I am refurbishing a Radio Flyer wagon and need to remove the hub caps holding the wheels on. As shown in the picture, they appear to be the kind you push on and the two fingers bite into the axle.
How do I remove them so I can re-use them?
In my experience it's pretty hard to remove then without breaking the plastic. Most hardware stores sell very economical replacements that are pretty hard to tell from the originals.
The metal insert will probably stay on the axle when you try to remove the cap. you'll be left with the outter plastic in your hand which will do you no real good as the metal Grip part will still be a bear to remove with out breakage.
See if you can find a U shaped tool used to remove GM (50's, 60's maybe later) door and window handles or make one that will slip behind both metal and plastic cap and pry them off ever so carefully. The tool will need some beam strength, so make it narrow and fold a small lip along each side.
Thank you. I knew I could count on a number of good ideas.
If you're careful, you can probably remove them intact.
Otherwise, go directly to radioflyer.com
Can I reuse the hubcaps?
Radio Flyer hubcaps are designed to remain secure once they are applied. Therefore, removing the hubcap would destroy its function. If you need replacements, please visit our Replacement Parts section, or call us at 1-800-621-7613.
Can we purchase directly from Radio Flyer?
Yes! Most products are available for purchase direct from RadioFlyer.com.
For example, hubcaps are $1.00 each for the classic red wagon:
It will probably be difficult to find original replacements. I would advise against prying on the cap itself. You are sure to break the plastic, however, if you can tap or carefully pry on the backside of the wheel so that the uniform pressure of the front of the wheel pushes against the cap all around, it might pop it off so you can salvage it. If you get one wheel off, you can probably slide the axle out from the other side and can remove the other wheel by sliding a pipe over the axle and tapping the backside of the other wheel so that it pops off the hub. Good luck. Jim Patrick
A Radio Flyer with plastic hubcaps isn't exactly a valuable collectors item. I wouldn't get excited if the replacements aren't exact matches.
Per my post above, if he can't pry off the originals intact he can buy the hubcaps directly from Radio Flyer.
Also - on this page is a hubcap removal demo video - note that the plastic cap is easily removed so it is possible to salvage the plastic part. If the underlying nut can't be salvaged by prying it off (instead of breaking the tabs as shown in the video), a new nut can probably be taken from the new cap and installed in the old cap.
There's also a corresponding PDF
I don't know why they would be so hard to get off...my wheels would fall off every time we would race our wagon down a hill!
Could you hacksaw the axle, slide the wheels out , then reassemble and weld or sleeve the axle?
It isn't complicated. The hubcaps are readily available.
I just came in from the garage.
I happened to notice that my metal Scotts drop spreader has the exact same axle caps except they are black. They're also used on tricycles.
Thank you all. My wagon is a bit older than the one in the Helpful-hints. My wheels have metal rims. Turns out the plastic hub cap is held on the clip by a shallow groove at the edge and can be prized off with little damage. I used a small screwdriver to bend the fingers on the clip enough that I could "unscrew" the clip and remove it. Now to order replacements from Radio Flyer.