Author Topic: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.  (Read 5206 times)

Twin_Cam_Turbo

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Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« on: April 19, 2013, 10:23:13 PM »
I've got 2 sets of wheels. One for winter use, the other for summer. The winter ones looks terrible, the summer ones need to look good so I refurbed them myself. I've got access to aerosol cans cheap so that was the way forward for me.
In my mind, silver was boring. Let's go black!

So to help others here, this is how I did it. I sprayed mine without tyres and valves fitted as otherwise when your tyres are changed, it'll look crap and you'll need to repaint. Most local garages will pop the tyres off for you for free if you promise you'll bring the back to have them put the tyres back on and pay (or maybe 50/50 it.

Step 1: Buff off  as much paint as you can. I used a 4 1/2" angle grinder with a scotchbrite style flap wheel called an A-blend disc. Not cheap but 1 disc per 2 wheels was their life span. You can get them here: http://www.onsite-support.co.uk/product-956/ablend-fleece-flap-disc.html. Alternatively, pay for someone to shotblast them. I do not advocate hand paint stripping. When  done, you'll end up with this:


Step 2: Now it's time to paint. I use a primer which is a totally different colour to the top coat. Why? It makes it easier to see where you have painted, where you haven't and where the top coat is thin. Primer goes on over 2 days and 6 applications in a closed room (with respiratory apparatus) and temperature controlled at around 16 degrees C (integral garage). After this, the wheels are stored in location for 48 hours prior to top coat being applied. the below images show the wheels before they were inverted to primer the rear and inside.



Step 3: Apply the top coat. Thin coats at a time. I painted mine over 72 hours and 8 applications. Allowed minimum 20 minutes between coats and frequently inspected to ensure I was covering everything evenly.
Image below shows freshly painted, paint still in the air.


Step 4: Leave to cure for 48 hours. With wife's permission, bring indoors. The flash makes the wheels look like there's still some primer showing through but it's an optical illusion - the black is as thick as can be.


OPTIONAL: I don't like plain black rims. I like a flair of colour on mine. Gold it was...
Applied by hand. 3 coats took 5 hours to do. It was murder. I probably would use rim tape next time.



Step 5: Now you need to let them cure properly for a few days. I found our airing cupboard (at a toasty 30 degrees C was excellent so whilst the wife was away for a week, I decided to test it's capacity as a paint curing booth. Leaving them to cure fully in these sorts of conditions is key if you want the paint to last.


Step 6: Have tyres fitted and fit to car...



RichardA

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Re: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 07:56:59 PM »
Very impressive.

Garyman

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Re: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 11:33:09 AM »
HAHA!!

Love the airing cupboard shot.

Bet you kept that quiet and not disclosed to the wife

Twin_Cam_Turbo

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Re: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 05:54:03 AM »
Thanks chaps
@Gary: unfortunately i had to tell her as there was a slight whiff of paint upstairs for a few days after they were removed! Still - it's her car so she benefits most from it  ;)

Droverunner

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Re: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2015, 07:41:03 PM »
Assume it's best to add to this rather than starting a new thread.

Our newly bought 2002 Jazz with 15" alloys had the usual spots of crusty corrosion which spoiled an otherwise smart car. The refurb places wanted as much or more than a full set of premium tyres (we wanted these too) which wasn't good value to me in the budget we had to sort the car. So an even more DIY job than the previous post was in order.

Had a word with the tyre place who said home spray paint could take weeks to harden so best to change the tyres first to avoid any damage to the new paint.

So new tyres fitted I took all the wheels off the car at home and started stripping the paint. I found my drill mounted wire brush put lines in the alloy, my nylon fingers wheel didn't make much impression and my flap wheel was too harsh. So in the end I bought two packs of high quality non-clog dry abrasive from Halfords... "Norton Expert". Each pack was 2 sheets each of 80/120/180 grade.

This paper did a perfect job with the 80 grade capable of taking out old scratches in the alloy. I took all four down to metal by this method... great result but about an hour each wheel and very hard on the fingers.

I washed them off, dried and air jet blew water from all nooks and crannys. Masked the valves with masking tape and made up a close fitting card masking ring from a beer box.

Then sprayed them first with etch primer which needs to cure for 24hrs before over painting... and that's where I am at the moment.

Images attached of one wheel part sanded down (forgot a completely before image), close up of same, the card mask on a nearly prepped wheel, the etch primer baking off in the evening sun on all four..

The colour coat will be BMW Titan Silver spray cans from Halfords, final coat Halfords clear. I'll post more progress tomorrow.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 09:19:14 AM by Droverunner »

degzi

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Re: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2015, 07:53:55 PM »
Just out of interest did you lacquer them when painted.

Your going to get a lot of debris bouncing off of them, we always used to bang at least 3 coats on.
Give them a good few weeks to fully cure.

Droverunner

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Re: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2015, 12:27:26 AM »
Bit further on tonight. Had a part used can of another silver so used that as a light first colour coat. Then three cans of BMW Titan silver used to spray the four wheels in about three coats. I've not rubbed down between coats as a perfectly smooth finish isn't important like a body panel, the finish out of the can is fine.

Bit of a struggle as I had to do it outside and it was windy blowing some of the spray away from the wheels. Anyway that's the silver on with very minimal faults/blemishes.

Another 24hr cure (in the sun room which is like an oven if you don't open many windows) and then the clear lacquer tomorrow.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 08:49:47 AM by Droverunner »

Droverunner

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Re: Guide to Refurbishing wheels.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 01:52:29 AM »
All done now. Only blemishes are a few bits of dust trapped in the paint and a troublesome large fly who got in the last coat on the last wheel. Really hard to spray can outdoors in the wind but I had no option.

I used two large cans of clear coat between the four wheels... this amounted to about three good coats. Left for 24hrs again before fitting to the car.

Cost was quite high in one way (about 55 in paint and abrasive paper) but at least 200 cheaper than a pro job.... and it really lifts the look of the car.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 01:55:59 AM by Droverunner »

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