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help with knock offs

M

Marcia Vineyard

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:( We just bought a 66 Vette and can't get the knockoffs off to adjust them. The cover over the pins won't pry off with a screwdriver without scratching the chrome. How do you get the cover off! These are new knock offs and we were told not to drive them over 50 miles without adjusting them.
 

Yoda

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Amarillo, TX
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1981 UL5
Marcia Vineyard Welcome to The Corvette Action Center

Marcia,
Are these TRUE, REAL knock offs? Exactly what adjustments did they tell you to do?

If they are after market faux knock offs, more than likely someone is refering to checking the lug nuts to be sure they are tight, I believe 90 ft/lbs. to remove the "spinner" most have two or three set screws keeping them from coming loose or being stolen. Then use a Sand Filled Rubber Mallet and tap them in a counter clockwise direction.

True Knock Offs are similar to remove, but I don't understand the adjusting them, unless they are talking about tire balance, or checking to be sure the wheel is secure and tight. Maybe someone else will respond since We've tested the water here ;)

Enjoy the rest of CAC too, everything from the spec pages to the Solid Axle Lounge.
 

Tom Bryant

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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
knock offs

Welcome Marcia. :w

If they are true knock offs what they are referring to is retightening the knock off spinner after running them for 50 miles. One side is right hand thread and the other is left hand thread to keep them from backing off while you are going down the road. I think the rh thread is on the left side. Chevrolet supplied a lead hammer to hit the spinner bars to tighten and remove the wheels. Most people use a sand filled plastic hammer as Bud discribed so as not to damage the spinner or the now rare hammer.

If they are real knock offs you should check the tightness every time you take the car out and every few hundred miles if on a long trip. I have seen people put the adapters on the wrong sides and not be able to keep the wheels tight for more that 10 miles no matter how tight they got them.

Best advice is to keep an eye on them. They are cool wheels. I have a somewhat beat up hammer in my garage. Great for walnuts.

Tom
 
J

J Lance Miller

Guest
By my count there are now four styles of "knock off" wheels.
1. True knock-offs as installed on 1963-1966 Corvettes manufactured by Kelsey Hayes for Chevrolet.
2. Reproduction knock-offs produced by a couple of different manufacturers. (These often include a locking pin that holds the spinner in place - this is why you need to pop that cap off - if for no other reason than to check to see if it was installed.)
3. Bolt on aluminum wheels as installed on 1967 Corvettes also made by Kelsey Hayes. Not really a "knock-off" wheel.
4. Direct bolt on "knock-off" wheels. These are bolt on wheels that look like knock-offs.

Wheel types one and two are attached to the vehicle with a spinner that screws onto a knock-off wheel adapter that is bolted to the vehicle using - imagine this,... lug nuts!

While it is no longer fashionable to beat the hell out of your children, it is perfectly acceptable to take out your lead hammer beat the hell out of your (type 1 & 2) knock-off spinners.

My wheels sometimes give me a bit of trouble when I go to take them off but that is probably due greatly to my penchant for furiously beating them whenever they look at me funny (which is quite often!) - my wheels have never fallen off.

The owners manual omits the locking pin info I believe - here's my instructions for removal and installation of knock-off wheels.
Removal:
1. Using a small flat-bladed screw driver, take off the center cap to expose locking pin.
2. Using needle-nose pliers pull pin straight out and set aside.
3. Using a lead hammer, dead blow hammer or other suitable (non-marring) device, strike the spinner "ear" nearest the top driving it towards the front of the car. Once it begins to rotate, put the weapon down and turn the spinner by hand.
Installation:
1. Ensure that the threads and the mating surfaces on the knock-off wheel adapter and the spinner are clean and dry. GM and I say use no grease, oil or other products on your threads - others will dissagree and suggest the use of an anti-sieze product.
2. Place wheel on ensuring that the knock-off wheel adapter "line up" pins are the proper holes on the wheel. The knock-off wheel adapter threads will stick out almost a half inch from the wheel. This is important.
3. Thread the spinner on the knock-off wheel adapter and count the turns. The spinner should turn seven complete turns, if it does not - you may not have the wheel lined up properly. Repeat step 2.
4. Beat the hell out of the spinner - GM recommends eight hard blows - I say it depends on what the definition of "hard" is... I hit mine once or twice more after I notice it no longer seems to be moving.
5. Give each spinner a good couple of whacks every 100 miles or so for the first 500 miles then either re-install the locking pin (type 2) or re-check (by beating on them) every time you check your oil (type 1.)
Good luck - welcome to the forum!
 

Tom Bryant

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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Knock off wheels

Lance,
When you are feeling stressed do you ever just go out and tighten your wheels for stress relief? :s

Tom
 
J

J Lance Miller

Guest
Tom, Being proactive rather than reactive, I beat them before I get stressed.
Lance
 
V

VetteGuy66

Guest
Knock off wheels

Based on my experience last weekend, knock-off wheels can be a challenge. My car smart Uncle helped me. To get the covers off without a screw driver I used the "specialty tool" cover remover suction cup from Long Island Corvette Supply (800-466-6367). It took some playing around, but it worked like a charm eventually for me on all 4 wheels. Replacing the covers also requires patience and a bit of finesse.

The spinners were really on tightly, we made the mistake of not removing the covers first and later discovered one set screw on each wheel which may have made removal of the wheel harder. But, Man! Did we ever use a lot of force to break the spinner free, and sheer off the set screw. What eventually worked is this: we took a 1.5 ton capacity jack, cranked the jack up under the handle of the cast aluminum spinner wheel remover ($250 at Long Island Supply) I had inserted over the spinner. This put pressure on the spinner, then with a hammer we beat the heck out of the spinner removal tool. Its this "shock" that sets the spinner free. If the jack system is not used, be sure to bang on the spinner with a hammer that won't hurt the spinner. My car had a special lead hammer which did a good job.

Hope these notes help, Good Luck! Want to talk and clarify any of the above, e-mail me at mfrank@sternstewart.com and I will give you my phone number.
 
6

'63split

Guest
hello,

I recently purchased a '63 split with Knock off wheels. I beat the spinners off to check the brakes. After checking the brakes I beat the spinners back on tightly in the hopes that they won't back off. I didn't have any pins or holes for pins so I guess this means I have the original type knock offs. Is it safe to not have pins in these types of knock off wheels?

Thanks,
Mike
 
Joined
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2016 C7.R Z06 "ROSA" - black 'Vert w/yellow accent
There is NO documented 1963 ever being delivered with ORIGINAL knockoffs - so what you have are replacements
 
6

'63split

Guest
My point is, the wheels that are on my currently on my car are the original knock offs that were offered over the counter from the dealers. I'm well aware of the problems that Chevrolet had with the porosity of the KO wheels unable to hold air pressure at the factory, but as you should know they were later available from the dealer which many of the '63s later had. This is the type of design I'm refering to as opposed to a newer type of KO wheel. Are you at all familiar with the locking pins that my original post was refering to?
 

carrollm

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HBG,PA20minutes from Carlisle!
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64 327/300 4sp.CP., 66 CP 355/4sp
I agree with J.Lance Miller's post, giving 8 hard blows to tighten the spinner. I do this until the nearest pin holes line up. Then insert the aluminum pin. (DON'T HAMMER THE PIN IN!) This makes a horrible evening's worth of work trying to remove it the next time you decide to take the wheels off. i.e. drilling kussing, and acting silly.:D After the pin is pushed in, Hit the spinner one more time to "lock" the pin in place. I add a dab of clear silicone on the pin for security. FYI, silicone works great for holding the chrome spinner shields to the rims too, and can be removed easily if desired. Drive the car around the block and do a check on the pins. Then drive about a mile or so and check the pins again. If all is fine, you should be good to go. Always check the wheels before driving, and pull over at the first sign of a wobble. Bodywork is mighty expensive these days.

Mike
 

Tom Bryant

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Mike,
You are right that origional GM wheels didn't have the pins. A lot of them were installed on '63s at a later date and some origionals were drilled for pins and even allen head set screws. I would never drill an origional wheel for pins. That would kill their value. I think the key to this whole thread is to make sure they are tight, recheck them often and at regular intervals when driving down the road. Sounds like a hassle but they are cool wheels.

I think if I could afford it I would keep the origionals with proper tires for show and get a set of those repros that bolt on with the knock off spinner and cone that covers it all for drivers. They look like the real thing but no worry about coming loose.

Tom
 
6

'63split

Guest
Tom,

I've been researching the history of the KO wheels and what I've found so far is that there was a early repro KO wheel that was available soon after the original wheels. These early repro wheels were just like the originals in the fact that they didn't have the locking pins either. I'm told that these pins were added to newer repros to keep the spinners from backing off, especially if the holes in the wheel for the 5 large alignment pins on the adapter were worn to an egg shape causing the spinner to back off. I may invest in a new set of spinners and adapters only, which have the locking pins. This way I'll have added protection against the spinners from backing off from my existing wheels.

Mike
 
C

ctjackster

Guest
[QUOTE='63split]My point is, the wheels that are on my currently on my car are the original knock offs that were offered over the counter from the dealers. I'm well aware of the problems that Chevrolet had with the porosity of the KO wheels unable to hold air pressure at the factory, but as you should know they were later available from the dealer which many of the '63s later had. This is the type of design I'm refering to as opposed to a newer type of KO wheel. Are you at all familiar with the locking pins that my original post was refering to?[/QUOTE]ok, we all should agree that the 63 was never delivered with KOs (aside from some unverified claims, and hell, who really knows but NCRS won't accept it anyway); but that it is quite possible that a 63 can be wearing true KH otc knock offs that were purchased after the fact from a Chevy parts man.

Such wheels (the oem Kelsey Hayes) did not use the retaining / lock pin that you have been hearing about, but no doubt some of these have been drilled for the pins. Aftermarket KOs often include the retaining pins, we are talking here about a pin that inserts into a "hole" that is created when one of the six slots running accross the threaded KO "spindle" attached to the brake rotor lines up (after beating with the lead hammer, no it won't marr the chrome, it's lead for a reason, a softer metal than chrome) with similar, but staggered, half-round slots cut into and accross the threads of the spinner itself - thus (hopefully) "locking" the spinner into place and not allowing it to turn in either direction - here we care most about it turning OFF, of course. IF the pin won't budge, I suggest you look at it closely, the spinner may have rotated one direction and caused it to "lock" the pin in there, nothing a blow from the aforementioned lead hammer won't fix. Nonetheless, my vette has a needle nose pliers in with the jack and hammer, as well as a little flat head screw driver to pry the cap off.

Absolutely other variants of the above-described locking pin exist too.

Finally, it is critical to KO operation that an anti-sieze lube be applied to the threads and possibly the mating surfaces - might sound at odds with the "I don't want it to ever come off" mentality but using it helps you crank the spinners down as much as possible, meaning they wil lbe tight and not be likely to work loose, even if you don't have locking pins. Some other trick you might consider, if you do not have locking pins, it so mark the spinner and KO wheel with two ends of a little strip of white tape accross the side of the fully installed spinner, so a quick visual inspection during your "pre-flight" will put your mind at ease as to the "still tight" question.

Even though I have pins, I well recall driving 30 miles home one night after one of my first Vette shows after acquiring my 65, where two different guys both told me horrifying stories about having their KO's come off while driving causing great damage, etc. - I soon began to imagine a slight wobble, had to pull over twice just to check . . .
 
6

'63split

Guest
ctjackster said:
Even though I have pins, I well recall driving 30 miles home one night after one of my first Vette shows after acquiring my 65, where two different guys both told me horrifying stories about having their KO's come off while driving causing great damage, etc. - I soon began to imagine a slight wobble, had to pull over twice just to check . . .

This is exactly what I'm talking about, the worry of a spinner backing off and losing a wheel going 70 mph. I haven't driven the car much only to check suspension and brakes while I'm doing a frame on resto. That said, I don't have a history of driving with these types of wheels, so I'm somewhat paranoid about them backing off. You have given me some good advice, which is what I wanted to hear.

Thank you very much,
Mike
 
S

Sams '66

Guest
I sold mine (repro).......went back to wheels and caps.....which are original anyway.......I do have a spare for sale for a '66....one wheel never on the ground.....
 
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Messages
49
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
1961 Roman Red Roadster, 1964 Riverside Red Coupe
Mike-

I have Western Wheel KO from the mid 60's on my 64. To ensure they remain on I faithfully check them before every drive and I take a piece of wire to "tie" the spinner to the wheel. Simple to loop on a spinner ear and wrap in the opposite direction of the removal. Never lost a wheel! Also I agree with the advice that placing a driver wheel on the car for casual use and keep the KO for show. I used Cragar SS 15X6 and they look great!
 
6

'63split

Guest
good idea about wrapping wire around spinner ear. My question is, what do you attach the other end of the wire too?

Thanks,
Mike
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
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'67 Marina Blue Convertible
I did the same thing on the Halibrands on my Grand Sport; if you look closely, you can see the twisted stainless safety wire from the hole in the end of the spinner at 2 o'clock to a drilled hole in the wheel center at 3 o'clock. I installed the safety wire with a bit of slack in it so a quick visual check would show if the spinner had moved;they never did - I used anti-seize on the spinner/adapter threads and on the conical mating surface to reduce friction, whacked hell out of them with a 4# plastic-coated shot-filled dead-blow hammer, then applied the safety wire. Never had one loosen in two years of hard use.:cool



:Steer
 

wrosquist

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Apr 6, 2008
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loveland, co
Corvette
1966 coupe
Knock off hubs

You need a suction cup to get the caps off. If they're like mine, then remove the pin, and tap the spinner off with a plastic hammer. When replacing them don't over tighten the hubs(mine are strictly decorative and don't hold the wheel on.) If they do hold the wheel on then that's a different ball game. Bill
:( We just bought a 66 Vette and can't get the knockoffs off to adjust them. The cover over the pins won't pry off with a screwdriver without scratching the chrome. How do you get the cover off! These are new knock offs and we were told not to drive them over 50 miles without adjusting them.
 

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