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Old 03-06-2010, 06:59 AM   #1
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1978 28' Ambassador
Savannah , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 237
Remove bolt on wheel to hold hubcap?

Repainting wheels. Steel on '78 Ambassador 28'. Will have alot of pictures to follow. The wheel has a welded on threaded bolt I assume is used to secure the hubcaps. I plan to replace the hubcaps, but probably not vintage. The three caps that came with it are mismatches and it appears someone banged a hole in them to allow the bolt to come through. Was thinking that while I am redoing the wheels can I just cut this bolt off with a grinder? Do they serve a purpose other than holding on the hubcaps? Down the road I will buy a set of pressure fit hubcaps. Probably can't afford the originals...if I even knew what they looked like. Thanks. Jack
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:38 AM   #2
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1973 31' Sovereign
chapin , South Carolina
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that sounds alittle strange...... I would guess that bolt is not dead center, which would make for a balance problem, and we all know the problems with unbalanced running gear........maybe the PO had somekind of bolt on anti theft device?
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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1993 21' Sovereign
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The hubcaps on the 1970's Airstreams were prone to go flinging off at the drop of a hat. That's why so many are missing. The PO probably had that problem, and created a solution to it. you can cut off the bolt with a cutoff wheel, and grind it down flush with the wheel, or you can just go to your local Redneck Trailer store and pick up a set of new wheels. They run around $50-$60 each (or less), and you won't have to worry about the bolts, balance of the old ones, if they are bent, or rusty. Just give them a nice coat of gloss black spray paint, and put tires on them.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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1971 27' Overlander
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If it is a stud, you can just replace that for a few dollars
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
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Slight Hijack

Getting ready to repaint my wheels also ('99 Safari), 'cause the paint is flaking of here and there.

Anyone know of an appropriate, high quality, tough wheel primer / topcoat? - I don't want to be re-doing this again for some time!
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:09 AM   #6
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
Getting ready to repaint my wheels also ('99 Safari), 'cause the paint is flaking of here and there.

Anyone know of an appropriate, high quality, tough wheel primer / topcoat? - I don't want to be re-doing this again for some time!
I primed and painted the wheels on our Silverado with Dupli-Color grey primer and silver "steel wheels" paint. I did this a year ago last September, and the wheels still look good. The thing to remember is that paint doesn't stick to rust, oil, dirt, or flaking original paint. A wire brush and sandpaper will be your friends. Wire brush off the flaky paint, sand the paint that is still there. Wipe the wheel down with enamel thinner on a clean cloth, let it dry, and paint the wheel.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:25 PM   #7
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1978 28' Ambassador
Savannah , Georgia
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Great call on the bolts being welded on to prevent hubcaps from coming off. A real close inspection showed where they were tack welded. Ground them off, primed and two topcoats. Have been using Rustoleum products. Tried a "high performance" rustoleum topcoat. It dries quickly and they say a harder finish. Think it has to to with more acetone. Sure does go on nicely. Will post pictures of all the stages. In hind sight, maybe a new set of wheels would have been cheaper if you add my manhours. Thanks for the steering in the right direction. Jack
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