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Wheel Accessories USA is the # 1 on-line source for all your wheel / rim center cap and accessory needs. We have the largest inventory in-stock, ready to ship,  for the brands we carry.

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    • By Sam
      Below are images of a vintage Chevy steering wheel. Can you help narrow this down to year and model? My guess is Chevy Corvair, but unsure of year. Any help is appreciated. 
      Thanks!
       


    • By Counterman
      Wheel-bearing pre-load and geometry are terms that don’t get used too often in practice. But in reality, every time we remove or install a wheel bearing, we affect both – whether we consciously think about it or not.
      Many of us clocked countless hours cleaning and repacking tapered roller bearings, long before the Generation 1 press-in sealed wheel bearings first became popular in the late 1970s on front-wheel-drive cars. Even when we began to see sealed wheel bearings on the front, tapered roller bearings usually still were used in the rear, in the hub of a brake drum or rotor.
      When it was time for installation and tightening the wheel-bearing nut, we referred to the process as “adjusting the wheel bearings.” We knew if we didn’t do it right, they would be too loose or too tight. If they were too loose, the excessive end play could cause alignment and braking problems, as well as accelerated wear on the bearings due to an uneven load distribution on the rollers. If they were too tight, the bearings would run hot, and it wouldn’t take long before the excessive heat would cause the metal to break down.
      We learned by doing and asking, and we did it all by feel, since there was no internet or proliferation of information to throw around fancy terms. Nonetheless, if you get technical about it, we weren’t actually adjusting the wheel bearings. We were setting the pre-load. We did it by tightening the nut moderately as we rotated the bearing hub, which itself may have been just a hub, or a brake drum or rotor with the hub built in.
      The initial moderate tightening made sure the bearings were all properly seated. Then, while still rotating the bearing hub, you backed off the adjustment nut, and then tightened it again until it was just “snug.” The final step was to back off the nut just a few degrees and install the nut retainer and cotter pin. You could just barely feel a slight movement of free play when you were done.
      It must have been 20 years before I realized there was a more “official” process for setting pre-load on tapered roller bearings, but in that time, I never had one fail. When I finally read the process, it was identical to what I’d learned – with the exception of torque specifications, which I’d be willing to bet were almost dead-on to what I was doing by hand. Chalk one up for old school.
      Tapered roller bearings are almost a thing of the past for everyday repair shops, but bearing pre-load is just as important on the Generation 1, 2 and 3 sealed wheel bearings on today’s vehicles. You could argue it’s more critical than ever. Plus, these bearings make it easier to demonstrate the concept of wheel-bearing geometry.
      Almost all of the Gen 1, 2 or 3 bearings utilize balls as opposed to rollers. Roller bearings have the advantage of a much greater contact area between the rollers and races, and therefore can support a heavier load. With use, they can develop a slight amount of play, but due to their contact area and load distribution, it didn’t have much of an effect. As long as they were cleaned, repacked and adjusted … er I mean properly pre-loaded, on a regular basis, they would last a long time.
      Ball bearings, on the other hand, have a very small contact patch with the race. When the pre-load on these bearings is correctly set, then the geometrical relationship between the races and the rolling components is set.
      The pre-load determines the exact location at which the roller balls will contact the inner and outer races. Modern vehicle suspension and steering no longer can be viewed as separate vehicle systems. They work in unison with ABS, traction and stability control and advanced driver-assistance systems. Not only must bearing pre-load be correct to avoid premature wear, but it’s also critical for handling and braking, as well as providing the correct alignment to ABS sensors that are built in or mounted to the wheel-bearing assembly.
      It’s All About the Torque
      Setting the pre-load on Gen 1, 2 or 3 wheel bearings is a different process, but simpler, at least from the process standpoint. There’s one step: Torque. Gen 1 bearings press into the steering knuckle, and this style of bearing certainly caused a few headaches to all of us until we became familiar with the requirements for replacing them. Gen 1 bearings have no pre-load when they’re manufactured. Not only must you use the correct procedures for pressing them in to prevent damage, but they also require either a spindle or axle shaft through the center that’s used to set pre-load and just simply hold the whole thing together.
      The torque specification on the thru-shaft is generally a very high torque, and the torque must be set before putting the weight of the vehicle on the ground. If weight is put on the bearing prior to torquing it, the races and rolling components will be wedged out of place, preventing the torque from drawing everything into the proper geometrical alignment.
      This was a mistake often made, as well as using an impact wrench to tighten the nut or bolt. The most common methods developed to torque Gen 1 bearings properly are one, to wedge a long prybar between the lug studs to hold the hub while torquing (this often requires help of another person). And two, if you have vented brake rotors, to slide a tapered punch into one of the vents and allow it to rest against the brake caliper bracket as you torque the nut.
      Most of the time, manufacturers only gave us the torque specification, but no tips for actually attaining it safely, so we had to derive our own methods. I still always look at the specific procedure for any given vehicle, since it’s such a critical setting, and that’s always the best advice. Some thru-shaft bolts are torque-to-yield bolts, and they require an incredible amount of force to reach the specified setting.
      In some of these cases, I’ve seen manufacturers specify an initial torque specification to align the bearing geometry, then to set the vehicle on the ground to perform the “stretching” of a torque-to-yield bolt. Even then it required a floor-jack handle on the end of a breaker bar, and the help of another person to reach the specification – all the while cautiously leaning away in hopes the breaker bar doesn’t snap like a toothpick.
      It’s this one particular fastener, and only this fastener, that has led to many an auto technician buying a few ¾-inch-drive sockets and breaker bar – tools normally associated with heavy equipment and semi-trucks.
      Gen 2 wheel bearings have a flange or hub pre-installed, and Gen 3 wheel bearings are a complete hub/mounting flange unit. These bearings are easier to install (at least in theory … but that’s a whole other story), yet the torque specification is just as critical, and that goes for the mounting flanges as well as a thru-shaft fasteners.
      Some of these bearings are manufactured utilizing a process called roll-forming or orbital forming that sets the pre-load, but this is not always the case. If the bearing is for a non-driven application, and there’s no thru-shaft, then you know this is the case. Anything that has a thru-shaft – regardless of the manufacturing and whether a pre-load is set – relies on the proper torque to set or maintain the proper pre-load and bearing geometry. The bottom line is always follow manufacturer instructions to avoid problems. This is the best advice to your customer, because most wheel-bearing warranty issues are probably caused by incorrect installation.
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    • By NAPA
      NAPA Shopping Guide: Best Truck Accessories For Winter
      Whether you are shopping for a loved one this holiday season or hoping to treat yourself after a long year,
      link hidden, please login to view has what truck lovers need! Winter truck accessories are hot items that never go out of style. But aftermarket vehicle upgrades are designed for more than just trendy personalization. Most pickup truck accessories are engineered for protection, safety and lifelong performance. The NAPA truck accessories catalog features trusted, popular brands like BAK, Trident, link hidden, please login to view, Bestop and link hidden, please login to view.  When it comes to winter accessories for trucks, there is no better protective feature to start with than
      link hidden, please login to view. If you are searching for heavy-duty floor mats with a universal application to any vehicle, our NAPA experts recommend the link hidden, please login to view. This line of high-quality floor mats is geared for any budget. The deep ridges and raised edges are guaranteed to trap melting ice, snow and muck dripping off construction boots. The raised perimeter keeps messes in the mat and off your interior surfaces. These mats will not shift or slide, and can be easily trimmed for a perfect fit. Husky Liners can be quickly removed, sprayed clean, and repositioned in a matter of minutes. If you are shopping for laser-measured liners that are manufactured to pair precisely with your exact make and model, we highly recommend the
      link hidden, please login to view. Built from High-Density Tri-Extruded (HDTE) material, this all-weather interior accessory combines strength and flexibility. Each set comes in your choice of Black, Cocoa, Gray or Tan. This product is made in the U.S. and backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty. If showing off your team spirit is the goal, you can’t go wrong with a set of link hidden, please login to view. Including a wide range of sports logos and military insignias, this line of vinyl or carpet mats is sure to gain you the traction and attention you want from an link hidden, please login to view. NAPA Has You Covered With Exterior Accessories link hidden, please login to view
      A deluxe set of
      link hidden, please login to view for any vehicle can be an investment. When it comes to link hidden, please login to view, the choices, styles and brands can seem endless. But, if you delay installing robust exterior truck accessories, you may not be using your powerful vehicle to its full potential or might even be risking your safety! One of the most common truck exterior accessories is the
      link hidden, please login to view. A soft-rolling cover is the perfect stylish addition to your pickup, which helps keep rain, snow and harmful UV rays out of your truck bed and off your cargo. A hard-folding or automatically retractable tonneau cover, coupled with a locking tailgate, can deliver the security you need. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out this 2022 product review by AutoGuide.com on link hidden, please login to view, which also includes things to consider before making a purchase. Speaking of keeping items in your truck bed secure and safe, now’s a great time to install a built-in
      link hidden, please login to view. A standard link hidden, please login to view, fabricated from solid aluminum, is sealed to prevent water from seeping in. This strong, long-lasting upgrade keeps your tools easily accessible, while protecting your truck bed liner from scratches and dings.  If you are concerned about retaining as much visibility as possible out of your rear window, opt for the
      link hidden, please login to view. It still generates up to 9.5 cubic feet of storage space, and incorporates lockable paddle handles so all of your tools stay right where you left them. If a toolbox behind your cab isn’t accessible enough, or the contractor in your life requires multiple truck bed toolboxes, our experts recommend our full line of link hidden, please login to view.   Outfit Your Pickup In The Whole Winter Package link hidden, please login to view
      Personality meets protection with the most visible aftermarket truck accessory: a
      link hidden, please login to view. A grille cover creates a barrier against hard ice and broken-apart asphalt that kicks up from roadways, which have deteriorated over a long, grueling winter. A grille also promotes faster warming of your engine in cold weather. A customized grille is a great display of your truck’s personality. Take a look at the
      link hidden, please login to view, which is made of stainless steel and comes in many finishes and flame colors. This innovative product fits over your factory grille with no need for drilling or cutting. Too much? Take it down a notch, while still displaying a touch exterior, with the link hidden, please login to view. Available in a chrome finish or a black powder coat, this grille is engineered for a precise fit. Another simple, DIY exterior upgrade that any truck owner can tackle is adding on
      link hidden, please login to view. Also called mud guards, these winterized features are designed to cover the back of your tires. Mudflaps are great for preventing rocks, mud, sleet and standing water from spraying the sides of your truck and the vehicles behind you. Not only do mud flaps improve visibility and traction, they also keep your paint job in better condition and your undercarriage free of dents. This protection product is typically sold in pairs, and is often made of rubber with optional steel accents.  For many truck owners out on the road, the improvements and replacements performed on their vehicle is never ending, and always exciting. Winter is a great season to shop for truck accessories, from
      link hidden, please login to view to link hidden, please login to view. And when you shop on link hidden, please login to view, all direct shipping to your door is free! The post
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    • By RockAuto
      Get up to $100 in instant savings.View on RockAuto.com
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    • By Counterman
      Mevotech announced the introduction of more than 100 new part numbers.
      Mevotech is known for its innovative driveline, steering, suspension and wheel-end repair solutions.
      With a focus on engineered and first-to-market solutions, Mevotech’s latest part numbers include patented technologies, engineered upgrades and Labor Saver advantages. Built for high durability and performance that professional technicians can count on, these parts cover a range of domestic and import passenger vehicles, pickup trucks and SUVs up to model-year 2022, according to the company.  
      Highlights from the new release include:
      link hidden, please login to view Patented, greaseable and self-lubricating sintered Dynamic Control Bearing optimizes service life and increases durability. Enhanced housing forging on the housing improves assembly strength. Repel-TEK anti-corrosion coated hardware makes installation quick and easy. link hidden, please login to view Greaseable, self-lubricating sintered bearings replace OE-style plastic bearings for better durability. Patented locking dust boot seals out road contaminants. Improved forging profile enhances assembly strength. link hidden, please login to view Greaseable, self-lubricating sintered bearings replace OE-style plastic for increased durability. Control-arm body is converted to solid forging around the ball joint for improved retention and assembly strength. Anti-corrosion coated hardware is in the box for a quick and complete install. link hidden, please login to view Greaseable, self-lubricating sintered bearings replace OE-style plastic for increased durability. Improved forging profile boosts assembly strength. Anti-corrosion coated hardware included and a larger wrench flat allows for a quick and easier install. Additional applications:
      2022-2021 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV 2022-2021 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe 2022-2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL New Wheel-End Repair Solutions
      27 New Hub Solutions
      link hidden, please login to view For more information, visit the Mevotech
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