How to Remove Die Cast Car Wheels

Written by vincent labbate
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How to Remove Die Cast Car Wheels
(motor transport on the glass 2-18 image by DMITRY BOKOV from

Die cast model cars are great to display in plastic cases or on shelves, but these cars sometimes need to be cleaned or repaired. The wheels of die cast cars are often sensitive; so if the model is dropped, chances are the wheel might crack, thus needing repair. Dust can also accumulate on the wheels and in the wheelwells, so taking off the wheels is necessary to clean the dust out of hard to reach areas. Removing the wheels is not difficult, but it does require patience and concentration.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Small container

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    Screwed in Wheels

  1. 1

    Remove the centre hubcap of the wheel by gently pulling it off. Sometimes the hubcap is glued on and may need to be more forcefully removed while other models do not have hubcaps and the screw will be visible.

  2. 2

    Remove the one screw holding the wheel in place with a Phillips head screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Turn the car upside down. Remove the one or two screws behind the wheel that are in between the spindle or connected to the brake rotor.

    Snapped in Wheels

  1. 1

    Turn the car upside down. Be careful not to damage any body panels that might come open, such as the bonnet or boot of the car.

  2. 2

    Inspect the wheel to see if the wheel is snapped into the axle itself or held in by the rotor or another part.

  3. 3

    Pry the wheel off using a flat head screwdriver. Do not bend the wheel or it will snap the axle. Try to use a point on the model as leverage to keep the wheel as straight as possible while prying it off.

  4. 4

    Pry off any other parts that might be holding the wheel in place. For example, the wheel may not be snapped into the axle alone and will need to be removed from other parts holding the wheel in place, such as a solid or split-end spoke.

  5. 5

    Place the wheels and other parts in a small container. This will ensure that you won't lose any of the parts while cleaning or repairing the model.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a can of compressed air to clean wheels that do not have decals on them. You can also dunk the wheels in water.
  • Wear eye protection when working with model cars. The parts can snap, possibly causing eye damage.

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