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Home machining aluminum Lincoln/Halibrand wheels

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by judgeyoung, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. judgeyoung
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 141

    judgeyoung
    Member

    I have a pair of Lincoln aluminum wheels (the ones that look a little like Halibrands). I want to blend the sharp edge of the lip, smooth the center face, and possibly even blend the small "kidney bean" holes to make it look more like a Halibrand. I don't have a lathe.

    Do any of you have a "home brew" method of doing it? I might be able to use a brake lathe at the local parts store if anyone has any ideas for methods for doing so, but I am really thinking more like putting the axle on jackstands and building some type of fixture to hold a cutting tool or possibly a hand grinder to use while the wheel is turning. Anybody have ideas, or experience?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Got a photo of the wheels your talking about? HRP
     
  3. Without a lathe, this will be extremely time consuming. I did a pair of motorcycle wheels and won't admit to how many hours I had invested in them....

    Best bet is to rig a 'turn fixture' using a front hub that you can put into a vice or some way of holding it but allows the wheel to turn. Don't use a grinding wheel, use sanding discs, followed by surface conditioning discs (scotchbrite). This will give you a polishable finish. If you're after a machined finish, a lathe big enough to spin them will be your only choice.
     
  4. I just finshed a set and you have to have a lathe so it blends nicely.
     

  5. judgeyoung
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 141

    judgeyoung
    Member

    [​IMG]

    I imagine that, before it is all said and done, I'll use a lathe, but would sure like to see some of your efforts and a description of how you accomplished it.... even if you used a lathe!
     
  6. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    I've done a set just like these. (There are some versions of the Lincoln wheel that don't have the windows nor the ridge around the lug pattern.) A lathe is a necessity. I made an "artificial" hub from a piece of 1/2" plate and a piece of 1 1/2" round bar. Drilled the plate with the bolt pattern and a center hole, welded it together then faced the plate so it ran true with the shank. You want to make sure you true up the hub in the same lathe you are going to turn the wheels on. I then "picked " it out with a boring bar. The aluminum cuts best with a "Hi speed" tool bit with a really sharp edge. Indexable carbides usually don't have a sharp enough edge or enough front clearance to dig in and really cut-they want to rub. Finished with various grits of abrasive and Scotchbright.






     
  7. steves29
    Joined: Jan 19, 2010
    Posts: 193

    steves29
    Member

    Got any friends in the garage business? Maybe he would let you use the wheel balancer on a constant spin setting.
     
  8. xderelict
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 2,477

    xderelict
    Member Emeritus

    I've done this without a lathe. I used a large electric motor. With a tire on the wheel on the car, engage the electric motor with the tire, it will spin the wheel. Grinding with flap wheels on a 4 1/2" grinder while the wheel spins took the ridges out. Mine were Cordoba wheels but similar.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  9. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326

    willymakeit
    Member

    What a great idea. Now Im off to the salvage yd. I would like to hear more on this.
     
  10. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,375

    bobbytnm
    Member

  11. Pretty much got to have a lathe to do any large amount of metal removal (I worry about strength here) but if you just want to resurface, sanding discs and scotch brite wheels will work right on the car. put the rear axle on jackstands, put the car in low and have at it. if you have a one wheel wonder, leave one rear wheel on the ground and always block the wheels that are on the ground. I sanded and polished a set of Versailles wheels in an afternoon.
    I don't know if it helps in any way, but a router with carbide bits will cut aluminum very well. (very light cuts)
     
  12. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,738

    A Boner
    Member

    Just use a small, soft abrasive disc on a die grinder or small electric drill. Don't just grind in one area, but work the overall area and sort of sneak up on the overall shape desired. It doesn't have to be 100% perfect, as you are replicating a sand cast wheel.....just try to get it as close as you can. After you are done grinding, sand blast the wheel. Then you can take a rag and put some mag wheel polish on it. Smear the blackened rag on the sand blasted surface. Don't try to polish the wheel, but instead just try to blacken the sand blasted surface to get rid of the newly sand blasted look.
    It will end up looking like this Mopar wheel....just like your Lincoln wheel.
     

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  13. Crusty Nut
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,834

    Crusty Nut
    Member

    What years are these wheels from? I like them.
     
  14. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,738

    A Boner
    Member


    Mid 70's Lincoln and Mopar.......I think they were made by Kelsey Hayes for both companys.
     
  15. 19-c
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,076

    19-c
    Member


    I hope the Junkyard union members are not online tonight. Next thing ya know these babies will be fetching BIG Bucks because someone showed interest in them! haha
     
  16. didn't do any machining, just polished, made a flat disc for the center and attached a knock off. The next version will get some machining and a different treatment for the center. Thanks to the guys with the machining info.
    Curt R
     

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  17. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    I think the bigger problem is the fact that junkyards have scrapped/recycled almost all of the out of date aluminum wheels. Instant cash with no work.




     
  18. dechrome
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 303

    dechrome
    Member

    I have done two sets of these wheels, 15 in Ford rears and 14 in Lincoln fronts.
    A Mustand axle was chucked in the lathe and the wheel bolted to it. The radius was rounded eith a triangular bearing scraper since slight runout didn't allow using a cutting tool.
    A brushed finish with emery cloth and no polish.
    Caps were spun into female wooden paterns.
    The roadster wheels were redrilled for multiple bolt patterns and unilugs.while the convertable wheels were drilled for 4 1/2 in pattern
    dechrome
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  19. judgeyoung
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 141

    judgeyoung
    Member

    Thanks for all the great info. Any other ideas for non-lathe turning? It seems like I could use a disc brake rotor turning machine. Anyone tried that, yet?

    Thanks again for the input!
     
  20. fenderless
    Joined: Mar 31, 2006
    Posts: 1,285

    fenderless
    Member
    from Norway

    Looking good:) Really like the idea:)


    ..............................
    Taildragger&fenderless
     
  21. Leviman
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 201

    Leviman
    Member

    Can't you just jack the car up and put it in gear? Grind away!
     
  22. Cshabang
    Joined: Mar 30, 2004
    Posts: 2,458

    Cshabang
    Member

    i just bought both rotor and drum turning machines so I can do similar work. All I have to do is make up the tooling and I have hub centric turning on wheels as big as I want...AND they take less foot print than a lathe that would do the same work
     
  23. -DMC-
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 278

    -DMC-
    Member
    from Ohio

    Whats a set of these Lincoln rims worth? I have access to a set and was curious. I know they are pretty rare to find. Ive searched google and cant find anything.

    I guess the value depends what someone wants to pay for them. I was guessing anywhere from 50-100 bucks a rim.
     
  24. Sold a set about 2 years ago for $150 for the set and they were online for probably 6 months before someone bit.
     
  25. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,033

    oldolds
    Member

    Bingo! Instant turning fixture! Have done this many times to polish alum. wheels.
     
  26. -DMC-
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 278

    -DMC-
    Member
    from Ohio

    Well hell, thats like only 35 a rim. Maybe if one was to cut like 2 inches of the rims and then weld other part back together you could have like two 4" rims and two 8" rims...Theyd prolly sell for more then, but thats a lot of work...

    Def need a real car guy to pay for these rims I guess. Someone with an older ford/licnoln or someone with a rod from the '20s-'50s...
     
  27. Had them on Craigslist and here. Where o where to find a "real car guy"? :D
     
  28. -DMC-
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 278

    -DMC-
    Member
    from Ohio

    I guess 'real car guy' was wrong term to use...

    I meant that if I got them for a cheap price, I could resell them to a guy looking for a semi rare rim for his ride, and not some new rim you can easily buy...Like someone going for a nostalgic type looking rim.

    If I cant make money on these rims I guess I could just stack em in the garage till that day comes.
     

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