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-   -   18" Chrome Clad Wheel Cover Removal (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/wheels-tires/251386-18-chrome-clad-wheel-cover-removal.html)

jefftheskier 12-01-2012 09:12 PM

18" Chrome Clad Wheel Cover Removal
Sorry if this has been covered already. The dealer service adviser stated that the 2012 Tacoma 18" chrome clad wheel covers are "glued" to the metal wheel. I saw a set, just the covers without the wheels, for sale on eBay, so there must be some way to remove them in one piece. I tried a hammer and a plastic wedge... no way. Any ideas?

Just searched the forum and found others with the same question... no definitive answer though. So I'll try the "heat them up and pry them off" method, unless someone offers up a better idea.


wh013mi1k 04-17-2013 06:38 AM

I'm still interested in this answer if anyone ever figured it out!

jefftheskier 04-18-2013 02:55 PM

Chrome Clad Wheel Cover Removal
Well... I got them off. I did NOT find a "magic wand" way to get it done. Underneath the wheel cover is a really nice alloy wheel that everyone can see if they look at the spare tire underneath their truck. Someone in marketing must have decided that the "chrome clad" look was special. I think it looks cheap and cheesy, but what do I know. Anyway, here's how I got them off.

There is a bead of laytex-type adhesive applied to each spoke of the alloy wheel (5 double spokes). The bead is run from the edge of the rim along one leg of the spoke towards the hub and continues in a solid line over to the adjacent spoke and back out to the edge of the rim. Again, this is applied to all 5 double spokes. Another bead of adhesive is run entirely around the perimeter of the rim. All of this creates a firm bond with the plastic "chrome clad" cover.

I tried heat, WD-4, Brake-Kleen... none of which helped break the bond. The answer for me was a 12" non-cerrated kitchen knife, fairly thin and flexible. I made my way around the rim between the wheel cover and the wheel. I then managed to insert a plastic wedge (Stihl chainsaw wood splitter wedge) to create a gap between the wheel cover and the wheel. I inserted the kitchen knife into each spoke, cutting away the adhesive.

There are some plastic trim removal tools out there that have a flat end. This would likely be better than the kitchen knife, once there is enough of a gap between the cover and wheel.

This is a pain in the butt to do on all four wheels, but it gets the covers off. You would have to be SUPER careful not to make any scratches on the wheels. You would also have to be that careful if you wanted to preserve the covers, free of any damage. I didn't care as I was having the wheels powder coated flat black by Wheels America. (These guys make them look like Toyota SHOULD have made them look!!)

There are stripping products (Ace Hardware, etc) that are formulated to dissolve rubber cement. They will also mess up the factory gray paint on the wheels. I used some to clean up the stubborn residue, but would not do so again as it didn't do that good of a job and the Wheels America process includes bead blasting.

If you're careful, you will have a really nice set of silver alloy rims after the plastic comes off. I recommend resisting the temptation to use a screw driver or pry bar to spread the cover away from the wheel. The wheel is aluminum and soft and will quickly get all gouged up from rough treatment.

Good luck.

CBoy808 05-12-2013 02:13 PM

I know this is old but do you have pictures now that you have powder coated your wheels? Many of us want to see!!

jefftheskier 05-18-2013 01:55 PM

The wheels underneath
Powdercoated @ Wheels America ~$150/ea. I'm a rookie Mac user, so I hope these attachments actually work. OKAY... I checked and it looks like I need some Mac help. I'll try not to take too long.

I did NOT paint either the front or rear hub. Also, the front calipers are stock and I think they look pretty good. I'm not worrying about any car show looks, just want black wheels. I think these coated OEM ones look as good as any of the "Made in China" stuff that's out there.

Good luck.







CBoy808 05-21-2013 02:20 AM

I'm looking forward to the pics, can you upload them to the gallery here?

click on advanced reply....

then scroll down to "Attach files" and you can upload them there.

Xer0 SiN 05-21-2013 04:48 AM

bump for pics. was always interested im seeing what they look like nder the chrome lol.

jefftheskier 06-04-2013 10:43 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Okay... I went "advanced", so I hope some pics show up. A couple of you asked about the next set of chrome clad that I remove. Not sure when I'll get to it this summer, but I will make a post IF I can get them off w/o damage.

Texoma 06-04-2013 10:47 PM

Interested in your covers when you get em off, or trade you my spare for one of your with a cover. Sent ya a pm a while back about that. Let me know.

Xer0 SiN 06-04-2013 11:13 PM

its that powdercoated already or is that the what it looks like underneath? anyways it goes, im gonna hunt me down a set; shit looks hot without the covers.

jefftheskier 06-05-2013 01:11 PM

That's black powdercoat. They are originally silver... and look just fine, but I wanted to go black.

Dookiebird 06-16-2013 07:41 AM

What did you use for a center cap? I'm considering taking off the chrome, but can't figure out what to do about the center cap.

Texoma 06-16-2013 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by Dookiebird (Post 7035095)
What did you use for a center cap? I'm considering taking off the chrome, but can't figure out what to do about the center cap.

Best way is to test out center caps on your spare. Though, I doubt that you could make any fir to them as they don't have anything to retain them. On another note, I am looking to trade my spare, with never used tire, for a chrome clad. Basically the same exact thing, except the spare is just the version with the chrome clad removed. It would be one less rim you have to remove the clad from.

jefftheskier 06-17-2013 11:43 AM

Center Caps
I left out the center caps. The factory ones attach to the chrome clad cover. There is actually a decent hub cover on the front, black and smooth, and the rear ones are rough cast, but also black. I'm fine with that.

Dookiebird 06-03-2014 08:39 PM

What did you use for center caps? I plan to remove the chrome clad from my wheels and cannot figure out what to do about the center caps.

GSKY2013 06-04-2014 01:46 PM

Tacoma 18inch chrome clad wheels
I bought a 2013 Tacoma Limited package with the "chrome clad wheels". The dealer had to locate the truck, so I didn't see it prior to taking delivery. I was so juiced up to get the new truck, I didn't notice the wheels had "hubcaps". I contacted Toyota Cares, was referred back to my dealer for resolution. After a month of waiting, and a review by a Toyota factory rep, the feedback was "there is nothing wrong with the wheels, so no further action will be taken". My dealer contact told me this is a typical trim feature for Tacoma, Tundra and 4runner high end models. He did tell me they messed up chrome clad wheels on a Tundra when replacing the tires because nobody could figure out how to get the covers off. We agreed this bodes ill for the time I need new tires, and any damage would be addressed at the time. This seems really goofy on Toyota's part.
I did see the post regarding the cladding removal...thanks.

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