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Are the Gen1 honeycomb wheels aluminum?

1155 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Ruh-Roh
I was wondering if the OEM gen 1 wheels are aluminum and if anyone has a source for center caps. The outer edge looks like polished aluminum
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I believe they are some kind of aluminum alloy(no steel) that the paint does kind of flake off and corrode after a time,especially when stored wet against the steel rotor/hub.My set does need some touchup work,leveling, and repainting which I plan to do someday..right now they are stored dry in a shed.They can get stuck on the wheels ,due to swelling of the mount surface paint around the edges of the center hub area requiring and need a bit of careful 2x4/hammer persuasion to "let go".
The plastic hubs are supposed to have a bowtie plastic plate on top that is held on over two small pegs and adhesive.The plasitc caps are obsolete and hard to find..or someone is hoarding them.I've tried to find some over the last 4-5 months but pretty much gave up and plan on maybe making my own caps on an old metal lathe I have.I do see some bowtie center plates on ebay but I'm not sure they are the same size.
The caps fit on with a small raised ring about 1/2" down inside the metal center and easily I lost two of mine over the years,right in the yard.
There has been a person on craigslist here in Seattle trying to sell a set off them that have only two caps(won't sell the two caps separate..I tried to offer about $50,even though his entire set of four wheels and two caps was about $125..then $100..last I saw was about $75-80..then sold?.. but they don't seem any better than what I already have,therefore I passed on them.
The rims are being restored and some dealer has them(doesn't have mine) on the net for around $150-168 each..without the caps. They are also asking for "restorable" rims to restore..(at their opinion..or they will mail them back).What exact condition they have to be in,I don't know.
How much are they really worth?I can't say,I've never found them as "sold"..
Take note..these are a bear to keep clean with all the small holes/indents in them that most hardly fit a prepared with a lot of work doing that unless you live in LA or somewhere bone dry and dirtless.
Without the caps to seal the front hubs and centers..they do rust out your center hub bolt/nut..and can do damage to maybe the bearings also. I had one cap on the front and one without one for a while,when two were stolen.I do need to pull the rotor/hub off and see if the one that was off is okay on the bearings inside.
Repainting..will take some real fine cleanup work(Ajax and a toothbrush.??hopefully.) and the stripe will probably have to be handpainted back on..or eliminate the contrasting black stripe .Would the other wider "5 lug" caps look okay?I haven't tried that.
Would I BUY another set?..No.I kept these only because they are original to my 1990 AWD EX CL(original first Gen,first year XT and AWD..first year for those rims?).. and they now have another set of studded tires on them already..and I have plenty of time to restore them or store them until I have the time..
I've only seen the one other set that are within 10 miles or so of me ever for sale.The caps are too easy to steal and don't exist.
Interested in a set somewhere?Get pictures of the backsides also!

JMHO of course...Pics..
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