Red Riviera Bob

63 Riviera original wheel cover rust repair

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Gents, I removed the wheelcover on my 63 Riviera only to find the wheelcover badly rusted. I was surprised the wheelcover was still on the wheel.

I went ahead and found another wheelcover replacement and made the purchase. In the meantime I thought I would take the rusted wheelcover to a metal fabricator to fix the wheel cover. The fabricator said he could not because the heat would discolor the chrome on the wheelcover.

I ended up cleaning all the rusted metal off and wirebrushed the circumference of the wheelcover clean. I used JB weld that I applied in thin coats several times to fill the holes. Also,  I used JB weld to secure the remaining loose metal to the body of the wheelcover. JB weld works because the paste can be applied between two pieces of metal and the paste dries to join the metal together. 

Hopefully this can help save some original Riviera wheelcovers.

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Edited by Red Riviera Bob
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lrlforfun    49

OK Bob:  That wheel cover is toast. They are mated with a big press and  to restore this wheel cover is a big a fool's errand as  one could imagine.  Parts for one with a good base.  I know because I have  dismantled and put together several hundred...if not more.  If you want to put it on a dead car just to tidy it up try JB Weld.   Mitch

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60FlatTop    2,002

Those wheel covers are quite common. Over the past 40 years I have seen most guys toss them and put styled steel wheels on ALMOST EVERY Riviera. Check out what the seller of the black on black GS wrote that he did 15 years ago.

"Oh, I see you have the obligatory chrome wheels on your Riviera. Wanna sell the spoke wheel covers?"

 

I have a bunch. PM me your address and I will send you a stripped disk to put your parts on.

Bernie

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

Those wheel covers are quite common. Over the past 40 years I have seen most guys toss them and put styled steel wheels on ALMOST EVERY Riviera. Check out what the seller of the black on black GS wrote that he did 15 years ago.

"Oh, I see you have the obligatory chrome wheels on your Riviera. Wanna sell the spoke wheel covers?"

 

I have a bunch. PM me your address and I will send you a stripped disk to put your parts on.

Bernie

Bernie, thank you for your great offer. I'm happy to pay shipping and what you need for the part. I appreciate you seeing the patch job for what it is. I'm new to the car collector / classic car world. It never occurred to me you could rebuild a "hubcap"🤓. I came up in the country with depression era parents and grandparents. ( we would save good used lumber take the nails and straighten them.)

Maybe some fellows have a tight budget and could use a tip like I offered. Too much is thrown away. I own 60 plus year old Gravely two wheel tractors to do chores around the property, like grind stumps, bush hog, cultivate, snow blow, etc. A new Gravely two wheel walk behind is $6740.00 with no attachments.

ill figure out how to PM you and give you information to get me the stripped disk.

Many Thanks,

Red Riviera Bob

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60FlatTop    2,002
1 hour ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

I came up in the country with depression era parents and grandparents. ( we would save good used lumber take the nails and straighten them.)

 

Cast off those shackles of depression era. Most of them died with a bundle in the bank wearing homemade underwear.

 

And the wood butchers are still the worst. I rebuilt the columns and T&G floor of the front porch of my 1853 house. I bought 5- 10 foot 2X10's to support the roof during the project. I think I paid 8 bucks apiece for them. What the carpenter did to avoid making a cut in those boards was on the verge of obsessive compulsive. I kept telling him it was worth $40 to keep the roof from falling, deaf ears. They were in the way for a few years and I finally threw them away, if he knew!

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not the gated community type. It just looks that way because I won't go out in the cold to plow the driveway with the Allis Chalmers B. That big drift is as good as any gate.

Bernie

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18 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

Cast off those shackles of depression era. Most of them died with a bundle in the bank wearing homemade underwear.

 

And the wood butchers are still the worst. I rebuilt the columns and T&G floor of the front porch of my 1853 house. I bought 5- 10 foot 2X10's to support the roof during the project. I think I paid 8 bucks apiece for them. What the carpenter did to avoid making a cut in those boards was on the verge of obsessive compulsive. I kept telling him it was worth $40 to keep the roof from falling, deaf ears. They were in the way for a few years and I finally threw them away, if he knew!

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not the gated community type. It just looks that way because I won't go out in the cold to plow the driveway with the Allis Chalmers B. That big drift is as good as any gate.

Bernie

Bernie, You would probably believe it if I told you what Dad left behind when he passed. He died in the same small cinder block house he built when I was 3-4 yrs old. He had four rental units he owned and rented for over 50 years. Trust me, I spend like I want, but not like modern day Americans. It is amazing how people save up money and walk around in bib overalls and drive 20 year old works trucks. My father in law had a heck of a time getting someone to talk to him when he went to buy a boat ( some call it a yacht ) because of his very modest ways and appearance. I'm spending money on this 63 Riviera to have it as a real nice Sunday & holiday driver. My wife is taking smelling salts! I told my wife there are no luggage carriers on the hearse! ( can't; take it with you). Thank you.

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68RIVGS    48

Those wheel covers were doomed right from the design and manufacturing stage - combining unprotected steel parts with stainless in the wheel covers did not ensure any long term reliability ! Might last a little longer in the southern , or mid west areas, but in the snow belt where they use road salt to melt winter ice, it was only a matter of time and exposure to achieve the results you have shown via your pictures. As 60FlatTop stated - " That wheel cover is toast" !

The easiest fix is to replace the rusted out ones with better condition, good used covers, or switch to chrome road wheels which are not period correct.

They were not designed to last forever, just like us, and most of the consumer products we use today ! 

Edited by 68RIVGS (see edit history)
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Pat Curran    57

Or if you really want to jazz up the appearance, find a set of the cast aluminum bolt on wheel covers that were offered for the 63 and 64.  If you have the correct wheels on your car, they should already be pre-drilled to accomodate these covers.

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60FlatTop    2,002

It will be there Thursday. I am pretty sure that set came from a guy who swapped out for styled steel wheels in the 1970's. I have picked up a bunch of them over the years. They look nice on the car.

I have never picked up or had the desire to put the chrome factory wheels on my car. And all the other guys were tossing their wheelcovers so I made out well. The chrome wheels became as ubiquitous as hidden headlights on Hondas.

After you fix up the wire wheelcovers and get out in public, you won't believe how many people will come up and ask "Why don't you put some of those Buick rallye wheels on it?" I have heard it for decades.

 

I did try this violation once.

wheels0006.JPG.73593d7877a2e885b3ce83dcccf0fc61.JPG

But those were wheel covers, lots, lots easier to find four straight ones. I have a few of those around, too.

Bernie

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7 hours ago, 68RIVGS said:

Those wheel covers were doomed right from the design and manufacturing stage - combining unprotected steel parts with stainless in the wheel covers did not ensure any long term reliability ! Might last a little longer in the southern , or mid west areas, but in the snow belt where they use road salt to melt winter ice, it was only a matter of time and exposure to achieve the results you have shown via your pictures. As 60FlatTop stated - " That wheel cover is toast" !

The easiest fix is to replace the rusted out ones with better condition, good used covers, or switch to chrome road wheels which are not period correct.

They were not designed to last forever, just like us, and most of the consumer products we use today ! 

Sir, you really have it all correct. A good used cover is the way to go and throw away the junk. I put it up knowing I'd get some good feedback for putting a "patch job" on an automobile restoration website. I was thinking there might be, just might be a fellow who doesn't have an extra $100 or so right now for a hubcap. Maybe the patch job could help someone. You are right going "half baked" is not my style, but when I have a chance to save something of value for not much effort it is hard for me to throw an item away. And you are right about consumer products today not made to hold up for a period of time. I'm probably one of the last to remember Sears had a lifetime guarantee on shovels. When I wore a Sears shovel out or broke the handle I'd take it to Sears and they would give me another shovel. I use Gravely walk behind garden tractors that are 60 years old and still run and work! Thank you for your comments.

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4 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

It will be there Thursday. I am pretty sure that set came from a guy who swapped out for styled steel wheels in the 1970's. I have picked up a bunch of them over the years. They look nice on the car.

I have never picked up or had the desire to put the chrome factory wheels on my car. And all the other guys were tossing their wheelcovers so I made out well. The chrome wheels became as ubiquitous as hidden headlights on Hondas.

After you fix up the wire wheelcovers and get out in public, you won't believe how many people will come up and ask "Why don't you put some of those Buick rallye wheels on it?" I have heard it for decades.

 

I did try this violation once.

wheels0006.JPG.73593d7877a2e885b3ce83dcccf0fc61.JPG

But those were wheel covers, lots, lots easier to find four straight ones. I have a few of those around, too.

Bernie

Bernie, a mans chariot is his to decorate and ride like he wants. Personally, I'm keeping my one and only 63 Riviera as stock as possible. Now I might put on simple steel chrome wheels like what is on the car now, except chrome. Then find a 3 prong spinner to put on as the center cap ornament. Sort of like an extra pair of shoes for my car. Im not a person who wants to compete in car shows. I'll go to car shows, but I don't want anyone picking over or criticizing what I do or don't do. Then when I get tired of the chrome wheels all I do is knock of the spinner and put the original wheel covers back on. I appreciate you sending the package. Now, I. might have to ask some help on how the thing goes back together. Don't laugh, I'm just not mechanical- but I do get 'er done.

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RivNut    1,012

I don't a

Have any pictures of the car but if anyone does they might post them.  The car to which I'm referring is John Andreasen's 1963.  It has painted steel slotted rally wheels* on it with caps and beauty rings.  Sounds simple but it's quite eye catching.

 

Ed

 

*Think 80's era Chevy truck rally wheels.

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On 6/3/2017 at 8:39 PM, lrlforfun said:

OK Bob:  That wheel cover is toast. They are mated with a big press and  to restore this wheel cover is a big a fool's errand as  one could imagine.  Parts for one with a good base.  I know because I have  dismantled and put together several hundred...if not more.  If you want to put it on a dead car just to tidy it up try JB Weld.   Mitch

Mitch, I'm  going to include a pic or two of the dead car I put my patched wheel cover on. In many cases a person cannot make something work with what he has available.  I felt the liquid metal could be a solution in view I knew of no other way to do the job.

The patched wheel cover is on the car now and I'll see if it lasts for a measurable or significant amount of time. 

'I checked out some of the work you do in restoration and it is certainly first rate work. 

Red Riviera Bob

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RivNut    1,012
1 hour ago, Scott Mckenzie said:

,desperation is the key to innovation .

:)

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Red Riviera Bob,

 

Great idea to try to repair what you already have. With some parts you may never find another one.

 

Friend of mine restored a 38 and 39 Pontiac, 27 Dodge and a 61 Tempest. He would always try to repair what he could while others would "sit and wait till the perfect part comes along". He got his cars done while others were still waiting among their bits.

 

And when he found a much better replacement at a swapmeet, usually at a bargain price, he would clean that up and it would go on the car. And then sell the one he had repaired, usually covering the cost of both.

 

" Do one thing every day" was his motto, and it certainly works.

 

just my two bobs worth.😀😀😀

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On 6/6/2017 at 10:54 AM, Pat Curran said:

Or if you really want to jazz up the appearance, find a set of the cast aluminum bolt on wheel covers that were offered for the 63 and 64.  If you have the correct wheels on your car, they should already be pre-drilled to accomodate these covers.

Pat, do you have any direction of where I might find these cast aluminum bolt on wheel covers? You have piqued my interest in what they look like. I believe, although I can be wrong I have the original wheels on the car. When I bought the car I found it sound and solid. The car was original and no one had done a thing to the car. In the mean time I catch up deferred maintenance as well as preventive maintenance. The alternator output harness had to be rebuilt because it had shorted out against the condenser. Instead of wrapping tape around the short I had it rebuilt or replaced. Any case if you can tell where to find pics of the aluminum bolt on wheel covers I'd be grateful.

Red Riviera Bob

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RivNut    1,012

Bob,

The cast aluminum wheel cover pictured is correct for 1963.  This cover is natural aluminum between the turbine fins and the center cap has the silver trip shield on it.  If it were from a 64, it would have black paint between the fins and the Riviera R in the center cap,  If you find a set of 64s, you can remove the paint and find a set of 63 base wheel covers.  The center caps in the knock-offs and base wheel covers are interchangeable.  The studs on the back, for bolting the cover to your stock wheels, are different lengths for 5.5" wide wheels and 6" wide wheels. But some all-thread and some spacers can be used to make them work on either width wheel.

 

Ed

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lrlforfun    49

OK Riviera People:  How does one get the turbines to sparkle like on this blue car?  Next, remember that the spinner from the 65 Riv poverty spinner cap is identical to the turbine spinner (tri-shield and R aside).   Mitch

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RivNut    1,012

Not like the poverty spinner cap but like the Gran Sport base cap.  I use SOS pads followed by 600 wet-or-dry paper (wet) then followed by aluminum polish or if you have one (which I do) a trip to the buffing wheel.

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lrlforfun    49

OK Ed:   I got a slug of 600 and Flitz. I'm gonna try your suggestion.   They certainly are hen's teeth not busted up around the outer edge.  Mitch

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On 6/14/2017 at 0:12 PM, Scott Mckenzie said:

Keep us posted as to how this fix works out .In many instances,desperation is the key to innovation .

Scott, the driving force was to see if the patch would hold and do the job. So far the patch job has held the thing together with no problems. Please know if the patch work were visible and took away from the car I'd jettison the idea of patching a hubcap in a second.

Saving money is like making tax free money. Another way to say it is cost avoidance is a good habit when balanced with supposed good cents.

Thank you for your positive input and comments. 

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