North American Turbocoupe Organization



Restoring wheels
ABird Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hello, I've looked at some of the old posts on the subject.  Any thoughts on restoring the original snowflakes now.  Below is the second set of wheels that are cleaned with a power washer and 2 wheels that are on the car.  Thanks.


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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#2
Well, from what I remember when I stripped one years ago, it is usually the clear coat that goes bad and generally the painted areas in the recessed areas is good. Eastwood had some good wheel restoration paints available. If you have to redo the painted areas you would either have to blast off the paint or chem strip it, and start over, then clear coat over everything. The trickiest part about clearing them is the bare aluminum starts to oxidize fairly quick so it has to be cleared pretty soon after a good cleaning to get the same uniform look to it. Start with your worse one and try some procedures. keep us informed of what you find that works as it's a good project.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 3 Speed, slow and low
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#3
(06-10-2020, 12:51 PM)Kuch Wrote: Well, from what I remember when I stripped one years ago, it is usually the clear coat that goes bad and generally the painted areas in the recessed areas is good. Eastwood had some good wheel restoration paints available. If you have to redo the painted areas you would either have to blast off the paint or chem strip it, and start over, then clear coat over everything. The trickiest part about clearing them is the bare aluminum starts to oxidize fairly quick so it has to be cleared pretty soon after a good cleaning to get the same uniform look to it. Start with your worse one and try some procedures. keep us informed of what you find that works as it's a good project.


In April I drove the 250+ miles to Las Vegas to pick up a set of snowflake rims I bought on eBay. It was Local Pickup Only, he only wanted $100 and my wife had never been to Vegas, so off we went. It was a one-day trip, as she did not want to stay in a hotel due to COVID-19.

My existing rims are pitted inside due to the addition of Slime in 1995. I did not know it reacted badly to aluminum, so I ended up with wheels and tires that require topping off every few days (it was so bad at one point that if I parked the car on Friday, by Monday morning I would have at least one flat tire). So the search for replacements was on.

The problem is the shipping. The rims themselves aren’t that expensive, but it usually costs more to get them here than the purchase price of the rims!

Much as Abird’s, I had discoloration and road rash on them, which I was less concerned about than the interior sealing surfaces, which were darn near perfect. I searched here and online and found a site that described in great detail how to restore aluminum rims. The odd part is, it’s part of the “Plant Dr.” site. The website’s owner evidently restored his, and wanted to share it with the world.

Here is the link. I’ll likely be pursuing this project in the fall, as the summer heat (read: furnace) has set in here.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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ABird Offline
Junior Member
#4
Ok, thank you both for the info.  The task of restoring the wheels myself seems daunting and time consuming.  I'm considering powder coating.  I would not do the work.  I have a shop near me that does great work.  I can get a quote and update with the pricing.  Any thoughts?  https://greengarageblog.org/14-pros-and-...ing-wheels
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#5
(06-12-2020, 11:42 AM)ABird Wrote: Ok, thank you both for the info.  The task of restoring the wheels myself seems daunting and time consuming.  I'm considering powder coating.  I would not do the work.  I have a shop near me that does great work.  I can get a quote and update with the pricing.  Any thoughts?  https://greengarageblog.org/14-pros-and-...ing-wheels

As with anything, you are usually only limited by your budget. In a world where “money is no object”, you could do whatever you wanted—even hunt down and purchase NOS never-used rims.

With most of my projects, the enjoyment for me is the work involved—the experience and knowledge gained, and (hopefully) the satisfaction and pride of work well done. A wall sometimes exists between the goal I am trying to achieve and my skill level for this particular task. After evaluating that I have a more realistic idea of what the best course of action is.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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ABird Offline
Junior Member
#6
Well, I just got them back.  It cost more than I thought, but I'm very happy with the results.  This was a job that I could not have done on my own.  Now to get them on the car!


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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#7
Those looks nice!!!!!

Are they polished to a chrome like surface or polished aluminum look? Hard to tell with the lighting. I want to do something similar with my original wheels
1988 TC, 5 spd, Stinger 3" Exhaust, Schneider Roller Cam, -4° Cam Pulley, Cone Filter, Gilles Boost Control Valve set at 17 psi, CHE Rear Lower and Upper Control Arms, Braided Brake Lines, Hawk HPS 5.0 Front and HPS (F) Rear, CRES Inserts in front calipers, and '93 Cobra Wheels with General 235/50R17 Tires.   
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ABird Offline
Junior Member
#8
Thanks!  I passed along your comment to the business owner, he was pleased.  He called and told me that they are polished aluminum to a chrome-like finish, then cleared.  He said, something to the effect, that there are different grades of aluminum and that is what determines the look.  Here is his information, https://bluemountainmetalfinishing.com/ , Luke.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#9
(09-09-2020, 03:15 AM)ABird Wrote: Well, I just got them back.  It cost more than I thought, but I'm very happy with the results.  This was a job that I could not have done on my own.  Now to get them on the car!

Wow, those look great! They look like my chromed ones.

I shared before that in April I bought a set of rims that need restoration, which will be starting next month once it cools down here. I’d be very happy to Help you if I can.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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ABird Offline
Junior Member
#10
(09-11-2020, 07:53 AM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(09-09-2020, 03:15 AM)ABird Wrote: Well, I just got them back.  It cost more than I thought, but I'm very happy with the results.  This was a job that I could not have done on my own.  Now to get them on the car!

Wow, those look great! They look like my chromed ones.

I shared before that in April I bought a set of rims that need restoration, which will be starting next month once it cools down here. I’d be very happy to Help you if I can.

Thanks, I just got them mounted with new tires.
       
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