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Wheelcover Emblem Replacement
by Dave LaPorte - AKA Galaxie Man. Thanks to Dave for letting us reprint this with his permission.

Original condition XL Wheel Cover
A close up view below, see how the red faded to a silver-gray color?
....and turned them into this!!!
The four finished wheel covers!
NOTE: This procedure was originally done by our Mentor and friend, Adrian Clements, using Ford N.O.S. Magnum Wheel Center
(part # D60Z-1130-B).

I used the same, and believe the supply has dried up from Ford. Coker Tire offers a reproduction, and after examaning a repro at Carlisle, they are made the same way. All cutting was done using a Dremel Tool fitted with the Flexible Extension and a heavy duty cutting wheel. Review and understand this entire procedure before attempting. Feel free to contact me if necessary with any clarifications or questions you may have.

I. Wheel Cover Disassembly and Emblem Removal
A. Pay attention to the orientation of the emblem in relation to the whole wheel cover. This will be critical during re-assembly.
B. Remove the three screws on the back side of the "platter" that holds the chromed center cone, and seperate the two pieces.
C. The emblem is held in place by 11 metal tabs that rise perpendicular from the back side of the center cone, and are bent inward towards the center of the emblem. Since the entire piece is made of potmetal, these must be carefully bent outwards. The best way to do this is to use a long shaft standard screw- driver, with a blade width that closely matches the width of the tabs. Set the tip of the screwdriver blade on the metal ring on the back of the emblem at the base of each tab, and gently rock the screwdriver towards the outer edge. Bend the tab only far enough to clear the outer edge of the emblem.
D. Push the old emblem out through the back of the center cone. It should drop right out in three pieces; the emblem, the metal ring, and a rubber gasket. Keep the old emblems handy for the procedure (for comparison purposes), then put them in your "old Galaxie parts box". The metal rings and gaskets will be re-used.

II.Torino/Ranchero Center Cap Demolition (to get that precious emblem!)

A.The Torino/Ranchero Center Cap has spring steel "fingers", mounted on a ring made to snap into the center of a mag wheel. They are held in place by melted plastic globs protruding through the metal ring. Grind the little globs flush with the metal ring, and the whole ring is easily pried off.
B. The first cut will remove a large portion of the chrome plated plastic housing. Cut around the circumference of the cap, just below the beveled edge.
It is best to go around the cap several times, cutting deeper each time. This will allow you to practice as to how the tool cuts the plastic. You'll find that if you go too deep, the plastic melts and binds the tool, making it take off in a direction you may not want it to go. You may also have to stop every now and then to clear the cut with a small screwdriver or knife. The housing will easily seperate when the cut is complete.
Discard the chrome plated housing (save the emblem piece!)
C. Now it starts getting tricky. You need to cut around the circumference of the back side of the cap where the steel fingers were. The cut will be flush with the surface that the globs of glue holding the emblem in place protrude from.
It will take many times around to remove this piece. You will definitely have to continously clear away melted plastic as you cut. The final cuts will have to be done from inside the circle, since the diameter of the cut- ting wheel is not large enough to cut all the way through from the outside. Discard the piece that was removed.
D. Great care must be taken from here on out, since you are now getting close to the emblem. This next cut will be made perpendicular to the last cut. Again, this will have to be done many times, removing little plastic each time. Place the emblem face down on a soft surface, so that you can rotate it as you cut without damage. Cut along the dotted line shown below.
The distance in from the outer edge should be the thickness of the plastic material. When you are just about cut through, you should start to see the cut on the emblem side, between the clear plastic of the emblem and the remaining chromed plastic. Carefully complete the cut, and the beveled chromed piece will seperate from the emblem.
E. Rather than trying to remove all the plastic from the back of the emblem, it is better (and easier) to remove just enough plastic to allow the rubber gasket and metal ring to seat. This also minimizes the danger of damaging the red back- ground by nicking it with the cutting wheel. Keep the emblem face down on the soft surface so you can rotate it as you cut. Go around the outer edge of the emblem several times, with the cutting wheel perpendicular to the rear surface. The distance from the outer edge to the inside of the cut is approximately 1/8".
III. Emblem Installation
A. The original emblems have three notches around the outer edge for proper orientation in the center cap. Your new emblem will have a much smaller lip than the original around the outer edge (look closely at the photo below).
This is where you must cut notches duplicating the original, or else the emblem will not seat properly. Cut the notches only to the depth of the lip.
B. In case you haven't done it, now is a good time to give the wheel cover a thorough cleaning. With the wheel cover disassembled, it is easy to reach the crevices. Also, if your metal retaining ring is bent flatten them out with a hammer on a flat surface.
C. The completed emblem should drop into place face down through the back side of the center piece. Line up the notches for proper alignment. Place the rubber gasket on top of the back of the emblem, and the metal ring on top of that.
D. As carefully as you bent the tabs away from the center of the emblem, bend them back inward. This works best if you go around the perimeter a few times, bending the tabs a little at a time, making sure the metal ring and gasket stay centered, and flush to the back of the emblem.
E. After the emblem is installed, I suggest running a bead of sealer around the inside of the center cap along the tabs. This helps hold the emblem in place so it doesn't vibrate, and keeps out the road crud. I used a substance called "LEXEL" because it stays pliable even after set. Since this certainly isn't a concours restoration (although without taking the wheel cover off and examining it from behind, you can't tell), I thought it acceptable.

Good Luck.
Dave LaPorte
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