spankrjs's Biloxi, MS '83 Scrambler

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Did some work for this one this past weekend, about to spend some more money on it, too :crazy:

The tires that are on this Scrambler still have plenty of tread left. They are Bridgestone Dueler AT's.

IMG_20190324_121724221.jpg

But, two problems with them:

1) Since the new leaf springs/lift, they look a hair too small
2) And the bigger problem - They have been on the Scrambler since before I bought it in 2009, so they are at least 10-12 years old. The tread is starting to crack/dry rot. They are still fine for around town, but I won't drive it on the any long trips :twocents:

This one is my "Plan B" for the National this year, IF the Red one is not ready to go for some reason or another. So, it needs new tires.

No big deal, except for my wheels. While I like the brown painted stock wheels, I am not 100% crazy about the chrome trim rings. If I simply take off the chrome trim rings, the brown paint is scratched up where they clip on to the wheels. Not terrible, but not great, either.

I don't have time to repaint the wheels, so I decided to go a different, more expensive, more time consuming route:

IMG_20190406_100455186.jpg

These are stock 15x7 chrome wheels I purchased from "certifiablejeep" off this site. All in all, they look promising. BUT, it takes a lot of hard work to bring them back to their glory. But, they are a great basis to "restore". But, they look pretty "rough" before you start:

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The worst thing about them -the factory applied clear coat has turned yellow, and is flaking off. After steam cleaning them, they still look about the same. I was hoping the steam cleaner would strip the clear coat off, but it did not.

IMG_20190406_102050536.jpg

Close up showing some of the flaking clear coat/surface rust:

IMG_20190406_102103291.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
The first step, stripping off the clear coat. It is getting hard to find "good/non-environmentally safe/give you cancer" paint stripper. Home Depot and Lowes quit carrying the "good stuff" a year or two ago. The guy at O'Reilly's Auto Parts said that the federal government passed a law where they can only sell the "good stuff" to licensed body shops. He had just pulled it off the shelf, would not sell it to me. But, luckily, I found this at a local Advance Auto Parts. They had reduced the price and I am sure they are about to quit selling the "good stuff" to the general public, too:

IMG_20190406_121628385_HDR.jpg

The can was dated 2009, so it was still "the good stuff". In my opinion, a good paint stripper will have the following "bad chemicals" in it:

IMG_20190406_121648340.jpg

The Methylene Chloride is what you want to look for, that is what makes this crap work. It is bad stuff, use outdoors, burns the crap out of you, etc. BUT, it works.

After washing the wheels and letting them dry, I sprayed the stripper on all five wheels. After about 15 minutes, they looked like this:

IMG_20190406_121658814_HDR.jpg

You can see the clear starting to bubble. I did this on a cloudy day, the sun will evaporate the stripper before it can start doing its job, so plan accordingly. I kept "wetting the wheels" with the stripper, and working it with a nylon brush:

IMG_20190406_122022404.jpg

And more mist coats of stripper:

IMG_20190406_134228256.jpg

Be warned, the clear coat/stripper makes a big mess, plan accordingly:

IMG_20190406_134232371.jpg

After about two hours of stripping/scrubbing, I thoroughly flushed the wheels with water, then steam cleaned/pressure washed the wheels, to remove all the stripper.

When you are done with stripping, they still look meh.

IMG_20190406_144058488.jpg

Now is when the "real" work takes place.
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
After stripping the wheels, you will probably find some surface rust, like so:

IMG_20190407_102328103.jpg

I decided to try a method I found on the internet to remove the rust, amazingly it works:

IMG_20190407_103048534_HDR.jpg

Basically, I poured some Coke into a small container, dipped aluminum foil in the Coke, then rubbed the rusty spots. IT WORKS on the non-pitted rust. It might take a few minutes per spot, but it eliminates the rust. Something about the acid in the Coke dissolving the rust, the aluminum foil is softer then the chrome so it won't scratch it, some black magic.................

On the pitted rust, it will eliminate the rust, but not the pits. Once chrome pits, that's it, no saving it:

IMG_20190407_154334472.jpg

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Only one wheel had the "pits", and certifiablejeep let me know, so I am fine with it. It will be a spare. But, the Coke/Aluminum Foil trick greatly minimized the aesthetic damage, looks much better.

After the Coke/Aluminum foil on the rust spots, I polished all five wheels with #0000 Steel Wool. It will not scratch the chrome. After about 30 minutes with the steel wool on each wheel:

IMG_20190407_154317612.jpg

And a close up, this is before "polishing":

IMG_20190407_154322982.jpg

And finally, after about 20 minutes of polishing each wheel with chrome polish, you can see your reflection in each one. Hard to see in the picture, but they look great:

IMG_20190407_173819310.jpg

Thanks to certifiablejeep for selling me the wheels :thumbsup:

Probably about 2-2.5 hours per wheel, labor, so about 10-12 hours total time. Well worth the effort, but I won't be doing this again anytime soon LOL.

One note about "polishing" chrome - just like painting, they will only look as good as the prep work you put into them. The polishing only took me about 20 minutes per wheel, the "prep" was closer to 1.5 hours per wheel. Polish will NOT cover up pits, or cover up rust or surface flaws. The more prep you put into them, the better your final result will be. Also, you can't perform miracles on chrome. You can't get rid of curb rash, can't get rid of bad pits, etc. Treat a chrome wheel purchase like a Jeep purchase - the less rust the better :twocents:
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
My father in law about 35 years ago got his 2 bicycles out with chrome fenders that had rusted and got the tinfoil and coke and steel wool out. I thought no way, but it works. A trick he learned during 33 years in the Air National Guard. Rims look good!
 

MikeV

Basic User
SOA Member
City
Monroe
State
NY
I'm definitely doing the coke and foil trick. Nice to know that there is hopefully no rust on the inside of my stomach. Hopefully no rum damage either!
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Since I got stalled out on Red Scrambler front suspension progress, I did some stuff to this one this past weekend.

Last picture with the old tires and wheels:

IMG_20190413_125604688.jpg

Using the Scrambler as a pick up truck:

IMG_20190413_134827887.jpg

What I purchased, five 31x10.50x15 BFG All Terrains, with Snow Flake, which is really useful down here LOL:

IMG_20190413_134836071.jpg

Mounted up, with freshly polished center cap, Smurf Blood on the tires still:

IMG_20190413_142120568.jpg

The old Bridgestones measured 29.5", these measure 30.5", and feel a bit heavier:

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Snowflake close up:

IMG_20190414_103838095.jpg


Cleaned off the Smurf Blood, Dawn dish washing soap made quick work of it:

IMG_20190414_103818511_HDR.jpg

And finished:

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I think it looks good. The slightly taller/heavier tires are somewhat noticeable, but the 3.31 gears seem to be happy. I can still shift into OD at 45mph. They ride quiet and smooth, from my limited driving time so far, but most new tires do. All in all, happy with the new tire/wheel package.
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
I am using a stock roll bar spare tire mount. I believe this is the largest tire that will fit without modifications. It is really close, but it does clear.

Clearance between tread and rear cab wall:

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Clearance between bottom tread and top of wheel well:

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Wheel sits flush to mount:

IMG_20190413_154420862.jpg

Clearance between tire and vertical roll bar:

IMG_20190413_154432331_HDR.jpg

Clearance between tire and angled roll bar, very close:

IMG_20190413_154441085.jpg

For reference, these are 31x10.50x15 BFG All Terrains mounted on OEM 15x7 wheels. It is close, but works :thumbsup:
 

FLCJ8

Legacy Registered User
City
Palm Bay
State
FL
I am using a stock roll bar spare tire mount. I believe this is the largest tire that will fit without modifications. It is really close, but it does clear.
For reference, these are 31x10.50x15 BFG All Terrains mounted on OEM 15x7 wheels. It is close, but works :thumbsup:
Thanks, I saw the spare mounted in the previous post and was going to ask about this. :cheers:
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La

ag4ever

Average Nut
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Richmond
State
TX
The BFG AT tires are the best general off road tires that still has good on road manners. The wear pattern is excellent, and grip is good. Nobody has been able to build a better mouse trap in 30+ years.

My ‘82 had a set on it with a early ‘90’s date code when I bought it in 2009. They still had great tread left and I made several trips from Houston to Llano with them. Finally replaced them because the dry rot was too extream. Kind wish I had kept them as a spare set of lease tires because the rubber was so hard I could run them with single digit inflation and the mesquite thorns did not bother them.

I also think that these jeeps look best with the 31” - 33” tire range, with 31” being my personal favorite.

Those tires just look so perfect on that Green Scrambler!
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
I went to 2 Whalemarts near me and no luck at all. Had a manager look it up. In the computer and there was no listing of the item. He said it was not even in their system at all.
Try using the brickseek page and plug in your zip code. It will tell you surrounding stores and quantities they show on hand.
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
That Scrambler looks perfect now. I love the color, and those BFG's on chrome wheels just make it look perfect.
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
I went to 2 Whalemarts near me and no luck at all. Had a manager look it up. In the computer and there was no listing of the item. He said it was not even in their system at all.
Chalmette LA shows 7 spray cans on hand at $2.50/ can. They may or may not be there, but chances are they are. Not sure how far of a drive that is for you.

No stores around you show the quarts on hand.
 
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