Fitting hub caps on 17 inch rims (1 Viewer)

Tank5

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I have considered various options to get a 17 inch steel wheel that I can put the early acorn style hub caps on. I have decided the most economical way to do this it to find a way to attach hub cap clips to the OEM FJ Cruiser 17” steel rims. I bought some clips and one rim to play with to try and figure out how to accomplish it consistently, so I don’t have any balance issues.

I know some where on this site another member welded clips on a steel wheel to accomplish it but I can’t find that thread. I think they may have used a 16” rim.

I am phishing for ideas if anyone has some. This is the 17 rim I am starting with.
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For comparison this is an OEM rim.
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This is the 17 inch rim with a hubcap ring I cut the top off of the use as a guide for clip placement. It may be hard to see in the picture but the rim surface under the hubcap sits farther in on the 17” rim which also doesn’t have the raised ridges the clips mount on - on the OEM rim. There is a significant gap I have to make up to get the clips to mount in a functional position to retain the hub cap.
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I put the clip picture on the bottom in a vice and bent it to make up for some of the gap. It still left about a half inch distance from clip mounting surface to the rim surface.
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The best idea I have at the moment is to weld the clip to the acorn nut pictured which spaces it perfectly from the rim. I would drill a hole and run a bolt from the back side to mount the clip. I am also considering just doing three clips per wheel.
6CAB57DE-BCF7-4D90-A612-04E341BB9546.jpeg

I am not in a hurry to get this done, so figured I would solicit ideas to see if there is a better way accomplish this for the DIY crowd.

I am willing to bet someone has already done this and if so please post up your details or a link.

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Tank5

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What’s the backspacing on the FJ rim? Have you tried mounting into the 40?
I am not sure what the back spacing is. The rim is 7.5” wide, so I expect it is 4.5 or less. I planning to mount them on my 45 build which uses modified 80 series axles. I am not worried about the rim fitting. The biggest let down I expect is I am running a full float rear and selectable hubs in the front I will likely have to run 4 hubcaps with holes in the center to clear the hubs.
 

Tank5

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I suppose another option I could go with to mount the clips is run a bolt through the clip with a 1/2 spacer behind it with a nut on the back side of the rim. I think I like this idea better than the first.
 

thecrazygreek

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I would do the reverse. Modify the caps to fit 17” steelies.

theres a couple places that. can do it iirc. Wheelsmith is one..

or buy a hubcap adapter.
 
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Tank5

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I would do the reverse. Modify the caps to fit 17” steelies.

theres a couple places that. can do it iirc.

Interesting. Since the rim does not have a way to mount the caps now. Are you suggesting mounting the clips to the rim without a spacer and have the inside edge of the hub cap modified to fit? What shops do this work?

I had previously purchased and owned a set of vintique steel 17” rims and had the thought to simply weld the Back of their cap to the acorn to fit but the profile of the vintique center was more narrow and the hub cap sat too high for my liking.
 

middlecalf

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Hard to check without stuff in hand, but what about straightening the clips (or making ones which are straight) and welding them to the vertical part of the wheel in your pic?
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Tank5

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Hard to check without stuff in hand, but what about straightening the clips (or making ones which are straight) and welding them to the vertical part of the wheel in your pic?
View attachment 2687026View attachment 2687027
It might reach if you bent them strait or the other direction some but the contact point would be the very end of the clip. I would be concerned it would not be substantial enough not to bend reducing the tension the clip needs to secure the hubcap.
 

flx

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I already find that the complete hub caps on 16" wheels look a bit small so the extruded version of the hub cap on 17" wheel won't it looks like a weird chrome ring in the middle of your wheels ?
 

cruisermatt

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This is what I did. I couldn’t think of a good easy way to align six tabs and don’t feel like having to claw hammer my hub caps on and off. I have three #8 stainless button head screws holding them on.
kind of inspired by @J Mack . He tapped straight into his wheels, but that was with a different rim

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EWheeler

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Awesome thread guys, this has the gears turning in my head. Love the idea of stockish looking 17’s with the factory caps for a resto mod project.
 

Tank5

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Great ideas guys!
@cruisermatt I like what you did with yours since I am looking to use the same wheel. I will have to see if I can find a way to run a screw through the acorn style cap to make your solution work with the different profile hub cap.

keep the ideas coming
 

Tank5

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Dizzy

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Hey, I recognize that crusty 15" wheel.

Use my old wheels. Take them to someone with a lathe to part off the ridge that stops the back of the cap face. Drill out enough material so that the lug nuts grab the tapered portion of your 17" wheels, and not the donor wheels. If the holes that you drill are less than the diameter of the hex on your actual lug nuts, it will hold the assembly on, but, secure them with a tapped hole or spot weld to the actual wheel. Who knows until it is measured? Just make sure that the caps don't fly off in traffic.

The funny thing is that I always had a liking for the look of the stock wheels with clips without the stock caps. However, the J Mack wheels look awesome with the black and dark grey.
 
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Morning Guys ... Just an FYI, The Wheelsmith folks are now doing 17's !!
Call, them and ask for Rex. Order the wheels and send them a new set of OE hubcaps and they will build them for you

I was going to order a new set of 17's for Killer Piggy but I am going in a more 'Resto-mod' direction and will be going with a set of Method Racing

Cheers
Steve
 

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