on the portion containing the threads but rather on the larger diameter of the cap. If time is not an issue then of course you would not just rip it off until or unless the frustration level becomes intolerable. 

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1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

On the cap in question the strap wrench would not be used on the portion containing the threads but rather on the larger diameter of the cap. If time is not an issue then of course you would not just rip it off until or unless the frustration level becomes intolerable. 

 1- Carefully heat the neck of the cap (where the threads are)  with a propane torch, too hot to ever touch but not so much to melt the AL.  Apply bees wax around the threads the heat will suck it in.  

 2- Two people needed.  Put an oil filter wrench on the cap and the second person applies pressure on the hex.  

 

 

 

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Packard Disk Wheel Hubcaps

 

Thank you everyone for all your suggestions,  I hope to be able to get to that this weekend, I have been spending the week sandblasting wheels getting them ready for powder coating.  I will post my results as soon as I get a solution.

 

Bill

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  • 2 weeks later...

I learned another trick for situations like this. You can take an old electric jitterbug sander with a good clean rubber pad, and hold it on the end of the hubcap while trying to add penetrating oil, beeswax, or whatever. No sand paper, just put the rubber surface right against it. The vibrations due a marvelous job of breaking up crystallized particles of corrosion, and seems to suck in the penetrating oil. Try it for a few minutes, and then try the other excellent suggestions already offered on this thread. 

 

The point is that the threads are both stuck and blocked-off from getting any lubricant inside. So try several different tricks, like vibration, heat, lubricant, and leverage. Just remember the sage advice from SpinneyHill above: Time is your friend. Don't get frustrated and impatient. It took many years for that corrosion to set up, and it might take several days to get it broken free. 

 

Good luck! 

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1931 PACKARD DISK WHEEL HUBCAP REMOVAL

 

HI EVERYONE!

 

Finally got the hub cap off without destroying it !!!  What I ended up doing was heating it with a propane torch, and then rubbing a white candle around the seam.  I did this twice.

I then used a pair of vice grip pliers #12 LC around the small diameter and locking them in place. I struck this with a rubber mallet, and low and behold the cap turned.

it was snug the whole way, but was able to get it off with no damage to  the threads in the cap, nor the drum.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, it h

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On ‎09‎/‎11‎/‎2016 at 6:34 AM, Curti said:

Did you get the hubcap off ? If so, what method did you use ?

Hi Yes I did, heated with torch and then white candle wax at the seam.  a large pair of locking vice grips on the small  side of the cap, and then struck with a rubber mallet. it finally moved and got it off with no destruction to the threads in the cap or the drum. the few marks in the cap will file out and the cap is now very restorable.

 

thank you everyone

 

Bill

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  • 2 weeks later...

Amen on the thank yous,  both for the question and the answers. It brought back memories of fighting with ultra fine threads (which I think contribute to the tightness more than the corrosion, etc.)  I recall trying to remove very slightly crossed threads on Oxyacetyllene bottles. If you have ever had the misfortune of cross-thredding the cap on one of  those bottles , you will know I mean. It required a large pipe wrench, an eight foot pipe. a large six foot bar in the pipe, a still another several feet of pipe over the bar, too loosen the bugger, and it was tight most of the way, once it became cross-threaded with those fine threads. Had to have the pipe wrench at 11 o'clock due to the slack in all those levers.  I think I should have tried to tighten it more first, in order to get back on straight threads a little easier?   As I recall, it was the female threads that were buggered, and I threw that cap away where nobody would ever find it!

 

How about a flashlight of vintage origin?  To this day I have a neat old three-battery policeman's flashlight that I pretty much ruined in trying to get the lense cover off!  Again, you just can't get away with much if you cross-thread very fine threads even a little bit. I decided I would put a slice across the threads vertically with a dremel to try to save it, but i probably will never recover the light, since I buggerd it quite badly

 

I tried removing the sacrificial rod on a water heater once.  I give up after extending several feet of cheater.  I think in this case it is coarser threads, but corrosion welded things together (AFTER ALL, THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ROD, TO  corrode selectively)!  If I run into such hardships again, I will access this web page and try some of the suggestions. Congratulations on getting your hub-cap off.  Did you have a regular hub-cap wrench initially?  I hope you'all get something out of my rambling, besides staying clear of me--HO!

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