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Hot Rods Sandblasting chrome rims

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by easyrider47, Feb 3, 2021.

  1. easyrider47
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 640


    I have a set of chrome rims I want to strip the chrome off of. Will sandblasting them do the job so I can have them powder coated. thanks,
    31hotrodguy likes this.
  2. If the chrome on the wheels is a good job, I think you will not be happy.
    VANDENPLAS and slowmotion like this.
  3. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,360

    from Minnesota

    I have the chrome blasted off stuff all the time before I powdercoat it. If it great pristine chrome, then I lightly blast it and powdercoat over it.
    j hansen and 31hotrodguy like this.
  4. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,276


    Good chrome will make you talk to yourself....
    Blasted a Kerker 4 into 1 header some years ago, damn, still have nightmares..
    VANDENPLAS likes this.

  5. 3quarter32
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 406


    Just take them to a chrome shop. They can strip them in a short time. Just today I took a grill, waited while they done it.
    lurker mick and mgtstumpy like this.
  6. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,874


    Chrome shop is the best way to go for stripping, I had some old bars sandblasted to remove all the flaking chrome before they were stripped for rechroming.
  7. 6-71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2005
    Posts: 542


    I had a set of chrome wires I wanted to get blasted so I could paint them,local blasting place said they had to be stripped at the chrome shop before they could blast them. they were in pretty good shape,so I just blasted them myself,etch primed and painted them. The reason I took them to the shop is because its winter here and I didnt want to blast them outside.
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,795


    It's a hundred and seventy mile drive to the closest chrome shop around here to have anything done. I never saw the results but my buddy said he had taken some chrome wheels to the local automotive machine shop that had one of the ovens to bake the crud out of heads and blocks and what not and had the chrome baked off. I've never checked with the place he said the took them to to be sure though.
  9. There's a lot of variables here... If you have more than just a small amount of peeling chrome, then it's all gotta go and having it stripped at a chrome shop is the best method. If it's an aftermarket wheel and is only rusting in the nooks and crannies with no peeling or at most only minor peeling, then blasting with finer grit sand and relatively low air pressure (under 100 PSI) to remove the 'soft' rust and loose plating, leaving a light texture on the remaining chrome will work. Too coarse sand at a too-high pressure will 'shatter' the brittle chrome and cause it to lift at some point. It is possible to sandblast chrome off, but it can be a slow process. It will depend on the quality of the original plating too. A cheap chrome-over-bare-steel job will come off much easier than a quality copper/nickel/chrome job. Never heard of 'baking it off'. If you get it hot enough it doesn't look like chrome anymore though.

    Wire wheels can present a increase in degree of difficulty. I suspect the guy that wanted a chrome shop to strip the wheels didn't want to put in the time needed to blast them, unless there was considerable peeling present, or he knew his method would cause peeling..

    If you have a spotlessly clean and dry surface, powdercoat will stick pretty good. I've coated chrome parts in selected areas without blasting and have had no issues with peeling so far. Powder will stick better the more surface 'tooth' it has, but the real trick is having a dead-nuts clean and dry surface.
    harpo1313 and Moriarity like this.
  10. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 21,640

    Staff Member

    We powder coated where I used to work. A buddy of mine with a Harley wanted all of his chrome blacked out. He would give me parts to take to work and paint black . A few parts at a time. Over a few years I bet I powder coated more than 50 parts for him. None of it was sandblasted or stripped as @Crazy Steve mentioned above. Powder right over the chrome and there have been zero issues and he has been riding with most of these parts for 5 years or so. I know one thing, The people in the paint dept used to ask me "why would anyone want to paint over perfectly good chrome" I couldn't answer because I agreed with them....
  11. My powdercoater said he wouldn't do my Cragars unless I had them reverse dipped, the chrome shop charged my buddy $90 bucks for a pair of valve covers. I never took the wheels because by the time I paid them and the powdercoat guy, it'd be way more than a pair of powdercoated Cragars would be worth.
  12. If they were plated aluminum-centered or all aluminum wheels, that's why he didn't want to touch them. Once corrosion gets under the plating, the only fix is to remove it until you get to clean virgin metal. If you were willing to do the work, peeling off all the loose plating then 'feathering' the edges back to clean metal with sanding rolls and/or discs that would have worked, after blasting off any remaining corrosion. You'd want to pre-bake it at least once to 'boil' any remaining corrosion out before coating. It's amazing how much 'stuff' can soak into cast aluminum...

    The other problem is if they had steel rims they're impossible to strip unless you knock the center out. The solution used to strip chrome off aluminum literally eats steel. I learned that when I had a motorcycle side cover plated. The guy had problems with it, had to re-do it several times. When I went to pick it up, the steel bushing pressed into the cover for the kickstarter shaft was gone. When I asked about, he asked 'Was it steel?'. When I said yes he went out and dragged one of his tanks but there was no trace of it. I ended up having one made...
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 989


    I talk to a guy who has been doing power-coating for a long time and he will power-coat right over the chrome and done so without any issues. But for myself I would work on the existing chrome (you have to do it often) to keep it shining.
  14. FalconMan
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,360

    from Minnesota

    I've blacked out at least 100 Harleys, many of them are brand new bikes. I would not powdercoat over chrome without blasting it with aluminum oxide to scuff it up so the powder can adhere properly.

    I have not had one customer come back with powder flacking off.

    Will powder stick to bare chrome.... probably.... but like with painting, prep is everything.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    j hansen likes this.
  15. These Cragars ( aluminum center with steel hoop ) were rechromed without being taken apart and done separately, doesn't look like either metals were effected to me, much less eaten away.

    FB_IMG_1612459875167.jpg FB_IMG_1612459901879.jpg
    quick85 and big duece like this.
  16. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,257

    big duece
    from kansas

    Those look NICE! Done in NY area?
  17. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,344


    Wow how did you find someone willing to plate a complete assembled wheel? Looks great.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    big duece likes this.
  18. The place is called Chrome Plating USA in California
    $500 bucks and 2 week turn around

    Phillips likes this.
  19. Here's the business card, I seen on another social media where a couple more guys including the guy that owned those Cragars are sending in more.


    I have some skinny 5x4.75 Cragars and Rockets that I was possibly thinking about sending in.

    20210124_160901.jpg 20190316_002602.jpg
    Phillips likes this.
  20. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 391


    If the chrome gets hot enough, it will begin to bubble, particularly so on plated aluminum. If you have access to a blaster, go for it. However, I had some steel Tractionmaster under-ride bars that were chrome-plated. They were too obvious, so I had the powder-coated black. They were first blasted, but I don't know what media was used. The bars turned out well, but the mounting brackets, which are welded to the bars, not so much. Having a plater strip them would be best, but will the cost exceed the value of the rims. No offense, but it doesn't look like they were a big investment. If you consider the cost/effort involved in stripping and painting them, you might find a nice set that will be equal to or less than what you will otherwise spend.
  21. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,344


    Cool thanks!

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    swade41 likes this.

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