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Old 04-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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WANDERING HUB CAPS

Wondering what others think may be the cause of this. While driving on an extended trip, I happened upon an all too familiar sight in the road this time of year and sadly placed my driver's side front tire squarely into it. Having little warning at 55 mph at the end of a bridge trestle, there it was, a three foot diameter eight inch deep pothole. Dang it!

No sooner did I drive through it, than I see this shiny spinning object flying away from the van. Hey, that's my hub cap!!!

So I turned around and stopped by the road-side where I estimated it may have landed - assuming it didn't bounce over the gaurd rail, down the river bank, and into the drink. Found it. A bit scratched up, but still in working order and I popped it back on the wheel.

So me thinks my last tire rotation included a defective hub cap reinstallation. Can't proove it. Don't have enough experience with these things. However, I can't get that hub cap off without a prying tool. My hunch is the mechanic did not get it on square and a couple clips didn't make it into their slots. Any advise from the more experienced tire rotators out there? Should I look over their work more closely in the future?
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

not a big fan of hubcaps myself, however re-banging them all on after service is probably a good habit.

even so I can see where a chuck hole hit like that could pop even a properly mounted hubcap.
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

Lost another hub cap - this time for good. Must have been that pot hole on Highway 84 south, OR. Noticed the shafts end has a rusty worn black paint sparsely covering it. It will have to be cleaned up and given some touch-up paint if I go hubless. Otherwise, I'm out $15.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

joey2cool,

Doesn't your van have the factory Ford aluminum wheels with the small chrome hub caps? If it does I dont think they can be installed wrong, at least not very easily. My van has those too and they must line up just right and then snapped on with a firm push. It must have been on hell of a pot hole. They have part numbers on the inside if you need to buy one or two. You might try ebay but my bet it they cost a lot more than $15 each. Keep an eye on the tire that hit the hole. Sometimes that kind of injury to the tire can cause shifted belts. It also could have bent the rim or knocked off a wheel weight so you might want to have your tire shop recheck it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:20 AM   #5
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

Not happy to think of paying more than $15 a piece for plastic hub caps. The rims were an upgrade to forged aluminum, but it looks like one of the mechanics at the dealer scratched them with his socket wrench (at each nut). I'm also thinking of buying at least one locking lug for each tire - especially if I go hubless. Anything to slow a crook down. It Seems like these 2010 model hubs have extremely small slots to click into. I see no tire damage. The weights are still on. However, since I'm no mechanic I will do as you suggest and get them checked soon. Can't believe the rims would flex enough to pop the things off. Back ones are slimmer profile hubs - too bad I can't get these for the front as well.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

Gnarvan lost a hubcap this weekend in Seattle. The only hubcap I run is on the spare tire on my back bumper.

I went up there to catch a James "Super Harp" Cotton show at a small Jazz club on Friday night. As I was leaving a store the next morning I looked at the back of the the van and this is what I found.

Missing hubcap


There is only one way a hubcap is going to fall off the spare. THEFT! So I sent my drinking buddy the picture of my capless spare and asked him if he knew anything about it.

He sent me this picture

Found hubcap


I really need to be more selective of who I go out drinking with.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

A problem with hubcaps came to light during a group trip to Baja several years ago. One morning while camped near the beach, I noticed that a tire on another SMB was flat. It turned out to be due to the hubcap. The hubcap had rotated a little and was forcing the valve stem over until it finally developed a leak. Something to watch out for...
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

I remember around 2000 or 2001 the XLT trim level hub caps (Wheel Covers) did not fit the steel rims properly and the plastic mounting tabs would break off all the time. They would either fly off on the road or would not even stay on at all.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

So I bought two new front center hub caps after loosing one and scuffing up the other (see earlier posts). Cost just over $200!

Heads up, though most of you don't have original 16" wheel hub caps (2010 Ford van circa), if you do and you ever try to order them beware - the web pages, including Ford's own part center, all have the front and rear hub cap part numbers reversed.

My dealer's service manager says Ford has not listened to them in the past when they report errors like this for correction.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:25 PM   #10
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Re: WANDERING HUB CAPS

I have a full set of 6 16" hubcaps still, they're chrome not OEM, 4x4 or 2wd, just in case anyone is interested.
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