Z28 Wheel Trim Rings Refinishing

Discussion in 'Original Drivetrain Topic' started by Green hornet, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. berg2695

    berg2695 Veteran Member

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    I once tried to restore my trim rings. They had the usual scratches and some depressions (dents) from taking them off and putting them on many times over the years. I took them apart completely. I would not do it again unless the rings were really hammered and I didn't need a premium result. They look ok but disassembly caused some distortion of the outer edge.
     
  2. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

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    Here’s my update. I was able to pull one completely apart. It looks like someone had it apart before. It took me an hour to get it apart. I was able to roll the edge up with different tools and get the ring out. I then began removing the dents with a hammer and dolly. Long story short, is it perfect no. Is it better than I started, 100% yes. The down side to all this is I don’t think this ring is stainless steel. My guess is someone took it apart and install the ring with the clips on an aftermarket trim ring. If you look at the last photo you see the finish isn’t consistent after sanding the scratches out. It looks like I have sanded through some kind of finish.


    F07CC83A-821F-42A4-B504-C2FF2FC9AEE4.jpeg 5692A662-26D1-4C13-9491-B01480910932.jpeg 5B796243-66BC-4F4D-8C87-D41259AEEFE9.jpeg 33DA8F5C-176E-428A-8532-7D68AC1179A0.jpeg D3880247-CB08-4117-8644-88EB88D3BA76.jpeg 039A68A4-6B9A-49A3-B9DA-CA9AD8AD758C.jpeg 2112D056-6D07-4750-B01D-FE1DF781CA24.jpeg CC5B7CC7-F7F2-45F5-AB50-3DBF07FF32D7.jpeg F77D4995-5415-4C7A-A83F-6BA4FCD736E5.jpeg
     
  3. berg2695

    berg2695 Veteran Member

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    Those sure look factory to me. Nice job getting it apart. I think you have more patience than I did. Once mine were back together I mounted them on a wheel on an old brake rotor/ steering knuckle that was lying around so I could spin them by hand o_O while I wet sanded them with finer and finer sandpaper.
     
  4. bodymanbill

    bodymanbill Veteran Member

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    There stainless, my vette cap looked exactly the same when I started sanding them, pretty sure there anodized just like the window trim. Unfortunately u have to remove it completely or it won’t look right when u polish it.
     
  5. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

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    If that’s correct I have a lot more sanding to do to break through all the anodized finish. They do have dark blue mounting clips that indicate they are factory. Of anything I have read no one mentions that they are anodized. If that’s the case I feel a little better, I wasn’t happy after all that work to find it wasn’t sanding out very well.

    It took along time to get it apart. Like I said someone had done it before and hadn’t put it together all that well which helped. You can see by the photos.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  6. l16pilot

    l16pilot Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I sent my original 70Z trim rings to Don's East Coast Restorations on Long Island, NY...Roque is their resident trim restoration expert and he told me the trim rings are flash chromed stainless. If this is the case, then you'll never get the consistent finish back if you've already broken through the flash chrome surface finish. Again, I am not an expert...this is what I've been told by Roque at Don's
     
  7. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

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    Get a good strong magnet. Does it stick? if so then not stainless or at least not good stainless.
     
  8. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

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    Thanks for the info. I’m already through it in places. I just keep going and see what I end up with.


    I did the magnet trick already and it doesn’t stick.
     
  9. budro6968

    budro6968 Veteran Member

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    Hope it buffs out then. Good luck.
     
  10. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

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    After following bodymanbill’s lead on the sanding I started over. I hit it hard with 100 grit to get rid of any coating then worked up the ladder to 600. This is how it looks now. Again not perfect but unbelievably better then what I started with.

    I have read that to restore one is about $200.00 per ring. I will say that’s cheap considering the amount of sweat equity I have in this with three to go. Thank you to everyone that has chimed in on this.

    before
    50845214-CAD6-4FEA-B263-22E1B6C1E1C8.jpeg

    After
    BF1DFE14-D3A0-4980-8C52-E8DEBFF7396E.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020

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