Options for rusted wheels and pealing chrome

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wackpuma

On Training Wheels
May 16, 2020
1
43
Chicago, IL
I got a Sears JC Higgins out of the alley recently that I want to restore. Based on serial number it is from 1953 from the Murray Ohio Factory. My question is about what to do with the rusted wheels. Options that I have been considering:

1) wire brush on my drill
2) Oxalic Acid Bath
3) would it be easier to use the hubs but relace them to new rims and spokes?

I am not experience with what to do when the chrome is badly pealing. Does all the chrome need to be removed?
Whats your all advice?

Thanks.

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the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 4, 2014
2,946
Planet Mongo
If the rest of the bike is as rough as the wheels, I wouldn't go crazy trying to make them new looking. The OX acid will do nothing on them but make them worse. Wire brush them with your drill motor. That front hub is not from the 50's. Replace any broken spokes and spray everything silver. It will look fine. Or, buy a couple Murray rims. They're easy to find and cheap.
 

Rivnut

I live for the CABE
Nov 24, 2012
1,600
Shawnee, United States
$30 for a pair of rims, but $50+ for shipping?

Take the rims and have them media blasted to remove th he chrome then paint them.
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 11, 2013
2,445
Ft Myers, Florida
I wouldn't even mess with those. You can spend hours on end cleaning those up and still end up with junk rims. Thirty bucks for a new pair of drops. http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5335809022&icep_item=193469043673
Naw, It's $164 bucks a pair! "
Shipping:
$51.80. I wouldn't touch that crap wit your money. But these rims are trash too. That's why , in 50's and later, Murray got a junk repetition.. Not only not worth 'Restoring' But The nipples are probably not going to come off the spokes. Best route for these rims is just to get a girls bike from 60's and newer off craig's list for 30 bucks just for the wheels then beg a scrap man to take off the curb. Heck there's a girl early 60's my neighbor has been trying to give to me for 10 years. It aint worth the time and money to part out and ship.
"
 
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GTs58

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Sep 2, 2012
12,596
Central Arizona
Naw, It's $164 bucks a pair! "
Shipping:
$51.80. I wouldn't touch that crap wit your money. But these rims are trash too. That's why , in 50's and later, Murray got a junk repetition.. Not only not worth 'Restoring' But The nipples are probably not going to come off the spokes. Best route for these rims is just to get a girls bike from 60's and newer off craig's list for 30 bucks just for the wheels then beg a scrap man to take off the curb. Heck there's a girl early 60's my neighbor has been trying to give to me for 10 years. It aint worth the time and money to part out.
"
Rims at thirty bucks, pick them up locally and forget shipping them. I wasn't suggesting he buy those from that seller, just a reference for what he can get some new rims for.
Those are $98.30 a pair delivered to my door.
 

Jeff54

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Sep 11, 2013
2,445
Ft Myers, Florida
Rims at thirty bucks, pick them up locally and forget shipping them. I wasn't suggesting he buy those from that seller, just a reference for what he can get some new rims for.
Those are $98.30 a pair delivered to my door.
Yeah, seller doesn't say it but he's discounting shipping for 2. I tossed into cart, They're $114.55 a pair to my door.

Regardless, the only example those 20 year old, (so he says) it doesn't matter what hype he's pushing Are just cheap china crap, that, for restoring ya can get at the metal scrap yard for a few bucks. I got a couple of those I picked up from trash because had good white walls. However, have to admit, rims been sitting out side over 3 years, I expected would rust out by now but haven't. I mean, ya do that to today's Schwinn chrome and they'd be flat brown. I.E. The OP would be tossing money out the widow B/C ya don't even need 50's , 60's wheels to fix this bike. they's plenty all over the place with the exact same wheel pattern lying in back yards, garages etc. people pay to dump.
 
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bikemonkey

I live for the CABE
Jun 25, 2016
1,371
67
North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
Once the chrome plating peels away there is nothing to be done but go to bare metal...why bother?

The spokes look salvageable but the length may change with different rims...I say find a nice pair of used hoops and relace them.

BTW - this may be helpful

OA bath is for removing rust under paint while preserving the decals. Do not use on aluminum parts.

Citric acid solution and brass hand brushes is best for cleaning chrome without dulling it - it will clean those hubs nicely..

#0000 steel wool with oil for heavier corrosion on most metals.
 
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vincev

I'm the Wiz, and nobody beats me!
Nov 2, 2008
13,830
crown point<indiana
When chrome peels it is gone. Ya have to look at the rest of the bike.Is it worth spending the money ? Bright shiny wheels will look silly on a beat up old bike.You could just buy a junker off CL and use the wheels.Does it have to be original wheels ?
 

Bill in Bama

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jul 19, 2019
368
57
NW Alabama
Clean’em...paint them if you want and put on some repro white walls. Save and use rims and put your money in some tires! Cheap colored tires can make a so so ride pop!
 

Rivnut

I live for the CABE
Nov 24, 2012
1,600
Shawnee, United States
Naw, It's $164 bucks a pair! "
Shipping:
$51.80. I wouldn't touch that crap wit your money. But these rims are trash too. That's why , in 50's and later, Murray got a junk repetition.. Not only not worth 'Restoring' But The nipples are probably not going to come off the spokes. Best route for these rims is just to get a girls bike from 60's and newer off craig's list for 30 bucks just for the wheels then beg a scrap man to take off the curb. Heck there's a girl early 60's my neighbor has been trying to give to me for 10 years. It aint worth the time and money to part out and ship.
"
You guys are just like the Jr. High students I taught. Thought that if you read the first sentence you'd get the whole story.

Here's what the seller states in his ad, and if you'd have scrolled down and read the particulars you'd have seen it at well. Copied and pasted from the Ebay ad. I changed the text color to red so you don't have to read anymore than is necessary.

RIMS Only. (tire pictured only to show profile)
Rims Only NO Tires

May have minor scratches and scuffs from sitting in my warehouse
over 20 years but still shiny and most likely better than what you've got
A pair of chrome drop center rims
size 26 inch.
36 hole standard cruiser rims.
Made for Columbia bikes but can be
used on ANY Schwinn, Colson , Shelby, Huffy, etc etc.
These fit all 26 inch Balloon tires
A bargain for the pair of rims
(2 rims included in purchase)
 

fattyre

I live for the CABE
Oct 22, 2014
1,073
Chicagoland
Don’t waste your time or money unless you like the way they currently look. You can’t easily do much to improve those. And if you haven’t respoked a wheel before I’d recommend you avoid that. That can be a whole world of frustration.
Find nicer stuff if you want nicer stuff.
 
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