Well, after getting one wheel sandblasted to see how it came out, and realizing that I already had 4 wheels that were stripped of all paint when I got them (courtesy of Ernie West) I pondered different ways to refinish and polish the wheels. A couple of guys from the JHPS forum suggested jacking up the rear of the car, starting it and letting it idle, and using the spinning of the wheel on the axle as a sort of “lathe” while holding the abrasive against it.
I thought about this, but all I could think of was the scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off involving a Ferrari crashing through a garage wall… and decided I wasn’t that adventurous. In the spirit of Jensen ownership, it’s time to invent something!
So, I did a little Googling to see what others had come up with and combined various ideas. Here is the result. Parts list: one used treadmill with speed control, one used serpentine belt from a 1992 Ford F150 truck, one 5/8″ x 7″ bolt, one Jensen Healey front rotor with bearings, one 2×4, a couple of clamps, and various bits of hardware.
Worked out pretty well! I started with 400 grit sandpaper dry, then 800 wet, 1000 wet, 1500 wet, and 2000 wet, and finished with Mothers Aluminum and Mag Polish. I then spent about an hour per wheel with a can of flat black paint and a couple of brushes, and hand painted the black accents in.
During the process, I snapped this pic (at the time, two of the wheels didn’t have the black painted into the “roulette wheel” slots yet):
And, here’s one of my finished wheels next to Ms. Jenavieve, so you can see the “old vs new” comparison:
I decided to leave the “mag” part unpainted since I’ve never really liked the black on black look (there are slots there but you can’t see them well with the brake hardware behind them). So, it’s not quite original, but I think they came out nice. I still need to paint the inner rim (where the tire seats) as apparently they don’t hold air well if they are not painted.