Ensign

Are these steel wheels viable?

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I’ve been searching for 4 – original, steel wheels for my ’72 tii and ended up finding 5 wheels, all from the same person. I bought them sight unseen. The good news is that all 5 wheels are from the same manufacturer, Kronprinz AND they all have the same date, 2/72. The bad news is that they were badly pitted, as you can see in the first couple of photos.

I decided to try JB Weld to fill the pitted areas. The first step was to have them media blasted to get rid of the rust and provide a clean, dry surface to apply the JB Weld. I applied it fairly heavy and then sanded the excess away. It took two applications of this process to get the surface to an acceptable “smoothness.” It was quite tedious as the sanding was done by hand with various sized, contoured sanding blocks so as not to flatten the filled areas.

The before and after photos are of the same wheel and that is probably the worst wheel. Before I invest more time and money getting a finish on these wheels and buying new tires, do you think they are viable to use? I was thinking I would buy the Michelin XASs with tubes to minimize the leak issue. I look forward to reading your thoughts and suggestions.

Tony

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If you really want them,, I would ask the opinion of a  'mag repairman ' . Not sure if it involve the same skill but they fix my dented mags , balance them  to new congition. For sure it involve $$  but  another option to tube.

 Not sure about it,, but Chevette rims (GM of 70th ) suppose to fit .  Are you going to put Hupcaps ??  

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You've done a big job and I think they are good now. I would use a good layer of epoxy primer to seal it up. Then the color you want.

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From my 'generic garagist'   he pimp himself of puting silicone gasket on the rim lips to avoid leak.  Now try to 

sell that messy idea to the wheel mounting guy. 

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45 minutes ago, pierre² said:

Are you going to put Hupcaps ??  

yes I am.

thanks for the response

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+1 for a good coat of epoxy. You don’t want future corrosion bubbling up and displacing the JB Weld. 

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On 3/3/2018 at 2:49 PM, Ensign said:

 

 

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Tony,

 

I would absolutely use them despite the pitting, after your repairs!  But....as I do with virtually all my period rims, I would first have them examined by a good wheel shop to confirm they are true.  OEM steel rims are sturdy, but I’d hate to go to this much work to make them beautiful, only to find that one or two are not true — or can’t be made true (fairly rare in my experience).

 

Although there are reports that a tubeless version of the 165HR13 XAS has been re-introduced, no one on this forum admits to having seen or purchased a set, yet!  Regardless, I’d bet your “restored” rims would be fine with a tubeless tire, although the tube type will give you an extra margin of safety.

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Conserv

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OK, two things.   

 

First, any pitting along the bead that is more than about 3/8 inch has the potential to cause leaks because the bead of the tire won't seal.  You can put a tire on the rim and it will hold air, but rolling that tire or parking it in a way that flexes the bead could cause it to leak. The really good news is that these are steel rims and a good rim shop can fix that.  If you don't want to sent them to a rim shop right away, go ahead and mount a tire, put it on the car and monitor for leaks.  If it leaks, pull the wheel and get it fixed.  No brainer.  

 

Second, be SURE to examine the welds where the hub meets the rim. This is often overlooked because people just paint over those welds. I once bought a set of used steel wheels and discovered that one of them had a partially broken seam at that weld.  If I had mounted them, who knows what might have happened.  Just examine them closely.  

 

Hope that helps!

 

Scott

  

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