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Customs Full hubcaps and radials?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BigO, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Hey guys, anybody have any luck running full hubcaps with radial tires? If you have let us know what you did. Thanks in advance, BigO
  2. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48

    What's the problem???
  3. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,506

    Model A Gomez

    I ran full hubcaps with radials on my 53 Merc and 60 T-Bird with no problems. Had after market hubcaps on stock wheels on both of them. Don't understand the problem.
  4. Some wheels which were made before radial tires were common will flex quite a bit from the radial loads. This can create a problem in retaining full wheel covers. If you have valuable wheel covers, you may want to consider some positive means to keep them in place.

  5. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,479


    It's more about the rim you choose than the cap or the tire. The ones that have the rib in them for the bead of the tire to seat over seem to hold a cap better than the earlier ones. Also, a lot of full wheel covers get their grip teeth worn smooth or flat over time from repeated mountings and dismountings. They often need to be sharpened and/or bent back out to get a solid grip.

    A lot of early full wheel covers had some different kind of mounting system, Buicks had clips in the center like what a dog dish cap would use, Cadillacs had a wacky center cup mount thing, Chevy's had raised nubs on the outside part of the rim that the cap would snap over instead of teeth, ect. And those were all from the bias tire era. I think it was the rim more than the tire causing issues.
    BigO, scrap metal 48 and Hnstray like this.
  6. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,433

    from ohio

    Had the flex wheel problem on a 55 Merc with radials that my cousin had. I told him he better check the wheel covers before he took off every time. He had me take it to the Springfield, Ohio car show and swap meet to put it in the cars for sale lot. On the way there a rear cap let loose at 70 mph, tore hell out of the cap and took the fender skirt with it and skinned it up pretty bad. He wasn't home when I took it back that afternoon so I just parked it in his garage and beat feet. He called me that evening to ask if I had any bites on the sale of the Merc (he hadn't been in the garage to see the damage) I told him I had a bunch of tire kickers and one guy was pretty interested but he would have to fix the damage to the skirt and get a matching hubcap. He said he would call me back, I thought he would be pissed but all he said was "Those damned hubcaps!!" He had the skirt fixed, left the caps off the rear wheels and we sold it at the KKOA show when it was in Lancaster, Ohio the next year.
    BigO and scrap metal 48 like this.
  7. I've heard that the caps pop off due to the movement of the sidewalls.
    scrap metal 48 likes this.
  8. Thanks, that very helpful info.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  9. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,569


    Back in 1964-65 my Dad had a nutted up 352 in a '56 Ford Vicky with stock wheels and bias ply tires. That thing would repeatedly shuck the full wheel covers. Us kids got our exercise running back into the ditches to retrieve them. That was before radials so it was the wheels flexing.

    deadbeat and BigO like this.
  10. Good info, thanks .
  11. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,244


    My 49 Buick with radials has full 54 Buick wheel covers on stock 54 Buick wheels. Never had a problem loosing one when the car is moving.
    scrap metal 48 and BigO like this.
  12. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,153


    I have never seen a hub cap fall off from sidewall flex.

    I have seen quite a few wheel covers fall off from sidewall flex.
    54vicky likes this.
  13. deadbeat
    Joined: May 3, 2006
    Posts: 524


    Yeah I hear you,, Not hubcaps but full wheel covers. Wife has a 63 T/bird as she had those early Lancer Starfire (?) caps and they would fly every which way. To fix it back then I used 100mph or good gaffer tape for the prongs to hang onto. Run the tape around where the prongs catch the wheel etc. But you will still need to keep an eye on them during your drive when you pull up. Hope that is what you are looking for , cheers
    BigO likes this.
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,187


    Had two fly off my 51 Merc (had Chevy wheels on it) once with 14 inch wheels and some Hollywood accessory caps that resemble fury cones with a step in them and once with 15's and my 57 Caddy caps when one came off and passed me and went off in the brush and I never did find it.
    BigO likes this.
  15. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,795


    I haven't put a lot of miles on mine as you see in the picture but the miles that have gone on the car have been hard miles...……...beat it pretty hard actually clean caddy.jpg
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike

    I worked at the Cadillac/Oldsmobile garage in San Jose when I got my Journeyman ticket. Your Caddy would have been one of our NEW cars.
    Beautiful example, @hrm2k...

    I had '55 Olds OEM Fiesta caps on my '55 Vicky semi custom, fronts only. Rears were 'invisible' behind the Foxcraft flare skirts.
    Fronts would fly off in a turn, (radial tires, 75 series) but no fault of the tires.
    My wheel centers were too 'tall', or 'proud', as they say...I had to reverse the rims in front, only made 1/2" difference in tread width, but the centers were now 'deeper', never lost a wheel cover again.
    My '55 F100 had reversed '50 Merc wheels, rears with wider Buick outers.
    I used the '50 Merc 'ash cans', or 'dog dishes', all OEM. Fronts would leave in a sharp turn, had to 'shag' poverty caps 3 times. I welded a little bead onto the nubs for tighter retention, that cured it.
    My Foster father gave me his special Romeo Palemides F100 wheels, 2 piece aluminum with deep hubs, and aluminum caps.
    The caps were dented and bent, but the wheel inner hub tunnels had a single 3/16" groove below the surface. I searched for months, then found the Mustang Highway Patrol cars had a thick aluminum cap that was small, but close.
    I wrapped a length of 1/4" vacuum hose around one, and with lube and back-and-forth pushing, it went in nice and tight. Has a Ford script on it, too. Looks 'Custom Made'!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    hrm2k likes this.
  17. hrm2k
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Posts: 3,795


    Thanks Mike...………… for the car goes to my aunt who bought it new...……….I want to cut it up so bad but then I start it and see the odometer. This was this afternoon getting close to home caddy miles.jpg
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  18. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike

    Color me ENVIOUS.....
    tb33anda3rd and hrm2k like this.
  19. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,252

    Bruce A Lyke

    Have had pretty good luck on my 59 Nomad....
    as lomg as i make sure they are on all the way, had one that spent the fall and all winter in a ditch after i could not find it in the brush. Went back in the spring agter the snow melter and walked right up to it

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