Hi. Glad to see there is a Pantera forum. Forums are most excellent.

I am writing to ask for some advice.

I recently purchased a good used set of 15 X 7 Pantera wheels to use on the track with my '65 Mustang. I'd like to clean them up.

Is it ok to sand blast them or should I use different media?

Thanks in advance...

Steve

Original Post
Steve,
Try a search on Campi wheels. There are all kind of articles on cleaning, stress releiving and finishing the wheels.

I think sandblasting is too agressive for Mag wheels. Media blast or manual cleaning will be best. Search around lot of good suff. Use the find key
Here's an article reprinted to the DeTomaso Mail list which details the correct process for restoring a Magnesium Campy wheel. I'm in the process of doing this myself. FWIW, this is an older article, so I don't know if Larry Stock still offers this service.

Restoring Magnesium Campagnolo Wheels the Right Way
http://www.poca.com/detomaso/2000-06/1205.html
by Mike Drew and Jack DeRyke

The Pantera was delivered wearing Campagnolo wheels cast in exotic magnesium alloy. Campagnolo is a very old company in Italy, and the methods they used were the tried-and-true types right out of the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Thus, our magnesium wheels were cast in molds hand-carved from mahogany!

Naturally, wooden molds, however hard, could only withstand a limited number of times that molten metal could be poured into them before sharp details were blurred. Eventually, these details were lost, and casting quality began to drop off as well so the mold would be scrapped. This short life of the wheel molds may in fact be the reason there are at least four separate models of Pantera wheels that are known to have been shipped at various times during the life of the DeTomaso/Ford joint project in the '70's.

In the meantime, Campagnolo as a company was going through changes. The light-alloy bicycle accessory business was spun off in the '70's, the wheel company was sold (but kept its name the first two times), and new management were brought in after being taken over by Technomagnesio (one of Campagnolo's chief rivals in the alloy-wheel business).

Finally, the magnesium wheels made late in the Pantera project were pressure-die-cast. This method is where the molten metal is literally pumped into steel dies under relatively high pressure. The metallic dies are much more expensive than the old mahogany ones, but they also last much longer, quality is higher and the higher pressure during the metal solidification results in a denser casting with fewer, smaller pore areas. Intuitively one would expect that the very late Campy wheels are stronger for these reasons.

Magnesium, the lightest structural metal known, has one desirable and several not-so-desirable attributes. On the plus side, it is only 65% as heavy as aluminum while having as much strength as the better aluminum casting alloys, meaning it can be heat-treated and welded like aluminum.

On the debit side, magnesium is a 'reactive' metal: when magnesium contacts plain water or even moisture in the air, a chemical reaction occurs that results in the outgassing of hydrogen gas from the water molecule; the leftover oxygen combines with magnesium to produce the familiar white mag-oxide powder. If left exposed, Campy wheels will literally dissolve into powder!

At 650 degrees Centigrade, magnesium burns in air at such high temperatures that most substances in contact with it melt or burn as well. Large chunks are difficult to catch on fire but grindings or shavings should be treated like gunpowder-and definitely kept dry! Fine mag metal powder will react hydrogen gas off so quickly, the gas spontaneously lights off, catching the rest of the metal on fire. Naturally, pouring water on a mag fire will result in a hydrogen explosion (remember the Hindenburg?) and even more fire! Sand or dry-chemical extinguishers are the only hope for stopping a magnesium fire. In fact, it may be best to simply stand back and let it burn itself out....

Magnesium alloys have the property of age-hardening-that is, a mag casting will get harder and progressively more brittle as it gets older, regardless of its use or storage. Magnesium expands some 2-1/2 times as much as aluminum when heated. This means that for best results, the casting must be physically restrained-bolted down-before heating or it will literally 'crawl away' from the welding torch!

And due to its very light density, magnesium castings, especially open-mold castings, tend to be porous, or at least have very large crystalline areas. All wheels flex and bend slightly in use. Magnesium flexes too, but the flex-energy is not dissipated 100%. Instead, stresses build up inside the castings, eventually concentrating at an imperfection such as a casting pore or a crystal grain. Such an area will eventually separate and connect with another pore or weak spot. A few more cycles of this and you have a crack growing in the casting, with the accumulated stresses concentrating at the point-ends of the crack. This process works exactly like a micro pry-bar!

Detecting cracks in mag castings cannot be done by conventional magneflux: magnesium is totally non-magnetic. So a fluorescent dye called Zyglow is dissolved in a very thin solvent like petroleum ether. The casting is dipped in the solvent, left for a few moments, then wiped off. A spray cleaner is used to further clean the casting. Any cracks or deep pores will retain some of the dye, however. Illuminating the casting with near-ultraviolet light will show up any retained dye.

Porous, rough castings like our wheels require someone talented in the art of interpreting florescent patterns that show up. The layman could look at a perfectly good cast-mag wheel glowing in numerous areas and be afraid to mount a tire on it! X-ray casting checks can also be done but are even more expensive, require more highly trained operators to evaluate the film records and are sometimes inconclusive, requiring a dye-check to be sure!

Cracked magnesium castings should only be welded after stop-drilling both ends of a detected crack. This is a technique whereby the crack is outlined and a small hole drilled thru the casting just in front of each end of the crack, not in the crack itself. This is so when welding or grinding heat is applied, any growth of the crack will expand into the drill-hole rather than continuing to tear the base metal apart at the front of the crack. Then, the entire cracked area is V-ground away to prevent the crack from progressing sideways, and to provide clean metal to weld on. The V-groove is also necessary since vertical cracks in thicker sections don't weld very well.

Remember the cautions regarding the dangers of accumulations of grinding or drilling chips from magnesium repairs! Magnesium welding is best done only by an expert, with lots of experience and understanding of the nuances of magnesium welding. The incautious can very easily start a fire that will literally consume everything in its reach-including your house, garage and Pantera!

And surprisingly enough, the act of welding or grinding a casting induces even more stresses, so the repaired casting must be stress-annealed. This literally bakes out the accumulated stresses or any additional ones from the repairs and results in a like-new wheel that has many more years of safe driving left.

Fortunately, the annealing temperature (recommended by aerospace users of magnesium) is only 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit. The piece is put into an oven, heated to 350-375 degrees, held for an hour or so, then very slowly cooled to room temperature-the slower the better! Ideally, the heavily insulated oven is simply turned off and left closed until the next morning. If the oven cannot be turned off, wrap the hot casting in thick blankets and leave it undisturbed for at least several hours. Note-this will discolor any silver finishes painted onto the wheels. Do the decorative painting last!

After the wheel is cast or weld-repaired, if it is to be painted it must first be protected from moisture in the air by painting it with a zinc chromate solution. The zinc chromate reacts with the magnesium to produce a barrier layer that tends to be self-healing to small scratches-the zinc chromate literally spreads across the scratch, again protecting the underlying metal; not as well as a full-thickness coating, but at least there is some protection! Zinc chromate is widely used in the aviation industry, and should be available at better paint stores, as well as at any municipal airport repair facility.

Bare wheels that are simply painted with conventional primers and paint may trap moisture between the wheel and paint, resulting in corrosion under the paint, which eventually shows up in the form of bubbles in the paint.

In recent years, it has become very fashionable to powdercoat (or powderpaint) wheels rather than painting them. The resultant finish can be superior to paint, but only if the wheel is correctly prepared. Some people simply strip the old paint and then apply a coating of powderpaint, without actually repairing any damage to the surface, or checking the structural integrity of the wheel. When powderpainted in this fashion, often the wheel will out-gas during the painting process, leading to bubbles in the finish.

Larry Stock of the Pantera Parts Connection found himself with a collection of Campy wheels from various sources, some of dubious ancestry (including Mike Drew's old wheels!) Even though modern 17" wheels and tires are all the rage right now, he has found there are a select group of individuals who are looking for the best possible original factory wheels, and he set about taking these cast-offs and bringing them up to better-than-new specification.

The wheels were first carefully bead-blasted to remove all the old paint and underlying zinc chromate. The blasting process also removed any oxidation which might have accumulated. Afterwards, the wheels were annealed at 375 degrees in a large oven, which was allowed to slowly cool overnight.

>From there, the wheels were hauled to a sophisticated testing facility used by NASA and Lockheed Aerospace. The wheels were dipped in a liquid penetrant (Zyglow), then rinsed off and evaluated for possible cracks and imperfections. Any such imperfections were clearly marked, and one wheel was condemned and ultimately discarded.

Once the faults were identified, the wheels were then transported to a NASA welder who carefully welded up damaged areas of the wheels. While none of the wheels exhibited any significant cracks, several had large hunks missing from the lip of the rim. These were caused by the fitment of conventional wheel weights. The metal in the wheel weights reacts with the magnesium, turning it to powder. Tire-shop monkeys who traditionally remove old weights by hitting them with a hammer as often as not remove the lip of the wheel as well! For these reasons, whenever possible stick-on wheel weights should be used instead of clamp-on weights.

The welder went out of his way to put excess material back into the wheels, so now they needed to be brought back into spec. But before any machining would take place, they were returned to the oven and annealed again, to restore whatever strength might have been compromised by the application of high heat in only one area of the wheel.

Larry then took them to his fully-equipped machine shop. A rear axle/brake disc/stud assembly was inserted into a large lathe, and the wheels were bolted to the axle. Then sophisticated cutting tools were used to carefully remove the excess material and restore the original contours of the wheel. The average wheel required two full hours of machining in this fashion.

Of course, machining introduces its own heat factors, so back into the oven they went! After annealing, the powderpainters sprayed on silver powderpaint, which had been carefully color- and texture-matched with an original, mint-condition factory painted wheel. Back into the oven to bake the silver paint on, and anneal the wheels again! Finally, a protective clear-coat was powderpainted atop the silver, then the wheels went back into the oven for the final time.

The resulting wheels are absolutely flawless, exquisitely beautiful, and literally much better and stronger than new. The entire process was extremely labor-intensive and took almost six weeks to accomplish. Larry now has several full sets of early-style (Pre-L) wheels and a few L-model wheels in stock, which he'll sell for $325 each with the exchange of your old wheels. Alternately, he can have your existing wheels repaired for $325 each.

Thanks for the great information, guys. I ended up bead blasting most of one of the wheels yesterday at the Military base auto hobby shop (@2.50/hour it's a steal!). I've added a picture of before and after. I believe I'm going to anneal them in our oven (Wife willing) and simply spray them with Gibbsbrand penetrant. Thanks for the info - I would have never known to anneal them!

pantera_wheels_05_2007

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One more thought regarding the use of 7" Campy's on your Mustang...

You almost certainly will need longer wheel studs on your Mustang to use the Campys. The Campy wheels are thicker than the Mustang's steel wheels, and there won't be a sufficient number of threads for the lug nut to grab on to in order to safely secure the wheel to the car.
Bob,
There are a few threads that might help you with this, here's a couple that covers the steps in some detail (and may scare you into shipping them to a vendor to do it for you - unless you're comfortable welding magnesium, and your significant other doesn't mind you using the oven to do some baking.

Campi Wheel Reconditioning
Here's a step-by-step description of one member's experience (in his case there was no welding) ...
Wheel Refinishing
That's too disturbing of a picture to look at in that restoration thread.

If you are going to refinish the original wheels, usually they just need to be repainted on the exterior.

That's what I'd recommend also. Why blast the wheels down to metal if it isn't necessary?

Just clean them up and respray them. You can buy the paint already mixed from Hall ready to spray.

I'm sure you can easily get it from the other vendors also?

What I got from Hall was acrylic enamel. That's a very durable paint. Kinda thick but definitely good for the porosity of the magnesium if there is any exposed.

I have seen more then one original set of Campis stripped down and polished and in my opinion were nicer polished then the current set of aluminum repros (which are really nice themselves).

Campagnolo wheels are famous for their quality. Besides the accuracy of the original patterns and molds, it is also due to the quality of the magnesium that they used. It is far better then what I see in the original American Racing Torque Thrust D wheels that were used on the Trans Am Mustangs and Cougars, and better then the original GT40 and Cobra Halibrand castings. Those have the reputation for being brittle after all the years.

Granted no one ever thought of problems 40 or 50 years down the road. Same as with wiring in the harnesses?

There were stories of the Halibrands in the '60s of the wheels not holding air because they were more porous cool and the air molecules would escape through the magnesium. I have never heard of anyone stating that of the Campis, even after some cars being neglected for all of this time in some cases.

The problem is magnesium and oxygen don't like each other at all. Best leave them painted and the original paint and primer on them as much as possible. That's the safest bet, and original. You did say original right?
Yes, Doug. Owner is FIRST and only owner. Car has 19,000 and was nicely stored indoors.Even the inside of the original carb is almost completely clean. Amazing, considering that there was no INTENT to "store" it, it just happened that way. The wheels are original to the car.

Snaponbob,

I purchased a set of 10" Campys a couple years ago that were straight but cosmetically poor. I followed the restoration precedure linked by #5754, including plastic bead blasting (about $50/rim), annealing and painting with Eastwood Argent Silver. In addition, I filled the curb rash with Lab Metal. The results are rims that appear new.

Below is a picture of the final result. The decals and center caps are offered by several suppliers.

I agree that if your rims are cosmetically acceptable to you, it may be best to keep the original paint intact. But otherwise, it is not difficult to restore them yourself.

DSCF4738_-_Copy2

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PanteraDoug,

You are correct. The rear tires are BFG Radial T/A P295/50R-15, and the fronts are P215/60R-15, on 10" and 8" rims. These gave me the classic look I wanted; I even put the white letters facing out.

The pictures in my picture gallery are not from Westchester, but were taken between blizzards here in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin.

-Matt
quote:
Originally posted by BigBlockFan:
Snaponbob,

I purchased a set of 10" Campys a couple years ago that were straight but cosmetically poor. I followed the restoration precedure linked by #5754, including plastic bead blasting (about $50/rim), annealing and painting with Eastwood Argent Silver. In addition, I filled the curb rash with Lab Metal. The results are rims that appear new.

Below is a picture of the final result. The decals and center caps are offered by several suppliers.

I agree that if your rims are cosmetically acceptable to you, it may be best to keep the original paint intact. But otherwise, it is not difficult to restore them yourself.


So, plastic blast, and paint. Any primer? BTW, have not heard of Lab Metal. Google time, I guess!!

edit - just saw what it is. OMFG !!!!!! Where has THAT been all my life??
For magnesium you will want to use a zinc-chromate primer. Unfortunately, zinc-chromate has been identified as some sort of health risk, so I don't believe it is sold here anymore. I ordered my primer from Aircraft Spruce; they recommended zinc-phosphate as a substitute, which I used.

I painted my rim set a couple years ago and have not had any problems with paint adhesion or the rims holding air.

Be sure to follow the painting temperature and humidity recommendations for the paint, though. I sprayed the front and rear rims using Eastwood paint from the same batch, the only thing being different between the front and rear rims was the temperature, humidity, etc. The front rim paint is noticeably softer than the rear paint. I think it was due to painting the fronts at too low a temperature.

Finally, when using the kitchen oven to anneal the rims, you may want to do it while your wife is out of town. A smell that I thought was quite mild and harmless, my wife equated to ricen poisening. What made her go especially wild was that we have a cute parakeet residing in our living room, who she believed was in mortal danger. I ended up making a makeshift plastic drape to direct the out-gases to the outside vent hood. Problem solved.
quote:
Originally posted by BigBlockFan:
For magnesium you will want to use a zinc-chromate primer. Unfortunately, zinc-chromate has been identified as some sort of health risk, so I don't believe it is sold here anymore. I ordered my primer from Aircraft Spruce; they recommended zinc-phosphate as a substitute, which I used.

I painted my rim set a couple years ago and have not had any problems with paint adhesion or the rims holding air.

Be sure to follow the painting temperature and humidity recommendations for the paint, though. I sprayed the front and rear rims using Eastwood paint from the same batch, the only thing being different between the front and rear rims was the temperature, humidity, etc. The front rim paint is noticeably softer than the rear paint. I think it was due to painting the fronts at too low a temperature.

Finally, when using the kitchen oven to anneal the rims, you may want to do it while your wife is out of town. A smell that I thought was quite mild and harmless, my wife equated to ricen poisening. What made her go especially wild was that we have a cute parakeet residing in our living room, who she believed was in mortal danger. I ended up making a makeshift plastic drape to direct the out-gases to the outside vent hood. Problem solved.


I wouldn't go that route. My wife can shoot the rectum out of a mouse at night at 1,000 yards. I'm much easier to hit.
And FWIW, I tried annealing only one wheel in the kitchen oven when the wife was out of town for a weekend - set off all smoke alarms in the house and created an awful stench in the house. I have since picked up a free oven from a friend who did a kitchen remodel and use it in the backyard to anneal my wheels.
quote:
Originally posted by garth66:
quote:
Question why is it important to cook the rims? I am hoping to glass bead blast them in my blast cabinet, prime and paint them, and call it good. Some I have spoken with say to anneal them, and others say there is no need.

Read this thready for more info:
http://pantera.infopop.cc/eve/...660097094#1660097094


I have read that one quite a few times. I see that annealing the rim is needed after repairs, but I still understand the need if simply media blasting and repainting. Not being argumentative, I'm just missing something.
Several of the articles mentioned that magnesium may work-harden after many years of use, and annealing will normalize this stress. The rims being over 40 years old, I didn't take any chances. Annealing them isn't much more difficult than baking a pizza, so I did it; although I can't say if it made a difference.

Cast magnesium builds up stresses while driving, and those stresses do not entirely come back out by themselves. They may also age-harden and harder usually means more brittle.  Stories abound of magnesium wheels without tires cracking during rack storage! The U.S Military developed an annealing process to stress-relieve such wheels on high performance fighter planes. Powder-coating if done properly will also stress-relieve magnesium wheels. The keys are to get the entire wheel up to 275F and keep it there for a while, followed by extremely slow cooling- overnight is best. This temp will cause the Argent Silver paint to turn tan, requiring repainting. And because zinc chromate primers are difficult to find today, aggressive blasting is not needed nor recommended. The silver paint is decorative; the chromate primer is vital!

Hi

 I'm sorry if I am spamming this comment a little but I would like to try to rally up as much support as possible so I don't want anyone that might be interested to miss it. I hope you'll agree it is for a good cause. I have the blessings of the forum administrator.

I have made a De Tomaso Pantera  web page, here's a link: 
 Longstone Tyres - De Tomaso Pantera page
Please let me know if you see any mistakes. Any pictures you have that might make it better please send them over.

 Importantly if you may be interested in a set of the 285/50R15 P7 tyres please drop me a note via the "contact us" link so we can keep your email on file and use that collection of email addresses to convince Pirelli to make these tyres.

 

This is my first post here and I joined to get some insight into the process of refinishing magnesium parts. I'm surprised to read the advice on campis here because most of what I've read elsewhere differs. Cromodora wheels (often found on Ferraris and Fiats) are also magnesium. Originally they were pretreated with a chromate solution made by Dow (who are out of the business now) then they were painted. As I understand it, if you blast or strip the wheels down past the Dow layer (a greenish/bronze colour) then you really need to pretreat it again. Henkel/ Bondrite make a Dow equivalent called Alodine but the chemicals are pure evil.  (Steve Kouracs in his mag wheel tutorial mistakenly lists Alodine 1200 - which is only for aluminium not magnesium)

alodine® T 5900TM – Trivalent chrome conversion coating approved to MIL-DTL-81706/MIL-DTL-5541F Class 1A and 3.

I'm considering using a non-toxic pretreatment instead from Pantheon chemicals called PreKote instead.

What mystifies me is what I read here about using zinc phosphate. Does anyone know what the chemistry of etching or using this zinc phosphate is? I thought magnesium was the most reactive metal there was so shouldn't be coated with anything containing another metal. Pretty sure thats why the air filler is rubber and not steel too.

I want to treat my mags safely and find it hard to figure out which way to go. Any advice welcome, thanks.

I am not an expert on the subject. I never paid attention to mag wheels prior to coming here. Based on what I've read and the conversations I've had over the last 15 years, it is my understanding that paint applied directly to magnesium shall eventually bubble and flake-off. A chromate conversion coating is an electro-chemical applied coating we are all familiar with. Tools and fasteners are often finished with chromate. The chromate conversion coating adheres to magnesium and in turn provides a suitable surface finish for primer paint to adhere to. The chromate conversion coating also prevents oxidation, and it is somewhat decorative. But due to the electro-chemical manner in which it is applied it provides a thin hard coating which does not chip-off like paint.

I assume De Tomaso mag wheels had a chromate conversion coating applied prior to being primed with zinc-chromate primer.

Dow 19 was a product that could spot coat areas where the chromate conversion coating had been damaged (curb rash). It left a brownish/goldish coating on the exposed magnesium. If Dow 19 is no longer available I think I would contact Marvic in Italy and ask them what they advise using in its place … and what primers to use as well.

I've also run across information on the net claiming that magnesium can be anodized, and that primer paint will adhere afterwards to the anodized surface.

Thanks George, I have finally tracked down a pdf from the original manufacturer of magnesium (the UK company was called Elektron) at this link:  

Surface Treatments for Magnesium Alloys in Aerospace & Defense

It talks about first pretreating the magnesium casting with a chromate conversion or hard anodic coating. (Never paint directly on magnesium)

then priming with paint containing not less than 15% by weight of chromate pigment. This should be either strontium chromate or strontium chromate containing up to 10% of barium chromate. Compounds of mercury and lead must not be used in the primer.

They don't mention zinc chromate or etch priming though.

Hi ROSSNZWPI, thanks for bringing this up, 100% agree there is a dearth of  believable  info on Mg treatment options currently available for DIY use.  I have 2 sets of wheels needing treatment but given all the contradicting recommendations online I have mostly decided not to address these as DIY projects.  Should that plan change, however, I'd go with the PreKote treatment you noted.  Everything I've seen online suggests it's a good solution, even though it's remarkably inexpensive (especially compared to possible Henkel/Bondrite options!!), available in small/reasonable quantities, AND apparently free of big environmental concerns.

My understanding of the DOW numbers (1-25 I think?) is that they refer to chemical processes, rather than specific chemicals previously sold by DOW.  While maybe some of the chemicals involved may have been proprietary and now NLA (DOW left this business line long back), at least "Dow 7" treatment is a current, viable option for Magnesium conversion coating, and certainly there are others available from industrial coatings specialists.  I assume DOW 7 is both hazardous or environmentally unfriendly, and I'm curious what advantages this sort of 'old school' approaches may have over PreKote.  Clearly the technical approach differs (i.e., adhesion promoter vs. conversion coating) but it does sound like major players (e.g., USAF) are using PreKote prior to painting some Mg aircraft parts. 

Re. the metal valve stems, several vendors must carry them - I recently got a set from Steve Wilkinson.....never thought about the possibility that they could create a corrosion concern. I imagine the securing nut could damage the painted surface of a wheel, but the metal stems were used on many other period cars with Mg wheels (Cromodoras come to mind).  Along this same line, I'm not aware of problems associated with the Pantera's steel lug nut seats, which must have been pressed into the wheel at manufacture, so I'm trying not to sweat this potential complication...!

 

rossnzwpi posted:

… It talks about first pretreating the magnesium casting with a chromate conversion or hard anodic coating ...

... either strontium chromate or strontium chromate containing up to 10% of barium chromate ...

They don't mention zinc chromate or etch priming though.

The document "Surface Treatments for Magnesium Alloys in Aerospace & Defense" is a great document, thanks for providing the link. It seems that information regarding anodizing the magnesium part has some merit.

Strontium, barium, lead, and mercury are all quite poisonous. Those old primer recommendations are no longer viable (at least not in my world). If a chromate primer is needed to best adhere to a chromate conversion coating then perhaps anodizing would be the better "Modern" process to follow. By better I mean it would be less toxic and easier to acquire compatible paints for it. But can a part that has been treated with a chromate conversion be re-treated via anodizing? Probably not.

One thing that has not been explained well in this topic, but is clarified by that document is the simple fact that a zinc chromate primer does not repair the chromate conversion coating when it is scraped-off by curb rash, clip-on weights, etc. That's what Dow 19 was good for. After repairing damaged areas with Dow 19 then a "compatible primer" such as zinc chromate could be applied. I guess Dow 1 was the product used when the entire wheel was being re-coated with a replacement for the conversion coating.

By the way, members have referred to the yellow and green primers sold by "Tempo" as zinc chromate primers but they are not zinc chromate, they are zinc phosphate primers.

That still leaves us with the questions (1) how to repair a chromate conversion coating in the absence of Dow 19, and (2) what modern primers are best compatible with that conversion coating? Marvic is one possible business that may offer advice or guidance. Nate's approach has merit too (i.e. let an expert do it). Problem with that one is finding an expert.

Another possible solution would be a set of replica wheels made from mono-block aluminum billets.  Although I write that jokingly, that is kinda where my head is at.

Hi Nate, thanks for the reply. Yes wheels are are real danger area so maybe you are right to find a suitably qualified refinisher (maybe near an airfield?) to crack test, anneal, refinish.

You can buy touch up kits of DOW chemicals. And yes they are recipes that you could also make up if you were a very competent DIY chemist. I have read that Dow 17 is an anodizing process -- Dow 7 is the more typical chromate process for magnesium. 

 (here's the link to recipes : https://www.finishing.com/faqs/magnesium.shtml)

 Henkel's touch up kit https://www.chemical-supermark...mp;cat=165&page=   or via.  https://www.skygeek.com/henkel...m-treatment-kit.html  ). In the aircraft industry they use mag parts, including wheels and helicopter gear casings  and then do touchups and repairs. 

As for the metal valve stems - I guess they are isolated by rubber seals. There are lots of advisories about how to minimise inserts of other metals since metal to metal corrosion is a major problem with magnesium.

Cheers

Ross

Hi George, thanks for the reply. There are touch up kits for Dow chemicals - Henkel make one and you can get it from aircraft suppliers like Skygeek. One guy I read about here in New Zealand tried in vain to find the right treatment for his motorbike mag wheels and ended up going to an airfield where a helicopter engineer mixed up and gave him some in exchange for a few beers.

The more I read, the more I want to use a modern non-toxic treatment! I've ordered a quart from the USA and will try it on the non-critical parts of my FIAT Dino engine (casings, covers, sump) and see how it goes. At least they don't spin at 100MPH and take all sorts of shocks.

Cheers

Ross

rossnzwpi posted:
I'm considering using a non-toxic pretreatment instead from Pantheon chemicals called PreKote instead.

Have you determined the method you will treat the wheels.

I wonder if the original chromate conversion layer is not removed, will the PreKote fill cracks and voids.

I just had the thought of using the oven heating to 400F to char the paint and thus make it easy to blow off and hopefully leave the conversion layer.   I did find a paper that showed while conversion coatings for alumiun deteriate with heat, magnisium actually improves

(https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/685089.pdf)

Hi David. The aluminum valve stems are Gr-3 parts for a bit lighter weight especially with heavier 10", 13" and 14" wide rear wheels. Some vendors (Hall, Larry Stock) have them on the shelf. They are not expensive but can be damaged by flying road debris. Safer to use slightly heavier chrome plated brass stems if you drive such roads. A few motorcycle shops also stock aluminum stems for lightness, and they're popular with rice-boy wheels in pretty anodized colors like red, blue and green.  But with those you have to be careful on the sizes to fit in Campy's machined recess. And since the nut that retains the valve stem in a wheel is also aluminum, use anti-sieze or you'll be cutting the nuts away on the next tire change. Same goes with aluminum caps on aluminum stems.

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