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Old 03-20-2010, 08:30 PM   #1
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1978 28' Ambassador
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Repainting rusty wheels

This is "how I did mine" to paint rusty wheels. I am NOT an expert and this is just my experience.
1) These are the tires that had been in the marsh for the last eight years.
2) I had the tires removed and washed off all the dirt and loose rust.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:34 PM   #2
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3) PO has welded a bolt to the rim to secure the hubcaps. I ground off the bolt and used wire wheel on drill to remove loose rust.
4) Cleaned wheels with laquer thinner and then sprayed with phosphoric acid to neutralize the rust. Left acid on for 24 hours.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
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5) Wiped acid with damp rag to remove white powder residue.
6) Primed with rustoleum dark gray primer.
7) Three light coats of High Performance Gloss Black Rustoleum. Within one hour.
8) Wheels and new tires back on AS.
Will take time to work on hubs and wheel well now that I have the AS home.
Cost (4 wheels): acid $15, wire brushes $5, primer $11, black paint $16
Total $47 for materials. Labor 12 hours.
It has been pointed out that I could have bought new wheels with no rust and no history of "bad balance" for $200. This is how I chose to do mine. Time will tell how well I did.
Jack
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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3) PO has welded a bolt to the rim to secure the hubcaps. I ground off the bolt and used wire wheel on drill to remove loose rust.
4) Cleaned wheels with laquer thinner and then sprayed with phosphoric acid to neutralize the rust. Left acid on for 24 hours.
Keep in mind that rust on wheels weakens them, along with the applied acid.

How weak?

Depends on how much rust was removed, and perhaps how much the acid removed as well.

Andy
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:11 AM   #5
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Keep in mind that rust on wheels weakens them, along with the applied acid.

How weak?

Depends on how much rust was removed, and perhaps how much the acid removed as well.

Andy
Phosphoric acid doesn't remove steel at any appreciable rate. It forms hard black ferric phosphate, FePO4 with rust which inhibits further corrosion; it is a very common treatment before painting any bare steel.

From the photo, the rust appears to be of of only cosmetic concern.

- Bart
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:25 AM   #6
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Your like me

You do the things like I do....hours of work, expensive parts and supplies and numerous trips to the suppliers. The result is very nice.

A new, already painted rim is 30 dollars....
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:46 AM   #7
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Can you buy new rims of the exact same style as original for $30? If so it's a bargain.

Most tires shops will bead blast and paint your wheels for $20 or $30. They can also true up the wheel and make sure it is straight and balanced.
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