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The Ford Econoline Hubcap Has Hilarious Fake Lug Nuts

If you’ve seen the Ford Econoline on the road, or parked in front of a utility box so the driver can fix it, or sitting in front of your house because your toilet is clogged up, then you’ve probably noticed its wheels. They’re very sturdy-looking wheels and very substantial. They give the van a heavy-duty look you typically associate with work vehicles of this type. See the Ford Econoline models for sale near you

Only, they’re fake.

Ford has been using these "wheels" on the Econoline for ages now, and I still remember when, a couple of years ago, I discovered that they’re completely, 100 percent fake. You see, the wheels you see do indeed give the truck a burly, heavy-duty appearance; they have seven lug nuts and they have a giant cap in the middle that makes it seem like the oversized axle is so overbuilt that it’s about to poke through. But really, none of that stuff is true, and they’re all just hubcaps.

Yes, I mean it: the wheels you see in the image above are hubcaps. The lug nuts are completely fake. There’s no overbuilt axle. When you remove the hubcap from an Econoline van, you simply see a steel wheel that looks identical to every other steel wheel on every other car, truck or van in existence.

The funniest part is when you pick up one of these hubcaps. You expect it to be heavy because it’s got this nice aluminum-looking finish and there are seven lug nuts in it, but really it’s all just plastic (including the lug nuts) and it weighs the same as every other vehicle’s hubcap. It just gives the appearance of being heavy.

So why did Ford do this? The reason is obvious: Because they wanted to do everything possible to make you think the Econoline is highly capable and ready for any sort of job, and a 7-lug wheel with a giant axle certainly gives that appearance. Until you’re holding it in your hand and you realize it’s all a sham, and you can toss it like a Frisbee. Find a Ford Econline for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This author is kind of an idiot. Apparently an 8 lug e450 with a ford 10.5 rear is puny compared to the 7 lug hubcaps that were only used up to 2005. Sit the F down and be taught a little something. An e150 may have been overcompensating a bit but the second a 250 or 350 shows up you have axle shafts that weigh as much as a Honda transmission 4 wheel disc brakes and a chassis that ford is completely fine with manufacturers stretching 4 feet and attaching an ambulance body or brinks truck too. Again you sir are an ill informed pompous little man trying to make mountains out of hubcaps. A real point would have been to say how Chevy didn’t beef the express van up over the 2500 chassis other than leaf springs And how they rode on the bumpstops from the factory. Sit down shut up and pay attention to industry trends 

  2. Even funnier are the fake hex bolts I see on a lot of engine covers.  They’re just molded into the plastic and the cover is actually held on by a couple screws or sometimes just snaps.

    I’ve seen a few where it’s obvious somebody put a wrench on it at some point before realizing they were fake.
  3. Interestingly enough, they used these on the earlier Heavy Duty and Super Duty trucks which were 8 Lug wheels with 7 Lug hubcaps.  I am not sure what most econoline vans are, I would assume they are either 6 or 8 depending on the type.  Ford did have the light duty F250 in 97-98 that did have 7 lugs for whatever reason.  Also, I believe there was a version of the F150 that would get you the 7 lug axles if I am remembering correctly 

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