Little Wheel Spin and Spin

Big wheels turn around and around. (Apologies to Buffy.)

Wheels – Should be easy, right? Some folks prefer Phone Dials, some Fuchs. Me? I think that the Cookie Cutters are the better looking wheel on the 924/944 series. That being said, after I acquired a set of Toyo Observe G3s for winter tires, I started a search for an okay set of Cookies. Only okay because after all, they’re going to be the ‘winter wheels.’

It seems that they’re really easy to find until you’re looking for a set. There are lots of them around. In Georgia, Alabama, New York, Michigan. Suddenly the low cost ain’t so low when you price out shipping clear across the US of A. So I tasked my friends at the local boneyard to find me a set. $400 and a couple weeks later they’re in the shop.

The first thing we notice is that one is a little less than round. Like about 5 mm less. So after investigating straightening ($125), we take it back. They can find me another one.

On to the other three. There’s a video on the YouTube showing how to do it. First thing is to get the tooling. “The Spinna” is a roller frame to allow one to easily spin the wheel while you’re polishing. Google that name and I find nothing so the solution is to build one myself.

I find that conveyor rollers are cheap. Like REALLY cheap. (2) 11.5 inch long rollers, 4′ of 2×2 steel angle and an hour on the drill press and I got my very own “Spinna.” For $30.

Then we start to cleanup. The first step is a liberal application of paint stripper. It turns out that they no longer make Methyl Chloride stripper (something about silly EPA rules or some such) so that means that the first application and scraping was followed with about three more liberal applications. Then a bunch more scraping and scrubbing. Methyl Chloride was easier. Brush it on, hose it off, kill the weeds. Forever.

After removing the majority of the paint and clearcoat, it was on to the actual polishing. (The red is powdercoat. It won’t come off without heat or professional stripping so it’ll just get painted over.) First wet sand with 220 followed by 400, 600 and then fine Scotchbrite. We mostly ignored the curb rash as these are ‘winter wheels’ and we’ll just put the rashed ones on the off-side. After about 3 or 4 hours, we got out the Mother’s Mag Polish.


I learned a really neat trick from the above mentioned vid. Use sandpaper to trim the masking tape. It works slick.

Then paint with matte finish black farm implement enamel and we end up with:


And the fourth wheel? Here’s the first replacement:

That’s deep corrosion. It will not ‘polish’ out and I don’t have a lathe big enough to machine it out. They’re looking for another. And it’s beginning to snow.

The winter tires are on the Phone Dials. Probably put the summer tires on the Cookies.

The plan is to paint over the primer in the Spring. I spoke with the painter last night. He said that he’s looking forward to the job. (He did body and paint for Beverly Hills Porsche in an earlier life.) The labor’s about half paid for so far.


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