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Old 04-21-2010, 08:19 PM   #1
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Hubcaps rotate over time / miles?

A perplexing situation with my '74 Overlander. I have the factory hubcaps (the aluminum ones with cutouts and a blue center) and despite what I've read here and heard at rallies, I am not having issues with them falling off. I am having issues with them rotating slightly over time / use / miles. I will post pics tomorrow when there's some daylight for pictures, but basically I can align the valve stem and the hole in the hubcap and over some time and miles traveling, the hubcap rotates a bit such that it is pushing the valve stem over. Sometimes I even found the valve stem completely under the hubcap! I basically dismissed this last year, but now today as we traveled home from VA and stopped for gas, I was checking things on the trailer and I noticed that my hubcaps were "rotating". But unlike before, they are cutting into my valve stem! I rectified the situation for the time being...we will see how things look in the daylight tomorrow.

Anyone else had this issue and fixed it? I know the obvious solution would be a nice new set of 4 aluminum wheels, but $1000 in wheels is not going to happen right now.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:30 PM   #2
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Switch to metal valve stems. Let us know if the stem starts to wear a slot in the hubcap.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:20 PM   #3
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I didn't think of that. I was thinking of short stems, but yeah, metal stems would be an interesting idea, too.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:44 PM   #4
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Hi, as stated, metal valve stems for sure. It is common for wheel covers to move on vehicles the had originally bias ply tires and have been replaced with radials. Radials have more grip and make the wheels flex more. I had an old car that kept losing wheel covers after I switched to radial tires. Do you have radial tires on your trailer?
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:25 AM   #5
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We had this problem with our Avion and actually cut down the curbside rear stem on the way to last year's Fall Vintage rally. After having the stem replaced I cut some 1 inch lengths of 1/2" clear vinyl tubing and slide them over the valve stem. Nice clean fit over the stem and the tubing fits snugly in the wheel cover hole.

No more movement to date.


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Old 04-22-2010, 04:34 AM   #6
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This was a funny thing that happened when we started switching to radial tires in the 70's. The discs did not turn with the original goodyear hi miler bias tires but when we changed to radials they would start to turn and pop off.

A cheap easy fix is to wipe the inside of the rim with mild solvent to get it nice and clean, put a layer of the handy mans secret weapon (duct tape) around the inside of the rim where the teeth dig in. Reinstall the wheel disc and the rotation should be stopped.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:59 AM   #7
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Cool. This is what makes these forums so wonderful. I do have radial tires...they were on there when I bought the AS.

I'm not well versed in tires and since I've not been alive long enough to witness the widespread use of bias ply tires, I've got no idea of the differences other than the cord direction. I will have to research a bit more on line. Looks like all four tires get to come off the trailer and make a trip to the local tire store ASAP.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:37 AM   #8
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i had this happen on one wheel of a car i had. i bent the retaining tabs of the wheel cover.slightly to increase the tension. i had good results. i'd be afraid to sleeve the stem for a tight fit. with my luck it would yank the stem out instead of chewing it.

with all the stem failures, i think i'll even start using metal stems on my cars/trucks.
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