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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently posted about some hubcaps I was restoring in the Buick Roadmaster section. i restored the hubcaps, and posted pics in that forum, and then was asked how i did it. I think it's a good time to break in this forum.

Step one, hubcaps and jewels: After removing them from the car they were on, and paying a whopping 3 dollars a piece, I washed them in the kitchen sink with some dishwashing detergent. Dishwashing detergent is great to wash parts like this in, it's a light oil breaking detergent, and won't melt or otherwise distort plastic.

Step two, hubcaps and jewels: Remove the plastic center caps.

Step three, hubcaps: I SCRUBBED, and SCRUBBED, and SCRUBBED the hubcaps with detergent and a soft bristled brush to keep them from scratching, then I polished them with stainless polish and a soft cloth. At the base (central to the cap) of the slots there are black painted sections, I touched them up with some flat black paint i had laying around, as needed. Done with the caps.

*Edit* Two of the caps must have spent their whole lives on the front wheels, as after cleaning and scrubbing they remained a yellowish color. To restore these i used a technique called "rubbing". It's a technique I learned from my mother and her pottery. If you want to give a color like red a metallic sheen you use a soft lint free cloth and apply the paint to the cloth, then rub the surface to me "metallized". I did this with the two yellowish caps, using some chrome hobby spray paint applied to the cloth. They are indistinguishable from the other two from about 5 feet. With those two one one side, and the other two on the other side, you can't tell. I put them both to a side since they look identical and you can only see one side of a car at a time.

Step three: I cleaned the paint off the back by scraping it off very gently with a combination of razor blades and brillo pads. Try to mar the plastic as little as possible. If you do, it's not terrible, see step four.

Step four: I matched the paint as closely as I could to the hood ornament on my roadmaster. I left as much of the chrome on as I could, it's really hard to get chrome paint that'll match. Then I wet sanded the plastic on the back where I scraped the paint off with 1000 grit sandpaper, then shot a light coat of clear coat. Doing this smooths the plastic back out and allows it to be glossy when repainted. At the same time I wet sanded and clear coated the front of the jewels so they'd be shiny.

Step five: Repaint. I used model car paints and art brushes. After the shields and chrome surrounds are dry, I sprayed the back with gloss black spray paint. A lot of it. I must have put on 4 or 5 coats.

Step six: Installation is the reverse of removal.

Before





After restoration



 

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These caps sure turned out great! :cool:

Stewart
+1 :cool:

I actually thought you had found a source for the jewels and had put on new ones. I never would have guessed that you restored the old jewels.

:wav:

Job well done!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pics-update.

Took some pics with the new wheels/tires and the restored hubcaps on the roady a couple days ago. Took one with the stock wire hubcap for comparo. If someone wants those, I have two, you can have them for nothing. You pay shipping.










Now that they're actually on the car, I'm not so sure I like em. lol, isn't that the way it works. I think what it is, is that they don't completely hide the wheel like the stock hubcaps did, so they make the tire look bigger than it is.

BTW, that's my Lola helping me work on the car. She's my familiar. Any time I'm creating: working on cars, making alcohol (yes I make my own alcohol, it's really easy, and really good!), whatever, she has to be right there in the middle. Loves the energy of creation that one. I named her after the Lola bodied racecars of the sixties. She's a year and some old, and you can see how small she is compared to the 4x4(3.5x3.5 nominal) wheel chocks. She's dainty, nimble and FAST. Just like a racecar, hence, Lola.




My wonderful double wide in the background. Take pride in yer double wide, lol.
 
M

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why no whitewalls? that would change the look and break up that huge sidewall...

oh and nice work!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
About the white walls.

Narrow whites just don't have the same look as wide whites. I greatly prefer the wide wites, and unfortunately they are just too expensive. I think I'll lighten the wheel rim with some chrome spray paint to visually increase the hubcap diameter.

The original idea is to get her on the road, in decent shape, for as reasonable a cost as possible. I really originally just bought her for a grocery getter, with style and performance of course. Hard to travel anywhere with a 7 month old in a 2 door 89 325i BMW, or a 91 short cab short bed 4wd pickup. The wife wants me to find her a b body wagon, or a mini-van. After we acquire one of those, I'll start getting crazy with the sedan. Oh the plans I have in store for her.....but that's another post.
 
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