• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

Explorer Center Cap Attachment?


powerplaytwo

New Member
Supporting Member
Ham Radio Operator
Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
FL
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Here are pictures of the wheel and caps. They are supposed to be 2001 Explorer, but I really don’t know as I bought them both used. The caps sit right in the center recess, but the retaining collars do not extend into the wheel area to come in contact with the lugs nuts.
I forgot to say it is a 2-wheel drive, manual tranny, 2.3L, XLT.
 


JoshT

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
2,324
Points
113
Location
Macon/Fort Valley, GA
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Thank you for your reply. The lug bolts on the truck look like those, but I still don’t see how the clips on the caps could clip on the lugs and hold, as there is about a 2” space between them.
Well if those pictures are actually of your truck and not borrowed from the internet, then this is an example of the style lug nuts you have installed.

1196_113044_activant_0.jpg


Those lug nuts do not look like these lug nuts:

...that sgtsandman posted, and not the proper type for the center cap you posted. These have a center cap retention lip that trhe cap snaps onto.

FYI/IMO the lugnuts pictured on your wheels aren't really the type of seat you want on an aluminum wheel, with a plain lug nut on an aluminum wheel you want a larger seat than those provide. What you want for aluminum is typically sold as a bulged seat, the cone section is larger and fills more of the seat in the wheel. It provides better clamping force on the wheel and less likely to damage the soft aluminum seat.

Also... Those are not the correct center caps for the wheels you have. The lug nut recess of these wheels is too deep for those caps. The correct center caps look like below and still use the style of lugnut that sgtsandman posted.

EDIT: I posted wrong center caps the first time due to missidentified wheel.

You do not have a 2001 Explorer wheel. They may have been installed on an Explorer, but they don't match any wheel used on the '01 Explorers. The picture you posted is a good match for 2001 Escape wheels, and it had the same lug pattern. Be careful about fitment on those, they have the right lug pattern, but they are actually a 15x6.5 and they have a much different offset than what should be on a Ranger. The offset will pull the tire in towards the center of the vehicle by 1 inch to 1.5 inches.

This is what your wheel and center cap should look like:

R01491743_1.jpg


These center caps use a similar lug nut to the ones that @sgtsandman posted, but I can't say if it will work with the ones that fit the Ranger. The Escape used a metric wheel stud vs satandard on the Ranger and Explorer, there is no good way to verify if the retention lip on the nut is the same size without having both lug nuts or just trying it.
 
Last edited:

powerplaytwo

New Member
Supporting Member
Ham Radio Operator
Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
FL
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Great information! Thank you for taking the time to explain all of that. Maybe the guy I bought the wheels from didn’t know the difference between an Explorer vs an Escape.
I liked the style of the center cap I bought with those wheels and they are being sold as for those wheels. Sure was confusing to me and now I am not sure what I am going to do.
Thank you so much for all the help guys.
 

powerplaytwo

New Member
Supporting Member
Ham Radio Operator
Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
FL
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
The factory lug nuts should look like this. The center cap should clip onto them.

I have been looking on line for these and am having a difficult time finding a set. I made the mistake of buying ”one” for $17.00 thinking that it was one “set”! So, does anybody know where I can find them at a reasonable price like a few bucks a piece. It seem everyone on line, eBay, sells 1 for a ridiculous price. I have already gone to the local junkyard and found one out of several hundred that I search through.
Thank you.
 

powerplaytwo

New Member
Supporting Member
Ham Radio Operator
Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
FL
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Wow! You in a matter of minutes showed me how weak my searching has been! Thank you very much.
 

pjtoledo

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
5,594
Reaction score
3,212
Points
113
Location
Toledo Ohio
Vehicle Year
20002005199
Make / Model
Fords
Engine Size
3.0 2.3
friendly FYI, those nuts can also be found on some Crown Vics. usually with the steelie wheels and cheap caps.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

Forum Staff Member
TRS Forum Moderator
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
14,211
Reaction score
5,463
Points
113
Location
Calgary, Canada
Vehicle Year
'91, '80, '06
Make / Model
Ford, GMC,Dodge
Engine Size
4.0,4.0,5.7
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD

JoshT

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
2,324
Points
113
Location
Macon/Fort Valley, GA
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I made the mistake of buying ”one” for $17.00 thinking that it was one “set”!
Ouch! I hate people that list stuff like that.

Even if you don't manage to get the clearance ones, that site also sells them in 10 packs @ 79¢ each. Not quite as good, but not terrible. Figure on adding around $10 for shipping through RockAuto, at least thats what it usually is for me.

If you don't like ordering online your local store will likely have them for around $4 each, but might have to order to get quantity you need.
 

powerplaytwo

New Member
Supporting Member
Ham Radio Operator
Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
FL
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Thanks everyone! You all have been very helpful. I ordered them from RockAuto at the $.51. They have shipped and should be here next Wed.
 

don4331

Well-Known Member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
2,072
Reaction score
1,459
Points
113
Location
Calgary, AB
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.3
Transmission
Automatic
To the Mods, this thread should be moved to the wheel/tire section. :)

@powerplaytwo: You may put the '01 Escape rims on you '97 Ranger and have the caps fit. You don't need the fancy lugnuts, you need spacers.
If you buy the correct spacers (5x4.5 pattern, 30mm thick and 67.1mm center bore(2.531")), they will a. clear the center caps, and b. they will 'push' the rims out so the centerline is where it is supposed to be (reversing @JoshT 's concern that the Escape rims are 'pulling' the centerline in.​
It isn't as important on the rear if the centerline is moved, but on the front, Ford designed the steering so the kingpin inclination axis met with the center of the tire. That way, when you steer your Ranger the tire rotates about its center (easy steering). If the axis is off, e.g. with Escape rims, when you turn the tire, you have to move the tire ahead/back in addition to turning it. (You would really notice it if you had manual steering).

If you've decided on other rims, feel free to ignore me :cool:
 

JoshT

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
2,324
Points
113
Location
Macon/Fort Valley, GA
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
You don't need the fancy lugnuts, you need spacers.
Except that the Escape center cap clips to the lug nuts, so the fancy lugnuts are needed. Right?

The start of his problem was that the Explorer caps don't physically fit the Escape wheels. They may fit the face of the wheel, but they aren't deep enough to latch on the lug nuts.

Good catch on the bore size, I didn't catch that. Wasn't concerned about the offset, just noting that it should be taken into account.
 

powerplaytwo

New Member
Supporting Member
Ham Radio Operator
Joined
Apr 17, 2024
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Points
3
Location
FL
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
To the Mods, this thread should be moved to the wheel/tire section. :)

@powerplaytwo: You may put the '01 Escape rims on you '97 Ranger and have the caps fit. You don't need the fancy lugnuts, you need spacers.
If you buy the correct spacers (5x4.5 pattern, 30mm thick and 67.1mm center bore(2.531")), they will a. clear the center caps, and b. they will 'push' the rims out so the centerline is where it is supposed to be (reversing @JoshT 's concern that the Escape rims are 'pulling' the centerline in.​
It isn't as important on the rear if the centerline is moved, but on the front, Ford designed the steering so the kingpin inclination axis met with the center of the tire. That way, when you steer your Ranger the tire rotates about its center (easy steering). If the axis is off, e.g. with Escape rims, when you turn the tire, you have to move the tire ahead/back in addition to turning it. (You would really notice it if you had manual steering).

If you've decided on other rims, feel free to ignore me :cool:
Thanks for the info on the spacers, but the existing studs won’t be long enough to get the nuts on after putting the spacer in there. I think I would have to replace all of the studs with 30mm longer studs.
 

don4331

Well-Known Member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
2,072
Reaction score
1,459
Points
113
Location
Calgary, AB
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.3
Transmission
Automatic
@JoshT : You may be correct that you need 12 (3 for each wheel fancy nuts) for the covers. We sold the Escape a couple years back and my memory isn't what it used to be.

@powerplaytwo : Spacers bolt to your existing studs, then have their own studs to mount your rims on, see below.
1718454372135.png

The challenge will be getting hub centric ones with the small Escape center bore. And you have to be real careful about the ones you get - newer Escapes change to the 5x4.25 (108mm) bolt pattern.
 

JoshT

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
4,270
Reaction score
2,324
Points
113
Location
Macon/Fort Valley, GA
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
@don4331 the 2001 Escape that those wheels are from were 5x4.5 bolt pattern.

He won't need to worry about "hubcentric" spacers, just get spacers without the raised lip that center the wheel. He'll be running the wheels as lugcentric which won't be a problem. Being hubcentric is a lot more important for wheels that have a flat lug seat like on my old F-250.
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Staff online

Today's birthdays

Member & Vendor Upgrades

For a small yearly donation, you can support this forum and receive a 'Supporting Member' banner, or become a 'Supporting Vendor' and promote your products here. Click the banner to find out how.

Latest posts

Truck of The Month


TexasDuck66
July Truck of The Month

Recently Featured

Want to see your truck here? Share your photos and details in the forum.

Follow TRS On Instagram

TRS Events

25th Anniversary Sponsors

Check Out The TRS Store


Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Sponsored Ad


Amazon Deals

Top