Wheel cover loose - can I fix this myself?

Michiganmike

New member
I noticed the wheel cover on the rear tire of my coach is loose to the point where it might come off. I put some twist ties through it to make sure it didn't fly off because I have valve extenders that would probably be ripped out if it came loose. It's tough to see how this wheel cover attached to the rim. Does anyone know how to fix this and whether I could attempt it myself?

Thanks. Mike, 2011 Itasca Navion 24k, Michigan.
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Mike, you know I've never looked at how these "simulators" attach to the wheel. I suspect the have "toothed" springs that grab the wheel when pushed on. I check them every time we drive and every stop.

Careful putting them on. They have to go on evenly rather than cocked. A rubber head mallet is best. Just tap, tap, tap around the edges until it is seated evenly on the wheel. The give it a couple firm raps around the edges to drive it home.

I did repair the simulators on my Mother in Laws. Carefully springing in the toothed clips out a bit so they had a better "bite" on the wheel. But....that was on a 1966 Chrysler 300 and back in the day.
 
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The best solution is to take the simulators off and repaint the steel rims. If the simulators are in decent shape you can sell them to another van owner who has lost one. If you want bling save up and buy a set of Alcoa aluminum rims.
 
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2x1968muscle

Itasca Reyo 25R
After watching one wheel cover pass me on the Highway, then a second one coming off in a slight left turn I put nylon zip straps on each wheel cover to keep them attached. I carry spare zip straps in case any covers need to be removed for any reason. Have not lost a cover since.
-good thing because replacements are NOT CHEAP.

The steel spring keepers (sharp fingers) do a good job staying attached the first time they are installed. Removal and re-installation seems to weaken the fingers.
 

cacaw

Well-known member
The best solution is to take the simulators off and repaint the steel rims. ...
I agree, others will have different opinions but to my mind, there's nothing worse than cheap-looking bling, particularly when it's troublesome and potentially dangerous.
 
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Hooligan2

Member
Use Hub Cap tool to remove or pound the simulators in place. I use stainless tie wraps to keep them on. If they go on easy -adjust the "fingers"...
 

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cacaw

Well-known member
Use Hub Cap tool to remove or pound the simulators in place. I use stainless tie wraps to keep them on. If they go on easy -adjust the "fingers"...
And make sure there's no chance of them rubbing on, and wearing through the valve stems (even metal ones) as we've seen a few times.
 
I use heavy zip ties. I did note ware on my Borg valves. I went to my hardware store and found a Rain Bird heavy plastic pipe used in lawn irrigation. It was the perfect size for a sleeve to protect the Borg valves. I have TPMS connecting that keeps the pipe installed. This prevents the covers from touching the Borg.

I should probably buy aluminum wheels.
 

showkey

Well-known member
There are at least 20 prior posts on wheel simulators going back 8-10 years ..........loose , falling off, making click noises atslow speeds, slipping causing valve stem issues etc.... use the search in the RV and General Sprinter sections to find the very long history.

Aluminum wheels on a 3500 dually have their own issues.

The low quality simulators have 6 clips while the higher quality ( like Phoenix) have hold clips around the entire perimeter of the cap.

One test.......If your able to remove the cap with your bare hands your going to have problems in the future.

Example of clips on the perimeter :

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Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Having been on the road 4 times in the last month..... Better simulators are a good idea. Al-you-mini-um wheels DO have their own set of issues. So steel wheels or..... just add 'check simulators to your walk around pre-flight. Check every time you start out and at every stop do a walk around.

Just Crow opine.... no data here..... but I think a lot of these losses are due to improper fitment or damaged goods. But numbah uno is that operators DO NOT inspect them to see that they are fitted correctly and tight BEFORE launching.
 
30+ years old harbor freight. Takes a licking and keeps on kicking.

To facilitate installation, I smear an itty-bitty dab of silicone wax to each spring tab.
 

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J T Ruth

Member
I had same issue. Wheel cover wouldn't say on. Tie wraps fail after short time. Went to Aircraft Spruce and bought aircraft safety wire and twist tool kit. Can use kit for lots of jobs. Problem solved. Safety wire is SS.
 

dobsonion

Winnebago View 2018 24J
It is amazing how long owners have been dealing with the same simulators-falling-off issue. Lost 3 on my 2006 and got Rustoleum paint to match the gray trim, painted the wheels. No problem for a couple years on my 2018, then returning from a trip I happen to glance back and see wheel cover spinning off into oblivion. Sold the surprisingly heavy set of 4 on eBay, got the matching Rustoleum paint and applied three coats. Looks great. Removing the cover on the fronts I noted that there is already a nice black M-B cover on the hub. Now I can access my TPMS easier and no more noises. Sheesh.
 

az7000'

Well-known member
We lost 2 of the three we had left on the first big trip, let em go. We never painted them but that would look nice, would need to paint all 12 sides of the 6 wheels to still look good after a rotation...
 

GaryJ

Here since 2006
We lost 2 of the three we had left on the first big trip, let em go. We never painted them but that would look nice, would need to paint all 12 sides of the 6 wheels to still look good after a rotation...
Or just paint the face side of four wheels and never rotate. Did that in 2006 and it still looks good. Tires have worn evenly without rotation.

Gary
 

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