First job on the way

This is the first real instalment for my 99 restoration project. 

Well, even with no funds as yet, I was keen to get started.  It’s all mainly prep work, but at least today I have managed to get my hands a little dirty.

Part of the restoration will include refreshing the original Inca wheels.  So I went off to Motors spare parts and picked up some Scotchbrite rubbing pads in order to get started prepping the wheels for painting.

I had a good chat about it with a SCCA mate, Drew, and knowing what’s involved, he was a little cautious in his encouragement.  After a day’s work with the coarse-grade Scotchbrite pad, I can see why.  This is turning out to be one of those 80-20 jobs.  I’ve got 80% of the paint off the wheel, but I reckon only 20% of the job is done.

Drew has just replaced his Incas with Minilites, so he had a spare set of Incas laying around, which he’s kindly lent to me to throw on the car in place of my own while mine get prepared.  Even more kindly, he just wants 4 rims back when the job’s done – doesn’t matter too much which 4 rims he gets back.  If one of his is better than one of mine, it’s OK to use it on the car.

I picked up the rims this morning and while I was there, had a look at the new Minilites.  Sensational stuff.  Drew’s only painted one so far and I tried to encourage him it was worth the pain to do the others, but he’s unsure – at least for the moment (I’m going to keep working on you about that one, DB!!).  Later I got the Incas back home and gave them a good look over.  Three of them have a fair bit of kerb-scrape on the edges, but one of them looks OK.  This is the one I got to work on today.  Having never done anything like this before, I didn’t really know what to expect.  What I got was a heck of a lot of sore-arm work as I slowly but surely managed to get the silver paint off the rim. 

Drew’s cautious tone, which I understand so well now, was due to the intricate pattern in the Incas.  There’s a hell of a lot of nooks and crannies to get into with these wheels.  Most of the exposed areas on the wheel gave up their paint pretty easily, but there’s a lot of little right angles in there with little grooves everywhere to frustrate you. 

I’m pretty sure this job’s going to be heading to the beadblaster to get the final details done, but I wanted to get into it myself first just to appreciate the work involved.

Any advice on how to get these stripped faster and easier would be well and truly appreciated (Doug M??)

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