cleaning original wheel covers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-10-2018, 04:14 PM   #1
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Name: Stephen
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cleaning original wheel covers

from a 1984 Bigfoot B17SW

Can these be disassembled? They're a 2 piece design but it looks impossible to get to the inner nut.
I know if I could get them apart I could clean them up beautiful
I'm guessing these are pretty rare so the amount of people with experience is...very few.
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Old 09-11-2018, 10:38 AM   #2
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I've had a bit of luck restoring items like that. They are usually hard to take apart if not impossible without wrecking them. I see the bolt head. It looks like a bad design ... how can get a wrench on it let alone turn it!? Are you able to access the threads that it bolts into? You might be able to drill it out from the back side and alter the design .. oversize hole, retap and bolt from the back side, etc.

Without taking them apart (hopefully you can) I've dipped them in phosphoric acid which deals with the rust without destroying the chrome or paint. This is far from ideal though and you'll never be able to get rid of the rust pits. The spokes may be stainless steel which won't be affected by phosphoric acid either.

Basically dip them, rinse them with clean water, dry them and clear coat them.

I have a small dip tank that gets a LOT of use ...



Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:28 PM   #3
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I used to run hubcaps through the dishwasher a time or two with pretty good results.

The only side effect is that I am no longer married.

I have heard some take them to a car wash, but I can't vouch for that.
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:37 PM   #4
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Is the round center piece a separate part that can be removed to access the nut
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 72 View Post
I used to run hubcaps through the dishwasher a time or two with pretty good results.

The only side effect is that I am no longer married.

I have heard some take them to a car wash, but I can't vouch for that.
LOL - You have to pick your times. I haven't rebuilt an engine in quite a while but it used to be standard procedure to run the pistons, rods, etc. through the dishwasher before hand!
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:29 PM   #6
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Douse them down with barkeepers friend.
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Is the round center piece a separate part that can be removed to access the nut
ding ding ding, i found this out after randomly trying to manipulate it.

here's a before and after



just used aluminum foil and water (old hot rodding trick - aluminum is harder than rust but softer than chrome. SCIENCE)
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:05 PM   #8
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Try you dishwasher, don't let your wife find out!
Make sure you run the water in the sink to get it HOT before you start the dishwasher (really anytime).
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