Rim blow restoration advise request

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Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
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Location
Homer Glen, Il
My Car
1971 Mustang Mach 1 351c FMX trans and 9 inch rear end
Hi All, I am starting to restore my rim-blow steering wheel and thought I would ask for advise on the best way to restore the bright metal strip that wraps the rim of the wheel. I would appreciate any ideas you guys might have, I am trying to do it as right as I can so I thought I would ask for suggestions before I start.

That area on my wheel was badly deteriorated and actually gone in some places.

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I cleaned out the deteriorated material out of the channel.

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I saw a YouTube video where a guy added aluminum tape to the bottom of the groove and then filled the channel in with clear epoxy and sanded it down. He doesn't show how it came out in the video and I couldn't find a part two video showing the finished product, so not sure if that is a good process.
Is this the correct repair for this issue?
Has anyone repaired this part of their rim blow wheel? If you have, how did you do it?

I found this 1/8" molding that fits in the channel nicely as far a the width of the channel. It is a little high in the channel, it is raised from the surface of the wheel slightly but doesn't feel bad. I could remove the two-sided tape and glue it down instead and that would bring it down closer to flush with the wheel.
It would be a lot easier than what the You-Tube video guy did with the epoxy and all that sanding.

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You can see it sticks out about 1/32" as best as I can measure it that's why I assume removing the the tape and gluing it down would drop it in closer to flush.

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If anybody has seen this issue and has a good solution please let me know. I'm trying to find the best way to resolve and hoping to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Also, while I am asking for guidance, does any one have any tricks for installing the emblem in to the center pad? Both parts are reproductions (but the i.d. and o.d. diameters measure the same as my original parts) and the emblem does not seem to want to go in because the pad is not very flexible. The old pad is stiffer yet than the re-pop (I assume due to age and shrinkage) but the new one is not all that flexible either. I was going to try some sort of lube but didn't want to use something that might mess with the pad or emblem.

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The old pad had shrunk and had large gaps of almost a full inch at the rim on all three spokes and was pretty distorted. As you can see in the pic, the inserts on the spokes don't even fit in the pad anymore due to the shrinkage, that's why I purchased a new pad.

Tilt column rim blow wheel 9a.jpg
 
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Heating up the pads in hot water for awhile should make them more flexible and pliable. A heat gun might focus the heat in too small of an area. Hot water should heat up the entire pad, inside and out. Could wrap it well in plastic wrap to keep the water out of it.

How deep and wide is the groove on the wheel?
Mcmaster Carr might have some stainless straps.
I thought the bright trim was reproduced.
 
I had the same issue, believe it or not the emblem will go in, you just have to give it a bit of gusto. It almost feels wrong but mine did go in. Maybe a little heat from heat gun but don't over do it. Good luck!!
 
For the emblem, persistent force will get it into position. Just make sure you have it lined up

As for the bright trim, I've always used chrome pinstriping tape I bought at automotive paint supply stores. Once I've finished the wheel repairs I positioned the pinstripe tape in the groove starting and finishing at the bottom of the wheel. Make sure the groove is clean and smooth so the tape lays flat. Clear coat over it with the rest of the wheel and it's gtg!
 
For the emblem, persistent force will get it into position. Just make sure you have it lined up

As for the bright trim, I've always used chrome pinstriping tape I bought at automotive paint supply stores. Once I've finished the wheel repairs I positioned the pinstripe tape in the groove starting and finishing at the bottom of the wheel. Make sure the groove is clean and smooth so the tape lays flat. Clear coat over it with the rest of the wheel and it's gtg!
So, it is supposed to be recessed or flush with the rest of the wheel? I like it either way but unfortunately don't have any idea how it would have been originally from the factory. I have honestly never seen one of these wheels up close and in real life until the day I bought this one. I did buy some 1/8" chrome pinstriping when I bought the 1/8" molding. I tried a short piece of the striping in the channel and I thought it looked good, but I am not sure what is "correct". Sheriff, I like your idea of running the pinstripe all the way around and spraying the wheel with clear and it's good to go, but if filled in is how it is supposed be, maybe I should take the extra steps now while it is on the bench.:confused: At least I admit that decisions are my Achilles heel.

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So, it is supposed to be recessed or flush with the rest of the wheel? I like it either way but unfortunately don't have any idea how it would have been originally from the factory. I have honestly never seen one of these wheels up close and in real life until the day I bought this one. I did buy some 1/8" chrome pinstriping when I bought the 1/8" molding. I tried a short piece of the striping in the channel and I thought it looked good, but I am not sure what is "correct". Sheriff, I like your idea of running the pinstripe all the way around and spraying the wheel with clear and it's good to go, but if filled in is how it is supposed be, maybe I should take the extra steps now while it is on the bench.:confused: At least I admit that decisions are my Achilles heel.

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The ones I have done are flush with the surface of the wheel. You may need to run the tape around twice to fill the groove. You may be able to feel the transition after clear coating but it will be smooth. You're probably paying more attention to the detail than Ford ever did but it will pay off in your finished wheel!
 
So, it is supposed to be recessed or flush with the rest of the wheel? I like it either way but unfortunately don't have any idea how it would have been originally from the factory. I have honestly never seen one of these wheels up close and in real life until the day I bought this one. I did buy some 1/8" chrome pinstriping when I bought the 1/8" molding. I tried a short piece of the striping in the channel and I thought it looked good, but I am not sure what is "correct". Sheriff, I like your idea of running the pinstripe all the way around and spraying the wheel with clear and it's good to go, but if filled in is how it is supposed be, maybe I should take the extra steps now while it is on the bench.:confused: At least I admit that decisions are my Achilles heel.

View attachment 84143
Ask Geoff to get a close up picture of Jacks Mach one. It’s a survivor rim blow car.
 
To get the emblem in, I used a heat gun, but you have to be careful and keep moving the gun. It’s a tight fit.
For the chrome strip I used 3M aluminum foil tape, it’s a good product, sticks well and still looks good after years of use.
 
Here is a photo of the original rim blow chrome strip from my 53k mile Mach 1. It is chrome tape under a layer of clear epoxy that comes out even with the surface. I just finished a rim blow for my convertible in avocado and I used 1/8” chrome tape with a clear epoxy over that. I did two turns on the chrome tape before covering it with epoxy.
 

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Here is a photo of the original rim blow chrome strip from my 53k mile Mach 1. It is chrome tape under a layer of clear epoxy that comes out even with the surface. I just finished a rim blow for my convertible in avocado and I used 1/8” chrome tape with a clear epoxy over that. I did two turns on the chrome tape before covering it with epoxy.
Wow, that's a show stopper. Well done on the convertible RBD wheel, it looks great.
 
Here is a photo of the original rim blow chrome strip from my 53k mile Mach 1. It is chrome tape under a layer of clear epoxy that comes out even with the surface. I just finished a rim blow for my convertible in avocado and I used 1/8” chrome tape with a clear epoxy over that. I did two turns on the chrome tape before covering it with epoxy.
Your wheel looks great, it's like brand new! Thanks you for the info, I was leaning toward going with the 1/8" chrome stripe with the clear epoxy. I already bought the supplies, but I just needed someone to tell me that's how they did it and it looked good. I watched the you-tube video of a guy doing that process but he never shows the end result finished. Your input teamed with the guidance PoFoMoCo gave me, gives me hope that my wheel may come out almost as nice you guy's two steering wheels did, I will be very satisfied if it does. Thanks again.
 

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Tom - I know your RBD wheel will be perfect when you have finished, it's who YOU are. I used the 1/8 chrome tape as well. Patience is the key... so many steps involved that require some cure time before you can proceed to the next step. This is a perfect cold weather project as long as you have a heated space to spray and cure your finishes.

Also, the center emblem will go, again be patient and work the emblem into place. Make sure you are lined up well, you don't want to have to try to pivot or remove the emblem once it is in the wheel pad.
 

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