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These wheels have been sitting in a field out in the open for many years, so today I started working on one to see if they were going to be salvagable for use on my 66 Project Nellie that I'm working on. These are Top Eliminators wheels made by Ansen Automotive, which were the first to start the Torque Thrust style of wheels. I found out mine was produced sometime in the late 60's by a vintage wheel collector, but that's another story!

I wasn't certain how I was going to clean these and get rid of all the scratches, etc. So today, I went ahead and took one of the wheels and media blasted the entire wheel. Was kind of skeptical of blasting the polished lip around the edge of the wheel, but there wasn't much of a polished lip left anymore so I figured it wouldn't hurt anything any worse.

It actually came out pretty nice, and the blasting took away 30+ years of bad paint, discoloring in the aluminum, and minor flaws. But it also took away what ever was left of the polished lip around the edge of the wheel. :eek: I then took the wheel out to the back shop where we have a brake lathe, so I mounted the wheel on the lather and set it for the higher rpm's, grabbed some 600 grit sandpaper, and started wetsanding the lip around the wheel. The lathe made it nice and easy, and cut the time it would have taken down considerably. I then used 1500 grit to smooth the lip out even more.

I couldn't believe the difference it made on this wheel. I haven't even got the polishing wheel out yet, and I'm impressed how well they are coming out.

Question I have, there is still some minor pitts on certain areas of the lip. Should I continue with the 600 grit, and try to sand them out, or try a different way? Someone mention using some sort of mild acid to take out a lot of imperfections, I just don't want to ruin the rims now that I know they can be saved!

BTW, I think ALL home garages/shops should have a brake lathe in it. It would of taken me the rest of this week to have got as far on this wheel as I did in 45 minutes today on this lathe.

I'll try to throw up some before during and after photos of the wheel tomorrow!
 

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Hmmm. That's a really good idea Whiz, now if only SWMBO could be convinced I need another lathe... :D
I'm already thinking I can make a rim-spinner (as I have some 69 KH Magstars that need some serious attention) with a pair of pulleys and an axle shaft and run it off an electric motor. Project 23546675-6574431-c begins!
 

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I just restored a set of Ansen slots that had some minor scratches, gravel dings etc. I used 320 grit to take out most imperfections and used 220 on some of the really bad stuff. After the 320, I used 360, 400, 500, 600, 800 then the 1500's etc. I found out after restoring these wheels obver the years to go to progressively higher grits. You jumped from 600 to `1500 maybe o.k. but when it comes time to polishing you may have some hairline scratches. If you use the 320 grit you will have to use 400 next or scratches will be present. You can take out the pits with 600 but it would take a month.
If the wheels are just oxided but no scratches or dings use fine grade emory sandpaper. It will not leave any scratches but takes off the layer of oxidation and tiny gravel dings. After the emory paper I use either 400 or 600 depending on how soft the aluminum is and go up from there. Also found it best to wet sand. It takes less paper, time and the scratches don't seem to be as prevelant. I would stay away from media blasting any polished surface.

American Racing was the first to come out with Torq Thrust in the late '50's or early '60's. Ansen did not start to make the Top Eliminater wheels until mid to late '60's.
Dave
 
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