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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
The first I noted them was a factory optional wheel (1 of 2) in the 1750 Parts Manual. Some are sown in the wheels thread. That puts it for 4x108 14" mount wheels in 1969. These are date stamped 1973 and have Alfa Romeo stickers inside, so they must have continued to be a factory option from 1969 to ??. Indeed 4x98 Alfettas used a version also. Thanks for the good resto working formula! B

PS: dang, I just remembered that I will have to replace all the short wheel studs on the 67 GTV if I put these on her. SO they may end up on the Spider in-lieu of the 11# CD-35's. Hmmm.
 

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Not an issue, but FWIW, I believe these Campy wheels in question were called "Longbeach", as opposed to "America" and we first saw them as options on the 116 Alfettas in the late '70s.
How Campys were named in an interesting question. I have a 70's Campagnolo factory cataloge (packed away at the moment) showing all the wheels and offsets for Campy's Alfa wheels, including these "America/Longbeach" wheels. The wheels are shown with part numbers but I don't remember if they had names attached to them. This will give me an imputus to dig through the pile of debris I call "storage" and see if I can find it. I think I first saw the "America" name applied to these wheels in a vendor's cataloge, Bobcor's or FAZA perhaps, in the early 70's. But those, too, are in a box somewhere.

The original finish on Campys is an almost impervious coating. I bead blasted my Turbinas with a relatively soft media whch did a good job of cleaning years of grunge and bad spray paint but left the original finish intact. If you can keep from totally stripping these wheels, this oem coating should serve as an excellent surface base. I'm going to prime with zinc chromate, and then paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I've dealt with the original high-magnesium-content Cromodoras and found that bead blasting then priming with zinc chromate works (zinc chromate has been the stuff used for decades by the aircraft industry and military for protecting sensitive metals).

After priming/sealing with the zinc chromate, I used body paste to fill any pin holes, then sanded and primed with a filler/primer and sanded again.

Finish with your favorite paint.

Chuck
Hey Chuck, a question: I am familiar with painting systems used in industrial applications and zinc chromate was always preferred for steel substrates in corrosive environments because the zinc was sacrificial if there was a scar, scuff or blemish in the coating system. However putting it on a magnesium-aluminum metal which is more reactive than zinc, reverses this protection, no? The alu-mag will corrode to protect the zinc? In 180out's and my refinishing some Campy Turbinas recently we noted a thick and very hard primer-undercoat, like an epoxy. Any thoughts from coaters?
 

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I'm an architect, not a chemist, so have no argument with your argument, rather am left relying on those aforementioned decades of use by the aircraft industry and military.

And the years of seeing my A&P/AI father working on and building aircraft.

All those funky green military aircraft interiors, magnesium aircraft wheels and other components, that was (is) zinc chromate. Not sure how it works, but it does. Obviously there is a reactive chemical thing going on, which our excellent modern epoxy (etc.) primers do not provide.

(The real zinc chromate is getting harder to source, but "safe" variants are out there):

Zinc Phosphate Primer

Zinc Chromate Primer, Green - Orr-Lac Green Zinc Chromate Primer



One area of these wheels which seems particularly vulnerable is the hub face, the circular flat area that actually contacts the car's steel hub. Don't know what happens other than some abrasion and "dissimilar metals" reaction, but I'd consider paying extra attention to that face and maybe even creating a very thin HDPE or PTFE (Teflon) disc to fit between the wheel's hub face and the hub. Certainly you'd want to inspect that face regularly.

Wheel bearing grease also seems to make the mag wheel very unhappy, so keep it tidy.

I would agree that it's good idea to leave a solid, original factory finish intact whenever possible, but that gets tricky when the finish is partially gone. How do you refinish around the existing?

Be careful and patient: these are cool old wheels that we ought to preserve and enjoy.

Chuck
 

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Bruce got the wheels from me, they where fitted to my ´69 stepnose when I purchased the car back in 2004, I´ve also test ride the wheels in the Super whitout any problem so I think craking shoulnt be a problem, just a bit of rubbing in hard corners or with heavy load.

Regards
John
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
Bruce,
I'd suggest reading this article on wheel restoration by Steve Kouracos. Lots of excellent info.
Thanks Brad, interesting quote here: After an Alodine wash (so called "yellow chromate"): "Next, use a self etching primer – NOT A ZINC CHROMATE PRIMER! After coating with a quality self-etching primer let the wheels dry naturally again for 24 hours – or you could bake at low heat for one hour." Does not say why not to use zinc chromate.

PS: Found in the Q&A following the main write-up: "As for zinc chromate…zinc is not necessary and a lot of base coats don’t stick very well to zinc. But a chromate primer works well. It’s the chromate that you need for adhesion and anti-corrosion, not zinc." Need to read all the Q&A also. Quite a process: scrub, blast, chromate wash, self-etching primer, filler, sanding, clean, 2-3 prime coats, sand, top and clear coats.
 

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What was your solution and outcome?
I find myself with the same wheels and same desire for them.
The Steve Kouracos suggestions seem quite right on but also a bit overwhelming as well.
Did you end up sending your wheels out?

Thanks.
Gerry
 

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Discussion Starter #29
My outcome was procrastination due to other car projects and other projects. And I don't really need the wheels on any car at the moment either: CD-35's on my 69 Spider, TZ replica on my 72 Super, stock on my stock concourse 65 Super. I had a 67 stepnose when I acquired them for that car but I sold it as a project.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
That's what I'm saying, anyone can have GTA wheels but only a few can have Campy Americas. Really nice combo. Hate to have to buy another car, a GTV, just to mount the wheels . . . . :)
 

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Are you sure they're 4x108? Some of the pics make it look like they may be for the Alfetta with 4x98 lug spacing.

Cool looking wheels for sure, and definitely worth saving if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Yes, the early ones were 4x108, 6 1/2". These actually came to me mounted on a Super. Some say they rub under load when bouncing and some say they are OK. . And indeed they put 4x98 on later Alfettas. B
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Arrghh, now you are just rubbing salt in the wound . . . :)
 

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I thought I remembered a very rare 7" version as well.

What would they use to fill pocks on alum or magnesium? Can they use an epoxy filler, sand & fair it, since it will be all top coated? How much heat does a wheel normally build up?
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Mine have shallow surface pocks. Might just seal them and refinish as-is, that is part of their history. The trend it to lightly restore things and not over do it. Read several accounts in recent Sports Car Market complimenting folks for a light restoration trying to leave history intact where possible. Have you ever looked at old wheels? like a TZ? It is pretty rough.
 

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I know this is an older thread but does anyone make centers for these? I measured 55mm but am unable to find anything that will fit? Did you finish yours and if so, what, if anything, did you use?
That's what I'm saying, anyone can have GTA wheels but only a few can have Campy Americas. Really nice combo. Hate to have to buy another car, a GTV, just to mount the wheels . . . . :)
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I have not restoed them yet. My center caps are faded but servicable. I' ms rsure they or a 55mm ALfa logoed cap are abaialble somewhere, prhaps the big Italian car parts meet in Bologna every year.
 

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