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Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps

This is a discussion on Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps within the Wheels, Tires and Brakes (S30) forums, part of the 1st Generation Z (S30) category; I posted a want add looking for center caps for 14" appliance mesh wheels with a 3" opening. No luck ...


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    Registered User rtaylor's Avatar
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    Default Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps

    I posted a want add looking for center caps for 14" appliance mesh wheels with a 3" opening. No luck so far. Anybody know where I can get some in good condition? Thanks

    I have been looking on ebay but no luck there either.
    Randy Taylor
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    The proper Appliance caps for those wheels will be hard to find, Randy. In the '80s I recall my customers having lots of rust problems with them after only a few years use. Finding a set today that aren't rusty is going to take an act of God. You may be forced to go with a different brand of cap in the same size.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Old Z Guy LanceM's Avatar
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    I'm with Arne,
    My 73 came with the appliance wheels when I bought it in 79 and the caps were nothing but rust then and that was in Calif!
    Lance

    73 240Z, tripple webbers, 5 speed, 4 wheel disk, Einbach springs
    98 BMW 540i/6

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    Thanks guys. I've been looking for over two months. My wheels are in perfect condition, but the center caps have rust and one was damaged. I found a place in Washington yesterday that has some, three, but the guy wants $250. I like the mesh wheels, they are period correct. But I can't see paying that kind of money for center caps. I could get one panasport rim for that price

    I'll try and find some after market ones, maybe MSA has some that will fit
    Randy Taylor
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    Randy, I know that the center caps from some of the early 4 lug Enkei modular styles (the 20, 30 & 32 series) will fit the early Appliance wheels just fine. While after all this time those are likely to be rusty as well, Enkei did use better quality caps and it's possible you might find a decent set. Worth watching for, anyway.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Powdercoating might be the answer.

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    I replaced the rusted center caps from my Appliance mags with ones purchased from Eagle ......... invoice description:
    "center cap eagle 054 5-4.75"
    Paid $12 each in Oct, 2003
    They fit fine. Used MSA "Z stick-on emblems" for center flat.
    Ordered thru local custom wheel shop.
    Ron
    1971 240Z - Original Owner
    VIN: HLS30-16483
    Mfg Date: Dec, 1970

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    Default Got a picture?

    Say, I've got four extra rims that came with my car ,I thought it was a styalized "d" on them but it might be an "A" .your welcome to them if they match. Fairly rusty(surface) if I recall correctly.

    Reguards
    Lawrence
    Bloxman

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    Here's a link to an eBay auction for one (and only one) of the Enkie caps I was thinking of. One doesn't do you much good, but it might help to know what they look like.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Chrom...19970315QQrdZ1
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    O.K. so never mind, i followed the link and...
    The centers I have look nothing like that
    Sorry I can't help out

    Lawrence
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    Thanks for the link Arne. If all else fails I would consider the Enkei caps, but I am not thrilled with the squareness of the cap.

    I checked with American Eagle today Ron and they no longer make those caps. I am going to try checking with custom wheel shops to see if they might still have some in stock. The Eagle caps are just about the same shape as the original Appliance caps. Thanks all.

    The search continues...
    Randy Taylor
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor
    Thanks for the link Arne. If all else fails I would consider the Enkei caps, but I am not thrilled with the squareness of the cap.
    Understood, Randy. I agree that the Enkei caps are not as attractive.

    Here's a thought - I can't remember if the Appliance wheels have a taper machined at the back side of the center hole or not. But if they do, the caps in the link below may work. They are 2.95" so that they could be pushed through from behind. But you'd need to be certain that the lip at the base of the cap doesn't interfere with the proper mounting of the wheel to the face of the hub/drum.

    http://www.gorilla-auto.com/products...image=6159.jpg
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    That appears to be about the same dimensions externally Arne. I am going to pull the wheel tomorrow and take my calipers and find out what the dimension is on the hole. Thanks Arne. Appreciate the help!
    Randy Taylor
    2/71 240z

    HLS30-23242

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    Did I miss a picture of the caps you are after in this thread?
    WIll
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

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    Sorry, stupid of me. I don't have my camera with me, but attached is a shot of an appliance center cap. It should be clear enough to recognize
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by rtaylor; 08-25-2006 at 02:19 PM.
    Randy Taylor
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    Default Replacements

    The guy that had the appliance center caps raised his price to $300. Way too crazy for me. As Ron said in an earlier post, he used Eagle center caps. I finally found some at Masseys in Oklahoma, (405) 239-2010. $39 plus $10 for shipping. They also had the correct lug nuts with a .55" long shaft @ $1.25 each. Washers were a quarter. So this is what my wheels look like now. Not too bad, me thinks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-mesh.jpg  
    Last edited by rtaylor; 10-02-2006 at 07:34 AM.
    Randy Taylor
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    Off to make a call-Thanks for the info...I haven't been able to find appropriate washers anywhere!
    Will
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

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    I recently purchased stainless center caps at the local trailer sales yard and got adhesive stick on Datsun decals to go in the center. Not original, but looks great, and only $16.00 for the 4 center caps.

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    406------

    Got pix and an address?

    The more sources and alternatives the better----and your's is another.

    Jim D.
    "Zup"

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    Here's a related question - anyone know of a source for those odd little angled valve stems that the Appliance mesh wheels came with? The four wheels I found had only one stem in them.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    there is a company in cali called the lugnut king www.lugnutking.com

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    Hello, I'm brand new here and realize this is fairly old thread. I'm wondering if the set of wheels I found for my car are made by Appliance? I have attached a picture.

    I'm confused because I thought all Appliance wheels used the two piece 'roto' lug nuts, but the ones I have look like the ones pictured in this thread and they seem to take a straight shank lug nut with flat washer instead of the stepped washer roto types. Can anyone confirm the type of lug nuts these wheels used, and were there other manufacturers who made wheels that look just like these?

    Thanks,
    Robert
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-03-03-09-001.jpg  

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    No, those are Appliances, for certain. I've got two sets (8 wheels) just like them. (Still looking for 3 more of those funny little angled valve stems. PM me if you have any to spare!) Your wheels may or may not have the Appliance logo cast in the back side, depending on production date. Mine don't have the logo, but do say 'JAPAN' cast in the back. (Many of the early Wire Mags were cast under contract in Japan. Later wheels were cast in California.)

    Appliance went to Roto-Lugs in the mid-to-late '70s. Prior to that they used relatively normal mag shank lug nuts, the only oddity was that the shanks were a bit shorter than typical - 0.55". So yours are the earlier style, that's all. There are still a couple of suppliers for these medium shank lug nuts, or some people just use normal mag shank nuts with double washers.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Thanks Arne! I don't have any of the angled valve stems, but I found these on ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...3AIT&viewitem=

    EDIT: says Mr Gasket but does not give a part no.

    Would those work? (I have no idea what the valve stem diameter is) Also, given that large lip on the egde of the rim should I not trust mounting and such to any old tire shop? I'm a little concerned about the condition of my valve stems, cause I aired up one of the tires and it did not seem to hold air more than 48 hours, but tires came used with the rims. While they have good tread I may need to have them checked and possibly have stem(s) replaced.

    Thanks again for the info. on the lug nuts.
    Last edited by zgermans; 03-03-2009 at 08:30 PM.

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    No, all of the currently available angled stems are too long. I keep hoping to find someone who has a set of these wheels that are beat up and going to be scrapped that still has the stems, because they're the only ones that work correctly.

    As for the stems you have in yours, any good tire shop should have replacement sealing grommets for them. When you have your next set of tires mounted have them remove the stems and replace the grommets and you'll be fine.

    Similarly, changing tires on those old Appliances is no more difficult than on any similar vintage mag. Any good shop should be able to do it without damage. I know from experience - I sold and serviced tires and similar mags for over 20 years. Sold lots of those Appliances back in the day, albeit most that I sold were the RotoLug style.
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    For those of you who may not be familiar with the oddball valve stems we're talking about, here is a picture. I'm currently using small rubber stems in mine, which work but make it difficult to check and adjust the air pressure. So any leads on these stems -- even singles -- would be appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-dsc_0684.jpg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arne
    As for the stems you have in yours, any good tire shop should have replacement sealing grommets for them. When you have your next set of tires mounted have then remove the stems and replace the grommets and you'll be fine.
    Arne, should they also be able to replace the schrader valve if need be?

    Massey is on ebay so the 3.126 front snap eagle caps can be found there as well as the mag shank lug nuts in both .55" and .75" length
    Summit also sells these same center caps (Eagle Alloys ACC310706) even cheaper:

    http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

    Also, can you recommend a best method for deep cleaning these rims, or any particular method I should avoid? (ie Do these have any type of coating or finish that I could potentially harm) I was hoping to apply some mechanical advantage with a buffing wheel/ball and some metal polish.
    Thanks again for all your help,
    Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by zgermans View Post
    Arne, should they also be able to replace the schrader valve if need be?
    Absolutely. They just use a standard short valve core. No problems there.

    Quote Originally Posted by zgermans View Post
    Also, can you recommend a best method for deep cleaning these rims, or any particular method I should avoid? (ie Do these have any type of coating or finish that I could potentially harm) I was hoping to apply some mechanical advantage with a buffing wheel/ball and some metal polish.
    Ahhh. Yes, I do have some experience with this, although my comments here might not apply to all of them.

    First, none of these wheels (regardless of when or where they were cast) have any kind of coating. The lips and the center hub area were originally lightly machine polished, and the face of the spokes were machined, not polished. The cast-finish area between the spokes were not painted, just natural finish.

    I've had some problems polishing the early versions (with 'JAPAN' cast in the back side). Apparently the alloy used was not very consistent in quality. (This may or may not apply to the later versions cast in the US.) It's easy to open up pits when machine polishing that give a speckled and sometimes uneven surface. When I had my first set of four polished by a local polishing shop, three of the four had varying amounts of these pits and surface unevenness. Two were quite noticeable. I've not been able to determine the exact cause. Could have been excessive buffer speed and heat for the alloy used, perhaps inconsistency with the alloy itself, or even possibly caused by the acid-based pre-cleaner I used eating into miniscule surface pits and opening them to the buffer. I don't know for sure, I just know that while most people thought my wheels looked good on the car, if you got close to the bad ones you could see that they weren't all that great looking. I have since done a LOT of hand sanding and polishing on the two worst ones and have made significant improvements, but they still aren't quite up to the standard I desire.

    Because I don't know which of the possibilities (or combination thereof) caused my poor results, I would not recommend the use of any acid-based mag cleaners on these wheels, nor would I let anyone use a high-speed buffer on them.

    The set I am working on now as replacements to the first set have been hand sanded to smooth and clean the surface, and polished using a Mother's Mini Powerball and the Power Metal liquid polish. I am much happier with the results this time. While not perfect (they ARE 35 years old, after all), they are turning out much better than the previous set did.

    In the attached picture, the one with the tire is one of the two "worst" wheels from the first set, and the other is one of the replacements I am now preparing. I have painted the center area on the second set to match the grill and tail trim panels.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-dsc_0661.jpg  
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    I have a set of something in the garage that came with my Z. Not sure of the diameter but they are plastic if I recall correctly. They are yours if they will fit Randy. I will check in a bit here...
    Rob
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    Rob, if the caps you have are metal, and look like this picture, I'd be interested, assuming they aren't rusty.

    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arne View Post
    Rob, if the caps you have are metal, and look like this picture, I'd be interested, assuming they aren't rusty.

    They are plastic for sure Arne... Sorry.
    Rob
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    They are plastic for sure. They appear to be intended to sit on the face of the wheel instead of being pushed through from the back. The outside diameter is just greater than 3" perhaps 3 1/8". They apparently screw into holes on the surface of the wheel. Cheap and cheesy. Free to good home. Hell, free to unwed mothers who do a lot of crack...
    Rob
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    Default Sample pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor View Post
    That appears to be about the same dimensions externally Arne. I am going to pull the wheel tomorrow and take my calipers and find out what the dimension is on the hole. Thanks Arne. Appreciate the help!
    Hello Randy, depending on your goal, but you could sand blast them, repair the dents, and painted with texture paint (only $6 at Home depot) shown in these pictures. These are my old pictures.

    Esprist

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    Default These are the pictures.

    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor View Post
    That appears to be about the same dimensions externally Arne. I am going to pull the wheel tomorrow and take my calipers and find out what the dimension is on the hole. Thanks Arne. Appreciate the help!
    Here you go!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-clip_image0068.jpg   Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-clip_image0087.jpg  

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    Default Center Caps

    Has anyone purchased these center caps from Motor Sport? (First picture below and this link)
    http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/CTGY/WCC

    I have the same issue as discussed on this post, rusted and pitted Appliance center caps, however mine are on a set of slotted mags. (3 additional pics)

    Just wondering if these are worth buying for $34, or should i just go the route that esprist has gone, sanding and painting?

    Any advice/opinions or experience on these?

    Thanks in advance

    Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-center-cap-image-motorsport.jpg   Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-appliance-center-cap-3-3-16.jpg   Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-appliance-slotted-mag.jpg   Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-appliance-marking.jpg  

    HLS30-24574 3/71 and donor HLS30-124816 9/72

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    Steve I had the same problem with the Appliance centers, I purchased mine form Masseys phone number is 405-239-2010. They are not Appliance centers but ones for Eagle wheels. The problem is that they are 3 1/8 diameter. I think the ones Motor Sport are 3 3/16 diameter and too big.

    You can see them on my car if you go to my web site (see signature below)and click on Closeup Details and look at the 3rd and 4th image.
    Michael 11/75 - 76-280 - HLS30-281,114
    Web site -Click Here and ORIGINAL OWNERS OF THE 280Z (1975-1976 -1977 - 1978 - ONLY) REGISTRATION[

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    The Eagle caps sold by Massey or Summit fit Appliance wheels perfectly. To me, they are a better option than painting the originals. Easy for me to say though, as I didn't have any caps at all for mine. But the Eagle caps are the correct size, and even very similar in shape to the original Appliance caps. I applied a set of the 1.5" "Z" emblems to mine, as shown in post 28.

    Summit Racing sells the Eagle caps cheaper than Massey does. The link to Summit is in post 27 in this thread.
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    Thanks Esprist. Mine were dented and rusted so I just went with the Eagle centercaps. They look great. Just wish somebody made stickers in the right diameter to cover the world "Eagle".

    Steve, they are worth the money in my opinion. And as close as you will get to the original cap, although the logo is from a different company.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-mesh.jpg  
    Last edited by rtaylor; 03-16-2009 at 09:02 AM.
    Randy Taylor
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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    You can get the larger 1.75" stickers that have the red/blue Datsun logo, but -- so far -- not the "Z" logo. I went with the 1.5" "Z" logo even though it is a bit too small, still looks pretty good unless you get really close to it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-dsc_0666.jpg  
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    Registered User MidLifeCrisiz's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the excellent advice and first hand experience. I just ordered a set of Eagle caps from Summit and will post some pictures when I install on my slotted mags, as it looks like you all have the mesh style rims. Thanks for saving me a little cash...will help offset the Z logos. So Arne, where did you purchase the 1.5" Z logos you used? I see a set on MotorSport but no dimensions, they are obviously designed for their center caps.

    thanks again,

    Steve

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Mine are from Motorsport. Seems like the set was only about $6 or so.
    Arne - Former owner, HLS30-37705, 7/71, 905 Red
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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Here's a new but related question - has anyone tried to get a set of the Appliance caps re-chromed? I now have a set of four, one has a couple of dimples to work on, and all four are a bit rusty although far less rusty than most. I don't know if any chrome shops are willing to work on cheap small parts like these.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arne View Post
    For those of you who may not be familiar with the oddball valve stems we're talking about, here is a picture. I'm currently using small rubber stems in mine, which work but make it difficult to check and adjust the air pressure. So any leads on these stems -- even singles -- would be appreciated.
    Quick update - I found the stems I needed, and installed them over the weekend. Finally!
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    Congrats Arne on finding some of those stems

    So where did you end up locating them? Are they new? More available?

    Sorry this is a little long...Just as you suggested the tire shop was able to rehab my originals without too much difficulty. They replaced the grommets using some scavenged from a newer style bolt in stem and replacing the schraeder valve core was even easier. I used a local NTB shop for the tire purchase and stem rehab, and chose a particular one that was a good bit further from me than any other NTB for one main reason, when I described what I wanted done it was the first shop that seemed to listen and understand.

    Revisiting the polishing subject from post #28...I didn't get a chance to polish them as much as I would have liked prior to installation, as I was a bit impulsive on purchasing tires...got too tired of moving around the multiple sets of factory steelies and assorted worn out rubber...needed to clear some space. So I'm back to polishing, and have mainly been using Mother's Mag & Aluminum by hand and am happy how they clean up initially. However it seems I might be noticing a bit of oxidation or spotting return not long after polishing.
    I'm pretty sure that the MSDS or whatever specs I could find on Mother's Mag & Aluminum did not mention anything about 'acid'. Would you happen to know if this particular flavor of Mother's is acid based?

    I don't really think I'm seeing any pitting as you described in post #28...maybe just seems like the lustre does not hold as long as it should, or the oxidation sets back in too quickly (almost better described like water spots on drip dry dishes...does not seem to go beyond surface). I'm using the last of an OLD can of polish, so wonder if the formulation has changed, but Mother's Mag & Aluminum is supposed to leave a residue behinde that preserves some of the lustre....I assumed this would be a wax type substance. I picked up a new can of the Mother's Mag & Alum, and will give it a try, but thought I'd solicit some input first.

    Again, great find on the stems!
    Cheers,
    Robert

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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    No, the stems are still NLA. I had to buy another set of wheels to get them. Then re-sold the wheels without the stems. Only way I could find to get a set.

    I'm not aware of any acids in polishes, the acid-cleaners I was referring to are spray on liquid cleaners. They typically caution that using them on polished finishes is not recommended as they will etch and dull the finish. Any decent polish should be fine. I've used Mothers paste by hand, and also used Mothers Power Metal liquid with a Mothers Power-ball in my cordless drill.
    Last edited by Arne; 03-25-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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    Thanks Arne, I really appreciate your help and advice. I'm sure I just need to invest more time and elbow grease in the hand polishing before I get too concerned about the final product.

    Glad you were able to finally track down a set of stems (even though it meant dealing some rims to get them). Definitely worth it in my opinion. I was extremely pleased the tire shop guys rehabed mine successfully.

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    Arne, I know you found the stems you needed, but do you think the SpeedStar valve stems would have worked for your application?

    http://www.rhdjapan.com/ssr-speed-st...n-wheels-55283

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer View Post
    Arne, I know you found the stems you needed, but do you think the SpeedStar valve stems would have worked for your application?

    http://www.rhdjapan.com/ssr-speed-st...n-wheels-55283
    No, too sharp an angle and much too long. The correct stem is very short, the stem part is less than 3/4" (~17 mm) long. The angle is approximately 45. This allows them to point out from between the spokes, but not really protrude out so far that they are in danger of being snagged and damaged.

    I shopped around for replacements for these Appliance stems for 3 years, never saw any current production that would work decently. All of the angled stems I have found are either too long, wrong angle, or often both. I have come to the conclusion that these items were truly unique.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-dsc_1684.jpg   Looking for Appliance Wheel center caps-dsc_1683.jpg  
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    Here are a couple of places I found that might have stems.
    Item VW8 - http://xtreempolish.com/Bolt-OnValveStems.html
    Item WV-8 - 45 Might be same as above. http://www.instanttoolsusa.com/bolt-in.html
    Item 2945 Again might be the same http://www.prestigewheel.com/cgi-bin...ction&key=2945
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    Semi-retired admin Arne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgood View Post
    Here are a couple of places I found that might have stems.
    Item VW8 - http://xtreempolish.com/Bolt-OnValveStems.html
    Item WV-8 - 45 Might be same as above. http://www.instanttoolsusa.com/bolt-in.html
    Item 2945 Again might be the same http://www.prestigewheel.com/cgi-bin...ction&key=2945
    Yeah, all three of those are the same stem. I tried one of those, they would work in a pinch, but protrude to far out into the open air for me to be happy with them. I'd rather fight with the very short rubber stems.
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    I followed this old thread and ordered the Eagle center caps but find they don't want to fit very easily on the wheels. Can you tell me if they need to be "coaxed" into place or should it be a relatively easy press and fit? I find mine seem to be a shade too large and rather than try and force them...or break them, I thought I would ask first.
    thanks
    Chris
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    Probably an obvious question, but is there any chance you got the wrong ones?

    The eagle caps I received are a nice snung fit, but I wouldn't say they need to be coaxed. The diameter for the Appliance wire Mag Wheels and Eagle caps is 3.126" or just one thousandths more than 3 - 1/8"...so you could measure the center bore of your wheels and diameter of the caps and see if either is off, and by how much.

    The eagle should have backwards bending tabs that you can bend outward to make them fit snugger...my concern at first was that they fit snug enough. They're not a loose fit but by no means would I call them super tight. I know there's a variety of Appliance wheels and caps that were available as well a decent variety of Eagle caps out there...maybe you've got a mismatch.

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    NUTs according to wife ChrisZ's Avatar
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    Anyone here ordering a set of these center caps, that will be interested in forwarding a set to me?

    Chris
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    You guys think finding the center caps for the Appliance mesh wheels is a challenge, try finding a set of caps for the Appliance wire wheels!
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZhitman View Post
    You guys think finding the center caps for the Appliance mesh wheels is a challenge, try finding a set of caps for the Appliance wire wheels!
    They won't be cheap. but might be worth a call.

    http://www.akhwheels.com/pages/showMisc.php?pk=273
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    Hi Steve,
    Just wondering if the 3-1/8" diameter Eagle center caps you purchased from Summit work out for you? The hole diameter in my appliance slotted mags is closer to 3". I am also looking for center caps.

    For the Eagle center caps, the 3-1/8" dimension: does it refer to the hole opening, or the 'shoulder' of the caps?

    thanks for your time.

    James

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