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Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? #4110080 05/29/16 08:51 PM
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Drew99GT Offline OP
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Are dust caps/wheel covers/hub caps really needed to protect the wheel bearing/axle assembly on a modern FWD car? Reason I ask is, I just got another set of factory steel wheels for my Corolla for mounting winter tires. However, this set is used with wheel covers, but I decided to paint them so I don't have to mess with covers. Problem is, there is no dust cap for the hub opening where the axle nut/cotter pin reside. Will that be an issue with rust/corrosion? I've found some wheel covers don't fit flush and moisture can get in there anyway.

The consensus I read on some other forums is they are not needed for modern type sealed wheel bearings. In fact the factory wheels with center cover on this car have openings in the back and let water drain right in. shrug

Thoughts???

Thanks!

Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Drew99GT] #4110087 05/29/16 09:01 PM
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Ducked Offline
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They're exposed on my Daihatsu.

I give them a squirt of oil every now and then, but I'm not going to worry about it.

Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Drew99GT] #4110176 05/30/16 01:26 AM
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Tegger Offline
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Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
Are dust caps/wheel covers/hub caps really needed to protect the wheel bearing/axle assembly on a modern FWD car?

The wheel bearings on a FWD car are completely different from the traditional 2-piece, tapered, repackable bearings you had on your old RWD cars. FWD bearings are not exposed or protected in any way by what happens in the nut area.

Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
there is no dust cap for the hub opening where the axle nut/cotter pin reside.

That is not a problem for the shaft or the bearing, but it IS a problem for the nut and the threads on the nose of the CV joint.

See the photo below. You see this a lot in the North-East. In such cases, it will be necessary to use a needle file to re-cut the threads once the nut is off, and it can be necessary to drill out the cotter pin. But once the nut and washer are off, you will find that the area behind the nut is pristine and rust-free; even the threads that the nut actually covered will be clean. You NEVER re-use the nut in these cases.


2013 Toyota RAV4 - 88,000 miles - Toyota 0W-20, Toyota filter
Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Tegger] #4110228 05/30/16 04:59 AM
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larryinnewyork Offline
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Quoted from above.
it will be necessary to use a needle file to re-cut the threads once the nut is off,

Suggestion:
If you ever need to clean up (external) threads, be aware that there are Thread Files.
There 1/2" wide so they cover several threads at one time.

http://www.sears.com/kd-tools-sae-extern...mp;blockType=G1

Last edited by larryinnewyork; 05/30/16 05:01 AM.
Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Drew99GT] #4110315 05/30/16 07:08 AM
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NHGUY Offline
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Had an old guy with a modern IFS generation GM 4x4 think his dustcap was missing on his hub assembly as he could "see" the cotter pin and CV nut.He couldnt find one that fit right......

Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Drew99GT] #4110442 05/30/16 09:46 AM
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eljefino Offline
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A hubcap is good to have IMO to keep rust from happening at the wheel to hub flange interface. OTOH they aren't waterproof and might just keep humidity in on a good day.

I'll put grease on my exposed CV axle threads to preserve them... not the actual nut threads but those further out. It takes a couple hundred foot pounds to get them off anyway; I've found these to be self-cleaning and not snap.

Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: eljefino] #4111848 05/31/16 09:20 PM
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Ducked Offline
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Originally Posted By: eljefino
A hubcap is good to have IMO to keep rust from happening at the wheel to hub flange interface. OTOH they aren't waterproof and might just keep humidity in on a good day.


If it bothers you its easy enough to improvise something. I've used polythene sheet or aluminium foil sandwiched between the wheel and hub in the past.

This was mostly to stop the wheels sticking on, but the sheet covered the axle end and the nut too.

Don't have it on the front wheels at the moment because there was some noise from that area and I wanted to eliminate it as a cause. If I re-instate it I'll probably use aluminium foil, because disk brakes can get quite hot.

I've currently got polythene on one rear wheel and aluminium on the other.

Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Drew99GT] #4112905 06/01/16 09:25 PM
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UG_Passat Offline
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Originally Posted By: Drew99GT
Are dust caps/wheel covers/hub caps really needed to protect the wheel bearing/axle assembly on a modern FWD car? Reason I ask is, I just got another set of factory steel wheels for my Corolla for mounting winter tires. However, this set is used with wheel covers, but I decided to paint them so I don't have to mess with covers. Problem is, there is no dust cap for the hub opening where the axle nut/cotter pin reside. Will that be an issue with rust/corrosion? I've found some wheel covers don't fit flush and moisture can get in there anyway.

The consensus I read on some other forums is they are not needed for modern type sealed wheel bearings. In fact the factory wheels with center cover on this car have openings in the back and let water drain right in. shrug

Thoughts???

Thanks!


Depends on the car really. If the wheel bearing kit (and/or hub kit) comes with a dust cap, then you should use it.


2016 VW Tiguan|APR Stage 1|Neuspeed P-Flo|Osram CBI|Redline 5w30
Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Drew99GT] #4112928 06/01/16 09:51 PM
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mjoekingz28 Offline
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The wheel cover may just protect the wheel just as much.

The dust cap you may mean is the inch or two cap seal that can be pried with a flathead and replaced easily.

Re: Dust caps needed to protect wheel bearings? [Re: Drew99GT] #4113168 06/02/16 08:35 AM
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A regular full faced hubcap is just a decorative cover. Salt, moisture, etc will still get in there.

depending on the Corolla (bolt pattern), you may be able to just decorative covers that only cover the axle threads/nut better.

my old 84 Corolla FWD sedan had them. later corollas, iirc switched to 5x100 (not sure about the current ones).

The 2nd gen Camry had chromed hub covers available (and they are 5x100).



2016 VW Tiguan|APR Stage 1|Neuspeed P-Flo|Osram CBI|Redline 5w30
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