I just got my wheels back from the bead-blaster the other day. If anyone’s thinking of restoring their wheels – forget rubbing them back by hand. I spend 4 hours one Sunday afternoon getting frustrated beyond belief by the intricate Inca right-angles and only got about 30% through one wheel. I dropped all 4 rims off for bead-blasting and $40 later (yep, only $10 per rim) I was looking at beautiful bare metal.
(pic removed due to domain change) At left is my first attempt at getting the wheels stripped back (I wrote about this project here). Below is a couple of rims after a trip to the bead-blaster. What a time saver!! (click on either pic to enlarge)
All that was left to do on the weekend was a bit of a patchup job on the dents and bits of kerb scrape that these rims seems to accumulate over the years. For that I called upon my trusty Saabmate, Drew. He had some stuff that’s like an epoxy made for metalwork. Add your hardener, fill the holes, let it set and then work it to shape with some sandpaper. Easy as. Even I could do it. I got the rims repaired and sanded back all in a few hours and they’re now ready for priming and painting.
The beadblasting guys even gave the insides of each rim a blasting and unclogged the manufacture stamp. Neato. Made in June 1978.
I wish I’d taken my camera to Drew’s place as there was plenty to photograph. He’s done wonders with his rear lenses using hot soapy water and a toothbrush and he has a 1971 99 bodyshell that has to be seen to be believed. Full story to come on that car once I get myself organised.