Wire Wheel cover removal Key?

J Body General Discussion

  1. ChryslerCruiser

    ChryslerCruiser Active Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    First post here, and I am 4 wheel covers away from purchasing an 82 Imperial. IT is solid, but neglected... At present I am looking for a way to get the wheel covers off, so I can break free the front pads from the brake rotors..

    The wheel cover key is not to be found by the present owner.. Any suggestions on how to get the wheel covers off?

    Also open to suggestions and your experience on getting the wheels to roll. The car has been sitting for about 20 years.. The parking brake was on, but released upon pulling the release lever.. so I am assuming the brake cables have rusted stuck.. but it may be the front brakes as well..

    Thanks
    J
     
  2. 89.Fifth

    89.Fifth Well-Known Member

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    I have an extra key if you want it. Just pay postage and I'll send it. Just mail it back when you're done.
     
  3. ChryslerCruiser

    ChryslerCruiser Active Member

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    Thanks 89.Fifth, very Kind of you to offer. If the car was Pristine I would accept, and then go seeking my own key.. starting to think that the car is best as a daily driver maybe and so I am not too attached to keeping it 100% original..

    I am in a bit of a yank to get this thing home... I may try the Primitive Pete Method, and resort to a left hand drill bit if it comes down to it.. Then I have something that is usable at a moment's notice.
     
  4. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    In the past, I've used a die grinder with a 3" cutoff wheel to make a slot in the lock, and then a large screwdriver.

    If the car has been sitting, it's very possible the brake pads are stuck to the rotors and/or linings stuck to the drums from rust. Sometimes they come loose by rocking the car back and forth or, if it doesn't run, using a tow vehicle and tow strap. Other times the wheels have to come off and then, hammer, pry bar, whatever it takes to get them to break free.
     
  5. ChryslerCruiser

    ChryslerCruiser Active Member

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    Thanks Aspen 500. I will bring a cutoff wheel along with me. Yes I am expecting the pads are stuck to the rotors.. HOPEFUL that the parking brake cables have not stuck on.. but will find out some more tonight.
     
  6. ChryslerCruiser

    ChryslerCruiser Active Member

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    Success!! I ended up using a small punch slightly sharpened.... It was much easier than the street fight I had imagined. also the front right wheel is the only one that is stuck, so tomorrow I will pull the wheel off and maybe the brake caliper, imaging that should not be too hard.... then a 5 mile road trip.. and the clean up begins.
     
  7. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Back in the day, those hubcaps were a commonly stolen item. Now days, most people won’t even consider stealing a loose 15” tire/wheel that is sitting on side of road.

    Those heavy hubcaps can and will come off without some sort of a fastener holding it on, on a hard turn. What I have done is take one of your existing bolts and go to a hardware store. Find a compatible (hex) bolt and use it to hold the caps on. The lock bolts/wrench might be good to hold onto as a souvenir, but personally, I won't reuse 'em.
    Going by memory, I think it is either a 1/4”-20 or 5/16”-18 bolt – 1/2" to 3/4” long
    BudW
     
  8. ChryslerCruiser

    ChryslerCruiser Active Member

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    Thanks BudW,

    I got the sense from some thread I read that they did need a bolt to keep everything together, so I was planning on doing just as you suggested... I don't really love the look of the wire wheels, but the are gonna stay on the car at the moment.