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Front wheel hub cap being pushed out

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  • Front wheel hub cap being pushed out

    I have a 1931 Fordor and members of my club have helped on extensive repairs to it. We discovered a situation that I need some help on. Right front wheel - when I tighten the wheel onto the drum, the dust cover pushes out the hub cap out about 1/4 inch. The left wheel / hub is fine. I roughly measured the wheel and compared to other wheels (stud hole to the end of the hub). They all seem to be the same. I roughly measured the dust covers (while on the car) and they seem equal. I measured the hub caps and they seem equal. I pounded on the dust cover to make sure it was all the way in. I might have moved it a fraction of an inch. I tightened the hub cap again and put the wheel back on. Same thing - the dust cover pushed out the hub cap about 1/4 inch. This is a new car for me and I did not pay attention to notice if the hub cap was like this. None of the hub caps look worn on the inside. The brake drum was not replaced. Are there any ideas or suggestions.

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  • #2
    Make sure you don't have any of the hub cap ears hitting against the dust cap. I have found you can rub a bit of lipstick on one part and assemble it, remove it and the lip stick will show you where the rub is.
    You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!


    • CM2
      CM2 commented
      Editing a comment
      I got a little lipstick on my hubcap last night.....tis the season..

  • #3
    is that the correct dust cap?


      BILL WILLIAMSON commented
      Editing a comment
      If you MUST use it, just BEAT the end in, 1/4" or so. BEAT is a term for, USE YOUR BIG HAMMER!
      KDad Practicalandquick

  • #4
    I would remove the left wheel and try it on the right side. If it also pushes the cap out, then measure from the end of the dust cap to the drum surface. Compare both sides.


    • #5
      Didn’t some of the 31’s have a screw in style dust cap?
      3 ~ Tudor's
      Henry Ford said
      "It's all nuts and bolts"

      Mitch's Auto Service ctr


      • #6
        None of my cars have ever had dust caps, but I have never owned a 31 either. Are they really necessary? Could you just remove the offending cap and run without it?


        • #7
          In your repairs did you repack the wheel bearings? The washer behind the hub nut has to be turned down to be smaller in diameter than the grease hub cap so that the cap will go all the way on. Is there a spot on the cap that is bent in a little? That would keep the cap from seating which would interfere with the hub cap.


          • #8
            "The washer behind the hub nut has to be turned down to be smaller in diameter than the grease hub cap so that the cap will go all the way on. "

            very true

            cap still looks too deep, do not have one readily available to measure
            Last edited by tbirdtbird; 12-24-2017, 10:44 AM.


            • #9
              Haven't heard, wonder what he got figured out on it.


              • #10
                Sorry for not getting back sooner. My cars are at my office warehouse about 30 minutes away. I spent yesterday morning there and played too long and got in trouble when I got home. The rest of the day was dedicated to getting the house ship shape for Christmas.

                I found the hub cap ears were not the problem. I measured both dust caps and wheel hubs the best I could. I thought maybe one of the wheels I picked up at a swap meet was buggered up. The wheels measured the same. The dust caps measured close to the same - one had some high spots, but didn't seem to measure too much more. I then measured the base of the wheel hub to the tip of the dust cap and found the dust cap on the offending side was 1/8 to 1/4" longer. This measurement confirmed the issue, but why was it longer? The dust caps were the same, the wheels were the same. I took off the dust cap and checked the nut and those were ok and the cotter pins were in.

                I took the suggestion of I switching the right wheel to the left side. No problem - fit fine. I put the left wheel on the right side and the dust cap separated ever so lightly. Hummm I thought. I then took a medium sized hammer and flattened the higher ends of the dust cap. Just a little, though. I put the wheel back on and the hub cap was not pushed out. Success!!

                Thank you for all your feed back - I did a lot of your suggestions.

                BTW - Tom F, your picture appears to be the same color as my 31 sedan. Except for the wheel color. My wife is taking more interest in the cars and the first thing she wanted was to change the color from yellow to burgundy. Once we get the mechanical problems fixed the next big project will be to fix the top and inside upholstery. I plan to drive it to Branson, MO in June.



                • #11
                  glad you solved the problem!!

                  I suspect some repop dust caps are not quite right


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