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Wheel Paint Removal

Here is something that you might call a completely useless ( or even less than useless ) exercise. For the set it and forget it crowd, you might think that this will mean wheels that tarnish and pit over time. You may be right. I got a second set of wheels more or less for nothing. I wanted them so I could have a new set of tires, mounted and waiting before long trips. I had thought about doing this for a long time but didn't want to try it if I only had one pair. It will also help me to remember which set is which.

Under that near battleship gray paint on your wheels is a rather nice aluminum satin finish. I stripped two sets of wheels. One set from a 1986 Connie and another from a 1997 Connie. ( I traded the old wheels for the new wheels.) The early model wheels took about half the time to strip that it took for the newer model wheels. Count on using a good quality stripper, three or four green Scotchbrite pads, and about 3 hours of your time. Apply stripper with a cheap 1" natural bristle utility grade paint brush, let sit for 15 minutes, scrub with the pad, and then rinse in warm soapy water.

You'll want eye protection and some rubber gloves. That shit really burns. An application of a good clear coat should offer protection from the elements if you choose. I just gave them a quick coat of wax. I'll let you know what happens. I'll take another photo when I get the tires mounted and put them on the bike in another week or so.


Article By: David J. Morrow

June 2004

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