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Original Wheels  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 03-24-2006 04:34 pm
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Jay
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Does anyone have suggestion related to refinishing the original aluminum wheels. The paint is comeing off and I would like to remove all the paint and repaint the black areas to restore the original look. What sort of paint remover can be uesd on the aluminum without damage of tarnishing? I would also like to clean the machined areas of the aluminum with some non-abrasive method to retain the original tooling marks. The other route would be to sand and polish the machined areas to a high gloss. Any thoughts out there? Thanks.

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 Posted: 03-24-2006 05:35 pm
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Mitch Ware
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Aircraft remover works as well as anything in removing paint from aluminum.

 

Mitch Ware

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 Posted: 03-25-2006 02:33 am
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Art DeKneef
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Hey Mitch, are you sure paint remover is OK? I had a couple of people tell me not to use any kind of chemical stripper on aluminum. Something about the composition of the metal and reaction to the chemical stripper. Is that how you did yours? They recommended blasting with something  that I don't remember the name.

Art

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 Posted: 03-25-2006 03:28 am
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jdean
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I work with AC.  We use MEK a lot for spot cleaning of bare aluminum before priming and painting and the commercial painters chemical strip the entire AC, but I have no clue what it is they use.  I can vouch for MEK (it is an acetone replacement).  It is non-reactive with aluminum.

 

Joey

 

ps:  that is pronounced em--ee-kay.  As in Methyl-Ethyl-Ketone.

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 Posted: 03-25-2006 02:28 pm
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Jensen Healey
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I used brake fluid on my wheels.

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 Posted: 03-25-2006 07:04 pm
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Mitch Ware
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I'll check my can of aircraft remover when I get to work on monday and see. But I believe that it was made to use on aluminum.

I had my wheels bead blast, which left a bit of a rough surface. If a chemical stripper is used (that is compatible with aluminum) then your ahead of the sanding/smoothing game.

 

Mitch Ware

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 Posted: 03-25-2006 07:50 pm
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Art DeKneef
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That's good to know. I was planning on cleaning my wheels and was wondering which way I was going to go. Maybe I'll try an find some of that aluminum safe stripper. Of course, just taking them to be bead blasted and picking them up when done, is probably the easiest way to go. Hmmm. Thanks.

Art

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 Posted: 03-27-2006 01:25 pm
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Rory Clark
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Don't do the Bead Blaster you will totally loose the polished look. 

Got talked into it and was totally disapointed. When done I had to take them to my Powder coat guy. The wheels now look great But they are not factory anymore. 

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 Posted: 03-27-2006 02:38 pm
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Mitch Ware
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Just checked my can of Aircraft Remover, and it says "safe for use on all common metals". I assumed aluminum is a common metal.

 

Mitch Ware

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 Posted: 03-27-2006 03:18 pm
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pc
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Q: Is Aircraft Stripper compatible with aluminum?

 

Hint: Airplanes are usually made of aluminum...

 

 

PC.

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 Posted: 10-10-2006 02:04 am
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chrisl
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Hi Jay

Did you go ahead with strippimg off the paint and cleaning your wheels?

I've got a similar problem and want to restore mine, just trying to find out the best way to go. Did MEK work?

Chris L

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 Posted: 10-10-2006 12:59 pm
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Judson Manning
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The wheels are made from a magnesium alloy.

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 Posted: 10-10-2006 02:05 pm
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colinw59
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On 15851 I kept my OEM rims, but I've not used them (except for the spare that's bagged and is out of sight) as I think they're fugly. I was going to media blast, paint them black and then have them re-turned to match the factory look. But the cost was around $125/rim. Instead I purchased 4 x Superlites for just over $600, which in my opinion look better for the $100 more I paid.  

http://jhppg.com/gallery/74-Jensen-Healey-15851/2006_0509_3

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 Posted: 10-11-2006 12:30 am
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chrisl
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Thanks Colin

The Superlites look great.

Restoration feedback from others about the old wheels is to strip off the old paint, repaint and then turn as advised by you. I agree that the original wheels aren't the most attractive look, guess I'm going to see if I can keep it all as original as  possible.

By the by, I acquired my JH Mk1 (11327) in March this year, it was one of only 51 Mk 1s sold new in Australia. It runs very well, in almost original condition. I am slowly working my way around what's needed for a top to tail restoration (ie lots of $$). The bug is really starting to bite, but I am wondering who those small people are who live in my house... They mutter something about 'family' and 'children'. Pests.

Will post some pics of the restored wheels when I get it done.

Chris L

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 Posted: 06-04-2007 12:37 am
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timeforwalkies
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I just tried some Green's MC SEMI-PASTE paint varnish lacquer remover.
Worked fine on the large surfaces but took a second coat on the radial small surfaces and little retangular holes.
Says on the can: "Do not use on linoleum, asphalt tile, plastic surfaces or fiberglas."  No mention of aluminum or any other metals.
I did considerable paint removal in one of my first jobs about 40 years ago.  We used some of the most nasty stuff you could imagine (probably banned today) on aluminum chassis panels with no effect on the aluminum.  I did rinse it right away so maybe if you leave it on for a couple of days it would be a problem.  Never did that.
If you are concerned, experiment on several areas of a damaged wheel.
Hope this helps.
My question for you is:  How are you planning to paint the little retangular holes....by hand?
My second question for the general poplulation:  has anybody tried an anodize?
Clif

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 Posted: 06-04-2007 09:45 pm
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Tom Thomson
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Many blasting shops offer an alternative to sand or glass bead when it comes to removing paint from aluminum.  It is baking soda.  The blaster in Seymour In. buys it by the pallet for use on aircraft panels.

                                                 Tom 13753

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 Posted: 07-25-2007 04:43 pm
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timeforwalkies
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Well I tried the Soda Blast process on one wheel.  I am not sure if it was the blaster or what but the wheel look like crap now plus it took about 40 minutes to do one at a cost of $80.00.  The soda is a very fine and very abrasive material.  So it works great on removing paint from steel or any other surface, but will also remove layers of aluminum as well.
I would not recomment this process.
Also if you are considering this process for removing rust, it will remove heavy rust, but not surface rust, so you might as well get out the grinder or sand blaster.

As a side note, I ended up going with a set of 15 inch Surperlites from Pack Racing Products, and set of 205-50 Michelin Exaltos PE2's.  I did end up exchanging the 195/60s because the fronts were so close to the lower edge of the fender in a lock position.  Thanks to the guys at America's Tire for not charging me for the re-mount and re-balance.  The great thing about Pack Racing is that they bore what ever bolt patter you want on a CNC.  These tires look massive compared to the 185-70s, but until Huffaker gets the 2.2 in the car I won't be doing much driving.  Should be a couple of weeks.

OK, so I ended up at about $1200.00 for wheels and tires.  I figure, with what goes into a 2.2 conversion, why scrimp with what gets that power to the pavement.

Last edited on 08-01-2007 02:22 am by timeforwalkies

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 Posted: 04-19-2008 09:48 pm
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dwalls1
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Just started the preliminary procrastination on redoing my wheels. Was hoping for a chemical cure that would take off the yellowed laquer, but leave the black. I did sneak the wife's Dremmel tool out to the garage while she was watching American Idol and am prepared to go that route if I can get the right gadget to put on it. Just what is a #501? IMHO the stock wheels are very distinctive and worth the effort and look no worse than the sea of wire and fat spokes that are about. Take care all. Dale

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