Removing center caps - Chevy SSR Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Removing center caps

Getting new tires and want to remove the wheel center caps before I take it in. Any tips for removing and re-installing the center caps without damaging them?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron S View Post
Getting new tires and want to remove the wheel center caps before I take it in. Any tips for removing and re-installing the center caps without damaging them?
Go to a bicycle shop and purchase a tire removal tool. It is perfect for the job. It is made of plastic, wide enough to use most of the recess on the wheel as a pivot point, and curved so it has good leverage. I have one here somewhere even though I haven't used stock wheels since 2005. Ill see if I can find it and take a picture. I bought it after a local tire shop monkey caused some damage with a screwdriver, after I told him I would remove it myself.

Failing that, use a small prybar, because it's wider than a screwdriver, but make sure you put some masking tape on the wheel recess so you don't scratch it.

Reinstalling is easy. Just make sure to orient the tire valve outline on the inside of the cap to the tire valve. Also, the rear caps are slightly different, so you might want to note that on the back of the caps as you take them off.

Found a youtube video that shows the same blue tool I have.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron S View Post
Getting new tires and want to remove the wheel center caps before I take it in. Any tips for removing and re-installing the center caps without damaging them?
Paint Can Lid removal tools are just right for this. The curved end fits in the small 'removal' slot and allows for the caps to be pulled off easily.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 10:12 AM
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I used a tupperware orange peeler works good just have cut to thin end back a little, and hope your wife don't catch you!!!



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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron S View Post
Getting new tires and want to remove the wheel center caps before I take it in. Any tips for removing and re-installing the center caps without damaging them?

Good responses here regarding tool options. I've used both the plastic pry bars and also the old style paint can lid tool with success.

As you remove each one, (as noted on size) front versus back. Take a sharpie pen and note on the back side LF or RF or LR or RR so you know where each one goes when reinstalling. Also good to take a hard look at the wire hoop on the back where it attaches at several spots. If one of those wire (retainer) spots are cracked, might take some epoxy and dab some on to ensure it does not break off.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:47 AM
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I was shown an easy way. With your fingers, rotate the cap in either direction just enough to place your fingers under peaks in the cap and gently pull straight out. Installation is just as easy. Just don't use a lot of force...be gentle! You don't want to break the tabs. Before you install them, make sure the metal ring is inside all of the tabs. My front caps used to rotate while driving. When I removed the front caps, the ring on each was sitting inside all of the tabs but one. The rear caps were fine.
I fitted the ring properly into the notches of each tab on the front caps and they no longer rotate!

John
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:03 PM
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the tabs that hold the rings are 16 yr old Plastic and very fragile when they were New. Just remember to pull the cap Straight out in centerline to the axle, without any amount of side ways pressure, pop them straight out. If "crumbs" fall out... Save them and count them to make sure you have all the tabs. They can be re attached, but it's easier to figure out where they broke and mark the place before doing a repair. Hang them from the wire ring as you re attach them...


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:00 PM
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Just be sure to pull gradually all the way around with whatever you use until the cap is free.

Pretend you're on the bomb squad and there's a tripwire in there. lol

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safecracker View Post
I was shown an easy way. With your fingers, rotate the cap in either direction just enough to place your fingers under peaks in the cap and gently pull straight out. Installation is just as easy. Just don't use a lot of force...be gentle! You don't want to break the tabs. Before you install them, make sure the metal ring is inside all of the tabs. My front caps used to rotate while driving. When I removed the front caps, the ring on each was sitting inside all of the tabs but one. The rear caps were fine.
I fitted the ring properly into the notches of each tab on the front caps and they no longer rotate!

John
I use this method John mentions, rotate them slightly lift them off, no tools.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone. Picked up some cheap knock offs. Thinkng of running with those and storing the originals. Getting worried that someone might steal the originals with them getting so hard to find. Had 2 expensive multipiece wheels ruined when someone tried to pry the outer rings off while the vehicle was parked. Whoever it was thought they were trim rings.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:26 PM
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Before i put mine back on i use a little vasiline on the contact points to help them slide on easier,
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
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I was shown an easy way. With your fingers, rotate the cap in either direction just enough to place your fingers under peaks in the cap and gently pull straight out.
John
Quote:
Originally Posted by OLDFATGUY View Post
I use this method John mentions, rotate them slightly lift them off, no tools.
Ditto. Though I did buy some of those blue tools. Worked great on my former Impala.

In regards to marking them front or rear.... they are already marked on the backside whether front or rear as well as which side faces the valve stem (quick tip - the notch is on the opposite side).


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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 04:34 AM
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Thumbs up Great Question and post.

This is but ONE of many things ALL New R owners should know about. NOT asking what you think is a "Silly Question" is just SILLY.


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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 07:37 AM
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Cool Center cap removal tool

I picked it up at Harbor Freight for about a buck.

Discount Tire has a smaller tool that does the same thing.
NEVER use a metal tool to remove the caps.

When reinstalling the cap look on the back of the cap for proper alignment of the valve stem.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 09:52 AM
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You wouldn't happen to have the part number for that tool, Harbor Freight???

Thanks

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 10:07 AM
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 11:08 AM
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When I went for my new tires, I took the caps off and left them off till I ran the new tires a few miles and retorqued the rims then installed the new plain caps I had in stock .
I put the original caps away for safe keeping . Dave
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 01:41 PM
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Understand the safe keeping comment, ... but then I ask myself "who am I saving these for?"

Of course, the answer is that I'm saving them for the next owner ... right? Make any sense to you?
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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 01:47 PM
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Understand the safe keeping comment, ... but then I ask myself "who am I saving these for?"

Of course, the answer is that I'm saving them for the next owner ... right? Make any sense to you?
Right now you are saving them for yourself. It doesn't take much to break them and the SSR looks horrible with no cover.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 03:46 PM
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If you look closely at the part, it should be clear that there is NO part number on either side of the item.
I bought it over 12 yrs ago.
If all else fails, go by Discount Tire and ask them for one. I have one of theirs as well. NO part number on theirs either.

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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 03:54 PM
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Right now you are saving them for yourself. It doesn't take much to break them and the SSR looks horrible with no cover.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VI Ken View Post
Understand the safe keeping comment, ... but then I ask myself "who am I saving these for?"
Of course, the answer is that I'm saving them for the next owner ... right? Make any sense to you?
some of us have lost one while on the road. thank goodness we bought some OEM for replacements. Found out that the Chinese re pops have a stiffer tab and a mold line ridge that makes it hard to install on some rims. especially rims that are re powdercoated. almost as if the ID has shrunk. that stiffer tab should be "fit checked" before hammering it on, it'll have to come off again.
caveat empitor
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 03:55 PM
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Thanks Mike, 12 years ago, they probably discontinued it!

I'll try Discount Tire.

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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 04:05 PM
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Thanks Mike, 12 years ago, they probably discontinued it!
I'll try Discount Tire.
the paint can tool is probably the tool of choice, it should be "pulled outward" not used to "pry"..... prying will always Hurt your Wheels...
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 10:48 PM
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Right now you are saving them for yourself. It doesn't take much to break them and the SSR looks horrible with no cover.
If you store the originals and put on repops, then lose one on the road, what are you going to replace it with? One of the originals? No, you'll buy another repop to put on and still have the originals squirreled away so when you die they'll get sold or trashed by whoever has to clean up after you.

That's like buying a big juicy steak and never enjoying it, just keep it in the freezer because it's so expensive.

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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 08:43 AM
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Is it kinda like a spare tire ? After you get one, you Never need it again... Even with re pops, you just may need a spare.... sometime. They're plastic.


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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Understand the safe keeping comment, ... but then I ask myself "who am I saving these for?"

Of course, the answer is that I'm saving them for the next owner ... right? Make any sense to you?
I feel I am saving them for me. I know I have them. I can always put them on for a meet or whatever and with costs running up over one grand for a set of four, may add significant to price if I ever sell. Once you have been vandalized, you run a bit scared.
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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some of us have lost one while on the road. thank goodness we bought some OEM for replacements. Found out that the Chinese re pops have a stiffer tab and a mold line ridge that makes it hard to install on some rims. especially rims that are re powdercoated. almost as if the ID has shrunk. that stiffer tab should be "fit checked" before hammering it on, it'll have to come off again.
caveat empitor
Tried the fakes. They are a bit tighter, but do go on and off OK
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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 04-14-2019, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Did the twist and pull with fingers technique and worked fine for both the originals and the knock offs. Surprised how loose the originals were. I checked and nothing loose or broken on any of them. Can see how they are often lost.
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