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Old 11-08-10, 06:13 AM   #1
tsappenfield
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What's with these Westwood rims?

I've been trying to clean up 50+ year old Westwood rims. At this point, I'm not even certain if they're stainless steel or chrome plated. In the "valley" where the brake pads contact the rim, there is this blackish deposit that I'd like to remove (I think). I've tried a brass brush, steel wool, the steel brush on my power drill, navel jelly, various solvents and nothing seems to take this crud off! All my efforts just seem to shine it up. Is the chrome worn away! Is this some special coating that I don't know about? Should I leave well enough alone?

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Old 11-08-10, 08:17 AM   #2
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On my DL-1 the Rims get black rubber streaks from the brake pads, it could be that. My rims are pretty chewed up and missing some plating, those areas just look like bare steel.
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Old 11-08-10, 08:31 AM   #3
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Where the chrome has worn off on the sidewalls, the bare steel weathers to a black color; I think that's what you're describing. If that's the case, I'd think you would see some signs of rust somewhere on those rims -- perhaps on the inside? I've never actually seen a stainless rim, so I don't know what they look like after 50+ years of riding.
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Old 11-08-10, 10:09 AM   #4
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There are different grades of stainless steel. Lower grades will actually react to a magnet. Perhaps the rims are low grade stainless and the black is the way the steel oxidizes. I can recall seeing low grade stainless bolts turn dark grey or even black when exposed to certain conditions.

Did you happen to try a magnet on the rims?

Anyway, just a thought.
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Old 11-08-10, 04:07 PM   #5
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When I first removed the tires and rim tape from these rims, the amount of rust on the inside was amazing. In fact, the spoke nipples were so rusted into place that, after WD-40 treatment, I still couldn't budge some of them. Maybe this additional information helps someone out there.

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Old 11-08-10, 04:08 PM   #6
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Also, I did try a magnet on the rims. Definitely steel.

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Old 11-08-10, 04:47 PM   #7
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Crumple up a piece of aluminum foil and rub the offending spots on the rim. I have been using this method for cleaning and polishing chrome, for quite a while, with good results.
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