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Discussion Starter #1
The front driver side tire on my car has developed a life of its own. The car is stock with (as far as I know) the original wheels and standard size tires.

For a reason I have never been able to work out, the (standard) hubcap on that wheel tends to rotate slightly over time. I discovered this the hard way shortly after buying the car when it snapped off the valve, causing sudden and dramatic deflation (fortunately, at a car show, and not on the way there or back.)

Now last week when I put the car away at night, I noticed it seemed to be leaning a little on one side, and the next day found the tire in question quite flat, although the valve was intact.

Took the wheel/tire to the tire shop for repair but they could not find anything at all. It re-flated and held pressure. They suggested, put it back on the car and see what happens. I am not so keen on this idea as it might see me suddenly in charge of two tons of 1957 steel on three wheels...

Has anyone had experience of this before? Could it be the seat between tire and rim? I seem to remember this was commented on when the valve was replaced although they say it is okay now. And if so, can a gap open up and then magically re-seal itself?

If it helps - the day before it went flat - I just collected the car from repair where the ignition was overhauled and new propshaft uj fitted, resulting in it driving a lot better - so I had been driving it, er, a little faster than normal. Could this be relevant?

I would change for the spare, but although it fits the car, it is a 10-bolt wheel and won't accept the hubcap at all. Is it possible to get a new wheel anywhere?

Any comments or suggestions welcome, as I am reluctant to drive the car -I only drive it for pleasure, and there isn't much of that in changing a wheel at the roadside.

Cheers - Tim
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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When the tire went flat overnight, had the hubcap rotated, pushing the stem over? That may have caused the leak. I'm sure you noticed, the 57 wheels have 4 nubs that hold the caps on. The hubcaps have slots where the 2 nubs closest to the stem fit. The slots are supposed to keep the cap from rotateing. The hubcap may have flattened out at the slots, causeing it to rotate.
Rust pits on the wheel could cause a leak and sometimes, depending on which way the wheel is rotated, may cause intermittent leaks.
Try e-bay for original wheels and Danchuk has reproduction wheels that will also work with disc brakes and stock hubcaps.
 

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Have you checked to see if the valve in the new stem is tight? Let me check the old tool box. I have an old tightener I have had since high school. See pic. You could also go with a metal stem. Most tire shops have them. Might also be time to have the steel wheel blasted and painted. Check for cracks, etc.
John F
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Guys, I will check the stem carefully. Don, thanks for the tip about the slots - can't visualise it but will have a look later when I get home, and John, maybeI do need to get the wheel blasted. I suspected it might be distorted but the tire shop says not.

Cheers Tim
 

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Limey, I had the same thing, wheel cover rotated, snapped off the valve stem, blowout at 65 mph in heavy traffic! But we made it to the shoulder! Across 2 lanes of traffic! --------------------All 57 Chevrolet full wheel covers have a tendency to rotate, you are not alone. Acordon's suggestion is good. Additionally you can pry the "slot" up even more to fit even "deeper" over the nub.------------------------About the mystery flat, You have ruled out a prankster of course. Most likely cause is that the valve stem was bent over enough to leak, but not far enough to break off. I would dismount the tire and inspect and clean and deburr the valve stem hole metal edges and flats to perfection. Also be sure they lube the valve stem when it is installed and also that they don't over stretch it, and so weaken it. I have to visually inspect my own car every week or so. I have one wheel cover that still wants to spin on its own.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again guys for the suggestions. CJ your nightmare scenario with the blowout is exactly what I am afraid of!

I guess I will strip the whole thing down and clean it up really carefully, then re-assemble. The silicone is an idea I might well give it a try.

Cheers, Tim
 

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If you're not using them now, you could try metal valve stems. You can tighten them up and the hub cap shouldn't push them off to the side causing a leak.
 
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