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Cleaning up some 1954 Buick Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels


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Over the years I've collected quite a few original condition Kelsey Hayes wire wheels, keeping the best and selling the rest. I ended up with two sets of fair condition ones, one for the Century ('54 6")  and one for the Roadmaster ('53 6.5"). Since I sold the set that originally came on the Century to someone here who needed some to have restored, I finally saved up enough to buy new tires for it and spent the last few days cleaning up these wires to go back on it.

 

Started off cleaning them with Bar Keepers Friend and an assortment of soft bottle brushes. I've used BKF before on all sorts of things from complete cars to rusty chrome stuff. BKF is nonabrasive, is 10% oxalic acid and is great for removing rust from metals and for removing hard water stains and mineral deposits like calcium and lime.

 

 

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Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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After cleaning and blowing dry with compressed air I used Blue Magic to clean and polish. Used numerous soft bottle brushes, the one for applying and then several more to progressively remove and buff with a complete warm water rinse and compressed air blow dry at the end.

 

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Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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Seeing how much work just cleaning these was, I decided to try an additional step. I researched ceramic coatings and found Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic Wax to be a very simple and easy to apply product that will hopefully help shed road grime and make cleaning easier. It's basically an apply, rinse and dry application.  I anticipate reapplying every 3rd or 4th wash job but not as thick as I applied initially. 

 

I started off giving them another good wash down with Dawn and warm water to remove any Blue Magic residue or other contaminants.

 

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Apply, let set a minute then rinse with high pressure water hose.

 

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If water beading is any indicator of effectiveness, I have high hopes. Beading probably doubled from just the blue magic stage.

 

 

 

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Then the spinner hubs. Again, I've collected these from swap meets, ebay etc, one or two at a time and pulled the best.  Gave them the same treatment as the wheels.

 

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From a Skylark

 

 

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AND DONE    

click on this V a few times magnify

 

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Edited by MrEarl (see edit history)
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I used BKF on the wire wheel hubcaps from my '92 and '85 Rivs'.   Good stuff...the touch of acid in the cleanser worked well on road grime.  Used to clean them once a year just before I'd take the Rivs' out from winter storage. 

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Lamar,

 

You have the patience of a saint !

If you have a couple of spare weekends, I have a set of spoke rims for my '54 Caddy which would surely benefit from your magic touch-

and I'll have my son-in-law prepare the Jambalaya and the Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo,

along with some local brew

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1 hour ago, Marty Roth said:

Lamar,

 

You have the patience of a saint !

If you have a couple of spare weekends, I have a set of spoke rims for my '54 Caddy which would surely benefit from your magic touch-

and I'll have my son-in-law prepare the Jambalaya and the Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo,

along with some local brew

 

Wow Marty, I bet he can cook some good Gumbo,  and it's Jambalaya weather too isn't it!!!!! I tell you what, you've got a deal, but it will need to be after I get the Century back on the road and then finish the interior of the Buick Sales and Service Garage.  Deal?   😄

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Just now, MrEarl said:

 

Wow Marty, I bet he can cook some good Gumbo,  and it's Jambalaya weather too isn't it!!!!! I tell you what, you've got a deal, but it will need to be after I get the Century back on the road and then finish the interior of the Buick Sales and Service Garage.  Deal?   😄

 

Deal !!!

 

Just brought y'self on down Da' Bayou

The door is always open to you, Ma' Fren'

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3 hours ago, MrEarl said:

Started off cleaning them with Bar Keepers Friend and an assortment of soft bottle brushes.

 

How long did the BKF stay on before you rinsed it off?  Oxalic acid is good for removing iron oxide stains.  I've also used 'wood bleach' which also contains it.

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1 minute ago, EmTee said:

 

How long did the BKF stay on before you rinsed it off?  Oxalic acid is good for removing iron oxide stains.  I've also used 'wood bleach' which also contains it.

 

Just the time it took to soak them down good with it and do the scrubbing with the soft bristle bottle brushes, probably about 30 minutes or so.

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Your BKF sounds a lot like C-L-R, as to removing rust, water stains, etc.

 

There are several YouTube comparisons on how good the Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic "wax" is, compared to competitors.  Even it appeared to be the underdog in a few contests, it always ended up winning in the end.  I put on my new lawnmower and it looks great.  Works on the cheap reading glasses I bought at WM, too!

 

Seems like there's a dedicated wire wheel brush that somebody sells?  Or a similar foam cone, that goes onto an electric drill.  Might need protective gear to use them?

 

Will the cars look as good as the wheels?

 

You did good!

NTX5467

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On 12/11/2020 at 9:40 PM, NTX5467 said:

Will the cars look as good as the wheels?

 

Very comparable actually, which is one reason I went with originals not in perfect condition.

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20 hours ago, old-tank said:

The trouble with those &*%$@*& wire wheels:( is that they have to be dismounted to detail them like that.  Every time that I think about that chore, my back starts barking at me!:o

 

and thanks for being kind and not asking in front of all my friends why didn't I do this before having the tires mounted. Poor planning, just poor planning. But it did make for an easier time of washing the blue protective off the ww's. Excuse me while I have another hit of CBD for my back pains.

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I’ve heard that wheel ants are now crossing with our Fire Ants, making changing a flat tire a real nightmare. Anybody know where I might find some DOT 3 😆

 

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DON'T forget about the tire inflation tool!  Take out a spark plug, screw in a fitting attached to a reinforced rubber tube, which has a tire inflation chuck on the other end.  Uses the "air" pumped by the engine to re-inflate a tire.  My father had one, but usually used it for the tractors rather than his old GMC pickup.  Sounds like a decent deal, until you consider what was in that "air" that was pumped into the tire.  But it worked in a pinch.

 

NTX5467

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6 hours ago, MrEarl said:

 

 

Put in my order today

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I wonder how long it would take to fill a tire?  Probably 2X as fast with a 401!  Also I wonder how they figure clean, cool air, since the source is contaminated by the fuel in the intake.  Might even have been interesting considering the vapors being pressurized and the number of pictures one sees where the person is smoking cigarettes. 😈

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Yep, that's the ONE!  Dad used to have one in the old GMC.  Probably used it a time or two over the years.

 

When thsoe things were popular, most engines were inline rather than Vs.  If you're in the middle of a field with a tractor tire going down, you don't worry about anything other trhan getting the tire re-inflated.  Those hydrocarbons and such never seemed to cause a problem with the water/antifreeze mix in the rear tires.

 

As for tires on a pickup truck or your car, if there was a slow leak, eventually it would need to be fixed.  At which time the "engine air" would be released into the ambient atmosphere and replaced with normal air from the shop's air compressor.  Hopefully, with a water separator in the output line.

 

Happy Holidays!

NTX5467

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