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Refinishing/restoring the stock JH wheels  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: 08-26-2015 07:52 pm
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answerman
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Who has had luck refinishing/cleaning up the stock JH alloy wheels? 

I have a total of 13 of them now due to various parts car purchases, and I am ready to experiment.  From what I've read, they are a magnesium alloy which is not the easiest to work with. 

I would like to remove all the paint and clear coat, remove the blemishes and get them to shine, and then repaint the black (I'm trying very hard to keep Ms. Jenavieve as faithful to factory as possible, so I don't want to go the Panasport route). I've tried wheel cleaner, emery paper, polishing compound, and a couple of other things on the "bare" parts with middling success.  The next step is probably bead blasting, but I was curious what other peoples' experience has been and what worked for you.

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 Posted: 08-27-2015 08:32 pm
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dwalls1
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I tried different things on my own, but what I received from http://www.wheelcollision.com was absolutely the best and renders any other effort moot. Check out their site. $600.00 exchange sounds pricey, but, believe me it isn't. Their redone wheels look new and are better quality than new.

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 Posted: 08-27-2015 08:43 pm
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answerman
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Yeah, I looked at their site (the price has gone up to $160 per wheel with exchange now).  It's a possibility, though I want to try some other ideas first especially since I have so many spare wheels to work with.  I dropped off one today to be bead blasted as an experiment, we'll see how that looks when it's done.

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 Posted: 08-27-2015 08:55 pm
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dwalls1
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That sure is $10.00 more per wheel. Still worth it in my opinion, but you know what they say about opinions.

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 Posted: 09-03-2015 11:16 pm
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Tom Bradley
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I got curious and did some experimenting on one of my spare wheels. What I found was that I had to start with 400 grit sandpaper to get the bare parts smooth without spending outrageous amounts of time. Then going to 800 grit wet/dry (done wet) made a pretty good surface. The original finish was never mirror-smooth, so stopping here might look fairly original. I also went over portions with 1500 and 2000 grit w/d. The 1500 grit also looked good. After the 2000 grit it was definitely shinier than what I remember, but maybe that is good.

If you have a spinning pedestal like a wheel polishing shop has, most of it might go fairly fast. But the bare spots between the black squares I had to smooth out by going in and out radially because the surface was pretty uneven in that direction. Doing that part seems like a lot of work, but the result is probably better than any sort of sand blasting, even with very fine sand. Paying $160/wheel does not sound that bad, considering. Depends on how they do. I would like to see a close-up pic (especially of the spots between the squares) if anyone has one. But there is the satisfaction of being able to say that you did it yourself, which I always like.

Last edited on 09-03-2015 11:17 pm by Tom Bradley

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 Posted: 09-04-2015 02:33 am
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Jensen Healey
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That's what I did, Tom. After the 2000 wet sanding an application of Mothers Aluminum Wheel polish really makes them shine!

Jack up the rear of the car, cut off the valve stem, and start the car. Let it idle in first gear. Shade tree polishing stand! Get new tires when finished.

Check the lug nut holes for wear, I have some wheels that are so worn they will have to be recycled.

Kurt

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 Posted: 09-04-2015 04:27 pm
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answerman
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Got the blasted one back yesterday, it's nice and clean but not remotely polished at this point. Now, I'm working on a solution... will update when I have more info. A teaser: Jensen ownership is the mother of invention :-)

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 Posted: 09-07-2015 01:59 am
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Art DeKneef
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Depending on what they used to blast with will determine the surface smoothness. Obviously the finer the material the smoother the finish. If they didn't do it this time ask them about using crushed glass. The glass will remove the paint but doesn't really do anything to rust. Other abrasive material attacks both the paint and rust.

I experimented with a couple of mine and got smoother texture using the glass than the 80-grit abrasive. And using sandpaper 400 grit and finer will smooth and polish the ribs just fine.

The hard part in my opinion is in painting the wheel. Either you spend a lot of time taping off the ribs or using a water soluble solution you paint on the ribs and can wash off. Slow, tedious work.

Last edited on 09-07-2015 02:02 am by Art DeKneef

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 Posted: 09-08-2015 09:25 pm
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answerman
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Wheels are scrubbed clean, polished, and the black accents have been repainted. I had to "invent" a machine (which I alluded to above). A used treadmill, the serpentine belt from my old truck, a rotor and bearings from one of my donor cars, and some miscellaneous hardware.

Full details (since I assume I can't embed a video here) can be found at http://www.msjenavieve.com/?p=294

Art, I didn't even bother with masking anything to repaint. I just did it all by hand with a small brush. I didn't completely replicate the original look since I think the slots look better if they are actually visible, so all I did was the center, the "roulette wheel" cutouts, and the two recessed rings... a before and after shot here:

Last edited on 09-08-2015 09:26 pm by answerman

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 Posted: 09-13-2015 02:36 am
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Tom Bradley
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Nice job. I like your variation with more polished metal. More work but looks better. I also liked your rotating machine. Much better than using the JH engine to do the rotating. Too much exhaust fumes that way.

I think the way the original manufacturer did the painting was to spray paint the entire wheel and then sand the paint off the raised surfaces, which is faster and less expensive in production.

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 Posted: 09-14-2015 02:48 am
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Art DeKneef
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Tom, that makes too much sense. That would be the easiest way to do the rims.

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 Posted: 12-23-2016 04:35 am
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dbeliveau74
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I think the silver spokes look better than the black.
I just refinished my Stag wheels and they came out similar
see JHPS newsletter for article.
Then I used Shark hide from Eastwood to protect the finish.
cheers,
Dan

Attachment: Wheel_polished (500 x 375).jpg (Downloaded 97 times)

Last edited on 12-23-2016 04:43 am by dbeliveau74

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 Posted: 12-24-2016 01:16 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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Do Stag rims fit a JH ?? and if so are they 13 or 14 inch.
Brett

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 Posted: 12-25-2016 07:14 am
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Frank Schwartz
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Mr. Answerman:

I watched your video and your machine you made is ingenious indeed... I do have a question...that is, how did you clean the center spokes, as I would think the wheel lugs would knock your fingers off......

Frank

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 Posted: 12-26-2016 09:53 pm
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dbeliveau74
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The Stag wheels are 14 inch, 5.5 inch wide, with a 1 inch or 28 mm positive offset and a PDA (wheel bolt circle of 4.5 inches or 114.3mm. the Jensen has about 18mm to 20 mm positive offset and a 4 inch or 101.6mm PDA

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 Posted: 12-30-2016 05:12 pm
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answerman
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Hi Frank! Actually, in the areas I was concerned about losing a finger, I wrapped the sandpaper around a wood stick to hold it in place. The center spokes were pretty much just done by hand, not on the machine.

Good to see you're already signed up for Jensen East in Vermont... looking forward to see you there!

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 Posted: 12-30-2016 11:46 pm
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Frank Schwartz
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Yes, It is 1K miles and I think we can make it without too much trouble in one long and one short day...I enjoy the Jensen East meets so much...so many wonderful Jensen folk that I relate to...

So, providing illness does not prevent it, I plan to be on hand...maybe we can talk Jay Leno into appearing???

Best regards,
Frank

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