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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a pair of 5 spoke mag wheels for my track bike that need to be stripped, inspected, and assuming all is well, coated. Any and all recommendations appreciated. If you have first hand experience with them, all the better and please let me know that detail. Thanks in advance.
 

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Mayor of Simpleton
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4,830 Posts
You can do non-destructive testing, but it's expensive--dye penetrant is about $300 a wheel. X-ray is more than the wheels themselves. The NDT place I spoke with told me themselves that a good visual inspection of the bare metal should be sufficient.

in refurbishing a number of sets, here's what I've found:

  1. Be very selective in the wheels you buy. If it's bent or has significant rash, I walk away. As it applies to Ducati models, if any of those rear mounting pin holes are elongated, run away.
  2. Extensive worming or heavy corrosion is probably not worth your time, but minor surface corrosion is easily fixed if you do it properly.
  3. You can usually chemically strip the wheels with Aircraft Stripper. (Mmmm, aircraft strippers...) If you media blast, use virgin stuff--absolutely no metal media or contamination, and use as little air pressure as necessary.
  4. Inspect every inch of the bare metal. Honestly, people get way too paranoid about magnesium. It doesn't spontaneously fail for no reason--just look carefully for cracks or stress risers like the elongated holes or flat spots/bends.
  5. Use a conversion coat--such as DOW or Alodine. Be warned, these chemicals are not cheap. No, zinc chromate is no longer available and you cannot duplicate the finish of the 916 race bikes.
  6. I almost always go with powdercoat. Just use someone who knows what they are doing and the proper amount of heat. Paint is fine too, but it's more expensive and you could sand through the conversion coat if you try to go overboard with the prep.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I’ve got a few projects in motion currently so I wouldn’t be opposed to farming this one out. Any recommendations on a reputable shop that would be able to strip, inspect, conversion coat, then powder coat them for me?
 

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Matt
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643 Posts
Here's a thread from a while ago. Net out is that I still have never found a good one-stop shop in the US. It's worth the effort to ship them to Steve. Use USPS to send the wheels...it's expensive (about $200 for the last set I sent), but they are the cheapest. Use UPS to send them back (rates are cheaper coming this way...just under $100 for the last set I shipped back). And Steve's super lower cost IMO...current pricing for a set of magnesium wheels is £250 (about USD $330) and that includes strip, plastic media blast, inspection, conversion coating and powder coat paint. And he's a super good guy to work with.

 

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Mayor of Simpleton
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Yeah, except for the shipping, that's a bargain.
 

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Registered
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I'll second, or third, or whatever we are up to for sending them to Steve. Two years ago I sent a set of wheels to be inspected and coated and they came back great. Steve warned me of a little pitting but I can't notice (point being he is through, honest, and detailed). He also sent pictures of the process as he went which I found to be a nice touch.

I also found USPS to be cheapest sending but it wasn't worth the 45 minutes "arguing" with the idiot behind the counter (sorry for anyone behind me in line that day). I declared them as having zero value because if they did not pass inspection I did not want them back and marked them as not to return if something went wrong. They were worth zero at that point in time only having value IMHO on the return trip. The guy insisted no customs agent would believe that. I eventually told him that wasn't his concern, not being a custom agent himself. There was something else he wanted changed on a form that I'm the one signing as accurate that I had to argue over but I forgot what now. UK versus England became the final 10 minute "debate". I probably should not have been accurate and honest to a fault on the custom forms. That apparently confuses people.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #7
Good stuff gentlemen. As always, appreciate your input and information.
 
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