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15" WIRE CAPS help!!!!


lrlforfun
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Mitch, there is an outstanding tutorial on the very subject you are interested in learning. The article I’m referring is in The Riview ROA club magazine. Let me fish out the article. I’ll scan the article and email to a regular emai address. I thought the article was outstanding. The gent that authored the article is Randall Crandal.

Turbinator

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They’re really pretty simple. The spokes are not individual spokes.  They’re hair pins.  Two sizes.  Take the screws out of the back and remove the spinner. Take a good look at how the hairpins are laid in the notches.  Disassemble.  Clean the chrome with 0000 (4 ought) steel wool. Repaint the black if needed. Reassemble.  The first ones that I did, I did just by jumping in.  
 

I tried the same on a 79-85 cover and wound up throwing it away.  The first generation covers are really easy.

 

Ed

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12 hours ago, lrlforfun said:

I'm interested in learning a few tricks  when  cleaning,  polishing and re-assembling the 15" Buick wire cap 63-69.  Thanks, Mitch

 

Here are some pictures and explanation that will hopefully help.

 

1.) Remove the 4 (or 3) hex head screws from the back. This will enable you to remove the spinner and center medallion. This will expose the 1st layer of spokes.

2.) Remove the 1st layer of spokes by pulling the center end up and then pull out. You may have to wiggle them a bit to get them to release from the holes on the outer end.

3.) Remove the 8 (or 6) hex head screws from the back. This will enable you to remove the center hub. This will expose the 2nd layer of spokes. 

4.) Remove the 2nd layer of spokes. All you will have left is the wheel disc.

 

I am sure that there are many ways that others have used to clean and get these wheel covers looking good. This is always a winter project for me. Here is what I do: After disassembly I wash all of the components in hot water to remove all the road grime. I use SOS pads on all of the stainless disc surfaces, the spinner the center hub. and the spokes. Use a soft brush or rag on the painted portion. You can rub the paint off if not careful. I rinse with hot water and then dry the components. If the painted portion needs to be redone use any good flat black spray paint. If the backside has rust I will wire brush as much of the rust as I can off, coat with Rust-O-Leum Rust Reformer and then recoat with a satin black paint. Once everything is dry I apply metal polish to the stainless and chrome followed by a coat of good wax. The spokes are brushed stainless so I just clean those and don't apply polish or wax. I use a good plastic cleaner and polish on the center medallions. When I reassemble I put a couple of drops of light household oil on the hex head screws. It makes it easier to get them in and then off at a later date.

 

If you have any individual parts of your wheel covers that need replacing I am sure that any of the many ROA vendors can get you the pieces you need. Be careful if you buy components from someone that is not a Riviera person. Some of the other GM lines also used this wheel cover set up and the components may not fit/work even though they look the same.

 

Bill

 

 

Wheel Cover Disassembly 2.jpg

Wheel Cover Disassembly 3.jpg

Wheel Cover Disassembly 4.jpg

Wheel Cover Disassembly 5.jpg

Wheel Cover Disassembly 6.jpg

Wheel Cover Disassembly 7.jpg

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18 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Mitch, there is an outstanding tutorial on the very subject you are interested in learning. The article I’m referring is in The Riview ROA club magazine. Let me fish out the article. I’ll scan the article and email to a regular emai address. I thought the article was outstanding. The gent that authored the article is Randall Crandal.

Turbinator

Yes a most excellent article by Randall Crain.....although, Randall Crandal rhymes! LOL

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A very fine demonstration by Mr Mawbey.

Painting the black is always a good move. A good substitution might be powder coating ( assuming you know how) the black area powder coat black. But keeping those wheel covers up the way Bill does there is not much chance of any debris gathering real estate on his wheel covers.

Great job

Edited by Turbinator (see edit history)
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Note the orientation of the center emblem to the valve stem location,  that way you get it back together exactly like

it was built.   Don't know if the Buick is the same as other GM vehicles that used a version of the same cap... but the end of the spokes were round some years and hex on other years (if you need to replace spokes) 

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On 2/7/2022 at 7:53 AM, Riviera63 said:

Some of the other GM lines also used this wheel cover set up and the components may not fit/work even though they look the same.

Chevrolet, Pontiac and Oldsmobile used 14" wheelcovers. The center hub is probably the same as Buick's 15" wire cap; doubtful spokes will interchange though the long ones might. Some Mopar and AMC wire caps also share this design.

 

IIRC Chevrolet wires use the hex spoke ends 1964-67.

 

Would be interesting to know what outside supplier made these wire caps for the carmakers. Change the backplate and center/spinner and only the sharp eye would know they're the same.

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7 hours ago, RivNut said:

Some time ago there was a discussion about some differences in the 15” wire spoke wheel covers.  When laid on a flat surface side by side, some covers are taller than others.  Wonder if they take different length spokes?

 

Here are a couple of shots of what Ed is talking about. 

 

Bill

 

 

Wheel Covers 002.JPG

NOS Wheel Cover 003.JPG

NOS Wheel Cover 001.JPG

NOS Wheel Cover 002.JPG

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Here are pictures of the center chrome hub.... note the height difference.   Not sure what cars (covers) used the different height... just for your info if you are buying

parts to build a good wire cover. 1632495478_short1.75552192.jpg.edb19ea11bb4a768caabde79e6ecc787.jpg1535916751_tall2.5.jpg.23edee92ca4068699ae4b333f204e5d9.jpg

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8 hours ago, lrlforfun said:

So....I get how to dis-assemble and re-assemble and....how to clean' em.  How do I make them really sparkle??  The stainless doesn't seem to respond that well to polishes like Wenol or Flitz.   Mitch 

One thing I have tried that seemed to help is apply the metal polish with some fairly coarse steel wool. Otherwise, the discs are stainless steel so they can be polished using buffing/polishing compounds. I would imagine the outer edge could be done on a buffing wheel but, you would need a Dremel or similar tool to do the inner areas. Since the disc is stainless you can also sand out scratches before the buffing/polishing.

 

The spinner and center disc are chrome plated pot metal. If those pieces are a problem either replace with a better piece or rechrome. There should be plenty of good pieces out there with the various ROA vendors. I have had one of my spinners rechromed and it is beautiful. 

 

Bill

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On 2/12/2022 at 2:11 PM, lrlforfun said:

So....I get how to dis-assemble and re-assemble and....how to clean' em.  How do I make them really sparkle??  The stainless doesn't seem to respond that well to polishes like Wenol or Flitz.   Mitch 

FWIIW I used a buffing wheel on the spokes as well as some elbow grease with a chrome polish. My preference rather than abrasive steel wool. They came up a treat but do deteriorate over time.

 

Also found the bolts holding the centre hub and the caps need to have the correct size spanner or socket as they are easily rounded.

 

Also you need to make sure when you park that all the Buick Tri-shields are positioned correctly and not upside down. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

 

Rodney 😊😊😊😊😊😊

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1 hour ago, rodneybeauchamp said:

Also you need to make sure when you park that all the Buick Tri-shields are positioned correctly and not upside down. 

Heh. I've never had a problem correctly orienting GM wire cap spinners/centers, but 1964 Oldsmobiles could have a nice wheelcover with a heavy 3-bar spinner and a plastic center.

Here's what it should look like. Notice orientation of the Rocket center.

 

OIP.jpeg.jpg

 

I have several of them (thankfully nicer than this ebay sale) that no matter how I reassemble them, the plastic center Rocket ends up aligned with one of the spinner bars. Only thing I can figure is they were service replacements and not as much care was taken to make sure they were right. The keyways on the plastic center are in a different location than the originals.

 

Maybe I ought to get that one and clean it up! Then I'd have enough for three 64 Oldsmobiles!

 

Did Buick do any nonsense like that in the service parts market?

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