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Chasander

cast aluminum wheel covers

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24 minutes ago, Pat Curran said:

Another way do do it besides the vaseline is to use a rag dampened (not wet) with lacquer thinner to remove excess paint on the top surface of the vanes.  And you are right, a classy looking wheel cover for sure.

I do this while the paint has yet to cure completely.  I use the blue heavy paper shop towels dipped into lacquer thinner then stretched over the edge of a body putty spreader.  Not wet enough to drip, thin enough to touch only the surface you want, and sharp enough for a straight line.  

 

Youll want to work on the bright finishes before painting. It makes clean up easier and you're not trying to polish something next to fresh paint.

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6 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Yes, black is the correct color. Vertical surfaces? Dont quite understand which area you are referring to? Do you mean the outward facing surface of the vanes? Those should be bright Al, not black

Tom Mooney

Tom, 

Gloss or Satin black?

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Mike,

 

I have a 64 cover that needs very little work on the shiny side but needs to have some work done on a bolt hole on the back.  Get with me via PM and make me an offer.

 

Ed

 

20180424_130950.thumb.jpg.eb1b68cc639dae590aca13ecbdd540ff.jpg

 

20180424_131008.thumb.jpg.8c7d0317fc20cfff49a15915f6e8a516.jpg

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On 4/24/2018 at 11:54 AM, RivNut said:

Gloss or Satin black?

 

I'm wondering at this point, without specific paint codes, that the choice is one of personal preference? Once again, searching on-line , it's very difficult to determine if these are painted satin or gloss, and whether or not some of the pictures of amazing restorations used the 'correct' sheen when they restored their cars...

 

As a bit of progress on the one I'm currently restoring. The first process was to clean the entire wheel cover and then go over it with an SOS pad...

 

Progress half way through, the SOS pads did an amazing job at getting them pretty cleaned up and well on their way to a decent shine...

 

2022012328_CoverProgress1.JPG.8fda3bbbb75646df1346cd71f281348f.JPG

 

For what it's worth, I used the piece of rigid insulation as a mounting pad to ensure I didn't damage the stud housings as I manhandled my way through the process...

 

Following the SOS clean, I used sand paper ranging from 340grit to 1200 depending on the severity of the scratches and road rash. In one location I used 220, but for all intent and purpose, most of the minor pitting came out at 600+ but I didn't get too worried about perfection. 

 

Following the sanding, I tried my hand at using a rouge and a buffing wheel for the first time. For kicks and giggles, I started with red rouge, and within seconds, I was blown away at how easy it was to get the aluminium to shine.

 

 

 

172135657_CoverProgress2.JPG.67ebb4e9ff34f59938133c07b9c9920d.JPG

 

At a certain point I decided I could live with this level of shine as the shinier it got, the more the minor imperfections show up at 2-ft away while working on it. I'm sure once it's on the car, I'll be pretty happy and probably won't even find the spots that have added to my 'stress' cleaning this one up...

 

213469623_CoverProgress3.JPG.774e7be5807f40310a283c3a4cb50eea.JPG

 

 

Again, far from perfect, but from where I started to where I'm at, I'm pretty happy with the results. Although this is off of a '63 and is the not the right centre, I tried my hand a cleaning up the centre spinner and plastic emblem to see how it'll work on the ones from my '64...

 

For the most part, the '63 centre spinner was in good shape but the plastic was dull and had minor scratches (similar to mine). After cleaning, I simply used colour sanding papers (3200 grit to 8000) on the on the plastic centre. I didn't use the rouge on the metal but used the red rouge on the plastic cap after most of the scratches were gone, and it too came out pretty decent...

 

 

 

820241862_CoverProgress4.JPG.1a2f313301e6dfd5c16f8d49fea8a40f.JPG

 

So now I'm back to the question of paint sheen- gloss or satin. I initially thought that I would go satin, but after cleaning up the centre cap, the black piece underneath does appear to be gloss, so I'm leaning to finishing the paint in gloss so as to "match" the centre cap... Not sure if this makes sense or not, but at some point I have to make a decision and live with the result... (or do it, then realize it doesn't look good, and do it over again... I seem to do that a lot, but I'd prefer not to do that here tho'...😊)

 

Later,

 

Mike

 

 

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A good friend of mine has a set of NOS turbine wheel covers for the 64.  He just confirmed with me that they are painted a satin black between the vanes.  Hope this helps! 

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I had a set of 63 NOS caps years ago. While the raised areas were polished from the factory they were not ultra shiny and still had slight "texture" here and there. Most restored ones seem to be over polished, but yours look great Mike.

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On 4/29/2018 at 10:52 AM, Pat Curran said:

He just confirmed with me that they are painted a satin black between the vanes.  Hope this helps!

 

Thanks, Pat, much appreciated. It's always good to know the "rules" so one knows how to bend 'em. I actually ended up using a gloss black.

 

Based on a few samples of rattle-can satin black, I just felt that the colour didn't look right for me. Gloss black without colour sanding is almost semi-gloss black, so I'm okay. Once one gets rolling on these, they really don't take too much time to do so if and when I ever get to doing the car's  body, I will likely redo these again...

 

I stuck with using mainly vaseline for masking the shiny parts to remain but also some tape to make handling during painting less greasy...

 

RimFinal1.JPG.e1744e107701e3027c289c32917bfa69.JPG

 

 

 

RimFinal2.JPG.32fb137aa211e359cf4d5e0b8ad2fe9a.JPG

 

 

Fingernail and a paper towel cleans the painted vaseline mask off pretty quick... Once the pant cures, I do a full clean on the remaining grease film.

 

RimFinal4.JPG.543313ad705c7070a3c74b40993b8429.JPG

 

 

Overall, I'm pretty happy even at two feet away...

 

RimFinal6.JPG.dfdcc719572606b06476bf51c65cc7d3.JPG

 

 

 

While I'm here...so my car is currently in the shop since January, (major mechanical, film at eleven...) and scheduled to be done by first week of June. Once I finished this wheel cover that I got of eBay, I took it to the shop and swapped it out for one off my car to do the process all over again. Much to my chagrin, it turns out that in nearly 40 years I've owned this Riv', I've been rolling one nut short of a full load. (aka,  I only had three studs on the one I took off my car, one was broken.)

 

Okay, no big deal I thought, good place for me to learn how to remove a broken bolt... I've got a good drill set, (no drill press, hand drill only), so I went and picked up a set of extractor bits. I was able to get a small hole drilled pretty close to centre, and eventually worked a #1 extractor in. Didn't take too long to realize this bit would snap if I tried to go past where I could feel the torque on the bit. So drilled a bigger hole, on to extractor #2,  heated it a bit to a point where the mixture of ATF/acetone would ignite in the hole (like a little candle...) and same result to a point of no return... 

 

I've got to a point where I have a 7/32" hole, and #4 extractor and it still ain't budging...

 

RivStud1.JPG.a172edade7ae46e7df3c52e88c73bebf.JPG

 

Again, the hole's not perfectly centre, but one would think close enough should count. It almost appeared that metal was "folded "over the top,  hence the grind marks to confirm that second ring is indeed part of the aluminium

 

I've heated it up again, (and again) and topped it off to sit overnight and give 'er one more try with the extractor tomorrow. I'm a little gun-shy on really torquing on it and risk breaking the aluminium mount.

 

RivStud2.JPG.53518ed75c9ae9186c1b4470b77a8440.JPG

 

 

If that fails, any advice on where to take it from here would be greatly appreciated. Since I'm not dead centre, do I Incrementally increase the drill size and hope the studs starts to breaks off on the thin side of the threads? Or, drill it entirely an re-tap it? Hell-coil? Or, just say to heck with it, and keep driving it with three nuts holding 'er on... (very last option...)

 

Later,

 

Mike

 

 

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If you can get a grip on what's left of the stud with the extractor, try heating the aluminum and get it hot enough son that if you hold some candle wax on it, the wax will work it's way through the threads via capillary action.  Then try to remove the broken part.  Heat will expand the aluminum somewhat making the hole a smidge bigger, the wax will work its way into the corrosion, and hopefully the broken stud will come out.  Then use some anti-sieze on the new bolts.  I wouldn't drive with three bolts, not for fear of the cover coming off but because you'll unbalance the tire and wheel.

 

There are a couple of videos on YouTube that demonstrate using candle wax to loosen rusted bolts.

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The missing stud is closer to the center which will NOT interfere with wheel balance. If it were out on the edge that would be another story.

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A lot of the cast cover that I  have are equipped with what appears to  be weights of some kind that are clipped to the back of the cover.  I've never heard an explanation for them. I'll take a picture of one and add it when I dig one out.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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46 minutes ago, RivNut said:

A lot of the cast cover that I  have are equipped with what appears to  be weights of some kind that are clipped to the back of the cover.  I've never heard an explanation for them. I'll take a picture of one and add it when I dig one out.

The round weights were added to the backs to balance the wheel cover itself to avoid any vibrations due to the heaviness of the casting.  This was done at the factory prior to installation.  The thought at the time was you couldn't achieve a proper tire balance if the cover itself was not balanced.  I guess the casting process back then was not perfect.

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  ANY Riviera that came with the cast aluminum covers had the covers installed & the tire, wheel & cover were balanced as an assembly  together so that there would be NO vibration from an out of balance cover. Yes, it requires more work as the cover gets bolted on, the assembly balanced, cover comes off, weight/weights added in proper locations & cover installed again & check balance job to MAKE SURE ALL is balanced correctly as an assembly. If weight/weights are needed the process starts over again. This is ALL done BEFORE the assembly is installed back on the vehicle. I do the same with wire wheel covers.

  It ALL takes time & time is money but I DON'T want any COMEBACKS!!!!

 

How come many don't have the time to do it correctly the 1st. time because it takes much longer to repeat the process.  A little time NOW actually saves time in the long run.  It's not all about the $$$.

 

 

Tom T.

 

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Well, good news and bad news...

 

The bad news, my attempts to extract the bolt remnants have come to an unfortunate failure. At least for my tools and abilities...

 

As I feared the most, I chipped the aluminium stud housing and started a crack

 

RivStud3.JPG.a500da760f0309b12929f527ffaebcbf.JPG

...

 

It was my error in attempting to get the biggest extractor in that I felt could handle the torque. I have no idea if the wax would've worked when I was at the smaller drilled holes/smaller extractor, but from a lot of what I read on-line from not only car forums, but aviation and marine mechanics, many sang the praises of the "secret sauce" (50/50 mixture Automatic Transmission Fluid and acetone) when defusing steel from aluminium. I think I may also have been a little fearful in putting in too much heat with the propane torch... Lessons learned...

 

There are a couple local shops that specialize in aluminum repair so for kicks and giggles, I'll see what it would cost to "fix it right". It's not totally destroyed, but, man, am I kicking myself...

 

The good news... at least there's some comfort in knowing that continuing to run on three bolts isn't too critical, thanks, much appreciated... Obviously not quite to Buick standards, but ...it's not their car... 😊

 

For what it's worth, there are four counterweights on this particular cover that look like this...

 

RivWheelWeights.JPG.40a99a48496d0a7be6dcad4787cd4aa8.JPG

 

Holding the valve hole at twelve o'clock position, (and looking at the front /outside facing of the wheel cover), these are located, at about five o]clock. centre between the 14th and 15th vanes. I just assumed they were counterweights, and now thinking about 'em, and where they are on this one, most likely to offset the missing material from the valve hole (??) 

 

Anywho, thanks to all that have provided some great info, you've been very helpful... I'm not done sprucing these up, I still have two more to re-do, but for now... after the stud fiasco... "gin and tonic, bartender, make it a double and keep 'em coming"...😢

 

Later,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, MikeJS said:

Well, good news and bad news...

 

The bad news, my attempts to extract the bolt remnants have come to an unfortunate failure. At least for my tools and abilities...

 

As I feared the most, I chipped the aluminium stud housing and started a crack

 

RivStud3.JPG.a500da760f0309b12929f527ffaebcbf.JPG

...

 

It was my error in attempting to get the biggest extractor in that I felt could handle the torque. I have no idea if the wax would've worked when I was at the smaller drilled holes/smaller extractor, but from a lot of what I read on-line from not only car forums, but aviation and marine mechanics, many sang the praises of the "secret sauce" (50/50 mixture Automatic Transmission Fluid and acetone) when defusing steel from aluminium. I think I may also have been a little fearful in putting in too much heat with the propane torch... Lessons learned...

 

There are a couple local shops that specialize in aluminum repair so for kicks and giggles, I'll see what it would cost to "fix it right". It's not totally destroyed, but, man, am I kicking myself...

 

The good news... at least there's some comfort in knowing that continuing to run on three bolts isn't too critical, thanks, much appreciated... Obviously not quite to Buick standards, but ...it's not their car... 😊

 

For what it's worth, there are four counterweights on this particular cover that look like this...

 

RivWheelWeights.JPG.40a99a48496d0a7be6dcad4787cd4aa8.JPG

 

Holding the valve hole at twelve o'clock position, (and looking at the front /outside facing of the wheel cover), these are located, at about five o]clock. centre between the 14th and 15th vanes. I just assumed they were counterweights, and now thinking about 'em, and where they are on this one, most likely to offset the missing material from the valve hole (??) 

 

Anywho, thanks to all that have provided some great info, you've been very helpful... I'm not done sprucing these up, I still have two more to re-do, but for now... after the stud fiasco... "gin and tonic, bartender, make it a double and keep 'em coming"...😢

 

Later,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

Looks to me like it might be time for a heli-coil and some JB Weld.  Those "weights" you pictured are the ones to which i was refering.  I'll have to see if the ones that I  have are arranged so they might offset the hole for the valve stem. 

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11 hours ago, RivNut said:

Looks to me like it might be time for a heli-coil and some JB Weld. 

 

Thanks, Ed, although I have a penchant for screwing things up, I usually do my best to not give up...

 

Once again, venturing into new waters, any advice would be helpful. Looks like a relatively straightforward process, but a couple questions....

 

Does the aluminium housing on the wheel cover have enough meat to drill the size needed for a heli coil to accept the same size bolt as the original, or do I need to use a smaller bolt? Or, can I somehow build-up the diameter of the housing using the JB Weld?

 

Again, any advice would be greatly appreciated...

 

Thanks.

 

Mike

 

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Mike,

have read that by using LEFT handed drills, that rotate in the opposite direction, will often unscrew the broken stud. Reason being is that they rotate the same way as undoing the stud/thread/screw. May be worth a try.

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀

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IT WOULD HAVE BEN SO EASY TO HEAT & USE A LITTLE WAX!!!  NOW IT'S TOO LATE. I KNOW IT'S HARD TOO BELIEVE BUT IT WORKS.

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Thanks again for the feedback, guys much appreciated...

 

Rodney, I tried to source the LH bits at a couple specialty tool shops, no luck, but for all intent and purpose I think the extractors do work, I just went too big too fast and cracked the housing, again lesson learned. I have read some say that using a normal drill bit actually tightens the broken stud/bolt even more, but I'm a little sceptical on that theory. To tighten anymore, that bolt would have to move, hence it would have to break the seizure point it's currently at, which in concept should allow it to now move the other way (out). Not sure if this makes sense, but who knows. But yes, if I could have found 'the LH bits, it would've been worth the try...

 

In terms of the wax trick,  I was discussing backroom the replacement studs I intend to use, and although I bought some 1-1/2" straight studs, I then I realized that I may have a few of the originals that I may be able to re-use. This all started when I wanted to replace at least one of my originals that was completely broken....

 

image1-5.JPG.3e10b719dbff201bcb21fbb1e11622a5.JPG

 

Unfortunately, where my car is right now, I'll have to wait until next week to grab this cover, but I will look at removing the existing studs out of this cover and hopefully I can save them to make 'em work as replacements on my repair. I suspect this may not be as easy as it sounds, but I guess I won't know until I try.

 

Any "lesson learned' pointers in getting the old studs out would be greatly appreciated, and with any luck I won't be posting any "what NOT to do" pointers in removing these studs...

 

FWIW, I just repaired the crack with the JB weld last night, letting that set, and should be good to final drill and pop in the heli-coil... at least that's the plan...

 

 

Later,

 

Mike

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On 3/17/2018 at 1:00 AM, RivNut said:

I plan on digging some of these out for resale at the ROA event in Overland Park. It will probably be a few weeks before I get to them, but I'll look them over and see what's in the stack that may be better than what you already have.

 

The one with the entire outer ring broken off makes for an interesting look,

 

Ed

Ed, Bring the ones that are in really bad shape, I like a challenge.

Red Riviera Bob

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