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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
As hard as I have tried I am finding it impossible to fit the domed steel hubcaps to the tyres for my Pope restoration. I did succeed in fitting one but that was because the tyre was slightly damaged, allowing some extra room for the cap to push in. But even that was a very tight fit. I note in the Pope manual that they speak as though the wheels are self-lubricating and something you never have to worry about. So I can only guess they pressed the hubcaps on with a machine of some kind and they never intended them to be removed again. I guess that is why I keep finding so many bent up hubcaps and damaged tyres. After much pushing and sweating to the point of knocking off paint, I have given up. The swear jar is now overflowing. Now I am trying to fit some slightly smaller repro hubcaps with glue, which at least works but does not look the best.

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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Rubber mallet might be the go. I used one of those all plastic hammers with the grains shaking inside like a pair of maracas to put in the centre cap of my alloy wheel with ease after it wouldn't seat with thumb pressure as it normally does.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,233
Likes: 32
Junior Technician
Hi VM, with a new tyre the rubber is soft and you use a screwdriver to lift out the rubber and pop the hubcap in.
But our wheels are 60 yrs old and are hard and cracking......
I got mine in, by spraying the rubber with WD40 and using a wooden hammer to tap them in.... worked...
Get some pics of the work of art.
cheers
speedy


........................Keep your blades sharp......................
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,044
Likes: 145
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Vm, Mf and Speedy

I didn't have much trouble fitting the caps with a screw driver and a butter knife , leaving the tyres to heat up in the sun first helps but in winter you can use a hair dryer .

Some rubber grease or soap ,shampoo would also make the cap slide in easier.

Cheers
Max.

1 member likes this: speedy
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
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Senior Contributor
Hi speedy and Max, I tried all of these and still could not get them to pop in. Just ended up with sore hands and a slippery, greasy mess. Using WD40 and a wooden hammer on fresh paint would not work too well. The tyres were N.O.S. which makes me wonder if they were rejects from the old days. One was in fact cut away a bit in order to make a cap fit at some time in the past. One of the drawbacks with getting NOS is you never know the history of the items. Got caught once with a brand new Tecumseh engine that had for some reason been left sitting on the shelf. I could never get it to go. There is often a reason why some parts were never used. Incidentally I had no trouble fitting them to four old used tyres that I have as spares. But they refuse to fit on to 3 of the new tyres. The only one I got to pop in was the new tyre that someone had taken a knife to in the past.
So I have resorted to using some slightly smaller diameter repro caps, 4 spots of glue on each and then sealed up with white silicon. That will have to do.


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