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I have been noticing that all my hubcaps move around on the wheels resulting in valve stems getting pushed severely sideways. Actually had one fail. Never heard of this but never had hubcaps like these before either. Tires are radials Buick is a '50 Super running original caps.

Thx

Phil

 

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On the ‘53 Special, my caps all stayed put EXCEPT for the front driver’s side. Tried swapping them around, playing with the grips, but that one would always shift. 
 

It only popped off twice in 7 years, but the second time was earlier this year when I was doing some spirited motoring on a busy 3 lane highway. Luckily - and weirdly - there were no other cars around me at all, and it rolled its merry way across all the lanes and came to rest on the side concrete barrier. 
 

It was even facing outward with the shield perfectly up, as if it were on display. No dents or road rash either. Had to take two off ramps to circle back and get it. I guess it just needed some “alone time” from the car. 
 

JFranklin: great idea about the silicone 👍

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Funny -- I expected this to be a story about installing NOS hubcaps that spiraled into a full frame-off restoration!  :P

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2 hours ago, RivNut said:

Did the cap always come off the left front even after rotating the tires?  


Ed: Rotate the what? 😉

 

Yep. Not sure what it was, but no matter the wheel or cap, it was always that one. 

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Rotate the tires, like it states in your owners manual.  As  old as your car his the spare is probably included in the rotation.  Just wondering if when that wheel went to a different corner, if the cap came off that wheel or did you still  lose the left front. 

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18 minutes ago, RivNut said:

Did you ever move the cap to a different corner? Just curious. Or did you find a cap that would stay on?


Yes, I swapped out caps, too. Nothing made a difference. Any cap on the front driver’s side position always shifted. 
 

Of course, the Golden Anniversary Buicks always gave their owners a little something extra 😉

Edited by JBP (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/19/2020 at 3:20 PM, JBP said:


Yes, I swapped out caps, too. Nothing made a difference. Any cap on the front driver’s side position always shifted. 
 

Of course, the Golden Anniversary Buicks always gave their owners a little something extra 😉

 

If it's the left front all the time regardless of hubcap or wheel, I wonder if maybe you're front driver's brakes are dragging a little, causing the drum and wheel to heat up and expand?

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I've heard all kinds of problems and solutions for hubcaps and I can't explain why this happens. When I install hubcaps, I put the car in the air and take all the weight off the wheels, THEN install the hubcaps. I honestly can't imagine the wheel is distorting sufficiently to make the hubcap fit poorly enough that it moves, but since I started doing it this way the problems with loose or wayward hubcaps and rotating hubcaps have vanished.

 

I learned this trick from a fellow who was tired of losing hubcaps on his Continental Mark II, which are notorious for flinging hubcaps. Those are some HEAVY cars.


I have no explanation for why this works, but there it is.

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12 hours ago, Pete O said:

 

If it's the left front all the time regardless of hubcap or wheel, I wonder if maybe you're front driver's brakes are dragging a little, causing the drum and wheel to heat up and expand?


Brakes were also checked and adjusted as per schedule, Pete; really not sure what the cause was or why. Just a quirk that I learned to live with - until I put the bolt-on ‘53 wire wheel covers on the car. A great engineering idea. 
 

If I should ever happen to lose one of those, then the wheel will be likely going with the cover! 

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If dragging brakes would cause the drum and wheel to heat up, wouldn't heat cause the drum and wheel to expand thus creating a tighter fit for the cap?  

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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 I've noticed the same thing on my '63 Riv with its OEM factory wheel covers. I spread the tangs (just a bit) and break out the rubber mallet to tap into place. It seems to help, but if you're checking tire pressures regularly, simply make that part of the routine. Most of us are used to fancy factory rims these days on our modern rides, which eliminate this issue. File under automotive engineering progress, I guess.

 I live in San Diego, and before that lived in Michigan (working at Chrysler HQ through various questionable mergers) so when BEVs are eventually declared mandatory in those colder climates, this will pale by comparison when one's range is sapped by heated seats, defrosters, etc.

 

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I noticed this on my 49 with repro hubcaps, thought it was my imagination had them line up with stem at 12 o’clock with “Buick “ could be read horizontally, most seem to shift slightly.

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