Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

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Yorgle
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Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#1

Post by Yorgle » 02 Jun 2016, 09:40

I just bought a set of 68 14x6 styled steel wheels that I plan to restore and use on CopyCatVert. In searching this forum and the internets in general, I've found a number of discussions regarding paint colors, but not really anything helpful as far as actual restoration tips, tricks, techniques, etc. I think a thread discussing things like: what's the best way to mask off the spokes, or polish the chrome, etc. would be helpful. I'll start the show with posting my restoration progress here and I hope others can join in with ideas and discoveries.

Here's what I'm starting with:
Image

I cleaned a bit of the chrome with some Mother's polish and it looks like it is going to shine up very nicely, but the rest of the wheels will need to be repainted. According to the guy I bought them from, the wheels were stripped/blasted and then coated with POR-15 and a coat of argent paint. For some reason, the paint developed an odd green hue on the fronts (which were probably exposed to sunlight) but retained the silver color on the backs and unexposed sides.

As far as color, I'm debating whether to go with argent, body color (augusta green) or something darker. I'm also thinking I might do two colors- argent or body color on the sides of the spokes and lug circle and black around the window areas.

One question I have right away is that since these wheels don't have a clear indent or line separating the chrome from the paint , what is the best way to mask off the chrome? Should there be a sharp paint line? Maybe there's a market for someone with a vinyl cutter to make and sell templates like the ones available for Magnum 500's.
1968 XR-7 Augusta Green, J-Code, 5 litre, Autolite 6100, 5 spd, convertible with heated seats, cruise control and rear sway bar.

BTW, I think electronic ignition is pointless.

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Blitz
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#2

Post by Blitz » 02 Jun 2016, 10:58

I vote Argent, as original. Probably the actual Ford / Motorcraft version that you can still get. Body color on wheels looks goofy to me.

Not sure what you're planning to use to strip off the old paint, but I've had some luck with oven cleaner for getting old paint off of chrome. It's kinda harsh though, and I think there may be a risk of pitting the chrome if it sits on there too long. I did about 20 min for taillight bezels. Probably best to use an actual paint stripping product, come to think of it...

Masking - good question. I'd probably try something like this: tape off most of the chrome, but not all the way to the rounded edges. Spray the paint, let it dry. Remove tape. Dip a rag (smooth cloth like an old t shirt) in paint thinner or similar with your fingertip. Run fingertip-rag along the rounded edges at a ~45 deg. angle. Feeling the edges with your finger should give you a consistent smooth edge. Re-dip rag as needed.
Reason I suggest letting the paint dry is to reduce the risk of smudging other areas while you're working on it / handling it. If you're brave / careful it may be easier to do it while the paint's still wet.
-Andrew Chenovick
Photo/Video guy for WEST COAST CLASSIC COUGAR, INC.
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RIDES:
-1968 Mercury Cougar: original family owned, Polar White, 289-2V, auto, AC / "Snowball" view project thread
-1973 Opel Manta: 1.9L, 5-speed (restored)
-1991 Mazda Miata: fun driver
-1986 Volvo 240: dependable beater / "Goldilocks"
-1992 Volvo 240 wagon: classy hauling machine

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BossElim69
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#3

Post by BossElim69 » 02 Jun 2016, 13:33

If the paint is just faded and not pealing off. I would just use a scotch brite pad on them and re-paint. Use a good prep solvent on them to remove wax and wheels cleaners that have been used in the past before you do anything. My vote would be back to silver or black. I take it your leaving the beauty rings off?
Brian Carpenter, President CATS classic Cougar club
67 Cougar road course racer
67 Cougar project car
67 Cougar GT
68 XR7-G trailer queen restoration.
68 Restomod
69 Boss 302 Eliminator
69 XR7 390 survivor
69 XR7 428CJ 4spd
70 Boss 302 Mustang
1993 Harley Davidson
2004 F250 diesel
2004 Jeep Overland 4.7L H.O.
78 Ford F 150 Ranger
08 Cobalt SS

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Al Bundy
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#4

Post by Al Bundy » 02 Jun 2016, 13:44

I vote for argent too. And in favor of trim rings.
1974 Dodge Dart - daily driver
1963 Thunderbird Z code - raven black/red
1968 XR7 F code - diamond blue/blue
1968 XR7 J code - black/red
1968 J code - madras blue/aqua
1968 XR7 X code - lime frost/dark ivy gold
1968 GT-E XR7 W code prototype no. 500033 - cardinal red/black

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Yorgle
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#5

Post by Yorgle » 04 Jun 2016, 18:37

I decided to go with argent (actually, with some Rustoleum metalic silver I had in my cabinet). I discovered after the first wheel that taping off the chrome is a waste of time. It's much faster, easier and produces better results to simply spray the whole wheel-- spokes and all-- and then wipe the chrome clean with a rag soaked with thinner while the paint is still soft.
Here's the first wheel all taped off.
Image
Here's the same wheel sprayed silver.
Image
It turned out nice but a bit too bright, so I dusted it lightly with some of the metalic gunmetal color that was left over from my faux magnum 500's. This produced a very convincing cast aluminum effect.
Image
After the paint dried, I hit the tops of the spokes with some polish and here's the finished wheel
Image
1968 XR-7 Augusta Green, J-Code, 5 litre, Autolite 6100, 5 spd, convertible with heated seats, cruise control and rear sway bar.

BTW, I think electronic ignition is pointless.

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Yorgle
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#6

Post by Yorgle » 04 Jun 2016, 18:43

What do you guys think about painting the flat areas around the windows satin or flat black-- not the raised lug circle or the sides of the spokes, just the window area? Also, should I clear coat the whole thing?
1968 XR-7 Augusta Green, J-Code, 5 litre, Autolite 6100, 5 spd, convertible with heated seats, cruise control and rear sway bar.

BTW, I think electronic ignition is pointless.

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Al Bundy
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#7

Post by Al Bundy » 04 Jun 2016, 20:05

Not bad! Nay on the black.
1974 Dodge Dart - daily driver
1963 Thunderbird Z code - raven black/red
1968 XR7 F code - diamond blue/blue
1968 XR7 J code - black/red
1968 J code - madras blue/aqua
1968 XR7 X code - lime frost/dark ivy gold
1968 GT-E XR7 W code prototype no. 500033 - cardinal red/black

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1967 S Code
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#8

Post by 1967 S Code » 06 Jun 2016, 20:03

Looks good. Pass on the black I'd say. Doing a sample wheel with the black window area might give you a better visual. It sounds like it would be easy enough for you to change back to the silver if you don't like it.
Steven
Image

Our Cougars

Image

1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance, XR7S Taillight Bars

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BossElim69
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#9

Post by BossElim69 » 06 Jun 2016, 20:18

Yeah, Do one wheel with the windows black. I would like to see what it looks like. Maybe do the circle around the lug nuts black instead. It would make the chrome lug nuts pop more.
Brian Carpenter, President CATS classic Cougar club
67 Cougar road course racer
67 Cougar project car
67 Cougar GT
68 XR7-G trailer queen restoration.
68 Restomod
69 Boss 302 Eliminator
69 XR7 390 survivor
69 XR7 428CJ 4spd
70 Boss 302 Mustang
1993 Harley Davidson
2004 F250 diesel
2004 Jeep Overland 4.7L H.O.
78 Ford F 150 Ranger
08 Cobalt SS

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Mike_B_SVT
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Re: Styled Steel Wheel Restoration Thread

#10

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 07 Jun 2016, 12:18

BossElim69 wrote:Yeah, Do one wheel with the windows black. I would like to see what it looks like. Maybe do the circle around the lug nuts black instead. It would make the chrome lug nuts pop more.
I agree. Just ONE wheel with the black windows... and one with purple, one blue, one pink... drive it that way. Forever. >.>

LOL! Ok, maybe not. :D
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
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Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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