Vehicles

sonett - refinishing wheels and mounting snow tires

I have two sets of wheels for the Sonett. 5 soccer ball wheels and 4 of the Tuneverken wheels. I plan to use the Tuneverken wheels for my winter tires. All 9 of these wheels are rough and need to be refinished. The Tuneverken wheels are particularly bad as they sat outside in the elements on an abondoned Saab since at least '98. 

I first tried applying chemical stripper to the wheels. This took the black off the Tuneverken pretty well but the soccer ball wheel put up more of a fight. I then tried media blasting with glass beads. The beads stripped the Tuneverken wheels pretty quickly. The soccer ball wheels however still refused to let go of some of that clear coat. 

I then switched from glass beads to aluminum oxide. This stuff is far more abrasive and is usually recommended for rust removal on steel. With the aluminum oxide, the Tuneverken were stripped clean very quickly. I didn't even use the chemical stripper on the other three wheels as it would have been a waste of time. I still have not tried the aluminum oxide on the soccer ball wheels. Hopefully it works realtively quickly.

I was taking my time making slow progress on the wheels until one of my tires disintegrated while driving. It held air but about a third of all the tread came off and I was driving on the steel belt. My spare tire was already on the car because I had another tire where the tread was also separating from the tire. Clearly these tires are shot. I checked the manufacture date. Prior to 2000, they only used a 1 digit year so I know my tires were made in 1995, 1985, or 1975. I am assuming 1995 since they were not dust yet but who knows.

So with the saab out of commision, I decided to finish up the Tuneverken winter wheels, and get some winter tires, so I could get back on the road. I would then refinish the soccer ball wheels and get some summer or all season tires for those. 

I ended up powder coating the Tuneverken wheels in silver then high gloss clear. I am very happy with the results. I ran into a problem however trying to fit a valve stem. The wheels were designed for tubed tires so the surfaces are not all at correct for a modern valve stem.

Any rubber valve stems were immediately out since they are not designed for that deep of a hole. I ended up using metal bolt in valve stems. This was not that as easy as it sounds because in order to get a good seal inside the wheel, the valve stem had to come out of the hole nearly parrellel to the outer lip of the wheel. That was not enough room to the nut over the valve stem, forget about a washer. I actually mounted one valve stem this way, put the tire on, filled it up, and much to my dismay it was leaking air at the valve stem.

Ultimately I ground some material off the inside of two of the wheels to allow the valve stem to come out at an angle and still have an acceptable seal. The other two were acceptable as is. I then ground down one edge of the washers so I could fit it on the valve stem between it and the wheel lip. For good measure, I liberally coated the whole area in high temperature silicone liquid gasket. I figure, the liquid gasket would help seal up any questionable valve stem mounting surfaces.

Being all metal, the valve stems look great on the wheels. I just hope they hold over over time. I doubt the tires will ever get that hot considering each wheel is rated for 1100 lbs but only has to carry about 600 lbs, and these will be my winter wheels. Even if they do get hot, the silicone liquid gasket is supposed to be good to about 250 degree F continuous, 500 degrees F intermittent.

 

PS: I have been referring to my winter wheels as Tuneverken wheels. They seem to have multiple names including JP Allowys and Chromodors. I don't know which is the official name. Apparently they were an optional wheel for 1971 Saabs. Whatever they are called, I like them much better in a bright and glossy silver than painted black with silver ribs. 

Pictures

Preview Image Size
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
before any paint stripping
SmllMedLrg
black is flacking off. Clear coat looks terrible and has brake dust under parts of it
SmllMedLrg
This wheel needs to be refinished badly
SmllMedLrg
Tuneverken wheel on the left, soccer ball on the right
SmllMedLrg
1st coat of paint stripper applied
SmllMedLrg
Tuneverken wheel after 1 coat of paint stripper. Good but still needs cleaning in blasting cabinet
SmllMedLrg
uh oh. This tire is done
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
had to move up my plans and quickly finish all the Tuneverken wheels
SmllMedLrg
after aluminum oxide on the left, before anything on the right
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
ready for powder
SmllMedLrg
decided to go with Silver Lining Metalic from eastwood since I had it on hand
SmllMedLrg
new-to-me oven for powder coating these wheels
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
old tire and rim
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
new tire on right (185), old on left. (165). The 185 fits fine
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
That Tuneverken wheel looks hot. Causing me to rethink how I would paint the soccer ball wheels
SmllMedLrg
eventually I will have Tuneverken wheels all around, this was just to fit one and check for rubbing
SmllMedLrg
I am very happy with the powder coating on the Tuneverken wheel.
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
not a great seal. I ended up sanding some wheels down
SmllMedLrg
valve stem comes out too close to wheel lip
SmllMedLrg
wheel sanded down to allow better valve stem mounting
SmllMedLrg
plenty of liquid gasket applied above and below the rubber valve stem gasket
SmllMedLrg
note that the washer had to be ground down to fit
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg
SmllMedLrg

Add Picture Comments
Contact Us | ©2014 Me | Page best viewed with Chromium