Jump to content

Recommended Posts

A couple of years ago I lost a spinner wheel cover from my '64 Skylark. Since then I've been running Buick dog dish type hub caps until I get around to buying a replacement wheel cover. Before I invest in a replacement I'd like to get some advice on how to keep those things from flying off my wheels.

 

I'm running radials on OEM type steel wheels. Based on what I've read it seems like the steel wheels are subject to more stress and flexing with radial tires, causing wheel covers to sometimes fly off. I had heard of the problem so I made sure that my wheel covers fit very tightly and that the gripping fingers were all there and in good shape. Still the thing flew off. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep wheel covers attached on OEM style wheels, apart from switching to bias ply tires? Does anyone have any experience with new manufacture steel wheels like Coker and others sell? Are they less resistant to flexing with radials? I really like the original wheel covers so I don't want to switch to alloy wheels. Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanx.

 

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same thing happen to me in the desert Southwest. I was lucky enough that it hit a bush and I found it.

i put dabs of RTV on the wheel. Strong enough to hold it but can still be broken if you have a flat. Never had another wheel cover come off.

Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wheel flex can happen on some steel wheels with bias-ply tires, too!   Radials might make it worse, possibly?

 

Do the covers rotate on the wheel, almost bending the valve stem "off"?  Or do they just get loose and leave?  Did the ejection happen on a curve where wheel flex might be a little bit greater?  What rim diameter and rim width wheels?

 

The simple answers to your question might be "Don't drive the car and don't turn corners", but we know that's not always possible.  Nor might  "A set of aluminum wheels" be, either.

 

Enjoy!

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Machine Gun I have three 14" GM wire covers that are close to show quality. They have the spinner but no center emblem, I went to an auction a few years ago where the seller had a ton of 1st generation Riviera stuff.  I bought these wire covers thinking they were 15".  If you think you might be interested, PM me.  

 

Ed

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Bill Stoneberg Good idea about the RTV, thanx.

@NTX5467 Only two of the covers were prone to rotate along the wheel, but interestingly not the one that escaped. I'm running P205/75R14 tires. And yes, the wheel cover came off on a curve as I would have expected it to.

@RivNut Here's a photo of one of the remaining wheel covers. Not sure if yours match. Let me know, and if you have the same type I'll shoot you a PM.

 

Considering that I drove the car for about four years before I lost a wheel cover I might just get a replacement and hope for the best.

 

6A9A3780-51FE-4FA4-9544-928A6C92EE74.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine are like this. This picture is of a 65 but the covers were the same 1964 - 1966

1965-buick-skylark.jpeg.0be92617e1f4fbc110a417c63f4f82a4.jpeg

 

From the looks of mine, I don't think they've ever been mounted, the backs are as clean as the fronts. I've had them for a while and I'm not wanting a fortune for them, my loss is your gain.  You'd have to find centers for them (probably a shared part # for Olds and Buick that needs the center for the make)  I'll send you some actual photos if you'd like.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, RivNut said:

Mine are like this. This picture is of a 65 but the covers were the same 1964 - 1966

1965-buick-skylark.jpeg.0be92617e1f4fbc110a417c63f4f82a4.jpeg

 

From the looks of mine, I don't think they've ever been mounted, the backs are as clean as the fronts. I've had them for a while and I'm not wanting a fortune for them, my loss is your gain.  You'd have to find centers for them (probably a shared part # for Olds and Buick that needs the center for the make)  I'll send you some actual photos if you'd like.

Your wheel covers are different from mine, and as nice as they are I prefer to keep the same style covers as the ones that came on my car. I've seen matching covers show up on eBay every so often so I'll keep looking until I find something reasonably priced. Thanx for the response.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Over time the gripping fingers will bend so they are not really sticking to the rim.  I use a pair of pliers to bend the gripping fingers out from the hubcap.  This will make them hard to install, and will stop them from flying off.  It will also stop the covers from creeping around the rim and bending the valve stem. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with John D. I have had wheelcovers fly off. If they flew off again I replaced them. I think it is a hubcap problem not a wheel issue. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On the non-Buick I have that had the rotating-on-the-wheel wheel covers, I just took the valve stem extensions off the valve stem and installed the wheel covers "rotated" from the valve stem.  That way, if they rotated, no problems with the valve stem not liking the "flex".  AND the wheels on that car had a stop on each side of the valve stem, as the wheel covers had a "stop" on them to contact what was on the wheel.  I tried bending the grippers and slightly enlarging the stop on the wheel covers, but nothing worked.  

 

End result, the stainless steel material is brittle and does not interface well with a wheel with some flex in it.  Whether it's rotating in the wheel or dis-engaging itself from the wheel.

 

Usually IF a wheel cover is getting antsy to "see the world", it won't remain firmly seated on the wheel, but start to ease away from the wheel on one side or the other.  Looking wobbly as the wheel rotates rather than being "flat" on the wheel.  That's what I noticed.  So periodically using the palm of your hand to re-seat the cover, when it's noticed to not be "square" on the rim, is an option.

 

Joys of vintage vehicles!

NTX5467

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the best solution is to inspect the covers every so often to see if one is trying to make its escape. A pre-flight walk-around is a good idea. Thanx to all for your input.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

On all my Buick wheel covers and hubcaps and trim rings I have painted my name and phone number. I’m hoping they never go missing in action but if they ever do ......

 

Not 100% sure but I think the spinners on those caps maybe common on other GM cars of that period. I replaced a wire wheel spinner on a 64 Skylark from one off a Chev or Olds that I came across at a swap meet! ( remember them 😢😢😢😢😢)

 

Hope this helps 

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, rodneybeauchamp said:

On all my Buick wheel covers and hubcaps and trim rings I have painted my name and phone number. I’m hoping they never go missing in action but if they ever do ......

That's a great idea, Rodney. I'll do that before I install the wheel covers back on the car. I managed to find a cheap replacement on eBay a few weeks ago. It's a bit scratched up, but no matter because the other three aren't perfect, either.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...