Best way to polish the flywheel?

What's the best way to go about getting a nice finish to the surface of my flywheel on my d-type? I've got all the rust off by using pretty coarse sand paper with the engine running, but its still only a dull grey/rusty colour. Would be nice to have it shiny, otherwise i'm going to have to resort to painting it green which I don't really want.

Regards Chris

Reply to
Chris Crocker - White
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I'm not personally over-keen on polished rims, although they can look very nice on certain engines, otherwise a dull metallic sheen is probably as good as it needs to be.

There are all sorts of ways you can clean it up further, one of the most imaginative is to fit a small cutting tool than can traverse the face of the flywheel onto the trolley, but it needs to be pretty rigid to prevent chatter.

The flywheel rims are usually pretty hard, so emery cloth in finer and finer grades is the other process that is manageable by one person.

The Americans go in for 'bricking' the rims, using a soft housebrick on the face to remove rust etc etc, but there's a lot of grit and muck flying about when they do it, and I'm not so sure you may end up with some in your eyes or the engine!

Lastly, do a PTFE and get the rim skimmed on a (big)lathe. I can remember when we got the flywheels done for Philip's Atomic at the same place that was turning my Ruston flywheel casting. They came out very nicely indeed, well worth the small amount (relatively speaking) that was charged.

Kind regards,


Peter Forbes Prepair Ltd Luton, UK email: home:

Reply to
Prepair Ltd

This worked for me.

Wait until the wife/mother/partner/Significant Other goes out. You will need about 30 minutes per flywheel.

Sneak a pair of tights out of the wife's underwear drawer. Make them up into a long, narrow tube about six inches long and open at one end. This is an air filter and should have several layers. Dip into heavy engine oil and allow to drip while you get the engine out into the open air.

Fit a high speed sanding disk into your angle grinder, remembering to fit the rigid back plate first!

Wear a hat, overalls, gloves and - if you have any wit at all - a decent breathing mask. If alone, phone a friend and ask them to call 999 on your behalf unless you ring back within - say - 30 minutes. Switch on your mobile phone, predial 999, lock the keypad and put it into an outside pocket. ;o))

The air filter should be about right by now, so attach it to the inlet pipe and start the engine. Wait until it settles down to a steady rate. You may need to tie the bottom down to stop it bunching.

Apply the spinning sanding disc to the flywheel rim at an oblique angle. grind away until satisfied. To complete the finished work, use a cloth pad to force sixty grit wet and dry onto the flywheel rim whilst it's running.

BE CAREFUL!, spinning flywheels, angle grinders and mains electricity can be dangerous to your continued existence!

Usual disclaimers............

Don't forget to phone your friend!


Kim Siddorn.

Reply to
J K Siddorn

Kim, I some times think you have this great desire to do yourself injury :-))

Chris, By at a steam fair some grit impregnated sponges, usually on tool stools. soak in water and apply to rim, may take a while and you will need to resoak once in a while but they come up a treat.

Martin P

Reply to

Martin Permian said

Why? My wife doesn't really care if I steal the occasional pair of tights. ;o))


Kim Siddorn.

Reply to
J K Siddorn

They can't touch you for it Kim (unless that is you're dressed as a Viking at the time..........

Reply to
Arthur Griffin

The methods we have used in the past have depended on the state of the rims before we started. If we have had rough rims, we have used Kims method (or something similar), whilst we have used something more like Rolands for other engines which have better condition rims. We have also tried the brick idea with some success.

If at all possible, I think that engines look best if you can get a good shine without taking off much metal. This is of course only possible if there is not much pitting on the rims. The big open cranks look best with a dull sheen to them rather than bright metal for example IMHO.

However, if there is pitting, then we tend to use the flap-disc in grinder method. You can start with a medium disc and work down to the finest grade and get a lathe like finish. We used this method on several of our Listers, including the A, J, L and CS and it was quite good. The flywheels in these cases were very rough and we were left with little option If we wanted a half decent looking engine.

For the Wolseley, I have just used Emery as the engine was inside all its life and has no pits on the wheel. One think to remember, you cant put metal back on again, so make sure that you want the bright look before you start to attack it with a grinder. It is not to everyone?s taste and can spoil the look of some engines.

Lister D types were not generally supplied with polished flywheel rims unlike many of the other models, so you will no doubt find machine marks on the rim. If its in good shape, use emery by hand, if not do as Kim says above.

Its all a matter of personal taste.


Chris Bedo Kent UK.

Reply to
Chris Bedo

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