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Re: hat rim repairs

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Tall T

08-10-2014 19:20:54

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I just fully restored my Hat rims not that anyone thought it worth mentioning but here's what I've learned:

Examine the inside of your rim for rust holes right behind the hat box channel into the tube area. I found a couple and welded or brazed them shut. The steel is only rim metal thickness there -- not like the channel itself which appears to be 14 guage -- maybe 16 at the least.

If you did want to get inside the channels, then getting in from the inside might be the way to go. You could weld up your access holes when you are done.

I wouldn't entertain the notion of removing the channels . . . massive job and miles of continuous welding bead. At least in my case there was loads of meat still on those hat channels.

I'd buy new rims before ever doing that. You probably don't have to do that at all and if there are holes in the side walls of the channel, then cut some nice holes and weld in some 16 or 14 gage steel. Those heavy rings give the rim itself tons of added strength as well, even if rusty inside.

If you want to see how I dealt with future rust inhibiting, with photos, the forum thread is titled: "No Hydraulic Action" and it is on page 2 of this forum.
In an older thread I rambled on about how I got the slabs of rust out of the bolt holes -- the insides of which are now primered and painted and the bolt shanks are primered.
No one else commented on my hat box theories and why those rims got a bad rap and how to stop hat ring deterioration in the future ... in short sealing up your bolt holes so that no water can get in in the future is the ticket. That is how the water got in! Don't fill them with foam whatever you do, or anything but solvents or oil or whatever. the two back doors on my step van someone pumped expanding foam into and it destroyed them with rust because of that.
And if your hat box channels are bone dry inside before you put your centers back in and seal the bolts (I used Permatex Ultra Blue cause I had some around) and oiled leather washers they will STAY dry inside and the rust flakes still in there will eventually turn to powder.

And don't leave your tractor sitting in the creek. LOL

But here's where you might do even better. See where between center and hat channel there is a very thin tough leather washer (typmany drum skin) . . . well . . . those mating faces are not too level at the edges so if I had used silicon in between there as I did behind the bolt heads, I would have had a guaranteed water-tight seal. I can still do that later sometime so all is not lost. when I torqued down the center nuts, oil squeezed out of a couple of the leather rings so I did get a fairly good seal on the thread side of those bolts too I think. I can't really put silicon on the backside there now because of the oil-impregnated leather washers. this morning i put the last silicon under the overhanging bolt heads so as to get that done before the rims got dirty.


This post was edited by Tall T at 08:38:30 08/12/14 4 times.

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Fuddy Duddy

08-10-2014 20:52:05

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to Tall T, 08-10-2014 19:20:54  
I agree with you to a point. Most likely if he keeps it dry on the inside the rims will last him a long time. Removing and replacing the band would be a lots of work.
But your statement, "Don't fill them with foam whatever you do, or anything but solvents or oil or whatever." I have a little problem with. I take it that you are saying to coat the inside with oil? That would help stop the rust. But the oil would deteriorate the rubber tube as it would leak on to it.

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Tall T

08-10-2014 21:03:13

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 Re: hat rim repairs in reply to Fuddy Duddy, 08-10-2014 20:52:05  
Very good point Fuddy Duddy!
So forget swamping the channels with oil because even if you thought you had all the pin holes to the tube sealed up, a new one could develop later.

I mentioned penetrating oils or whatever because he seemed to have his heart set on getting some rust inhibitor in there.

If I had elected to put a rust fluid into my channels I would have used Amsoil Metal Protector because it is incredible on rust and because the wetness eventually evaporates leaving a nice DRY rust inhibiting film. Ya, I know, I'm advertising again, but anyone with sense enough to try it will soon find out it is true.

The best way and with the least work would be to stick a spray can wand in to each channel section by using the bolt holes themselves for access even if that called for drilling a small wand-sized hole -- within that squared bolt passage.


Terry :)
This post was edited by Tall T at 21:41:04 08/10/14 3 times.

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