The Deal On Rims - Custom Wheels and Rims

Tuesday November 21, 2017

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This article is dedicated to the humble evolution of the car rim center cap. Another name for the car rim center cap is wheel center cap or hub cap or dog dish or wheel cap or plain center cap. Automakers came up with the concept of center caps or hub caps because they needed something to cover and protect the car wheel's hub portion. The hub portion of a car wheel is that portion where you screw down the lug nuts.

The size of a car hub can vary a lot. Generally 2 inches to 10 inches is the normal size of the diameter of a car hub. It was in the early years of the 20th century that hub caps came into use. In the early years of its inception, the hub caps were fitted into place like a snap through the use of clips that were built on the caps' rear side.

And how did these caps stay in their places? These caps used a force fit system that helped them to stay put in their respective places. The problem with center caps that are held on to place by clips is that they get easily dislodged by a good bump and get flung off when you hit a speed breaker with great momentum.

Many times it has been seen that a hub cap has fallen off from your car wheels and is bouncing down the road while you speed off! Imagine your consternation when you have to stop the car and run back to fetch the hub cap in scorching heat or pelting rain or in snowstorms!

The newer versions (1970-80s) of wheel caps often used fake plastic lug nuts. The latter can be screwed down to the real lug nuts. They also hold the hub and the wheel caps together. However, there is a problem with this system.

There are plastic threads attached to these caps which get entangled very easily and become criss crossed. As a result they can't put any pressure on the cap and so the center cap can easily fall off and jounce along the road beside your speeding car!

Many times, people have mistakenly thought these wheel caps lying on the roads as UFOs that have landed on the freeway!

The early origins of the ubiquitous hub cap can be traced back to the hub cap that was required to protect and cover the center cap from dust and keep the grease in. These first autos which used the hubcap (the technically correct term), were built of wooden spokes and resembled a wagon wheel or a buggy.

Thus the hubcap doubles up as a dust cover and protector of grease. Its purpose was purely functional during those times and even during the late twenties and early thirties during the period of steel wire spoke wheels. After the thirties, these caps were used for ornamentation.


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