Centre Cap Problem

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---pete---
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Centre Cap Problem

Post by ---pete--- » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:48 pm

Hi all, I need some help please

I had my wheels refurbished last week and have just switched the wheels over this evening. I just can't get the centre caps to fit anymore. I had them refurbished too and got new badges and sticky pads. They are just far too tight even before putting the pads on and I don't want to snap a key.

Any ideas? Someone must have had this problem before but all I can find are posts where they're too loose and needed new pads.

Regards
Pete
_____________________________________
2008 BMW Alpina B3 Biturbo Coupe no.137
2003 BMW Alpina B3s Coupe no.16
2014 BMW 525d M-Sport
2010 BMW 320d M-Sport
2000 BMW Alpina B3 3.3 Saloon no. 213
1995 BMW 328i Coupe
1989 Ford Escort XR3i lux

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JohnW
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by JohnW » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:35 pm

I had trouble with one cap and ended up having to bend it out to straighten it in a workmate vice then having it resprayed again, as the paint crazed, but I knew it was a bit misshapen in the first place.

I also put one of the lock levers upside down on another which puzzled me for a while as it wouldn’t lock, doh 😣.

It may be the thickness of the powder coating, a bit of grease may ease the levers behind the wheel lip perhaps?
JohnW
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by hap » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:20 pm

Not ideal but maybe use wet and dry around the edges carefully take few mil off then bit of vasaline to ease in .....
Also look at the metal tab and bend it so it reaches the lug hole and then press it in and turn the key

---pete---
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by ---pete--- » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:45 pm

Okay thanks for the advice guys. I will have to give it another go tomorrow evening with a bit of grease or equivalent. I don't really want to be bending or sanding anything if I can help it.

The caps were always quite a reasonable fit so I'm just surprised how much difference a new powder coat can make and it's all four giving an identical issue. Nothing has been moved with regards to the locking mechanism. The caps fit in the gap no problem, just the lock will only turn about half as far as it should before requiring more force than should be necessary or I'm willing to give.

So very frustrating when you have gorgeous new looking wheels on the car and no caps!
_____________________________________
2008 BMW Alpina B3 Biturbo Coupe no.137
2003 BMW Alpina B3s Coupe no.16
2014 BMW 525d M-Sport
2010 BMW 320d M-Sport
2000 BMW Alpina B3 3.3 Saloon no. 213
1995 BMW 328i Coupe
1989 Ford Escort XR3i lux

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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by Rav » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:49 pm

I had this with my B3 and it turned out that the new finish on the wheels was too thick. Paint and clear coat too think. I had to sand it all back to get the centres to fit.

I have missed my car this week as she is getting the wheels done properly.
1999 #032 Alpina B3 3.3 saloon (UK Press Car) - Buchloe Beast
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by Henry » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:05 pm

Having recently had the wheels refurbed I had this problem. I resolved mine by putting silicone grease on the O ring and wheel hub, got a mate to turn the key whilst I grabbed the spokes and pushed the cap in with my thumbs. Then spent the rest of the night worrying if I’d ever get it off again. Next day I was able to push in with one thumb which allowed the key to turn. By pulling the key and applying pressure opposite the key the cap came out. I did notice on here that someone has a tool designed to push the cap in, looked very good.
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by Adwo » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:04 pm

If this is on a pre-facelift car with the old style wheels you really have to sand down the opening for the caps.

I squeezed them in with some vaseline only to find after 3 months that all the silver paint had disappeared from the plastic caps..

HTH,

Adwo
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Charles
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by Charles » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:58 am

The L shaped locating lug can be bent in or out to finesse the fit. The pads just prevent paint to paint contact. If the caps are too tight then ease the lug away from the back of the cap and keep test fitting. If it becomes too loose then move it inwards.
Charles
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---pete---
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by ---pete--- » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:55 am

Just to eliminate any confusion, I am talking about the newer style caps for my 2008 B3 Bi Turbo (although the 2003 B3S also has the newer wheels / caps even though it's a pre facelift).

Charles - When you say locating lug, as I'm not very technical, is this the metal bit that actually turns when the lock is turned or is it the fixed piece on the opposite side of the cap?
_____________________________________
2008 BMW Alpina B3 Biturbo Coupe no.137
2003 BMW Alpina B3s Coupe no.16
2014 BMW 525d M-Sport
2010 BMW 320d M-Sport
2000 BMW Alpina B3 3.3 Saloon no. 213
1995 BMW 328i Coupe
1989 Ford Escort XR3i lux

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Charles
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by Charles » Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:01 pm

---pete--- wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:55 am
Charles - When you say locating lug, as I'm not very technical, is this the metal bit that actually turns when the lock is turned or is it the fixed piece on the opposite side of the cap?
Pete,

When you look at the underside of the cap, there are two lugs at 180 degrees to each other. One is fixed and the other is the tongue that turns with the key.

Both of these locate under the inner rim of the wheel and when the cap is loose/tight to fit, the fixed lug can be adjusted by bending the fixed tongue either closer or further away from the back of the cap (respectively).

If you place the cap logo-side down on a towel, then you can apply some downward pressure with one hand on the back of the cap whilst manipulating the fixed tongue gently with a pair of pliers with the other hand. My experience is lots of small adjustments is best as you keep fitting the cap until it feels "right". It is possible to adjust the movable tongue but the shape of the tongue is such that it has a bend in it to allow for a tightening up of the fit as the key is turned to lock position. I would recommend that you only adjust the fixed one.

Hope this helps

Charles
Charles
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---pete---
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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by ---pete--- » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:22 pm

Well I can finally give a positive update. With a lot of back and forth and adjustment, I've now got the centre caps to fit perfectly.

Thank you Charles, your last post was especially helpful and the adjustment on the fixed lug was exactly what was needed.


Pete
_____________________________________
2008 BMW Alpina B3 Biturbo Coupe no.137
2003 BMW Alpina B3s Coupe no.16
2014 BMW 525d M-Sport
2010 BMW 320d M-Sport
2000 BMW Alpina B3 3.3 Saloon no. 213
1995 BMW 328i Coupe
1989 Ford Escort XR3i lux

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Re: Centre Cap Problem

Post by JohnW » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:27 pm

The locking lug/tab on these are flat and very thick, almost impossible to bend, but the fixed z shaped lug, the one with the 2x small M3 fixing bolts can be bent, I would use 2 set of pliers to prevent the M3 bolts being bent or potentially snap. Great result.
JohnW
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