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superdavelotus

Wheel Refurb/ Polishing

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I've been chatting to Pat regarding his polished wheels and quite like the look of them. Ever since I had my S4s wheels polished, they totally transformed the car.

This is Pat's post from another thread

Dave,

The rims were stripped and polished at Leigh Metal Polishers in Swinton, Manchester.

They were about £30 per wheel, but I have had others done since and they are a bit more expensive these days.

I painted the centres myself, just using aerosols from Halfords and they turned out pretty well. I haven't lacquered the alloy and just give them a tickle with Solvol a couple of times a year. They still look pretty good seven years later.

I only decided to polish mine because the whole wheels were originally plain silver and looked pretty bland against the white paint.

I think your wheels in silver and gold are already a superb contrast to the black. I would leave them alone unless they need restoring anyway.

DSC00537.jpg

Here's a picture of my wheel. You have to bear in mind that this is the best wheel. Wheels on the passenger side have been kerbed but centres are fine. What do you think, should I do the same as Pat's but with gold centres?

IMG_3207.jpg

The next picture is of my worst wheel on passenger side. The picture doesn't really show how bad it is. It looks a lot worse in the flesh. Ignor the pin stripe to the right, I've corrected since this photo!

IMG_3198.jpg

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Don't think that pinstripe is quite right mate?

Oh, shiny rims are the best, the painted lips just don't look anywhere near as special.

I preffe diamond cut compare to plain polishing, but as long as they are shiny it's all good :D

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I like to keep things original but I think polishing the wheels and painting the centres gold is in with keeping and looks fantastic! I am polishing mine rather than skimming the surface on the lathe as I dont think there is really enough material on them for turning (Diamond pointing). I know many people have had their done but to my mind there just isnt enough material. The wheels arnt exactly round as they are cast so to clean up I guess you would be looking at removing 0.5mm per side and the wall thinkness looks to be only about 8mm ish just by feeling it. Polishing with sand papers and cloths will remove much less material and follow the existing shape of the wheels.

Just my thoughts.

I will post some pics of what I have done so far latter

Buddsy

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They diamond cut some of the wheels from new. I'd maybe worry a 'little' about having a set re-cut, but an original painted wheel should be no problem at all.

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I know you are probably right and I know Simonf has a really nice set...just from my machinist view I personally wouldnt. Cant really say why but just a gut feeling lol. Im sure its more than fine in most cases!!!

Buddsy

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I personally liked the wheels on the B***i car with polished outers and black spokes - Think that would look pretty mean on a black (or white) car

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This is one of the front wheels which wasnt as bad as the rears!

front.jpg

Using paint stripper and wire brushes I stripped em as best I could.

IMG_0863.jpg

This shows the corrosion on one of the rears.

IMG_0042.jpg

Mounted on my lathe ready for a polish.

IMG_0044.jpg

Once polished I tryed painting the back to see what kind of result I would get. I was using POR 15 enine enamel in old gold and brushing over the fairly rough back with a small brush.

IMG_0869.jpg

It looked quite good but the finish wasnt fantastic as I was having to stibble the paint just before it dried so I didnt get brush marks. I then bought a small touch up spray gun from machine mart. Ive never done any spraying befor but it seemed to come out really nice. I just need annother coat.

IMG_0868.jpg

After much thought about the pro & cons I am going to paint over the finished wheels with the best laquere I can get.

Hope this has been of help.

Buddsyconstruction.gif

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Did you lay a Primer down? If not the paint will lift as it needs a primer to key into. An Acid etch primer would be best.

A Clear coat will bring out the gold as well. Nice job.

Edited by red vtec

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I'd suggest no laquer mate

Only the slightest bit of moisture under the laquer, either through a chip or whatever else and it will start to eat away at the alloy underneath and it will look like a little worm eating its way around under there.

Best bet is leave as is and just buff up every so often. If you laquer and it starts oxidising, its another massive strip and polish job again!

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I didnt use primmer,its says use metal ready as an etch which I did do. The latice work is a cast finish which has a bit of surface roughness? Do you think I need a primmer?

hhmmm Im not sure what to do about the laquer! Simonfs are laquered and hes got no stone chips or water. That said I did see they had started to go very slightly milky which is a UV problem I think? I just didnt want the hassle of polishing and getting the gold dirty. That said the very process of polishing increases surface protection from corrosion and many of the polishes leave a film of protection. What about waxes? Do some of the car care products do a wax etc for bare metal?

Questions questions questions!!! lol

Buddsy

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Ah if the paint said that you should be ok, I meant to clear coat the paint i.e the gold section, not sure about the rest of the wheel. You need to clear coat the paint or brake dust will do it in.

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Ok thanks for your ideas guys!! Thats whats I will do then! The pictures of Pats wheels right at the top look good and he didnt clear coat the ally.

Buddsy

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With all this talk about lacquering and primer and polishing sounds like hard work to me?

Not sure if I'll bother. It has certainly gone down on my list of jobs to do.

I would recommend leaving polished bit not lacquered and then masking the outer and lacquering the centres. I lacquered the gold on my wheels when I did them. The car was Alan's then and he only wanted me to paint this section for not just to make them more presentable. As time goes on, I probably do the outers.

It is possible just to polish the rims and not touch the centres? Seems a shame to have to do them again.

David

PS. Budsy, you'll have to change your signature now you've pimped your ride LOL!

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If you mask up the centres Dave you should be able to sand back the silver bit only without a massive amount of difficulty.

I've heard of people with split rims and other polished rims, when they leave them parked up they clean off the brake dust, dry the rim and then apply a

thin film of oil/WD40 to the rim to stop the oxidation from happening. Obviously making sure not to get any on he brakes!!!! Then come the day for going for a drive out just a quick soapy sponge and they are gleaming!

Edited by Simon350S

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I always found this stuff gave the longest lasting shine on aluminum wheels as it's got wax in it.

It's quite coarse (can be used for lapping in crown-wheel & pinions) so polishes up to a good shine quickly.

This head & valves were polished with it.

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I havent pimped it look at the wheels on that pimped out 80s Esprit!! Shiney & GOLD!!

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It is possible just to polish the rims and not touch the centres? Seems a shame to have to do them again.

Nope.

The whole wheel will have to be stripped of paint before the rim can be polished.

And when you get the wheel back from the metal polishers, you will also need to degrease it with a detergent, as the abrasive polish used is set in grease, which will get all over the centre part of the wheel which you are going to paint.

You then need to mask off the rim.

Then you have to use some fine wet and dry paper to make sure there is a key on all the parts you are going to paint. Your metal polisher will have mirror polished not only the rim, but also the edge of the centre piece that you are going to paint.

Then apply some primer. A couple of big aerosol cans from Halfords will do four wheels.

Then the paint itself. I used a couple of big aerosols of Halfords alloy wheel paint. I did not apply lacquer to either the painted centre parts, or the polished rims.

Seven thousand miles later, the centre parts are just like the day they were painted. The rims have been polished a couple of times a year with Solvol and are still very tidy.

Do not put lacquer over the polished parts. They will go cloudy and the lacquer will start flaking off, then you will be back to square one. Bare polished alloy needs a bit of attention, but minor kerbing scuffs, stone chips and scratches can be polished out with wet and dry paper and Solvol.

It is a bit labour intensive, but the results justify the effort.

Here are a few others that I have done..

BMW BBS split rims:

DSC02996.jpg

Ford RS:

DSC02592.jpg

Capri pepperpots:

DSC02759.jpg

Caterham Seven:

DSC05092.jpg

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I've decided to go for polished rims not sure if Black or Gold centres for my BBS Wheels on my White S3, not sure which would look best!

some of the BBS gold wheels look a little washed out in colour, anyone have the RAL or BS number for correct colour Gold ?

post-5137-126950965676_thumb.jpg

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Hi Ian,

Not sure what you think of my gold centres but they were painted using a Volvo colour. It's a bit more gold than other colours I've seen but not too gold IMO.

David

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Hi, Thanks for the pictures. May end up going for a dark gold instead of black.

Think I'll trying to find examples of white S3's with both colours.

post-5137-126955167628_thumb.jpg

Edited by ian4455

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I'll try to find examples of white S3's with both colours.

Here you go, Ian.

The first pic is an old S3 that I owned briefly, with painted silver wheels with gold centres.

The second pic is my current Turbo. I painted the centres a gunmetal silver, which is quite a nice contrast, without being too severe. If I was doing my wheels again, I think I would paint the centres gold. In my view, black is a bit too much.

DSC03226.jpg

DSC00540.jpg

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