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Rust Removal From Wheels

Discussion in 'Early CJ-5 and CJ-6 Tech' started by kenb, May 11, 2019.

  1. May 11, 2019
    kenb

    kenb Member

    Detroit
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    Hello,
    I'm working on cleaning rust off some original Jeep wheels, both interior and exterior. So far I've just been brushing and scraping. I would like to get them cleaned up very well for paint. Would sand blasting be OK? I'm not sure if that would leave too much of a pitted surface. If it's an OK thing to do what sort of blasting media works well for this? I'm sure this is an obvious question to many but I have very limited experience. My blaster is a harbor freight unit.
    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  2. May 11, 2019
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    I would use abrasive blasting. No experience, but I'd try the Tractor Supply Black Diamond fine abrasive, cheap at $9 for 50 lb. Black Diamond Fine Blasting Abrasives at Tractor Supply Co. You can spray with a primer-surfacer after priming if the surface ends up too rough (doubt it). I'd blast to bright steel, apply a coat of epoxy primer, and the polyester surfacer if needed. Sand as needed, then top coat.
     
  3. May 11, 2019
    PeteL

    PeteL Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    Black Diamond and Rustoleum rattle-can has worked extremely well for me. Lasted years and still okay.
     
    rusty likes this.
  4. May 11, 2019
    kenb

    kenb Member

    Detroit
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    Thanks for the replies. I'll have to give that a try. Do you paint the portion of the rim between the beads (area covered by the tire)?
     
  5. May 11, 2019
    Chilly

    Chilly Active Member 2019 Sponsor

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    Notice how rust forms on edges and corners? If you really want to punish yourself you could break all sharp edges to a small radius. Paint doesnt lay well on sharp edges. Always thin. Heck of a task for wheels if they are wagon wheels or similar.
     
  6. May 11, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

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    Blasting is by far the best prep for rusty rims. Sand require good breathing equipment due to silica dust, but some other medias work well and aren't as harmful to your lungs. You'll still need a respirator. Small blasters like media with a sugar like size grit. Pressure pot type blasters are much more efficient than syphon feed models. Do you have a cabinet type setup, or one that is used in the open? The open ones are pretty messy. I often blast on a tarp to collect my media to reuse, and make cleanup easier.
    The surface left by sand blasting (or other similar media) is perfect for priming. It will not leave a pitted surface unless there was a lot of deep pitted rust. Blast until the metal is clean white, You will see any rust pits will still be dark. Blast until all the surface is a uniform clean color.
    -Donny
     
    Rick Whitson and Twin2 like this.
  7. May 12, 2019
    Rick Whitson

    Rick Whitson Detroit Area Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    I live South of...
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    You can't hurt wheels by blasting, unless you have a commercial blaster that cuts steel. Wheels are usually thick heavy steel, or cast aluminum, a home blasting unit will not hurt them, the thing you have watch is that your air compressor can handle it. You need an air compressor with at least 7 cubic foot per minute or better capacity, and a large tank, or maybe two tanks hooked together so the compressor does not have to run all the time. If you can't do that just do one wheel at a time and give you compressor time to cool down. I like silica sand best, it leaves a smoother finish, but is the most dangerous to use, you need a real good respirator, or an approver oil less air compressor for breathing air. Silica sand will give you silicosis if it gets in your lungs. That is why I have my blasting done by a professional, which is costly, but safer. If you primer your wheels with epoxy you will not need to paint the inside of the wheel with top coat, you can paint only what will be seen. This much is what I have learned through experience, and years of messing around with cars and motorcycles. Good Luck
     
    Beach66Bum and Dickster like this.
  8. May 12, 2019
    txtoller

    txtoller Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Weatherford, TX
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    Here is a photo of my fenders from my trailer...As one can see, one has been media blasted, the other has not. Note, the one on the right is not completed, at this point it was just rid of the paint. I went over it again, until it was all the bright silver as mentioned in a previous post. I did the whole trailer.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    timgr likes this.
  9. May 12, 2019
    kenb

    kenb Member

    Detroit
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    That trailer looks great! That another thing I need to blast. What type of blaster and media did you use for the job?
     
  10. May 12, 2019
    txtoller

    txtoller Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Weatherford, TX
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    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  11. May 12, 2019
    kenb

    kenb Member

    Detroit
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    Thanks for that info. What sort of air compressor are you running for that?
     
  12. May 12, 2019
    txtoller

    txtoller Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Weatherford, TX
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    I have a 100 gallon compressor. I built a manifold to give myself more volume, as that is what was needed to keep it flowing well.
     

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