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How-To: Custom Flush-Mount TRD Center Caps

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by BeePee, May 17, 2013.

  1. May 17, 2013 at 7:02 PM
    #1
    BeePee

    BeePee [OP] Well-Known Member

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    *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!

    Parts list:
    - 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.

    Step 1:
    [​IMG]
    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...

    Step 2:
    [​IMG]
    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.

    Step 3:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    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.

    Step 4:
    [​IMG]
    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.

    Step 5:
    [​IMG]
    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.

    Step 6:
    [​IMG]
    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:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    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! :D

    I'll try to answer any questions the best I can.
    Cody
     
  2. May 17, 2013 at 7:03 PM
    #2
    BeePee

    BeePee [OP] Well-Known Member

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    6" ProComp. Icon Coilovers. Alcan Leafs. Bronze BFDs. TRD Caps. BORA Spacers. Toyo. Magnaflow. Debadge. Viper. WeatherTech.
    Installed.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  3. May 17, 2013 at 7:05 PM
    #3
    AlphaEcho2k5

    AlphaEcho2k5 Well-Known Member

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    That looks great, nice job and thanks for sharing.
     
  4. May 17, 2013 at 7:08 PM
    #4
    Hairy Taco

    Hairy Taco Bush Pusher

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    nice job. Looks great
     
  5. May 17, 2013 at 7:58 PM
    #5
    Kavik

    Kavik Kavik

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    Awesome center cap!
     
  6. May 17, 2013 at 8:43 PM
    #6
    Xer0 SiN

    Xer0 SiN Well-Known Member

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    this and that...
    wow. that looks out-fucking-standing!
     
  7. May 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM
    #7
    rbeezy

    rbeezy Well-Known Member

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    Those are some nice looking wheels
     
  8. May 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM
    #8
    D1EHARD

    D1EHARD Got the Fever

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    Very very nice. I commented just the other day about how nobody ever uses center caps with those wheels. Looks factory.
     
  9. May 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM
    #9
    05Aztacoma

    05Aztacoma Well-Known Member

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    Those look great!!!
     
  10. May 17, 2013 at 10:49 PM
    #10
    Jerez

    Jerez SoCal LED Dash Swap

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    Sick!! Might want to do this for my new rims

    Definitely subd
     
  11. May 18, 2013 at 9:12 AM
    #11
    Jeffsdeere

    Jeffsdeere Well-Known Member

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    Looks good
     
  12. May 18, 2013 at 9:20 AM
    #12
    KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    Thanks for the write up. I'm buying the Lexus GX-F Sport center caps. We'll see how it goes.

    [​IMG]

    Wonder if you can just buy these hubcentric rings and wrap them around the center cap with double-sided tape?

    http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Automotive-108-106-1-Centric-106-1mm/dp/B0032HQJ7G

    [​IMG]
     
  13. May 18, 2013 at 11:19 AM
    #13
    SalmonTaco

    SalmonTaco Tasty fish in a tortilla

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    Nice work. That is one clean looking setup. :thumbsup:
     
  14. May 19, 2013 at 11:12 AM
    #14
    lawless

    lawless Well-Known Member

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    nice job, i'll be looking back on this thread later. i'm interested in the same wheels but need to make a few more truck payments first.
     
  15. May 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM
    #15
    tinker_troy

    tinker_troy I feel so Devo

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    that's awesome!
    good job Bee
     
  16. May 20, 2013 at 3:36 AM
    #16
    Plik

    Plik Ragin Cajun

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    nice job OP... best looking center cap for these rims I've seen.
     
  17. May 20, 2013 at 11:38 AM
    #17
    BeePee

    BeePee [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone! Hope this opens the doors for more people to try making their own caps.

    The F-sport caps look nice, what wheel are you going to put them on? Not sure about the rings, it might be difficult to get the exact size you need. I ended up buying multiple materials at Lowes, it just turned out the weatherstripping fit the best. They have a ton of different sizes, options and materials, I'd recommend just browsing your local hardware store if you need to improvise.
     
  18. May 21, 2013 at 7:14 PM
    #18
    Robo02cop

    Robo02cop Well-Known Member

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    Nice BeePee!!! I was looking at those center caps when I bought my 12 and was wondering how I could make them fit in my Countersteer Offroads!!! Now u have solved that mystery for me!!! This project will be happening ASAP!!
     
  19. May 21, 2013 at 9:28 PM
    #19
    bullaculla

    bullaculla IKA fabrications

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    I colormatched my center caps. Pics in my gallery ;)

    Good job OP. I was thinking about machining some flush center caps at work, but your way looks good.
     
  20. May 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM
    #20
    BeePee

    BeePee [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Pics when you're done! :cool:
     
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