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How can I clean an old Tuffwheel?

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How can I clean an Old Tuffwheel ?

 

The thing is structurally sound but it is really dirty. If I can figure out how to clean it this thing will be mint!

 

Any help here? :huh:

 

Bart

Watch it dude!

:ph34r:

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Bart i have a set of graphites that were redone and the guy says they take them and with real fine sand they blast them and then spray the Gehenna out of them with wd-40.They look really nice.Maybe this will help you. :)

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Scrap em! Skyway still makes em! LOL...

 

BART - WE NEED TO find out how to get space on the floor at Inter Bike! We are going to do a museum this year...we hope

 

Mux

:)

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How to SKYWAY Tuff Wheel OGK GT PERFORMER BMX Mags Cleaning Restoration

 

Whoa, may want to wait a second there, guys. I am in the process of figuring out a process of cleaning/restoring tuff and other mag wheels. I have tried everything I have read on the internet and gotten mixed results. Problems: 20+ years of grime, sometimes spray paint, brake glazing, usually sun oxidation and finally, warpage. Tuff wheels are made of nylon and are hydroscopic, meaning they will absorb water over time. There have been several posts portending that this will actually strengthen the material over time, but I spoke with a nylon engineer who said water absorption will actually make nylon more compliant over time (read: "softer"). There are stories of pro guys (who ride ALL the time) who can actually feel the difference between wheels that are virginal versus wheels that have been soaked (whether hot or cold bath, or power washed repetitively). I have done quite a bit of water blasting and haven't experienced a noticable difference. The myth of freezing your tuff wheels to fix warpage is just that--a myth. So where does that leave us?

 

For grime:

Pressure washing: good results for the grime...but needs a chemical to attack the tough stuff.

 

Chemical strip (and lots of scrubbing): nylon is extremely chemical resistant and I have tried stuff as caustic as bleach with no visible damage occuring. Am told--but haven't tried--that even goof-off won't hurt them. Any brave ones out there? I think simple green works pretty great. Oven cleaner? Don't know. I think it's another myth. Trying to find a plastic-safe "stripper".

 

*As anyone who has gone this far probably knows, chemicals and pressurized water don't touch the remainder of the problems...must use more drastic methods.

 

For spray paint, brake glazing, and oxidation:

Sanding (sand paper or 3m Scotchbrite pad): Talk about labor intensive!!! I wore a hole in my thumb with this process. No joke. But this DOES WORK. Look for around a 220 grit paper or a "heavy duty" scotchbrite pad--I have used both dry or wet with = results. Anything more course is going to start damaging the nylon. Why? Because nylon has little strands encapsulated in the nylon itself, but we can't see them because when nylon is formed, it naturally creates a barrier layer to the strands while in the mold I.E. the material naturally floats to the surface and makes a very smooth surface layer protecting the strands below. If we sand this layer away too much, we expose the strands and they make the wheel look course from then on in that work area. Believe me, I have done this. The challenge is to be able to remove the spray paint, glazing, and oxidation without harming the underlying material. This can be done safely as long as you are careful. Be attentive to your surface and if you start to see any deep scratches form, that's because you just began sanding into a strand. STOP THERE. Hand sanding to me is just for spot work, such as the braking surface where some unthinker used the wrong color brake pads. In fact, you MUST HAND SAND THE RUBBER OFF THE NYLON before using the next process--media blasting--or the rubber will hold heat and let the media burn the plastic. Believe me, I have done this. You can use coarser grades of paper, but watch that surface and be careful--you risk sanding into strands and creating weird looking scratch marks that won't go away. The results you get are directly related to your attentiveness to your work.

 

Media blasting: This is by far my favorite since it is the best bang for the buck (best results for time spent)--how much this costs you will depend on the mood your neighborhood blasting guy is in. I have been quoted anything from $50 an hour up to $150!!! I have tried super fine garnet (150 grit sand), 100 grit sand (a standard size at powdercoating places), and glass bead. ALL WORK. There is negligible difference between the way the different media leaves the resultant surface--all clean the wheel, the more aggressive media (100 grit) just cleans it faster. The problem is, they all leave the wheel "porous looking". If you look at skin up close, it looks porous. (Yes, even on supermodels). That's the way these medias leave the wheel. As opposed to brand new slick smooth plastic. The wheels look great as they have gotten all of their color back and look clean, but this porous surface now ATTRACTS dirt, grease, you name it. As soon as you touch the wheel with it, it is "there".

 

*NOTE: if you have GT PERFORMER WHEELS MADE BY OGK: OGK used a different concoction of nylon. Due to this, [uSING ANY OF THE ABOVE LISTED MEDIA], ANY BLASTING ATTEMPTED WILL BURN THE WHEEL. Once again, believe me, I have done this.

 

ANY OF THE MEDIAS I HAVE USED THUS FAR CREATE HEAT. Therefore, if there is any brake glazing left on a tuff wheel, these medias will burn the plastic. I am going to try plastic and walnut shell medias next, so I will post the results when I know something.

 

This porous surface now denotes the need for a coating of some kind. I am in the midst of coming up with just the right chemical to act as a sealant for these wheels. I have heard of people trying clear coat paint, but I imagine it looks somewhat gummy and makes the wheel definately unoriginal looking--and if applied to the braking surface, it will strip off as the pads wear and BURN IN to the plastic. (Not a good thing). I have found a proprietary chemical that bonds to nylon, is low gloss, and acts as a sealant. I envision spraying only the center section and leaving the braking surface bare. It is agreed that sanding the braking surface actually improves braking action--just don't make the mistake of using the wrong color pads after sanding or the wheels will be stained forever. Will try it in the next few days. If good results, I may decide to start restoring wheels for people. They'll look new AND brake better.

 

As for Warpage, I don't have a lot of ideas. --Baking your rides like mom's chocolate chip cookies probably isn't a good one. Have considered soaking in extremely hot water--and the nylon engineer said it may work--but be careful, don't do it for more than half an hour or you'll be riding some waterlogged (heavy) sponge sports when you're done.

 

That is all.

 

Dustin Gummels :rolleyes:

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Right on grampar7 with the helpful info! B)

 

BTW.. when's the next interbike????

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I have only tried two of the methods grampar7 listed, sanding and bleach. Sanding definetly worked the best, but as he said, it can be quite a workout(note: if you want to alter your fingerprints - sand a couple tuff wheels with 220 grit.)

I have also tried Wesley Bleach White on some real dirty white Tuff's. This worked OK, but they didnt come out as clean as I wanted. Maybe more bleach and scrubing would work - it's too cold for me to try right now!(Thursday we will have a high of -1 degrees).

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Sanding (sand paper or 3m Scotchbrite pad): Talk about labor intensive!!!  I wore a hole in my thumb with this process.  No joke.  But this DOES WORK.  Look for around a 220 grit paper or a "heavy duty" scotchbrite pad--I have used both dry or wet with = results.  Anything more course is going to start damaging the nylon.  Why?  Because nylon has little strands encapsulated in the nylon itself, but we can't see them because when nylon is formed, it naturally creates a barrier layer to the strands while in the mold I.E. the material naturally floats to the surface and makes a very smooth surface layer protecting the strands below.  If we sand this layer away too much, we expose the strands and they make the wheel look course from then on in that work area.  Believe me, I have done this.  The challenge is to be able to remove the spray paint, glazing, and oxidation without harming the underlying material.  This can be done safely as long as you are careful.  Be attentive to your surface and if you start to see any deep scratches form, that's because you just began sanding into a strand.  STOP THERE.  Hand sanding to me is just for spot work, such as the braking surface where some unthinker used the wrong color brake pads.  In fact, you MUST HAND SAND THE RUBBER OFF THE NYLON before using the next process--media blasting--or the rubber will hold heat and let the media burn the plastic.  Believe me, I have done this.  You can use coarser grades of paper, but watch that surface and be careful--you risk sanding into strands and creating weird looking scratch marks that won't go away.  The results you get are directly related to your attentiveness to your work.

I have quite a bit of experience working with these kinds of jobs. The fastest way to do it and save your arm in the process is to use an air powered die grinder or a Dremel tool. Both of these have attachments on them that allow abrasive discs to be attached. I would not suggest sand paper if you're going to use power because when using a die grinder it can be easy to take TOO much off at a time. The best is the Scotch Brite pads that were mentioned above, which also come in different grades of abrasives. My suggestion is to buy a few different grades and start out with the most fine until you find the one that will work best for whatever it is you are removing. Another difficulty is reacing the inside corners that the wheels cannot reach. For these areas you can take a metal rod that fits the die grinder and use a slitting saw or a hacksaw to cut a slit in the end lengthwise. Then you can take a piece of the scotch brite and slip it into the slit. Make sure the scotch brite extends past the tip of the rod about a 1/2" or more and that you don't have too much Scotch Brite sticking out the sides. This should allow you to get inside those hard to reach areas.

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On z-rims or tuffs that are colored and cleaned, you can get a shine back in them using vitamin E oil of all things. After rim is clean and dry, just apply the oil to a rag and apply it to the wheel. it's not a realslippery kind of oil so braking will not be affected one bit. Dread

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Hey y'all.

Go easy on 'em if you use the heavy duty Scotch-brite pads. I tried 'em and got off a bit of brake pad scuffs off, but also lost a lot of shine. I am going to try a less coarse grade of scotchbrite next.

I was also brave and used some goo gone on a beater zrim, and it cleaned the rims off pretty well, and did no visible damage.

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well alrighty here is what i did today . pulled out my alloy flange 24's in blue

 

pulled all axels . ok i washed with a keroseen degreaser and a brush man that took off all the grim dirt grease and crud.

 

then took in house washed in hot frigging water with soap 409 boar ax powder mixture scrubbed them with a tooth brush.

 

rinsed agin in hot friggin water

 

blow dry with air hose completely dry

 

with a rag and some cooking oil i soak the rim and wipped it off

 

then with another dry towel and rubbing i wipped all excess off leaving a nice dark restored color. man they look 10 times better.

 

and i know a few of u have seen how dirty they were.

 

im going to let them dry in the sun tomorrow then rebuild with all new axek kits,

 

they should be ready to roll bye the park. now i just have to figure out what i want to put them on.

 

well that's my 5 cents worth so do as u wish i took my time cleaned each spoke one at a time one wheel at a time now they look soo good. :yeehaw: :unsure: B) :lol: :D

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Guest Jeff_Chicago

:smthup: Soak them in Oxyclean, and water!!! Theyll look like new!!!!

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i'm with Dys on the dremel usage. i upgraded to that tool after both hands developed blisters. but i only had break marks to remove.

 

here's one for you - i have a set of old yellow mags off a schwinn. they look like they've sat outside in all kinds of weather & sun for years. pic below is after a normal cleaning. and they still look poor. it's like the "issue" has penetrated the nylon.

 

you guys have spoke on removing external dirt & grime, etc. but what about stuff that's "soaked" into the mag itself. pretend i have no connections (or money) for blasting techniques. what can i use from around the house to clean these up? did the color just fade out of them? like how sun bleaches plastic?

dirtywheel.jpg

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This topic should be pinned to the top and/made a sticky.

I'll be needing this someday soon.

Thanks for the info. :smthup:

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thanks for all the ideas :24: :24:

 

 

 

I've tried the dishwashing thing with a pair of yellow tuffs, made em look quite clean , but didnt make em perfect. I've done a pair of z rims (just the actualy rims) tuffs etc, i do it at work so "her in doors doesn't see".

 

i think i also remember hearing that industrial dishwashers clean hoter and therefore a little better, than the standard ones.

 

i'll be trying the light sanding/buffing technique later this week, if it goes wrong you'll see a more knackered pair of blue alloy hubbed ones on evilbay soon. :ebay:

just posting this as will be able to find it later easier.

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Wow this is an old topic! i remember this one.

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I have a nos set of yellow z rims that were filthy. At first i tried a orange cleaner, it did nothing but make them smell. Then my wife suggested i try clorox clean up w/ bleach. I sprayed it on let it sit a few and then scrubbed it with a toothbrush. They came out sweet.

 

As far as the warped z rims are, one of my nos were warped. At first i tried the freezing method for amusement purposes. IT DOESN'T WORK. Then i proceeded to place them in hot water for a short period of time, as this made them more flexable. I then manipulated them as close to straight as possible. Hopefully once it is laced up it will be fine.

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On 4/20/2004 at 1:37 AM, DauchyFan said:

i'm with Dys on the dremel usage. i upgraded to that tool after both hands developed blisters. but i only had break marks to remove.

 

here's one for you - i have a set of old yellow mags off a schwinn. they look like they've sat outside in all kinds of weather & sun for years. pic below is after a normal cleaning. and they still look poor. it's like the "issue" has penetrated the nylon.

 

you guys have spoke on removing external dirt & grime, etc. but what about stuff that's "soaked" into the mag itself. pretend i have no connections (or money) for blasting techniques. what can i use from around the house to clean these up? did the color just fade out of them? like how sun bleaches plastic?

dirtywheel.jpg

managed to clean up mine with a 5 minute (cut)simple green soak, a hotsy pressure wash (local car wash, hot water), and vitamin e oil (70,000 iu from cvs $10, its clear. paint on, let sit wipe off till dry.) they were the same color as yours when i started. (the one in back is pressure washed and dried, the one in front has e oil on it soaking, pre-wipe off. 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/WCNxnjJ3323FKNYY6

39 years of funk and sun dried goodness in before.

5 min simple green soak and 15 min hot pressure wash in after.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/PqkCPUabNSxiYGpe6

 

Anyone know of a nylon composite sealant?

cheers,

Djmg412

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