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Technical Smoothing an ugly sidewall

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bowtie56jw, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. bowtie56jw
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 208

    bowtie56jw
    Member

    While cruising through the tire size availability thread i read that someone else is also running Hankooks like i am. while i love the ride of the h724 tire i hate the sidewall, its just plain ugly!
    is there a safe way to smooth the the black wall side? if so how?
    Thanks fellers
    jeff
     
    jimmy six, 40FORDPU and chryslerfan55 like this.
  2. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,416

    40FORDPU
    Member
    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    I agree, Can't help with a process though.
     
    jimmy six likes this.
  3. Rig up a rotisserie so the tire/wheel can spin, then use a 400 grit sanding disc on a small angle grinder. Keep the disc/wheel moving at all times to avoid gouges and heat build-up, don't try to take a bunch at one time. You'd think this would leave sanding marks, but it doesn't. You'll have a satin finish almost indistinguishable from the factory finish. If you want it shinier, 'finish' with a 600 grit disc. If you haven't done it before, practice on a junk tire, you'll quickly get the technique.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  4. The new tires I just purchased have ugly side walls and I will be watching closely and absorbing information, I got a few old tires to practice on. HRP
     
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  5. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,811

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I use an air angle 2 inch grinder, go slow to limit heat, start at 400, then 800, then 1200 . I finish by polishing by hand with wet 1200. I wet the paper with armor all. Be patient. Good results
     
  6. I'll go into a bit more detail....

    Sand the lettering off first, keeping the disc moving at all times. You want to sand until all that's left is a bare outline of the letters, don't try to totally remove the lettering. At that point, you want to smooth/blend the whole sidewall, now you need the wheel turning on the rotisserie while you use the disc. Your rotisserie needs to spin freely, I rigged mine up from an old axle with a bearing still on it. A spindle with a hub on it works well too. If you don't want to do that, you can also jack up the front of the car on one side and install the wheel, sanding it on the car but I've found it much harder to see what you're doing this way so I highly recommend a rotisserie. If using the on-the-car method, if the car has front disc brakes, it helps to pry the brake pads back so there's no drag at all. If you have drums, back off the adjustment. This does make a mess, so keep that in mind.

    Don't try to remove anything that's indented into the tire, only stuff that protrudes.
     
  7. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 4,811

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good point that I forgot to mention. I do mine mounted, inflated and I place them on my roll around mechanics stool. Works great on 15 and over rim diameters.
     
  8. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,150

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    We used 80 grit on a DA. Then stepped it up. Wiped it down with thinner. Tire dressed it and looked factory
     
  9. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,150

    55chieftain
    Member

    I did mine with a roloc wheel (course) cafefully with an angle die grinder. Than da 120 grit , than just sandpaper wetsanded to finish it off 001_zpsba485f57.jpg
     
  10. xpletiv
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 937

    xpletiv
    Member
    from chiburbs

    Roughly how long did that take to do, per tire?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  11. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,150

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    And it’s a messy process
     
  12. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,150

    55chieftain
    Member

    Maybe an hour

     
  13. bowtie56jw
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 208

    bowtie56jw
    Member

    Dang bill that looks great!
     
    55chieftain likes this.
  14. ...I sanded these (just the letters) using my DA with 80 grit and a light hand,,...when the letters are off and it's smooth, go over it with laquer thinner over whole sidewall
    48 with booster 004.jpg
     
    31hotrodguy likes this.
  15. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 9,498

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Bringing this back up because I'm going to try sanding only a select portion of the lettering off my Excelsior radials.
    I'm going to do it with my DA without spinning the tires and according to most of the info here as long as I'm careful not to dig hard it should work fine.
     
  16. One thing that should be mentioned is it may be illegal to remove the info off the tire sides, depending on the year of your vehicle. Diamond Back used to have this posted on their website as they offered this service at that time, but it's no longer there. But IIRC, anything '48 and older it was OK, newer it wasn't. Unlikely to be an issue unless you live somewhere that requires inspections, and maybe not even then. But a heads-up anyway....
     
  17. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,547

    alchemy
    Member

    If it's illegal, just leave the lettering on the inside and tell the inspector to get on his knees.
     
    Lone Star Mopar likes this.
  18. Apparently it has to be 'plainly' visible, as they would only remove one side when they still had this posted.
     
  19. Just add it to list of other illegal items on my hot rod.. I'll take my chances.

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    wackdaddy, 31hotrodguy, RDR and 2 others like this.
  20. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 9,498

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    I’m only going to remove a portion of the lettering, and I’m not going to tell you exactly what it is here.

    If you’re curious send me a message and I’ll let the cat out of the bag. :D
     
  21. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,352

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Curb rash, one and done!
    OK two.
     
  22. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 9,498

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Nope I don’t really care about that part. :D
     
  23. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,725

    blowby
    Member
    from Nicasio Ca

    FIRE ONE?
    GO YEA?
    UN ROYAL?
     
  24. I just figure the money those Excelsior Radials cost to look like Bias plys, then they plaster Radial real big on the side wall... Kinda goofy idntit

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  25. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 9,498

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    I love the tires and the look. The radial thing isn’t an issue for me.
    I like that they are radials and the car will probably drive better too.

    Like I said it’s a different thing I’m gonna remove.
     
    Lone Star Mopar likes this.
  26. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,748

    KoolKat-57
    Member
    from Dublin, OH

    Be sure to wear at least a dust mask while doing the sanding!
    KK
     
    Blue One likes this.
  27. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,868

    a boner
    Member

    So much for the sidewall design engineering departments all just about all tire companies.
     
  28. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 4,648

    brigrat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Wa.St.

    I would think twice about using any solvent or "thinner" on a rubber tire. It could, and in my case did cause the rubber to prematurely "check crack"................................................
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  29. I think Johnny Law probably wants to see the DOT markings and such, I doubt they care about brand names.
    I just built a rotisserie to clean and polish OT wheels, bet it would work great for this job
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    Mr48chev and Blue One like this.

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