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Re-Chrome of '69 H/O Wheels

Old March 6th, 2019, 11:58 AM
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Re-Chrome of '69 H/O Wheels

I'm looking for a reputable source to re-chrome wheels which are original to a '69 Hurst Olds.
Any recommendation(s) would be much appreciated.
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Old March 6th, 2019, 01:06 PM
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Tom:
I have used Economy Plating in Balch Springs. They did the bumpers, hood ornament and headlight rings on my 54. They do work for Amos Minter who is the premier T-Bird restorer in the country. He sells cars at Barrett Jackson. The company has been around a long time and is now run by the grandson of the founder. They are probably as reasonable as anybody but get ready to get your socks knocked off. Hope to see you Sunday.
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Old March 6th, 2019, 02:12 PM
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I suspect that Tom's real issue is that to properly plate the 69 H/O wheels, you have to machine the welds and separate the center disc from the rim. Only the rim is plated. Once the rim is done, you need to weld them back together. This is how they were made originally. Very, VERY few plating houses will do this. They will just plate the whole wheel, which leads to problems when the chrome starts peeling down in the joint between the center disc and the rim. I'm also looking for a shop to replate the wheels for my 69 H/O, so if you have any luck, Tom, see if they have a quantity discount.
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Old March 6th, 2019, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
I suspect that Tom's real issue is that to properly plate the 69 H/O wheels, you have to machine the welds and separate the center disc from the rim. Only the rim is plated. Once the rim is done, you need to weld them back together. This is how they were made originally. Very, VERY few plating houses will do this. They will just plate the whole wheel, which leads to problems when the chrome starts peeling down in the joint between the center disc and the rim. I'm also looking for a shop to replate the wheels for my 69 H/O, so if you have any luck, Tom, see if they have a quantity discount.

Joe is 100% correct on this. it is really a crappy option to replate these..

1. I've seen ones that had the nice factory weld bead ground off and then re-welded. well it looks like crap and I just wonder how strong it is after the original weld got ground off. there is nothing to weld to... looked pretty crappy and dicey just one good pot hole and... also this needs to be re-welded true otherwise the wheel will wobble. and they had a fair about of run out from the factory as is.. One wheel place I saw would machine down the hub where the lug nut holes are to true-up the wheel.. ...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............................... ................................

2. When you rechrome without taking the wheel center hub out, the part where it curves and meets the rim will not get plated due to the electrolysis repelling action of the chroming process. i.e. you ain't gonna get any chrome between the rim and the wheel hub for about an inch and I'll bet where this meets is rusty as hell too...

so. your options are crappy either way to re-chrome it.. At one time some people out there were making "New" ones but the rim part had a slightly different curve then the originals. Otherwise looked good. BUT I think they wanted $600/Wheel.... Center Hub is the same as SSII 14inch wheels only the rim is different..

Fred
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Old March 8th, 2019, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for the prompt input.
I had been under the previously incorrect assumption that the entire wheel could just be re-chromed and then the center disc re-painted.
As Joe mentioned, apparently very few shops perform the correct wheel re-chrome process, which entails separation of the disc from the rim.
The shop where I had my bumpers, etc. re-chromed does not do this, but referred me to Meclec Metal Finishing in Fresno.
I've been in contact with someone there via brief emails only, but it appears they can do this.
Among my greatest concerns is damage prevention during shipping/handling, in addition to issues Fred noted.
Joe, I will research this further with them within the next few days and, with your OK, will PM you the details.
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Old March 8th, 2019, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bilse View Post
Thanks for the prompt input.
I had been under the previously incorrect assumption that the entire wheel could just be re-chromed and then the center disc re-painted.
As Joe mentioned, apparently very few shops perform the correct wheel re-chrome process, which entails separation of the disc from the rim.
The shop where I had my bumpers, etc. re-chromed does not do this, but referred me to Meclec Metal Finishing in Fresno.
I've been in contact with someone there via brief emails only, but it appears they can do this.
Among my greatest concerns is damage prevention during shipping/handling, in addition to issues Fred noted.
Joe, I will research this further with them within the next few days and, with your OK, will PM you the details.


before I'd have ANYONE do this to the wheels, I'd want to see some photos of some previous work done, especially where the rim and hub are re-welded together.. you'll see what I mean..

these wheels are rare as hell only 906 cars , how many left, how many in decent condition... 50 years old now... .. just sayin' Good Luck

Fred
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Old March 8th, 2019, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bilse View Post
Joe, I will research this further with them within the next few days and, with your OK, will PM you the details.
Thanks, Tom. I've got at least four and possibly six wheels I'd like to do if we can get a quantity discount.
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Old March 8th, 2019, 03:42 PM
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Fred,
Excellent points. Will absolutely get as much info to ensure correct results.
Joe,
Sounds good. Will PM early next week.
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Old March 8th, 2019, 04:09 PM
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hurst wheels

I have 4 that need done let me know if this helps on price
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Old March 9th, 2019, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by FStanley View Post
before I'd have ANYONE do this to the wheels, I'd want to see some photos of some previous work done, especially where the rim and hub are re-welded together.. you'll see what I mean..

these wheels are rare as hell only 906 cars , how many left, how many in decent condition... 50 years old now... .. just sayin' Good Luck

Fred
If you get photos of a repaired wheel, can you post them here???? Also other reviews of the business doing the work.. Their process, etc etc I need some reworked as well but I am tough critic...
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Old March 9th, 2019, 04:59 PM
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Stockton Wheel quoted me $385 each to chrome my steel SSIIIís. That was separating the rim from the center, chroming both pieces, and welding them back together.

$355 if they provided the rim.

http://www.stocktonwheel.com/

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Old March 9th, 2019, 05:40 PM
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I will probably get flamed for this, but I have seen a beautiful set done without removing the centers. This was on a concours quality restoration. They painted the centers with Plasi Dip and sent them to the chrome shop. Pealed the Plasi Dip after they were done. My plan some day is to try it myself.

Last edited by timholliday; March 10th, 2019 at 04:01 AM.
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Old March 9th, 2019, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by timholliday View Post
I will probably get flamed for this, but I have seen beautiful set done without removing the centers. This was on a concours quality restoration. They painted the centers with Plasi Dip and sent them to the chrome shop. Pealed the Plasi Dip after they were done. My plan some day is to try it myself.
Sounds like it should work.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 07:32 AM
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Its the same process to re chrome Cragar SS wheels.
Their are a few shops in California that do this type of wheel restoration. One problem is the color of the chrome plating has changed over the years to meet tougher EPA standards.
The topic has been covered on https://www.yenko.net/forum/index.php Do a search and you should find lots of good info on the topic.
One shop does the whole wheel and they are based in TX.
I don't like having my wheels cut apart but that is the direction I think I will be going with my Cragar ss.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 03:04 PM
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Keep your 15X7 H/O rims and do a set of later bolt on cap rims 1973-74. I'm 11 miles away from Stockton plating.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerald Nickels View Post
Keep your 15X7 H/O rims and do a set of later bolt on cap rims 1973-74. I'm 11 miles away from Stockton plating.
My original H/O wheels are pretty worthless with the chrome all rusty.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 03:29 PM
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Let's see those photos of the redone wheels ...

Also with all the EPA baloney in California, they can't use the good stuff anymore....


I'd check with some upscale platers like Paul's or Graves see what they use as a process.. then ask others what they are doing..
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Old March 10th, 2019, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FStanley View Post
Let's see those photos of the redone wheels ...

Also with all the EPA baloney in California, they can't use the good stuff anymore....


I'd check with some upscale platers like Paul's or Graves see what they use as a process.. then ask others what they are doing..
Its not just California that is effected by the new laws.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 07:42 PM
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One person had his Keystones done by this shop http://www.perfectcustommadewheels.com/
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Old March 10th, 2019, 10:40 PM
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[QUOTE=Bernhard;1159415]One person had his Keystones done by this shop http://www.perfectcustommadewheels.com/[/

Another shop that also does wheels http://www.stocktonwheel.com/
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Old March 11th, 2019, 11:00 AM
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This company can plate the entire wheel.
http://www.atlaschrome.com/contact.html
The issue with plating the entire wheel or only part of the wheel with out cutting the wheel apart is where the wheel hoop and wheel center make contact,
The chrome has a hard time flowing into the space. The chrome can start to peal in this area if not sealed.

The Cragar SS wheels were done using Hexavalent chrome and most likely the Oldsmobile H/O wheels used this chrome as well.

I have seen pictures of wheels that were cut apart and chromed together both looked amazing restored.

Last edited by Bernhard; March 11th, 2019 at 11:19 AM.
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Old March 11th, 2019, 01:28 PM
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Apologies for not posting since Friday.
Was busy both days this past weekend with blasting/detailing my transmission. Tedious work, but I think the results are good.
Anyway, regarding the wheels, late Saturday I received a recommendation from a local Olds chapter member for a shop in the Dallas area.
He had the wheels on his super nice '69 Toro fully re-chromed without hub/rim separation at this shop. This was done 7-8 years ago, without any problems since.
If I can get mine done properly near where I live, I'll likely do that.
Nonetheless, I'll still contact the Fresno shop (tomorrow) and post pertinent findings.
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Old March 11th, 2019, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bilse View Post
Apologies for not posting since Friday.
Was busy both days this past weekend with blasting/detailing my transmission. Tedious work, but I think the results are good.
Anyway, regarding the wheels, late Saturday I received a recommendation from a local Olds chapter member for a shop in the Dallas area.
He had the wheels on his super nice '69 Toro fully re-chromed without hub/rim separation at this shop. This was done 7-8 years ago, without any problems since.
If I can get mine done properly near where I live, I'll likely do that.
Nonetheless, I'll still contact the Fresno shop (tomorrow) and post pertinent findings.
Was the local shop Atlas?
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Old March 11th, 2019, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
This company can plate the entire wheel.
http://www.atlaschrome.com/contact.html
The issue with plating the entire wheel or only part of the wheel with out cutting the wheel apart is where the wheel hoop and wheel center make contact,
The chrome has a hard time flowing into the space. The chrome can start to peal in this area if not sealed.

The Cragar SS wheels were done using Hexavalent chrome and most likely the Oldsmobile H/O wheels used this chrome as well.

I have seen pictures of wheels that were cut apart and chromed together both looked amazing restored.

I wanna see some photos of the back...
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Old March 11th, 2019, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by FStanley View Post
I wanna see some photos of the back...
Sorry I don't own the wheels.
You will have to contact the wheel restorers that I listed.
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Old March 12th, 2019, 09:58 AM
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Local shop is Pulido Plating.
pulido.plating.com
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Old March 12th, 2019, 10:36 AM
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I spoke to the manager at Meclec Metal Finishing. Sounded like a great guy with a lot of experience. Was complimentary of the '69 Hurst/Olds as well.
Recap:
1) Meclec does not work on wheels anymore, except by RARE exception. (My plating guy that referenced Meclec must have had old/obsolete info).
2) The time/effort to do this work would interrupt the high-demand work they're already have.
3) If Meclec were to agree to do it, they would only do plating. Polishing would need to be done by another source they work with. The cost would be approx $400 per wheel (includes plating and polishing).
4) No discount (quantity or otherwise) would be offered, due to the individual detailed work required.
5) In is opinion, separating the center from the rim shouldn't be done. Re-welding the two together would damage the re-chrome application.
Though probably not the findings we were looking for, I hope this is helpful.

Last edited by Tom Bilse; March 12th, 2019 at 11:13 AM.
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Old March 12th, 2019, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bilse View Post
I spoke to the manager at Meclec Metal Finishing. Sounded like a great guy with a lot of experience. Was complimentary of the '69 Hurst/Olds as well.
Recap:
1) Meclec does not work on wheels anymore, except by RARE exception. (My plating guy that referenced Meclec must have had old/obsolete info).
2) The time/effort to do this work would interrupt the high-demand work they're already have.
3) If Meclec were to agree to do it, they would only do plating. Polishing would need to be done by another source they work with. The cost would be approx $400 per wheel (includes plating and polishing).
4) No discount (quantity or otherwise) would be offered, due to the individual detailed work required.
5) In is opinion, separating the center from the rim shouldn't be done. Re-welding the two together would damage the re-chrome application.
Though probably not the findings we were looking for, I hope this is helpful.
Bernhard wrote:
The cargar ss wheels were chromed then welded to together I would assume the H/O wheels would have been done the same way.
To be honest I don't like the idea of having my wheels cut apart and re-welded.
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Old June 18th, 2019, 03:30 PM
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An update on this topic.

I had the wheels re-chromed a couple weeks ago at Pulido's (near Mesquite, TX).
Then the center portion was painted by the guy who painted the H/O.
The re-chrome wasn't flawless, but I believe is sufficient for my needs.
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Old June 18th, 2019, 04:59 PM
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H/O wheels

Tom,

Thank you for the follow up.

Could you please elaborate on the areas you feel that are flawed and clarify if it's due to workmanship, today's quality of chrome itself or the areas having heavy rust/pitting prior.


Best,
Lew
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Old June 18th, 2019, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bilse View Post

An update on this topic.

I had the wheels re-chromed a couple weeks ago at Pulido's (near Mesquite, TX).
Then the center portion was painted by the guy who painted the H/O.
The re-chrome wasn't flawless, but I believe is sufficient for my needs.
Bernhard wrote:
Did you have the wheels done together or did you have them cut apart?
The shop that does them together said it was very difficult get get the plating to flow into the seem between the hoop and center section.
The wheels look nice!
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Old June 18th, 2019, 07:30 PM
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Looks at minimum as good as what rolled out of Demmer. I look forward to seeing this one again. Nice and unexpected visit at the show, sorry I missed you on Saturday!
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Old June 19th, 2019, 03:34 PM
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Here's a photo of a couple of the wheels after re-chroming and before center hub painting.
The wheels were re-chromed assembled/together.
I was in a hurry when I picked them up from the re-chrome shop (I was trying to get to the NAOC/NTOC show before judging was completed).,
so I didn't ask why the rim portion appears to be chrome but the hub doesn't. This seemed to enable the paint to apply better (after primer) according to the paint guy.
The yellow "dots" on the one (bottom) wheel is from some type of liquid at the restoration shop. It wiped away cleanly.

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Old June 19th, 2019, 03:46 PM
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Lew,
There were a few "yellowed" areas on the re-chromed wheels. These are very few, not on every wheel, and you have to look pretty closely to find them.
For all I know, they may polish out, but I haven't tried.
Also there were just a couple of very small nicks, which are pretty inconspicuous.
Other than the above, I believe the finished surface of the chrome is very solid and and smooth.
My restoration guy thought the wheels were better than he expected.
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Old June 30th, 2019, 03:19 PM
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Completed Wheels on Tires

Though not the best angle/lighting, here's a photo of one of the completed wheels/tires.
A couple lug nuts are intentionally left off for final attachment of the wheel well arch trim.

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