Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Project CB160 - Wheels and Tires

Cleaning your vintage wheels the right way includes most, if not all of what you are about to read. This includes taking apart the wheel completely separating the rim, spokes and hub. Start out by glass bead blasting the inside and center surfaces of the hub to clean them up. You could blast the outside also to remove the factory clear coat, but that could get costly. Instead, wet sand the really rough areas with fine grit emery cloth or if it's not that bad, polish using the aggressive ebony compound. Then move on to the brown tripoly compound with a tight spiral sewn buffing wheel. The next step is to use a white(fine) polishing compound with a loose cloth buffing wheel. Finally, clean and even the finish by hand polishing with some Mother's aluminum polish.

After the spokes and rim have been thoroughly cleaned, start to lace the wheel. On your vintage wheel, in most cases, you will see some slight wear marks from where the spokes were originally. this will help you place the outside spokes where they were prior to cleaning. String all of the outside spokes, then all of the inside spokes on one side of the hub first. Place the rim over the top and begin to thread a few of the nipples through the rim onto the spokes. Flip over the wheel and do the same to the other side. You will have to loosen and tighten spokes in order to get all of the spokes strung evenly. After all of the nipples are threaded hand tight, try to evenly tighten the spokes with a wrench. Test the spokes by tapping them with a wrench as they all should produce about the same tone if they are under the same tension. This part takes a while. After you've finished up, bring it to a local shop for truing and a once over.

The tires that will be mounted on the rims are some Michelin Gazelle M62's. 18" x 2.75" front and rear will cost you about $24 a piece.

Typical oxidized finish followed by Atypical mirror finish:

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