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Author Topic: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels  (Read 6754 times)

Offline scott s

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Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« on: Jan 17, 2013, 09:54:54 »
 Last year, I stumbled across a set of really rare Henry Abe wheels for my Honda CB500/550.






 These wheels were originally anodized, I believe. You can see the sort of plum color on the unrestored wheels. I'm told that this is old, faded anodizing.




 I took them to a friends body shop and used his soda blaster to clean them. I then spent a LONG time taping them up.



Offline scott s

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #1 on: Jan 17, 2013, 10:00:20 »
 I was going to have him paint them, but he's super busy so, after they sat there for a few months, I took them home and spray bombed them. They initially looked pretty good.



 However, I guess I didn't clean them well enough. The front one, anyway. Almost immediately, the paint started flaking off.



 How can I prep these wheels? I've considered paint stripper, but don't know what that will do to the aluminum. Maybe a ScotchBrite pad and retape, but what can I do to assure the paint sticks next time? I used some Preps All on a paper towel before painting them last time, but apparently I didn't do something right.

 The lips of the spokes are machined. The lips of the rim are smoother, but I don't think I can polish them to a mirror shine. At least not with the equipment I have.


Offline scott s

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #2 on: Jan 17, 2013, 10:01:14 »
 Also, can anyone tell me if these need tubes?

Offline Maritime

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #3 on: Jan 17, 2013, 10:25:28 »
Nice wheels. I have read easy off oven cleaner will remove old anodizing.  Could look that up to verify and try it, then clean and prep again. I have had good luck with Duplicolor or rustoleum self etching primer then paint on wheels.  You can hand polish the edges with wetdry sandpaper, 400-600-800-1000-2000 polish compound. 

Cheers

Maritime

Edit. the wheels should be marked tubelss if they are and if you don't know for sure, just run tubes to be safe.
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Offline scott s

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #4 on: Jan 17, 2013, 10:40:45 »
 I'm told that you have to really clean an item after soda blasting. Think that was the problem or was it the anodizing?
 The rear seems to be holding up OK. I'm going to work on the front wheel with a ScothcBrite pad, re-clean and try again, I guess.

Offline Tim

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #5 on: Jan 17, 2013, 10:43:45 »
I'd say they're worth investing a bit in and having them powder coated.  Not sure where you are, but get in touch with Joe on the board here (JRK5892) - he does it professionally in the Chicago area.

www.thepowderpro.com

Otherwise I've seen people use 'appliance epoxy' spray paint with success.
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Offline scott s

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #6 on: Jan 17, 2013, 10:48:03 »
 I was told by a local (automotive) wheel repair shop that they don't have a way to mask off the highlighted areas. They powdercoat the entire wheel and then re-machine. I did get the vibe that they just didn't want to mess with the wheels, though.
 If I were to powdercoat I'd have to remove the bearings and I don't have the special bearing retainer tool. I could figure something out, I'm sure, but.....

Kamn

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #7 on: Jan 17, 2013, 10:48:06 »
The best way to get anodizing off of aluminum is to let it soak in Castrol Super Clean, sit back and watch it bubbling as it eats off the anodizing. And no worries about it damaging the aluminum, I have used this before to on my CX500 switch controls and it worked great, but you will need to clean it off after with a light sanding using a high grit sandpaper
Here is a link to a posting of it
http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/How+to+Polish+Aluminum+%28by+LRCXed%29


Offline AlphaDogCustoms

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #8 on: Jan 17, 2013, 12:01:11 »
I'll start with your last question:
They originally shipped with tubes. They can be run tubeless, but you have to drill the rim where the stem goes to fit the new tubeless stem. The front wheel has a very narrow groove in the center, so many tubeless stems will not fit in there without either modifying the stem or doing a little machining to the wheel.

The powdercoater that you talked to is full of shit. He is just too fuckin' lazy to mask the wheels properly. You need a powdercoater who is a craftsman and interested in doing good work. You can also do that yourself. You just need to buy some high-temperature tape suitable for powdercoating.
http://www.columbiacoatings.com/store/p/5190-Green-Poly-High-Temp-Tape.aspx

Two things about the soda blasting. One, it is probably not aggressive enough for this task. For paint OR powdercoat to stick properly, you need to sandblast. Aluminum oxide is usually used for sandblasting for powdercoating. It gives the surface enough tooth for the coating to adhere. Two, soda has to be washed off with WATER. You may have still had some soda on the surface, which interfered with the paint.

Here's what I think you should do. I am keeping in mind that you are trying to do this on the cheap, but you see that it gets you poor results, so bite the bullet and do it right.

Remove the bearings from the wheels. I know it isn't always easy, but skipping that step is shoddy work. Those bearing should be cleaned thoroughly and repacked with a good marine grease like Lucas Red & Tacky.

Have them sandblasted.

Clean up the spoke faces and outer bead area using 120 sandpaper. Be careful not to round over your edges. In my shop, i would use a flap wheel on an air tool. You probably don't have that so do the best you can by hand.

Mask the areas where you don't want powdercoat. As you know, it's a time consuming and tedious process. (That's why your lazy powdercoater doesn't want to do it.)

Have them powdercoated.

After you have stripped off the masking, you can decide what you want to do with the raw aluminum areas. You can leave them with the 120 grit surface, which if you have done properly, will have a brushed look. You can use ScotchBrite to make a finer brushed look, or you can sand with finer and finer grits of sandpaper and finish by polishing with a buffing wheel.

Edited to add: NEVER use Easy Off Oven Cleaner on aluminum. It can give you a long-term continuing corrosion problem that will haunt you forever. That shit dissolved aluminum, and it will penetrate into pores of the aluminum, and cause corrosion to happen underneath whatever coating you put on those wheels.
« Last Edit: Jan 17, 2013, 12:03:32 by AlphaDogChoppers »
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Offline scott s

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Re: Help restoring Henry Abe wheels
« Reply #9 on: Jan 17, 2013, 13:01:04 »
 I totally got the feeling the car wheel guy just didn't want to do it. That's OK....if he doesn't want my money, I'm not going to beg him to take it.

 I'm awaiting a quote from a local guy whose work I like. Gonna see if he can prep and paint them and at what cost.

 BTW, the last set of these wheels with an 18" rear sold on ebay for $1,496 and $1,827!!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-Henry-Abe-Honda-CB750F-Aluminum-Mag-Wheels-New-Old-Stock-CB-750-Cafe-Racer-/150969442527?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item23267ae0df&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HENRY-ABE-DAYTONA-SEVEN-STAR-MAG-WHEELS-HONDA-CB750-K0-K6-HAYASHI-LESTER-/110968908624?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item19d6432b50&nma=true&si=LAQnSOkm5WQPZPkRpfrQ8XFy9MA%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557