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 Rally Cap Removal

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FIT:

Rally caps can be a real pain in the neck.  Its difficult to get them just right so that they will stay on the car.  Often, after assuring they will,  we find that they won't come off again. Original Corvette Rally Caps have a galvanized metal donut which makes up its base.  Around this donut is the Cap lip which engages the hump on the wheel. By tapping this lip inward or outward we can make adjustments which will determine the final fit and 'snugness' of the cap. If you do this, DO NOT hold the cap with your fingers down inside it.  If you slip with the mallet (or hard rubber hammer) you will smash your fingers against the sharp edge of the donut ring.  (I don't know what they call it).  The pressure of holding the cap alone may be enough to slice the inside of your fingers.  As you pound away, missing once in a while, you may become increasingly aggravated. After doing this for a while you may finally start to feel that your fingers are being cut.....and bleeding. Use a glove!

Mark the three points on the center cap which line up on the three catches on the wheel.  Use a permanent marker.  If your caps are too tight you will have to bang the lip in slightly at each of the three places. (BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO BEAT ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE CHROMED SURFACES.  THE MARKS AND PROTRUSIONS WILL BE NOTICED ON THE OUTSIDE). Trying to bring in this part of the lip is difficult.   You are basically beating in the top of an arch.  As it gives way, another area will move.  Do this slowly until you get the feel of it.  Do not stray from the three marks unless necessary to keep from deforming the circular shape of the lip. Message the lip as necessary to get them to snap into their respective places on the wheel.

Trial fit the cap by engaging it on two of the three points.   The third should be close to engaging and barely offset from the rest.  Now, using the palm of your hand (or a large soft rubber mallet) give a good solid blow to the center of the cap.  If you use the mallet, cover the center of the cap with a rag to keep from scratching it.  It should snap solidly in place.  Now, attempt to pull it off with your fingers.  Try this at different points around the cap.  Make sure you can't budge it or get one side to come up.  If you do, adjust the lip as outlined above.

REMOVAL:

The easiest and safest method I've found to remove Rally caps is by using an Radio Controlled airplane propeller.  Not only are they made of nylon, their trailing edge is easily slid under the lip of the cap.  Their increasing thickness acts as a wedge, making it perfect for prying without needing to move in any particular direction....other than inward-underneath the cap. These "props" can be found at just about any hobby shop that sells R.C. airplane parts.  An excellent source for this is Tower Hobbies www.towerhobbies.com.

Buy an 11x7 or 12x7 nylon or hard plastic prop.  Cut one blade off leaving the other blade and the 5/16th's mounting hole in the middle.   Holding the blade so that the lettering on the face is facing you, slide the blade sideways under the cap - trailing edge first. If necessary, take a 1/4 - 5/16ths rod or discarded screwdriver and slip it into the mounting hole on one side of the blade.   Using this as leverage, push it downward while keeping pressure on the blade tip with your other fingers.  Remember, you want to keep pushing the trailing edge of the blade inward so that it wedges between the cap and wheel.  By applying this in combination with the leverage in the mount hole, you should be able to get the cap to pop loose.  Work your way around the cap.

KEEPING THEM ON:

When your ready to permanently install the caps, clean the mounting surface at the three points where the cap will engage.  Do the same on the caps.  Now take a dab of silicone and apply it at the three points.  Position the cap as necessary, giving it a solid blow to seat it.  They should stay on even if the fit is a little loose.

J. M. - Vetteworks