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Wheel Locks and Center Caps (what's a body to do?) by Notorio
Started on: 11-07-2014 11:22 AM
Replies: 4 (241 views)
Last post by: Notorio on 11-10-2014 12:07 AM
Notorio
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Report this Post11-07-2014 11:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Finally got some time to finish urgent repairs to my Fiero and then time to cruise! It occurred to me that the wheels were at risk if I parked anywhere for a significant amount of time. Are there any particularly 'good' locks to get or 'bad' ones to avoid? Also, when I got the car the center caps were not there. Never had any like this but I assume they just pop right off in seconds. If I buy a new set (about $100), should I expect them to routinely disappear? I've noticed that there are a lot of 'used' center caps for sale on eBay ...

(If anyone remembers the old MASH episode where Hawkeye takes a Jeep to Seoul to a black-market warehouse for something and when he goes back outside the Jeep is on blocks, the wheels/tires are gone, and the steering wheel is sadly spinning. When he goes back inside to complain about the theft the warehouse manager says he is in luck b/c a set of wheels/tires for a Jeep 'just came in.' Anyway, that is the image in my mind for the fate of shinny new center caps ...)

John



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zmcdonal
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Report this Post11-07-2014 06:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The locks I am using are McGard, I don't think there is anything special about them except the quality of the finish. I bought a cheap set of the tuner lugs at autozone that came with locks and within 6 monthes they were all rusty and crappy looking. I've had the McGard for probably 7 or 8 years and they still look like brand new.

As far as center caps go, not all aftermarket wheels are the same and the newer GM center caps have different prongs to attach them than the stock Fiero caps had, so I don't know which route you had in mind, new aftermarket caps that match those wheels or if you wanted to find some GM ones that will fit. In my experience with GM caps that are small like that, once they go on, you can't really take them off without damaging them without taking the wheel off to pop them out from the inside, unless you are very careful, so I wouldn't be too worried about theft.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post11-07-2014 06:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wheel locks will keep lazy thieves away, but if someone wants your wheels they're gonna get them... spline drive locks are easy enough, the keyed spline locks are readily grabbed by rifled wheel bolt extractors, and the keyed center driven locks are easily beat with a square drive extension and a mallet. Your best bet is to have multiple locks per wheel - if you want to go that far. At that point, you're just betting it'll take *so long* to get the wheel off nobody will bother. IMHO, not many thieves know the bolt pattern on a Fiero and they're left alone... they'd rather target a VW or some other car with a known pattern (even if they're the same!

(Years ago my friend's Focus got its wheels jacked and the thieves left the much more expensive Team Dynamics wheels on my Saab alone - even though both used the same 4x108 pattern!)
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zmcdonal
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Report this Post11-07-2014 08:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for zmcdonalSend a Private Message to zmcdonalEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

Wheel locks will keep lazy thieves away.


Agreed, just another deterrent. I've also seen locks removed with a socket that's close to fitting and a sledge hammer or heat up the socket with a torch and slide it over the lock while its hot.
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Notorio
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Report this Post11-10-2014 12:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Those are some inventive ways to defeat wheel locks. Guess I'll have to learn to quit worrying and love the wheel locks anyway, taking some comfort in the knowledge that I will at least be deterring the lazy thieves.
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