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keith1948

TR6 aluminium wheel trim restoration

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I have a set of the original aluminium TR6 wheel trims which are no longer available. I am looking to refurbish them but need some advice. There are two basic issues.

First of all there are several deep scratches around the edges where they have scraped kerbs in the past. Too deep to polish out so I need to fill the scratches/gouges first. Any thoughts about filling with the resin fillers or brazing with aluminium or any other methods?

Second issue is the surface finish. It is described as brushed aluminium. I have tried 2000 wet and dry and a mild abrasive pad to see if I can get all the fine scratches to line up radially. It has slightly improved the finish but not brilliant. Did these wheel trims originally have a shiny mirror finish or was it a slightly matt brushed finish. I haven't seen any originals to compare them with. I've not tried any power tools with polishers on them in case I make it worse.

Usual metal polishes don't seem to do much.

I have the aftermarket stainless trims on the TR6 wheels which look quite different.

Keith

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Keith--

The original alumin(i)um rings are clear anodized.  The anodizing is very hard, which explains why it can be hard to change the surface sheen.  The underlying metal is very soft though, and can be moved around pretty easily.  My rings were pretty bad, and I didn't hold much hope of being able to use them, but after a little lot of trial and error, I was able to get them looking good enough to use.  There are some more pictures and explanation near the bottom of this page:

http://bullfire.net/TR6/TR6-119/TR6-119.html

Ed

DSC05811a.JPG

DSC05898a.JPG

 

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Hi Ed

Just read your reply and the link to how you did the wheel trims. Mine are in much better shape than yours so I think I will have a go using your advice. The damage around the edges are not as bad and the inner surface is reasonably good. The spring rings on the back are quite good as well. I had them on the car for a while before fitting the stainless rings.

I was wondering whether to use a chrome finish paint for the rims that I have used on a couple of fog lamp brackets but that might be too shiny although the finish is a kind of matt finish shine rather than a proper chrome finish. I will experiment and see how it looks.

I have a set of early TR6 wheels with the 3 hubcap lugs that have been shortened to take the earlier TR4A world hubcaps and these need the same treatment you gave your wheels. Epoxy primer and silver finish. I then have the option of using the TR6 style plastic hubcaps with a Triumph centre logo or the chrome TR4A hubcaps. (The car is a 4A).
The wheel rims are to go on those wheels.Anyway thanks for your help and the detail in your posting. Really helpful.

Keith

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Hi keith,

the anodizing can be removed with caustic soda - take care it likes human bodies and Aluminium in equal measures.  Wear eye protection as a minimum.

In Aerospace deep scratches can be rubbed smooth with a steel ring (Burnishing) - This has the affect of moving the Ali back to where it came from rather than removing it.

After all the metal work you could get them re-anodized - Ed referred to a clear finish but I think they may be 'bright anodized' - this gives the shiny chrome look.

 

Roger

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I have a set of 4 of these available for sale, condition, I don't think anywhere as near the damage above.

 

We can discuss price if anyone interested.

 

sorry to bush wack  the thread but just might help someone out.

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Hello Roger

Thanks for tip of using caustic soda. Don't worry I have used far worse chemicals in my time so know the precautions. I shall look online to see exactly how you burnish out the scratches. I might even be able to use my panel beating dollies. Not sure if I can get them re-anodised with the steel spring clip still attached. Will be nigh on impossible to remove it without ruining it so might go for the chrome paint finish. Will have to see how the first one turns out.

Hello Kob

If you have originals how would you describe the finish? I would say it is like a dull brushed chrome finish. Not exactly a matt finish but not as shiny as the stainless steel version.

Have a look at Ed's photo above and between the scratches you will see what I mean.

Keith

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Caustic soda does indeed dissolve anodizing, but also attacks alumin(i)um, so monitor it carefully.

The ideal burnisher for moving soft aluminum around is a hard, polished steel rod, rounded at the end.

Ed

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10 hours ago, ed_h said:

 

The ideal burnisher for moving soft aluminum around is a hard, polished steel rod, rounded at the end.

Ed

That would be a blunt nosed smoodger - famous in metal spin circles.

The burnishing process does not remove metal as such but moves it around as if it is liquid (which it isn;t)

A touch of wax on the surface can help against metal pick-up.

Roger

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