View Full Version : 1933 Commander Wheels

12-21-2011, 11:44 PM
Started the restoration of a set of six 17x3.62 1933 Commander wheels, beauty rings and hub caps. Very interesting construction of the wheels by Budd.

Removed the beauty rings which were available in painted or chrome. These were originally chrome and had been painted black without being removed from the wheel, leaving a real corroded mess underneath.

The spoked section was also available chrome or painted with the rims being painted body color or contrasting color. These were originally chromed spokes with black rims as discovered during the paint removal.

The spoked section is 2 heavy stamped pieces welded together, the domed part you see from outside and a flat plate with the bolt pattern as seen from the back side.

Note the weld beads around the center and each spoke, with a copper plated sheet covering a hollow hiding the countersunk rivet connecting the spoked section to the rim.

These will be a challenge as some of my first parts to spray chrome.

More to come...

12-22-2011, 12:03 AM
Nice bead on the hub weld. I doubt much of that was done in 1933 by a robot; suspect the wheel was on a driven turntable and the welder just held a steady hand.
A project well suited to a spraychrome system.

12-22-2011, 12:14 AM
And people say that old cars are simple.

Thanks for the photos. Much easier to grasp what you were talking about earlier.

12-23-2011, 06:05 PM
keep me posted on how you are going, as I have to get stuck into my 33 Model 56 soon.

Those Artillery wheels look nice painted too.


12-23-2011, 06:29 PM
And people say that old cars are simple.

They are! However, the engineering and craftsmanship is superb! Just think...the engineer that designed that wheel (and other complex parts) did not have a cad-cam system with a manual and software that had most of the preset assumptions already loaded into the program. Back then, he had to use real mathematical equations and slide rules.

From there, it had to go to a pattern maker (sometimes, one and the same person). Anyone who has had an opportunity to see some of the old wooden patterns, knows that those guys were pure artist.

The welder had to have hands as steady as a surgeon.

Just thinking about it makes me feel unworthy and inadequate.

12-23-2011, 07:37 PM
Jim, I know nothing about spray chrome but I wondering if the chrome might crack due to flexing of the wheels. What do you think?

12-23-2011, 08:35 PM
he had to use real mathematical equations and slide rules. John,
I still have a slide rule but doubt I can remember how to use it. Modern computerized calculations leave less room for error.

12-23-2011, 08:47 PM
I still have a slide rule but doubt I can remember how to use it. Modern computerized calculations leave less room for error.

That's my point. The fact that the vintage machinery was made with such artistry and precision back then (without computers) makes them even more remarkable. I might have a slide rule somewhere in my attic. The most accurate thing I ever did with mine was use it for a straight edge while doing a sketch.

If no one had ever been born with more mathematical skills than me...we'd still be making arrowheads and using stone tools!

dean pearson
12-23-2011, 09:01 PM
The welds look like they are mig welds ? Were they welding with wire back then ?

Dean (a dumb welder)

12-23-2011, 10:31 PM
The process is very appropriate for wheels. Actually, there are flex additives similar to those used on bumper covers to do urethane or other flexible parts although they have a gloss reduction just as in auto paint.

01-11-2012, 01:07 PM
When the wheels were painted over, the beauty trim rings were not removed resulting in considerable corrosion. It took a lot of time, but all the pits are cleaned out.


mike super
01-12-2012, 08:04 PM
After sand blasting.....I treat all my rusted metal with with ospho and then use rust destroyer. Ospho is a Skybryte product. I spritz it on the entire part and wipe it even. Let it dry. Then where you have the pits with a hint of rust you get a wire wheel on a grinder spritz the specific area with ospho and clean out with wire wheel..... clean out the holes till shiny. Spray a very light coat of rust destroyer over the entire area or just where you have pits. I sand it once and spray one more time to eliminate buildup and to fill the holes more. The any good epoxy primer ...then do your thing. You can buy rust destroyer here .....you will not be sorry ...puts EVERYTHING elae out there to shame. http://www.epaintstore.com/advance_protective_products/ Everybody buys por 15. It is NOT a pimple on the ass of this product!!!!!