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Thread: How To DIY Alloy Wheel Repair Refurbishment! (pics)

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    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    How To DIY Alloy Wheel Repair Refurbishment! (pics)

    I needed to refurb one of my alloy wheels (I need to refurb them all actually) and have 1 spare one so started with that... I got instructions from a friend and this is the first refurb of an alloy wheel I've ever done...

    Before:


    Although the pics a bit naff, the wheel has: Lots of kerbing, scratches, dents, bubbles in the paint etc.

    First step: Sand all down with 80, fill dents, scratches, kerbing etc (with david's isopon filler from motorworld), sand 80, then 240:


    ** clean wheel like mad! ** (sugar soap spray is good at removing dirt and grime, or clean in the bath, but be careful not to mark / knacker your bath!)

    Second step: Spray with hi-build primer: (1 light, 10min wait, 1 heavy coat, 10 min wait, 1 heavy coat - same process for all spraying: primer, paint, lacquer)


    Allow to dry over night

    Third step: Sand wet (with some washing up liquid) 1000 wet n dry, then you can spray with silver spray paint:


    Allow to dry (30+ minutes)
    Forth step: spray with lacquer.


    Optional step (but a good idea) - "finish" the lacquer - with very fine wet and dry (eg 1500 / 2000) to remove any roughness, then using something like Scratch X to remove any marks left by the sandpaper.

    Then polish and admire your handy work

    Lessons learnt:

    - Always test sprays on something else prior to wheel - I had a bad can of lacquer that didn't spray - it just dripped on the paint and melted it away, meaning I had to re-sand / re-spray that area again leaving some small wobbly bits as can be seen in the last pic (I could have resanded down and re-filled but was impatient and didn't want to take it back down to the primer stage).

    - If you get small hairs in - don't try removing it when wet! This will bodge surrounding area and you'll need to respray / resand / refill area potentially taking it back to primer stage. Apparently it's easier to remove when dry (obviously I learnt the hard way)
    Last edited by joshwa; 12-09-2010 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Finishing steps added...

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    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Looking good, luckily its bloody difficult to kerb the Enkei's on my bike
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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Josh...thats' bloody marvelous

    And I saw them as they were .... that's superb mate

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    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    My plan is to do the spare one, get that put back on the car, then do the next spare one, they all have varying amounts of damage on them, and as long as I use the same spray paint every time, they should all eventually match each other

    The wheel above that I did also had a slow leak because the paint on the inside of the wheel (where the tyre sits) was all bubbling letting air escape, so I had to sand all the insides off as well to get rid of the paint bubbles. (some places like ATS have a buffer for this kind of thing, but I've had varying levels of service from various places, so I thought it'd be best to do it myself)

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    Va Va Voom Lowe's Avatar
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    I've got a set of rims which I'm thinking of having a go at in the summer when the weather's a bit better. Gonna do em a nice gloss white, rally style.

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    Senior Member SilentDeath's Avatar
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    The look nice but I think its morally wrong to have painted alloys they should be pollished, sandbalsted, or powdercoated
    That said, paint will fill any scratches a lot better than pollishing - or rather pollishing them out will take long long time..

    says me with my steel wheels and plastic trim, a zip tie on each to hold it on!

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    Looser Konan555's Avatar
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    Only thing I'd query is piddling about with the high build. I just spray it on thick-thick-thick-thick, 2 minutes between coats. As long as the surface is good to key to, there's no probs. I don't even worry about runs on it as it sands back so quickly.

    Just let it dry for 24 hours.

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    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Konan555 View Post
    Only thing I'd query is piddling about with the high build. I just spray it on thick-thick-thick-thick, 2 minutes between coats. As long as the surface is good to key to, there's no probs. I don't even worry about runs on it as it sands back so quickly.

    Just let it dry for 24 hours.
    Do you use a hairdryer between coats? or does it dry quickly enough anyway?

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    Looser Konan555's Avatar
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    If you mist the stuff I use on too lightly, it actually falls on dry and powedery and won't stick. I just let it go tacky (couple of minutes) before doing another layer. No hairryers in sight (that's for fixing bumpers with epoxy )

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    YippeeKayay Kimosabe madmaca's Avatar
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    That's an awesome guide fella - my alloys are looking seriously second hand atm (that's what happens when the missus drives the car 5 days a week )

    So come summer time - I might give this a go

    1 wheel > 2 wheels > 4 wheels | My Photos

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    F.A.S.T. Butuz's Avatar
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    Very good!

    Have to give this a go one day!

    Butuz

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    Zoom-Zoom
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    They have come up really well. Keep thinking about doing my accord alloys, but they have a fair bit of damage.
    "It is impossible to strike up an intelligent conversation with an inanimate object."

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    HEXUS.social member 99Flake's Avatar
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    Looks good!! Luckily I know a guy who does this for a living so I can get 2 wheels done for £20. Really need to get my n/s/f done! He generally only sands back a little way and blends the edge though instead of doing the whole wheel.
    If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

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    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    I've done my second wheel using the same technique again - the chap fitting it back onto my car was impressed by the job I'd done

    Pics: Before:


    Sanded and filled and sanded :


    Primered and sanded again:


    Sprayed and lacquered:


    I'll post another thread with pics of the car with the wheels fitted

    Does anyone have any recommendations of something (like wax) that I can put on to protect them a bit?

    I've had my car (hand) washed and waxed and they did the wheels but don't know if this will suffice.

    Josh
    Last edited by joshwa; 12-09-2010 at 09:27 PM. Reason: pics fixed

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    My name is James J4MES's Avatar
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    the lacquer should do the job fine, but keep them waxed with turtle wax (or similar) as well to help protect them... i've got a vintage set of 5 '80s ford pepperpot alloys to do sometime - will be using your hand guide..
    http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk

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    Senior Member joshwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J4MES View Post
    the lacquer should do the job fine, but keep them waxed with turtle wax (or similar) as well to help protect them... i've got a vintage set of 5 '80s ford pepperpot alloys to do sometime - will be using your hand guide..
    Cool I'll get some next time I'm at the right kind of shop.

    I'm glad you like the guide, I gotta thank the guy who does it for a living who told me how to do it

    Put some pics of them fitted to the car here:
    Car washed and waxed (PICS) with wheels fitted

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