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Rechroming Wire Wheels

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  • #16
    You know, you don't have to be that old for folks to see those fashion-model twenty-ish ladies hanging about one's car, and ruin the whole day by asking "Gosh, they're pretty. Are they your daughters?" And then you say no and they say "Daughters-in-law, then?" which sort of negates the pleasure of their company even if they have, like, advanced Art History degrees and all.

    Since all fellows in Studedom either have natural-beauty, ageless wives, or else expensive trophy girlfriends (YOU HOME JEFF?), I think that, just as the Board officially recommends a fire extinguisher in each Studebaker, we all need to hire a frumpy middle-aged housewife with a contary disposition to act as a sort of junkyard dog for the car when it is shown, parked, left by the side of the road, etc. Otherwise, any decent Stude will draw clutches of barely-clad attendants, writhing all over it getting suntan oil on the finish, and fogging up the wheel shine with their heavy breathing. And that's so much work to buff out.

    Oh, yeah, wheels. "Recent" finishes like powder-coating could be a very interesting change-up, and certainly cheaper than a re-chrome. If you use extreme care keeping track of your spoke lengths and angles, you can do rough re-assembly yourself and just pay a wheel-tuner to do the final truing. I used to do that with motorcycle wheels. That would make an interesting project, certainly worthy of a magazine article. Sorry none of us here had any tips on that. You get to be the guinea-pig.

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    • #17
      quote:Originally posted by Avanti82

      quote:Originally posted by Gunslinger

      Here's what my Avanti looks like with Magnum 500 wheels...

      Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.
      Great looking wheels but it appears they are real "Babe Magnets" and I am afraid my wife would not allow them.

      Steve
      Yeah ........Wire wheels do that too !


      1961 Hawk 4BC,4-SPEED,TT

      Ken Byrd
      Lewisville,NC
      1961 Hawk ...4-Speed;4bc;Twin Traction

      Ken Byrd
      Lewisville,NC

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      • #18
        I have received one estimate to restore the wheels.

        With chrome spokes it would be $385 per wheel, with stainless spokes it would be $585 per wheel plus shipping.

        Replacement wheels will be around $2500 and higher per set.
        I am also going to spend some time over the next two weeks talking to some shops here in town about bead blasting and painting them. The wheels are in very good condition with only minor surface rust in spots and should clean up without a lot of repairs.

        Thanks again for all of your comments,

        Steve

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        • #19
          BlackHawk61 that is one really nice looking Studebaker. I love the body style on that model and it really looks good with the black paint and wire wheels.

          Steve

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          • #20
            I, too, admire those Chrysler wires on the Blackhawk.
            The redline tires are the perfect accent to Gunslinger's Magnum 500s, IMO.

            One caution when refurbishing wires, as my friend learned when he had some Borranis redone- If the spoke threads are chromed, there could be clearance issues with the threads in the rims, resulting in any number of problems from cracked plating/ thread damage to insufficient sealing.

            Careful application of tape and tubes may relieve the latter, but there's always that one spoke that doesn't quite behave.

            They do look great when finished, though.[]

            Andy
            62 GT

            Andy
            62 GT

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            • #21
              Avanti82--Go with the suggestion of powdercoating. They have a super shine silver with a clear coat that is pretty magnificent. Go to some powder coating shops and see what they have that resembles chrome. Probaly cost $500 for all four.

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              • #22
                Avanti82--Go with the suggestion of powdercoating. They have a super shine silver with a clear coat that is pretty magnificent. Go to some powder coating shops and see what they have that resembles chrome. Probably cost $500 for all four.

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                • #23
                  quote:Originally posted by buddymander

                  Avanti82--Go with the suggestion of powdercoating. They have a super shine silver with a clear coat that is pretty magnificent. Go to some powder coating shops and see what they have that resembles chrome. Probaly cost $500 for all four.
                  Thanks I will check on the powdercoating, great idea.

                  Steve

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                  • #24
                    Double posted my reply

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                    • #25
                      Chroming brings the risk of hydrogen embrittlement.
                      http://mechanicalplating.com/hydrogen.htm

                      On a bumper, who cares. ON highly stressed parts, especially parts in constant tension like spokes, it might be a problem.
                      The solution is several hours of baking above a certain temperature within a few hours of plating.

                      I'd ask the shop about it, posing the question in a vague, general way that would not guide them toward any particular answer.

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