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Installing Impostor Wheelskins with Perimeter Rim Clips
Wheelskins are really very easy to mount, and your installation will take
less time than it will take you to read these directions. We have
attempted to be very complete here so you will have no question about how to do
These directions apply to Impostor Wheelskins whose back sides look like the pictures below, with steel clips arranged around the perimeter of the wheel, indicated by the yellow stars.
Impostor Wheelskins utilize a unique and efficient perimeter clip retention system. When you pull your new Impostor hubcaps out of the box, you will see the series of six or eight spring steel clips around the perimeter. These clips secure the wheel cover to the rim, and are very similar to the clips on wheel weights. Please do not attempt to pound or force the hubcap onto the rim. This may bend the clips and cause them to either be unmountable or mount loosely. Proper installation should not require significant force, if you follow the instructions below.
Your steel rims may be rusted or discolored. For a professional-looking job, you may want to use some inexpensive spray paint on those areas of the steel wheel that may be seen through the openings of the hubcap. If you paint, do it before you install the hubcaps, and give them adequate time to dry. We have found flat black to generally looks the best behind chrome or silver wheel covers, but gray or silver paint may also be suitable to your taste.
Wheelskins are designed so you DO NOT Need to Remove most wheel weights or center caps; Wheelskins are designed to mount over them.
EXCEPT if the wheel weights are so large they protrude beyond a line across the wheel or into the space of the holes between the spokes. Several states have banned Lead wheel weights, this has resulted in larger thicker zinc or steel weights becoming more common. If this is the case, you can have your wheels balanced with all the weights on the inside of the wheel, or you could get two smaller weights to replace one larger weight.
Most Wheelskins designs include a notch for the valve stem, some do not.
If there is an overlap, place the tip of a flat blade screwdriver against the steel clip of the wheel weight, and tap tangentially to move it in the direction that will leave it clear of the hubcap clip with the least amount of total movement. This movement, usually less than 1/2 inch, will cause minimal change in wheel balance. If the wheel weight loosens, tap it back on tight. If you choose to remove the wheel weight, this may cause imbalance and uneven tire wear.
In this picture, the wheel weight started out by the yellow 'A'. We moved it to the right by the yellow 'B' so it would allow the hubcap clip, at the red 'C', clear access to engage the rim.
Now, with the rim perimeter clear for the clips to engage, hold the hubcap in the correct alignment.
Position the mouth of the lowest clip, the one that is closest to the ground and hardest to see, against the bottom edge of the rim.
Hold the hubcap aligned with one hand, and with the other hand over that lowest clip, push the hubcap against the rim, while at the same time pushing inward toward the axle (center of the rim).
The clip should slide on and engage the rim edge. It may go easier if you tap the hubcap with the heel of your hand or lightly with a rubber mallet.
Repeat this step with the next clips on either side of the first one. Side to side, moving up around the rim. Pay attention to each one and they will go on fine.
Before pushing it on, ensure that each clip is positioned with its mouth on the edge of the rim so it will slide on easily. You may need to use your screw driver as described below.
After 2 or 3 lower clips have been engaged, the hubcap will hold itself in place while you work on the rest.
Often, the last clips need some help to open onto the rim edge properly.
We use the blade of a medium size flat screw driver, about 1/4" to 3/8" wide, inserted into the hole of the clip.
Insert the screw driver into the slot of the mounting clip and GENTLY lever the clip mouth open, just barely enough so that it can slide over the edge of the wheel rim.
In this picture, the installer is using his screwdriver to ease the mouth of the clip onto the edge of the rim.
Do not use so much force that you cause a permanent bend of the clip, which will reduce its holding power.
Use just enough leverage so you can push the clip on easily with the non-screw driver hand, or with a light tap of the rubber mallet.
The last (top) clip is the most critical. This is why we start at the bottom. We want to see clearly what we are doing with this last clip.
Since all the other clips have already been fully installed, this last one needs to be opened the furthest to engage.
This picture shows how we want the clip mouth to open out to just barely slide over the edge of the rim.
Then we can tap it easily into place.
That's it! Not hard at all!
Our installers can put a set of 4 Impostors on a car in about 4 minutes.
We think you can do it your first time in less than 15!
While you are installing your new Impostor hubcaps, this is
a good time to take a moment and check your tires for wear and proper inflation.
Avoid being stuck on the side of the road with a tire problem with a little
preventive maintenance. The link below provides good basic information
that will help you do it right. Rubber Manufacturer's Association - Tire Maintenance
Removing WheelSkins with perimeter clips is nearly the same as removing standard hubcaps and wheel covers. Use a medium flat-blade screwdriver, slide it under the edge of the wheelskin near each clip, and lever gently. Move clip to clip around the perimeter of the hubcap, and after 3 or 4 have come off, you should be able to grab the wheelskin and slide the remainder off easily with a bit of a "twist of the wrist". This action is similar to opening a can of paint. There is no trick to this, just use common sense and do not force them. Wheelskins can take a fair amount of bending, but they can break if you push them too far.