Were Mag wheels ever really made from magnesium?
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  1. #1
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    You know Cragar etc
    Bob

  2. #2
    bossman Guest

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    I don"t know about street wheels, but my father bought a midget race car in the late
    40's and it had mag wheels. I still have all
    the components. One wheel literally failed
    sitting still from old age and the stress areas that develop in cast magnesium

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    Absolutely they were.
    I've got a couple of vintage sets, they leak air like a seive, and that's a sign that they aren't exactly the safest things to be driving around on as Bossman referred to.
    I like the wheels, but I like the car more and only put the wheels on when it' being trailered to a show, just on/off the trailer is enough for my comfort level.


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    The Indy car wheels used to be made of magnesium. You got a hell of a bright flash when the wheels would run down the concrete wall. You could see the white flash in bright sunlight.
    Paul

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    Not sure about the wheels but I used to see a porsches where the rear engine compartment had burned away. This included the Al engine block burning as well. I understood it was because the first electronic fuel injected cars had a constant fuel pressure even with the key turned off there ewas no way to stop the pump. Get a fuel leak in the engine compartment and if it caught fire it was going to burn until the fuel was gone or the wiring to the pump was fried.
    Bill D.

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    co-worker found a beat up magnesium stepladder. he set it on fire.

    I think my street bike has magnesium wheels. nobody will tuch them except the dealer to change the tires. (Buell X1)

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    i've heard stories from old timers i've
    worked with about guys turning magnesium
    + the part catching fire , burning holes
    in the lathe . can't put it out!
    i've always read not to try to use water
    based coolants , or put water on a mag fire,
    as the oxygen in the water makes it burn
    even hotter!
    never machined any, personally , though
    i once had a lawnmower with a mag deck .
    the thing was brittle and crumbled bit by
    bit. eventually the engine just cracked
    the thing apart after about ten years .
    not a very durable metal , seems kind of like zinc.

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    Most of the "mag" wheels were Halibrand or CAE. Volkswagen/Porche transaxles were also die cast magnesium. In the earlier days of die casting, if you wanted a large part like a wheel, it had to be a magnesium alloy.

    Magnesium, titanium, and uranium are all flamable metals. I've turned all with water based coolants. I've also help put out 2 uranium fires. Not fun stuff! Synthetic coolants are about the only thing available for machining Class 3 (I think) metals. You don't want any oil in the area.

    JR

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    I've heard anything water based is bad news for magnesium. The magnesium oxidizes very rapidly, taking the Oxygen out of the water. The Hydrogen that used to be in the water is left free, and that's a biiig problem!

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    There are many European manufacturers of magnesium car & motorcycle wheels, Marchesini (Italy), Dymag (England) etc.

    Some of the very early magnesium wheels
    I came across were made from "electron" as were many of the engine / transmission casings of various racing cars & bikes.

    I have watched an old & very skilled colleague repair magnesium & electron castings by oxy acetelene welding, to the amazed onlooker he would simply say "if you can cast it...you can weld it"

    regards

    Brian

    [This message has been edited by pistonskirt (edited 07-18-2004).]

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    mmmmm ...what cools mag alloy down after it is cast then.
    why does it not flare up and burn itself up strait out of the mold....when its red hot.
    all the best.....mark

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    I think electron is a mag/al alloy.

    cheers,
    Michael

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    Borg-Warner automotive manufactures their light truck transfer cases out of magnesium. The material is so soft you can cut it with a jack knife. Factory doesn't even thread case halves they use self tapping bolts.Cases readily wear in area of pump anchor arm and shift fork support bosses. These need to be bored and sleeved with steel.Stuff machines like butter. Russ

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    This site has some very interesting content on vintage wheels:

    http://www.roadsters.com/wheels/

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    JRIowa, you have machined uranium????!??!!
    How exactly do you machine something that gives off radiation, and not glow green?
    I mean I know it has to be done, but how do you do it? Does it machine easily? Hard, or soft gummy ect? Just very curious.
    Doug.

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    I for one am more curious as to what you'd machine out of uranium


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    Flammable metals are typically only flammable in chip and dust form. Gotta have ALOT of surface area for it to combust.

    Ive heard about peopel tossing a few mag/al aricraft wheels into the practice fires and watch newbie fire fighters try and put it out. "add more water" hehe.

    Oh and the same guy used to work with peopel who would produce X-ray quality welds on machined hemispheres of plutonium. You want to know how they machine it? HELL I wanna know how they X-ray it!!!

    Nick

  18. #18
    DAVE-O Guest

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    I'm pretty sure he is referring to depleted uranium which goes by the commercial name of mallory 2000 if my memory serves me correctly.Which is used on everything from anti tank artillery shells to balancing crankshafts due to its heavy,dense nature.

    Dave

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    Many years ago a foundry I was working at was asked by the ATF to melt down sveral truck loads of firearms,without stocks of course.Turned out to be quite a mess as some were obviously made of magnesium.They had to hit the switch on the electric furnace and run like hell.It sent several of the workers to the hospital.A couple of years later I saw that same furnace blow 2500 lbs. of molten metal through the roof and into the parking lot.Now that was a trip.Almost akin to a nuclear melt down.

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    here in So Calif, when we go to the desert with dune buggies and camp out in the boonies, it's common-place to take an old Volkswagon Mag engine case an throw it in the campfire at night. sort of like the 4th of July . . then for a really bright fire, squirt it with a water filled fire extinguisher . . .


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