I have owned my 1965 Mustang convertible for 30 years. It has a problem that puzzles my trusted mechanic and me. The right front wheel cover rotates on the rim, counter-clockwise, as I drive, which pinches the valve stem in about 50 miles. I have swapped wheel covers and had the tire remounted on the spare’s rim with no joy. There is no vibration felt in the body or steering wheel or body when driving, nor is there any uneven wear on the tire.
Quoting the great Ned Flanders, “As the tree said to the lumberjack, “I’m stumped.”
This shouldn’t happen. And while vintage steel wheels don’t have the torsional rigidity of the newest, latest CAD inspired unit, the wheel cap shouldn’t spin around like a centrifuge when you hit a bump. But maybe it does.
I have two bits of advice, the first is free and possibly helpful, while the second could very well fix it.
1. Pull off all the wheel caps and use a pair of pliers to “open the mouth” of the clips that hold the cap to the wheel. There are multiple tabs with “mouths” around the circumference of the cap, they all need a slight bend to get the mouth opening bigger, pressing stronger against the steel wheel. But only a slight bend! No need to induce further metal fatigue to a 46-year-old piece of metal.
2. Replace one (or more) steel wheel with an aftermarket reproduction…or a similar unit from a 1980s vintage Ford Fox Body. The Fox wheels have 20 years less metal fatigue, look significantly more efficient which–if they are anything like the Ford Fairmont from whence they came–might be from computer assisted design. I assume you have 14” wheels with 4 lugs, therefore the base hoops from any Fox Body Ford give you a fair shot at having a stronger, less-flexy wheel…hell, it might even be a touch lighter for less unsprung weight!
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