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pfenlon

Wheel advice sought

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I am getting a pair of new rear wheels in Alloy, they will be as smooth as a babys bum of course.

 

I want to get my front wheels to match, but these are made from Magnesium, and the surface isn't as smooth.

 

would bead blasting produce a smoother finish, I know shot isn't to be used.

 

Then minimum amounts of filler might I hope finish them of nicely???

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Pete,

 

Put the two new ones on one side of the car, the older ones on the other - matching!!

 

Simples

 

:D:D

 

Alan

I suppose I asked for that, 2 are 10 inches wide and the other 2 are 8" wide.

 

Wake up at the back.

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Hi Pete,

 

I think you need to try a very soft blasting medium rather than the usual beads, maybe pumice finished with corn cob or some such exotic . . . . .

 

I did once clean up some well weathered ex-F1 mags with an old tin of Panshine, which worked a treat - hard work, but did the job.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Hello Alec, a pal of mine has the same problem, but he just bought another 2 wheels to make the matching set!

 

Ive been pondering spending on these two wheels for over 2 years. As you know the pension pot isn't an everlasting fund.

 

I have of course heard of Pumice stone, but wonder how that would work.

 

Ajax or Vim would certainly clean it but would it make it a bit smoother for paint?

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Yes Pete, I used it with one of those stainless steel pan scrubbing pads to get back to a smooth surface, then polished with fine steel wool and either T-cut or Farecla, one of those.

 

Slow work, but a decent result, and for next to no money !

 

Pumice is blasted as a fine powder, as of course is corn cob.

 

Cheers

 

Alec

Edited by Alec Pringle

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Hi Pete,

we had a few mag alloy wheels at BEA and they were a pig to play with.

If you do clean the wheels before painting then have you thought about sealing the surface after cleaning.

 

Perhaps have a word here http://www.stainrest.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIruyG2KW91gIVVc-yCh0VFA18EAAYASAAEgIjefD_BwE

 

Mag alloy is quite reactive and will corrode quite quickly - hence the often rough surface,

If you blast clean the wheels they may look a lot worse than before you started - the blasting may open the pores filled with corrosion oxides.

But to get a good finish that is what is needed.

Be careful if you decide to grind/polish and allow the powder into the air it is quite combustible (as are many fine particles)

 

Roger

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Hi Pete,

 

Roger is quite right about the dangers of mag powder - nasty stuff in every respect.

 

He is also spot on when it comes to corrosion - magnesium wheels can corrode fast and deep, all too quickly. Back in the days when I managed a works team, we sold off the mag wheels and replaced with new halfway through the season, that's how fast the weekly corrosion removal and polishing removed metal, and we had the budget to 'life' every component.

 

Don't get carried away for the sake of paint . . . . .

 

Listen to Roger, he's a proper engineer with all that aerospace knowledge !

 

Cheers

 

Alec

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Stiff bristle brush for powdery stuff. Vapour blast to get to clean metal. Treat with selenium dioxide solution to inhibit. Overcoat with suitable phenolic varnish. That was process we used on mag compressor casings.

Peter W

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Thanks for all the tips they are much appreciated.

 

I will now go online to find out what some of this stuff IS!

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For corrosion removal it's something like 10:1 water (deionised) and chromic acid. Mechanical removal don't use anything to coarse or heavy handed?

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Hi Pete,

 

I brought a set of ARE magnesium wheels back from the states and had them crack tested and refinished by Ian Jemison. http://www.ianjemison.co.uk/

 

I was a little concerned with putting a set of original mag ARE wheels on my TR but the crack testing gave them a clean bill of health and the finish that was applied stopped all further corrision. They still look as good as they did when finished and have done @18K since. Ian Jemison offers great advice from my experience.

 

Hope this helps,

Chris

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I have two sets of original magnesium minilites which I use on my racing car

The mag wheels should go to a specialist who will chemically clean blast, crack test and seal with chromate (nasty stuff)

The cromate is important because it is not what most wheel restorers have and it is the effective way to seal the magnesium alloy so that it can be painted etc

once all of that is done the wheels an be filled (to fill i the errosions) then powder coated

I just had mine powder coated

My wheels went to Steve Turner who runs TPCS-magnesium-refurbs.co.uk

The work cost £85 per wheel - not cheap but I want to race on mine (he actually organised a welded repair on one wheel)

No connections with TPCS

Michael H

Edited by MichaelH

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