Restoration of Cleveland wheels?

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Little Scrapper

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Anyone have experience cleaning and restoring these wheels? I’m getting conflicting ideas when I search the intercom how to clean these, prep these and paint or powder these. I’m starting to find out powder coating is not ideal.

I’d like to restore these like new including new bearings so I’m looking for advice on that. Thanks!

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Angusnofangus

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Anyone have experience cleaning and restoring these wheels? I’m getting conflicting ideas when I search the intercom how to clean these, prep these and paint or powder these. I’m starting to find out powder coating is not ideal.

I’d like to restore these like new including new bearings so I’m looking for advice on that. Thanks!

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I'm not a painter, but have seen a lot that were done. Just glass-bead blast, epoxy primer, and colour of choice. New bearings and races and you're there.
 

Dan Thomas

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An aircraft-grade paint stripper might be the best.

Go here to the Cleveland Manual and scroll down to Page 57 and following of the .pdf for wheel refinishing: https://www.parker.com/literature/Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division/AWB Static Files for Literature/AWB Product Catalog Static Files/AWBCMM0001-12.pdf

Don't scrape them with a hard tool. Especially in the bead seat, which is rolled to harden and strengthen the metal. Lots of stress in there trying to blow the wheel apart. Scratches can start cracks.

Powder coating involves temps high enough to destroy any heat-treating aluminum parts might have. Sure looks nice, though.
 

TFF

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Don’t grind on them. Paint stripper or blast with something mild like baking soda. Has to be cleaned and degreased first. Easy money.
 

Dan Thomas

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Don’t grind on them. Paint stripper or blast with something mild like baking soda. Has to be cleaned and degreased first. Easy money.
Yup. And don't use a wire brush on them either. Microscopic bits of iron from the steel bristles can start corrosion when they embed in the metal.

The Cleveland manual says the only suitable blast media is plastic.
 

Little Scrapper

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Excellent advice, very much appreciated guys. Gonna take these apart in the next few days and start the process.

I’ll post some photos of the progress.

Thanks again!!!

Mike
 

bmcj

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Never heard of that. I had to look it up. Interesting. Nothing to clean up afterward other than the removed paint or corrosion or whatever.
The cold of the dry ice helps release the contaminants, and the process is friendly to soft components. We used it to clean the plastic and rubber rollers along with the metal chassis when refurbishing offset printing presses. All of the dried, caked ink and other contaminants and left the rubber like new.
 
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Victor Bravo

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Walnut Shell blast media is also a tried and true standard. I recommend against glass bead, the glass will embed itself in the aluminum and then come loose when the wheel is in service and gets hot, leaving you with an abrasive powder.

A well known race engine builder blasted an O-200 engine case with glass bead, washed and rinsed it thoroughly, built the engine, and had it wear past limits within a couple of hours due to abrasive glass bead coming out of the aluminum and becoming part of the oil.
 

Dan Thomas

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A well known race engine builder blasted an O-200 engine case with glass bead, washed and rinsed it thoroughly, built the engine, and had it wear past limits within a couple of hours due to abrasive glass bead coming out of the aluminum and becoming part of the oil.
Glass is almost impossible to see when it's trapped in the roughness of some castings. Even worse stuff is the ground copper slag, the hard, sharp black stuff that is really cheap and lasts a long time. Vicious stuff. Any grit that sticks in the oil galleries is bound to cause lots of trouble, too.
 

Little Scrapper

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I’m thinking of trying those walnut shells, I’ve never tried that and it sounds interesting. Harbor Freight sells bags of those I think.
 

Kiwi303

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They're pretty common for reloaders, polish up used brass and clean powder residues out using a tumbler.


They don't damage brass, which I am pretty certain is softer than magnesium, so should be a safe choice on those wheels.
 

Little Scrapper

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Doing a little more research and it sounds like soda blasting might be pretty good. I’ll need to clean out my cabinet and give this a shot. Maybe next week. Looking forward to restoring these and the brakes.
 

Armilite

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Anyone have experience cleaning and restoring these wheels? I’m getting conflicting ideas when I search the intercom how to clean these, prep these and paint or powder these. I’m starting to find out powder coating is not ideal.

I’d like to restore these like new including new bearings so I’m looking for advice on that. Thanks!

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You got (3) issues to deal with, Grease, Paint, Rust! You can use Gunk Engine Degreaser and a Pressure Washer/Car Wash if you don't have one to clean off the Grease, and Cob Webs. For Wheels, you can use either Glass Bead (Cheaper), or Aluminum Oxide to take off both the Paint and Rust. Soda, will only take off the Paint. Once Cleaned, you can either Powder Coat the Parts, or use some of the different Engine/Gun Coatings like Ceramic, Cerro Coat, etc. You can also use Paint but it won't last as long. Vapor Blasting will work also for striping the Parts, but hard to find them.

Harbor Freight and other places sell Cheap Blast Cabinets $125 to $190 and even some sell Hand Held Blasters. I have both of these Cabinets, the Big One I use 95% of the time is set up for Glass Bead and the Smaller One is set up for Aluminum Oxide 120 grit for doing Parts for Ceramic Coatings. There are some kits out there to make your own Blast Cabinet out of a cheap 55 Gallon Barrel.
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The Biggest Mistake People make when Glass Beading these Engine Parts is they don't Clean with a Brush & Flush the Oil Galley Holes and Wash the Cases thoroughly!
 

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