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What to do with rusty, peeling CragarSS's?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rocky, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. I fell into a deal on some old, rusty, peeling Cragars. All 4 are 15X7s but two of them have a lot more positive offset than the 2 zero offset wheels. All 4 are rusty and peeling, some worse than others.
    I did a search on this forum to see what others have done with these kinds of wheels and didn't come up with much.
    I've seen a set painted white on a white car and it looked like shit, IMHO.
    The wheel in the photo has about 2 hours work into it with SOS pads and a hand polishing with wenol.
    Have any of you guys come up with a trick way of making these old dogs look good? Maybe sand blasting lightly and a coat of variprime to do a cool paint job or perhaps some powdercoating?
    Maybe they'll be a good platform for some full moon discs. I dunno.

    Attached Files:

  2. I think chrome plating shops have a process that reverses the plating so that the chrome can be removed. Then you can power coat them, maybe in a silver powder coat. I have no idea if the cost would be high to do that though.
  3. good luck finding a chromer to touch wheels its very cost prohibative and supposedlly hard to get the chrome to lay in the wheels right again

    all you can do is powder them or scuff em up and spray paint em
  4. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,944


    Tape off the good chrome on the spokes, then blast them and paint everything that is rough black. I have seen them done that way and I think it looks good.
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  5. Sandblasting is fairly inexpensive then paint them,,a darker color,,maybe gray would work.

    You could always use a set of trim rings if the hoops don't shine up like you want.

    You could end up with something that look similar to the old Hurst Mag. HRP
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  6. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,279


    Check out the Cragars on Ryno's unibody - powder coated or maybe just painted with 'cast blast' or the like. They look great, especially with the tri-bars on.

    You may be able to clean up the hoops better with some oxalic acid/water blend, it works great. Mix some in a spray bottle or sponge it on and let it sit overnight. Problem is you can't soak them because the acid will eat the aluminum centers.
  7. rockfish
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 445


    I've seen some that have been blasted and then shot with the darker gray cast finish paint that look ok on the right vehicle. Kind of a budget Torque Thrust look.
  8. Would love to see some photos of some painted Cragars.
  9. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    I had some chrome spoke wheels that came on my 62 Corvette. I used Naval Jelly to remove the rust and rust stains. A lot of the rust comes out of the pits and is on top of the chrome. This was 40 years ago so there may be something more modern but they became nice 10 footers. Closer than that and you can still see the pits. I see where guys are using CLR on surface rust on old paint jobs to remove the stains.
  10. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,279


    Copied from Ryno's thread, hope that's ok. Anyway I think they look great.

    Attached Files:

  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,723


    I did a set that were painted the charcoal cast but then I used trim rings on the outside. They looked nice that way, much better than they looked all painted.

    These have painted centers and blacked out webbing between the spokes to help define the spoke shape better, but the outers were good enough not to paint, so I left those. If they would have been worse, I would have used trim rings again.

    Not the same style of wheel either, but it's all I have to offer for pictures.

  12. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    we blasted a set and had them powder coat with what they call chrome. and they looked like polished al. which is what i was tryin for anyway! ive painted just the spokes and left the outer part chrome and painted just the outer part and left the spokes chrome.loland then ive painted the whole damn rim. gloss black with chrome nuts and centercap. put whiteletter tires on the and bang they actually looked pretty good. on a ot nova which was black also.i buddy of mine just got thru paintin a old set he has a cast grey and them look really good.i priced having a set of 15 x3 1/2 i got back in the 70s rechromed. over 200. each and i only gave 69.99? for them. and i can buy some 15 x 4 1/2 brand new for 179.00.. so off to the powdercoater they went which cost me a 100. TOTAL sorry but i dont have any pics of them.
  13. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,178

    from Missouri

    Just paint the front ones and keep the back ones spining and the smoke boiling.
  14. Nice..thanks, guys. Keep 'em coming.
  15. You could make something cool out of them. Like a hose reel, or a light fixture, etc. Otherwise they would look cool on a winter beater:cool:
  16. Hows Bout blastin em and spraying the spokes flat black with that flexible "bumper black" paint used to touch up rubber flares and bumpers....
    Then spray the rim/flange area in a "cast" look coat of spray paint-for a torque thrust look.....
  17. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,973


    Truthfully, I've never seen a Cragar S/S brought back from the dead, that ever turned my crank, even a little. Sad, really. Once they've lost their glorious original chrome lustre (which happens to most, with just the least bit of negligence), they're retired to shop roller, beater fodder, hose reel, etc.
  18. wheelkid
    Joined: May 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,186

    Alliance Vendor
    from Fresno, CA

    I can chrome them for you, no problem
  19. Kustm52
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,982


    Take them to the next swap meet...
    Hi Rocky!
  20. The reply regarding a beauty ring reminded me my ol' buddy Tom wanted me to take a set of old 15 inch rings off his hands...something he'd been given and had no use for them, I just got back from his shop with said rings. Slapped one on the rusty wheel and after I spiff up the centers a bit, they'll look...well, better.
    What to you think?

    Attached Files:

  21. Hi, Brian.
  22. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,944


    Or send them to the 'beaners home for wayward wheels. :D

    Well that is OK the rings look like you may need to trim them a bit.
  23. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,973


    Hey man, you're tryin'....:D

    That ring deal looks like you might get away with it on a trailer, boat or other. :eek:
  24. oldcarguygazok
    Joined: Jun 20, 2012
    Posts: 401

    from AUSTRALIA.

    If you ceramic coat the centres,they'll never rust or peel,and personally i think it's better than chrome,TMO.
  25. mustangsix
    Joined: Mar 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,296


    Blast them, paint the centers, slap the rings on!
  26. if you dont go with wheelkid and get them rechromed then have them blasted. depending on how good the chrome is might end up being pricey as its a bitch to get off. burn off ovens can help in this process. powdercoating on top of chrome doesnt get very good adhesion so dont waste your money skipping any of the steps. if you do choose to powdercoat consider a texture paint. going the route of somthing like a gloss black isnt a very good idea as every time you ever touch it, it will scratch and this is not somthing that will buff out. you can put a clear over the color and this will help but adds to the cost and may not turn out all that great.
  27. the problem with having them reverse process stripped is then you are dealing with the pitting from the oxidation that was under the chrome that caused it to lift and peel in the first place, surface like the moon in other words.
  28. robyyo
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 234

    from Orange CA

    If the steel outer is good and just the center's messed up you can strip the chrome off the centers with a wire wheel and polish the centers, I've done that with some success, they're not wonderful but they look a lot better.
  29. graverobber63
    Joined: Sep 8, 2004
    Posts: 4,138

    Alliance Vendor

    They would make good hose reels
  30. iammarvin
    Joined: Oct 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,198

    from Tulare, Ca

    I dare you to put tires on that and run em.[​IMG]
    looks a little"fat" to me.

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