Another 97 Sport center cap issue - TCCoA Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Another 97 Sport center cap issue

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2015, 07:39 PM
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The Sport wheel was 96/7 only, the basic casting is based off the 93-95 Supercoupe wheel which use a flat pop in center cap requiring the notch.

-Matt
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 11:37 AM
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If you change to sc/lx caps you'll need to change lugnuts to the open ended type as the closed ended ones stick out to far and don't let the cap clip in the wheel

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 05:26 PM
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I have a '97 Thunderbird sport which originally had the 16" sport wheels with the center caps with the 4 holes/exposed lug nuts. That, in my opinion, is a FUGLY look.

FYI - FUGLY=f**king ugly, LOL!

Shortly after I bought the car, I put a set of wheels on it that were originally standard on the 1999 Taurus SHO (I had previously used them on a 2004 Mercury Sable I used to own). Those are, in my opinion, nice looking wheels. They have a brushed finish to them, with silver sparkle paint in the pockets; there was a version with charcoal paint on the pockets used on the 2003 Taurus with the 100 year anniversary package that I thought would look really nice with my Pearl White paint, but those weren't the wheels I had, unfortunately. However, the offset of the Taurus wheels is different from the T-Bird wheels, and they didn't look "right" on the rear of the car - they looked like they were too far into the wheel wells. I wish I could've figured out a safe way to make the rear wheels stick outward maybe another -1", because I'd have kept that style wheel on there (on the front of the car, the Taurus wheels looked perfectly fine).

But, I didn't like how the rears looked, so in 2012 I ordered a set of reconditioned '94-'95 Thunderbird SC wheels, with the notch in the wheel for the center caps, and I put those on my car, along with the flat, press on center caps that completely hide the lug nuts. That, I think is a much better look than the center caps that expose the lug nuts.

I'm not at home right now (I drive a tractor-trailer for a living, and I'm in Kansas, at the moment), but when I get home, I can post a couple of pictures of the wheels so you can see them.

By the way, hello from a fellow Arizona T-Bird owner!

Dennis
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmw_4814 View Post
I have a '97 Thunderbird sport which originally had the 16" sport wheels with the center caps with the 4 holes/exposed lug nuts. That, in my opinion, is a FUGLY look.

FYI - FUGLY=f**king ugly, LOL!

Shortly after I bought the car, I put a set of wheels on it that were originally standard on the 1999 Taurus SHO (I had previously used them on a 2004 Mercury Sable I used to own). Those are, in my opinion, nice looking wheels. They have a brushed finish to them, with silver sparkle paint in the pockets; there was a version with charcoal paint on the pockets used on the 2003 Taurus with the 100 year anniversary package that I thought would look really nice with my Pearl White paint, but those weren't the wheels I had, unfortunately. However, the offset of the Taurus wheels is different from the T-Bird wheels, and they didn't look "right" on the rear of the car - they looked like they were too far into the wheel wells. I wish I could've figured out a safe way to make the rear wheels stick outward maybe another -1", because I'd have kept that style wheel on there (on the front of the car, the Taurus wheels looked perfectly fine).

But, I didn't like how the rears looked, so in 2012 I ordered a set of reconditioned '94-'95 Thunderbird SC wheels, with the notch in the wheel for the center caps, and I put those on my car, along with the flat, press on center caps that completely hide the lug nuts. That, I think is a much better look than the center caps that expose the lug nuts.

I'm not at home right now (I drive a tractor-trailer for a living, and I'm in Kansas, at the moment), but when I get home, I can post a couple of pictures of the wheels so you can see them.

By the way, hello from a fellow Arizona T-Bird owner!

Dennis
Kind of not related to the topic, but I'd love to see the SC Wheels on a 96/97 Bird as I'm looking into getting some for mine!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 10:30 PM
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I have a set of the later style 16x7s which have the 5 snap tabs inside and used the center caps with lug nut holes on my '95 LX. I never did like the 5 lug nut hole centers though.

I modified them by adding a small "slot" for removing the flat cap and I installed a set of flat caps with some "T-bird" decals ..... I also slightly worked the "hump" of the 5 tabs to ease install and removal in the hope to not destroy the plastic caps. 5 humps really mashed in on the retainer ring.

I bought 20 lug nuts.

The slot is there, it is enough that I can use a FB screw driver and gently ease the centers off, mine are 180 degrees from the valve stem.



A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 10:41 PM
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Weird, I've always loved the 5 lug caps that the 96/97's had. In fact I just mounted a set on my 95 the other day.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-01-2015, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalPistol View Post
I have a set of the later style 16x7s which have the 5 snap tabs inside and used the center caps with lug nut holes on my '95 LX. I never did like the 5 lug nut hole centers though.

I modified them by adding a small "slot" for removing the flat cap and I installed a set of flat caps with some "T-bird" decals ..... I also slightly worked the "hump" of the 5 tabs to ease install and removal in the hope to not destroy the plastic caps. 5 humps really mashed in on the retainer ring.

I bought 20 lug nuts.

The slot is there, it is enough that I can use a FB screw driver and gently ease the centers off, mine are 180 degrees from the valve stem.


http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/d...ps235e7f97.jpg
Can you get me better pictures of that? I have SC center caps in the garage and was trying to think of how I could put them on without breaking the cap or scratching the crap out of the rim.

-Daniel

My driving is a constant struggle between wanting good gas mileage and driving like I'm Mario Andretti.

http://forums.tccoa.com/showthread.php?t=134659&page=4

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-02-2015, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperThunderbirdLX View Post
Can you get me better pictures of that? I have SC center caps in the garage and was trying to think of how I could put them on without breaking the cap or scratching the crap out of the rim.
First, I used a dremel with a thick HD cutoff wheel held sideways to cut a shallow screwdriver notch that blends into one hump that grips the snap ring, I chose the one opposite the valve stem .... doesn't take a deep one either.

Then
use same to lower the profile of the "humps" as they really squeeze the stainless steel snap ring tight, and with 5 of them instead of three, there's less room for the excess. Go slow and make frequent test fits.

I did later wrap a round of masking tape around snap ring exterior, it aids in friction. In well over a year, no loss of centers. I bought these centers cheap off Ebay and repainted and applied Bird stickers I got from a member here. I have a like new set of the centers with OEM decals that fit my Blades, they are same part numbers.

Go slow, do not erase the whole hump ..... just lessen it a little and try to do each equally. Test fit often. I did mine "off the car" in my shop.

This Spring I am going to repaint the wheels themselves with same paint as used on these centers.

Here's pics.

There is a notch there!



Notice 5 humps, but only the one opposite the valve stem got the blend all the way to make a screwdriver notch. The others just a little massaging.



Notch area closeup:



Other hump massaging:



Wheel sans center cap:



Wheel with cap, though I meant tp place cap with Tbirds head to valve stem ....



Hope they help?


A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

Last edited by CrystalPistol; 05-02-2015 at 09:03 PM.
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