There was interest in another thread about the custom centercaps I recently put together, so here is a quick "how-to" on my build process.
I liked the look of the TRD snap in center caps. Unfortunately they were too small for my wheels. A little trial-and-error, some cutting and epoxy, and I've got a nice push-through cap that sits perfectly flush with the face of my wheel. Here's a look at the finished product:
*Disclaimer! This is the process that worked for me, and my particular wheels. Being that wheels come in all different shapes, sizes, and center bores this might not work for you. If interested in attempting it, take some measurements beforehand. Also, being flushmount caps, they may not clear 4x4 hubs unless you are running spacers. That said, I encourage you to use this as a starting point and to modify the steps involved as needed. Though I can't guarantee your results haha...*
Anyways, lets get started!
- Center caps for your wheels
- TRD FJ SE wheel center caps (part# PTR18-35092)
- 5 Minute Epoxy
- MD V-flex Weatherstrip 1/16 x 3/8
- Dremel w/ cutoff wheel
- Masking tape
- Washable marker
- Razor blade
- Rattle can primer
- Rattle can clear coat/sealer
Most of the stuff I already had in the garage. TRD caps were about $50 shipped. Epoxy and weatherstripping were another $15 or so.
Put a piece of tape around your existing center cap so you can mark where you're going to cut. Push the cap through your wheel, while holding it in place use a WASHABLE marker (don't use permanent for obvious reasons) to make a line around the entire cap. After this I used a regular black pen to make the edge of the line more visible. I then used a razor blade to cut the tape along this line...
With a crisp tape line on all 4 caps, it's time to cut. Using a vice and some scrap wood to hold the cap secure, a Dremel with metal cut off wheel worked well to make the cuts. I had to rotate the caps in the vice 3-4 times to cut all the way around, but it was still a pretty quick task. After cutting they will have rough edges, use a file to smooth them out and level any high spots. Then comes a quick hit with the primer to cover up any bare metal.
With the old caps cut to size, it's time to make the TRD caps fit inside. I used the thin weatherstripping around the perimeter of the TRD caps to get a snug fit. The weatherstripping has an adhesive side, use this to secure it to the TRD cap, a rubber band helps temporary hold it in place while you work on the others. Carefully push the TRD cap into the cut cap from the back side, it should fit snug. Work it into place so all the edges line up flush. Now is a good time to test fit your caps into your wheel so you can make any adjustments before gluing.
Doing one cap at a time, mix your 5 minute epoxy and apply liberally across the inside of the assembled cap. Make sure you have all the seams, and all the contact points completely covered in epoxy. You really can't over do it in this step. The epoxy is basically what holds everything together, so just keep that in mind. Let it dry.
Once the epoxy on the back dries, flip it over. There is a small gap between the two caps on the front side. This needs to be sealed up. If you have a steady hand with the epoxy, use that. I used some superglue with a fine tip so I could be very precise. It worked well and, the gap seemed to suck the glue right in. *Note: The face of the TRD caps somewhat reacted with the fumes from the superglue, at least I'm guessing. They became a little cloudy, but it came right off with some rubbing compound.
After everything is dry go ahead and spray it with a few coats of clear/sealer. Just for some added protection and weatherproofing. After it dries, and you're happy with the results, you are done!
Here are some finished product pics:
Again, this is the process that worked for me. After looking for custom center caps I came up empty, so decided to take a chance at making my own. I'm happy how they turned out! Everything fits perfect, my only concern is durability. I'm not sure how well they will hold up to the elements, but that remains to be seen.
As for the specifics on my setup... The wheels are 18x9 FN Wheels BFDs, the black center caps are what they come with. I have a 4x4 but will be running wheel spacers so the flush-mount caps will clear just fine. Once I have my tires mounted I will update with final pictures of the caps/wheels installed on my truck.
Lastly, as stated above, this might not work for your particular setup and wheels, but I hope it will at least inspire you to try something similar!
I'll try to answer any questions the best I can.