: Putting the hubcap back on?

11-14-10, 10:28 PM
My aging mother-in-law has an '85 Fleetwood. She has been hospitalized for some time now. One tire on it was low and badly worn so I took it off and put the spare on. But now I can't get the hubcap back on. It looked so simple when I took it off. But the center nut is about 1/4" to 3/8" short of reaching the stud and I can't figure out how to get it pushed in any further to get the nut started. I pushed, kicked, and everything else I could try. No luck.
Another hubcap was off and in the trunk. I tried it also and same problem. I assume someone before had the same problem and just threw it in the trunk.
So what am I missing. Must be something simple that I am overlooking.

11-14-10, 11:27 PM
is it a full size spare or one of those donut looking wheels?

11-15-10, 10:06 AM
It is a full size spare.
I took the a tire off the left front. Put the spare on with the center cone with the stud on it back just like it was, under 3 lug nuts. And the hubcap retainer nut will not reach the stud.
A hubcap on a rear wheel was already off. I found it in the trunk and tried to put it on that rear wheel and it had the same problem. Nut will not quite reach the stud. I guess someone had it off before and could not get it back on.
Even though it is fairly close, I cannot push the center of the hubcap in far enough to reach the stud. And looking around the rim, the hubcap is pushed in nearly as far as it can go.
Surely this can't be that difficult. Can it? :hmm:

11-15-10, 10:22 AM
maybe you have the wrong rims? compare the two offending rims to the other rims on the car and see if they look the same.

11-15-10, 10:28 AM
There are two different size locks/retainers for the hubcaps. You probably have the wrong ones. Do you have any hubcaps on the car?

11-15-10, 08:33 PM
There were 3 hubcaps on when went to check on it for my mother-in-law. There was not one on the left rear. The 4th one was in the trunk. I tried to put the 4th one on that left rear and could not get the nut to catch. About 1/4" short and could not push the hubcap in far enough to reach it.
It had a low nearly bald tire on the left front. I took that hubcap off, mounted the spare in that location, and tried to put the hubcap back on. Could not get it back on. I checked the wheels to see if I could tell any difference. Did not have anything to measure with but my finger. But doing a simple measurement using my finger I could tell no difference in the depth of the wheel from the rim. From all appearances, they were the same wheel, left front, left rear, & spare. And the same with the rear wheel. I tried the hubcap that was in the trunk on the front wheel that I had just mounted. No luck. Both front and rear come up a fraction of an inch short of the nut catching the stud.
The hubcap mounted on the front left came off easily when I turned the retaining nut with the special tool. But could not get it to go back on when I tried it. Can figure out why the difference.
I dare not try the ones on the other side. Probably would not be able to get them back on either.

11-15-10, 09:57 PM
Dude you should see the hubcap headaches i have around here when i have to change tires and look for some spare rims. I don't have it quite figured out yet but there are different rim widths and backspacing differences that will make them fit or not fit. I just changed some last week and when measuring with my finger I couldn't tell much difference. I was going to post a thread about this soon and compare pics with other RWD Caddy owners. I do believe you have some incorrect rims on that car.

I do have 2 sets of retainers that are different heights for the different rims but some rims are in between which leads me to believe there may be another size of retainers out there. One set is silver colored and one set is shiney gold colored. My nice shiny retainers are too tall for most of my rims. I finally found a set of wheels that they will work on but they are a little looser than I would like. I still need rims a little wider yet or a little less backspacing.

Apparently you have the shorter retainers and need either longer retainers or a narrower rim.

11-15-10, 09:58 PM
Oh yeah, I'm using the 80's spoked hubcaps with the red centers on my Seville.

11-16-10, 01:24 AM
Please don't take this the wrong way, but are you making sure the valve stem is coming through the slot on the hubcap?

11-16-10, 02:51 PM
I looked at the wheels very carefully again today. It appears two wheels are not the originals. I can see an ever so slight difference in the setback of the center part of the wheel to the outside rim. Just enough to make the stud too short. Have no idea of the history of the vehicle so don't know how that happened. Mother-in-law bought it about 15 years ago from another elderly couple.
I think I am going to get two bolts of the same thread size as the stud and two deep nuts. Then I can put the deep nut on the stud, cut the bolt to about 5/8" to 3/4", and have an instant stud extender.

11-16-10, 06:31 PM
That's a good plan.

11-16-10, 09:29 PM
Wheels that are known to work with these wheel covers are TG rims, marked with the letters "TG" right next to the valve stem. I figured that one out last summer when I put together a set of rims at the salvage yard for winter tires.

Other rims may work, but I went through about 3 other rims that looked identical, but were not marked with TG, and they wouldn't work. 2 of them even came off an '83 Fleetwood Brougham! The earlier years with the non-locking wheel covers used different rims I guess.

11-16-10, 10:02 PM
^'70's Ford rims will also work with the locking hubcap.

11-17-10, 06:30 AM
Thanks Mudant, that's the secret info I needed. I need to look for some TG wheels or maybe some ford wheels (ugh)