One of the many annoying little things wrong with my '95 Aurora is the left rear tire is a little low but I can't air it up since I can't get the valve cap off. It's a hexagonal metal cap and I can't even get it to budge when I hold the stem with a pair of pliers and try to turn it with a wrench. Any suggestions?
I'm sure a small 1/4 inch drive socket would fit . I like 1/4 inch, as I've got a bizarre assortment that eventually fits anything .
I've tried a socket wrench but haven't had any luck. I finally took that wheel off the car yesterday and replaced it with my one remaining good tire that's mounted on the chrome rims I got from the junk yard a few years ago. At least I can drive the car again now that the weather's cooled off. Maybe with the wheel off the car I can get a better angle on it and get that cap off of there and put some air in the tire. If I get it off, I intend to fling it as far away from the car as I can.
If all else fails, cut a slit down the long way with a Dremel Tool and a cut off wheel . don't worry about nicking valve stem threads, the damage is usually minimal, if careful . After cutting a slit, plenty of room for oil . Wrench will still fit .
Post by 99for200bucks on Mar 12, 2017 14:15:43 GMT -6
Take it to a tire store and have them rip the stem off which will automatically fully deflate it (they have tool for this), break the bead, pull out the stem nub that falls into the tire, slip in new stem and pull it up into the hole with their tool and re-inflate. If they keep the tire in same spot on rim, shouldn't need re-balancing. If they charge more then 10 bucks yur getting screwed over.
If you spend more than another 20 minutes messing with it, you've just spent 10 bucks worth of your time. My time, to me, is worth 30 an hour.
99 Aurora. Cracked block? 4.6 swap ongoing. 94 Cavalier. 30k on new 2.2 eng/clutch. Sold! 85 Bronco. 351W 4bbl. Bad fuel pmp/rear diff bearings? Diff heats up and howls loudly. 84 Riviera. My daily driver. Olds 307 w/5A heads. Q-jet W/air door & metering rod modifications. Runs great. 68 Barracuda notchback w/318. 4bbl thermoquad and Edlebrock performer modifications. Bad trans no 3rd/rev. 340 mopar standard bore block & many choice parts in the garage awaiting funds for Cuda.
The valve stem issue has been vexing indeed. Back in mid-December, I noticed the right rear tire was a little slack and when I went to put air in it, that cap also was stuck solid. I finally got the right rear cap off today with a Dremel tool, going through four cutoff discs in the process. They kept wringing off at the center and flying into oblivion. I managed to take a little chunk out of the brass end of the valve stem, which was just enough that my big air compressor wouldn't make a good seal. Fortunately, my little 12-volt compressor has a connector with a locking lever like a bicycle pump and after a little wiggling, it worked just fine. About 10 minutes later, the tire was up to 35 pounds and I was able to drive the car today for the first time in almost five months. The wheel that goes on the left rear still needs the same treatment and will get it shortly, once I finish grading papers and post final semester grades.
So I cut the stuck valve cap off the second tire today and like the first one, I managed to notch the end of the valve stem sufficiently that I couldn't inflate the tire with my big compressor but the 12-volt mini compressor once again did its job. I also figured out a novel repair or workaround--call it what you will--to make the damaged valve stems easier to inflate with a regular compressor. Earlier this week, I had a flashback to when I was a kid and remembered that back then, cars often came with little extender caps that allowed better access to the valve stem when there was a big hubcap in place. They also had a pass-through design that allowed one to check the pressure and inflate the tires without removing the cap. You don't see these things much anymore, but I figured it was worth a few minutes' searching on eBay and sure enough I found some pretty cheap, about 45 cents each for a lot of 20 NOS vintage plastic ones, including shipping. Ironically, I could have gotten some even cheaper from overseas but they were metal. Amazing that plastic ones would be more expensive than the metal ones. They'll arrive the middle of next week and I'll give them a test fitting. If they stick out too far and look stupid, I'll just leave a couple in the ashtray to use when checking or inflating those rear tires. In the meantime, I did manage to scrounge up four plastic valve caps out of my toolboxes to put on the Aurora's tires. As much as I like the look of the metal ones, I'm cured of using them again.