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Well, I hope I can be as thorough as possible. This is a DIY about refinishing your tattered, beat, cRubbed, bent wheels. I'm not a professional, as this is only my third set. However, hopefully with this DIY, people will think twice about passing up a very nice set of wheels because they're a little beat.
As always, I am not responsible for anything that you may do, whether it's hurt yourself, break stuff, or somehow set yourself on fire. This is an instructional DIY only. If you have any questions on the process, PM me.
List of tools you will need;
MAPP Gas
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Disc Sander & LOTS of sand paper
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Little bristle attachment for drill
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Grinder
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Jewelry cleaner
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Drill
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Adjustable Wrench
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And some really nasty wheels...
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Now, this was done with a two piece wheel, but I've done it on single pieces. This latest project was spurred by my love of cheap things, and RH wheels. As you can see above, this particular wheel is beat. Real bad. Curbed, oxidized, the whole bit.
Step 1) If it's a multi-piece wheel, take it apart. If you can't manage that without pictures, you might as well stop reading.
Step 2) Check out the damage. Look around the lip, face, and barrel for any cracks. Cracks are beyond this write-up, as it's a DIY, not a "DIY if you have access to a welder and can use it."
Mine looked like this...
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Step 3) Now that you have no cracks on your wheels, we can start. Clean the back of the lip off to get all the sealant off of it, and set it down on a flat surface. Clean the bolt holes out, and any other foreign things you can wipe or scrape off.
Step 4) The fun part. This is where you'll use the MAPP gas. It burns hotter than propane. Word to the wise, don't blow yourself up. You are dealing with a very flammable gas, packed very tightly into a canister, with a flame on the end. If you've read this far, and you don't like the sound of that, you might as well stop here.
You are going to be working on the lips right now, particularly on the bends, curbs, etc. It is *IMPERATIVE* that you heat the area to be fixed very well. Keep in mind, the heat will remove any clear of paint on your wheels, and will tarnish it. So if you don't want to go through the rest of this to fix what we're doing, you might as well stop.
Anyway, heat the area with the bend, I.E, this guy...
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After heating it very well (I recommend working gloves.) take your adjustable wrench, and tighten it to fit over the edge of the damaged area. From here, you will SLOWLY bend the damaged area out to be rounded like the rest of the lip. Working from the center of the damage worked for me, and then working out on both sides. Nice and round. Once you're done, you end up with a round lip...
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Notice the bad curb rash, and the spots where I used the gas.
Step 5) The grinder. I used a table mounted vise for this, with two big sponges on either side of the lip to protect it from the metal on metal. WEAR EYE PROTECTION! There's nothing more fun than a metal shard in your eye ball. You must do this very carefully, or you can do unrepairable damage to the wheel. I used the flat end of the grinding blade for this.
Work your way around the outside of the wheel, feeling for rough areas. Hit those up with the grinder until you can BARELY feel them. Don't worry about the small jagged spots, we'll fix them later. Do the same for the inner part of the outer part of the lip, and then finally on the edge itself. Like I said, you don't need to go crazy on it, but small glancing "chirps" at it will do the trick, and hopefully save you from messing it up.
Step 6) The sander. Remember those little jagged edges I told you about? This is where you're gonna take care of those. I used 220 grit for the whole wheel, but see what works for you. This is where you'll get that nice smooth lip back. WEAR EYE PROTECTION! PIRATES ARE ONLY COOL IN THE MOVIES!
Take the disc sander, and slowly roll it over the lip edge. Your goal here is to take as little as possible off, while reshaping this lip to its former glory. Once you've hit all the rough spot, go over the whole edge with the sander, taking out all the imperfections. Once you're done, find a totally flat surface, and lay it face down, gently. This is where you'll find any low spots, or high spots. If you have a high or low spot, I found using a marker pressed under the lip where it seperates from the table worked well in identifying the problem areas. Yet again, work them out until it's perfect.

This is what a slow process will reward you...
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Step 7) This part sucks, I'm telling you that right now. The sander again. This time, your aim is to take all the factory stuff off the wheel, and bring it down to bare metal for the prep. If used the sander on the outer mounting part of the lip, and on the first bevel. From there out, it's sanding by hand. It will take a long time, and your arms will hate you for it. Now, if you plan on polishing the lip back up (Not covered in this write-up.), it's very important for you to go in only one back-and-forth direction. If you start going side to side, and then up and down, you'll make your life a hell later trying to get the marks out of there. When you get to 1000 grit, and ignored what I said, you'll know why you should have listened.
This is what two hours of sanding and 1 angry wife looks like...
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That's it for my lips, as I'm thinking of painting them white to match my GTI. Next is the face of the wheel.
Step 8) I didn't take any pictures, as this is self-explanitory. You're going to sand the crap out of the face of the wheel, until you have all the rough spots and clear off of them. Wipe it *ALL* down before you go on to the next step. I used rubbing alcohol and a cotton rag.
Step 9) The paint. I used Plastikote, as it's never failed me before...
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I did two coats of primer, and it came out like this...
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It's a sand-able primer, so give it a whack with some 1000 grit to get rid of rough areas. Next is the paint. Whatever color you want. I bought one of these...
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It's freakin' horrible. I don't recommend them to anyone. It slides around, and then the paint builds up in there and starts to drip. Don't want any of that.
Take your time with the paint, let the coats dry before jumping on with the next one. Be conservative with the way you lay it on there, don't just soak the wheel. Then finish up with your clear, I did two coats, and it came out great.
Step 9) Those damn bolts. I called RH to find out how much new bolts were for each wheel. 90 bucks. Nuts to that. So I robbed my wife's jewelry box and came out with this gem...
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Soaking the bolts in there for 5 minutes each, with 8 or 9 of them in there at a time yields great results. Like this...
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Step 10) Check out your work. Does it look better? Do you hate me cause you realized you have atleast 3 more wheels to do? It's cool, I understand. I hate myself. And Jay. I hate Jay. But this is what my wheel looks like now. I'm undecided about painting the lips Candy White, or polishing them, but heres the wheel refinished...
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The two worst areas on the wheel were here...
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And here...
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And now they're no more.
Hope this helps some people out there. My fingers hurt from typing so much. If you have any questions, PM me. Thanks. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif


Modified by IWantAnA2 at 1:29 PM 7-18-2008
 

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Re: DIY: "Hardcore" Wheel Refinish - Are you brave enough? (Getaway Car)

Quote, originally posted by Getaway Car »
props to you sir.

x2
 

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Re: (EvilWabbit)

Good job brohiem. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Not as nice of a job as I did on my old RMs. I'll never do that again with the lips. Did you consider powdercoating them?
 

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Re: (UrSeRiOuS)

Quote, originally posted by UrSeRiOuS »
Good job brohiem. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Not as nice of a job as I did on my old RMs. I'll never do that again with the lips. Did you consider powdercoating them?

Your RMs never looked like these, sucka. I distinctly remember you talking about purchasing a machine for that, so I'll think about it when it's free.
 

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Re: (IWantAnA2)

Quote, originally posted by IWantAnA2 »

Your RMs never looked like these, sucka. I distinctly remember you talking about purchasing a machine for that, so I'll think about it when it's free.
You know my lips and bolts were blingin. I did it all by hand. Wet sanding for days. You know my commitment. You can't match that motivation eva! From here on out it's new lips when they look like what you started with. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: DIY: "Hardcore" Wheel Refinish - Are you brave enough? (IWantAnA2)

Quote, originally posted by IWantAnA2 »

Hope this helps some people out there. My fingers hurt from typing so much. If you have any questions, PM me. Thanks. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

Modified by IWantAnA2 at 1:29 PM 7-18-2008


Awwww....Well now your back's gona hurt, because you just pulled landscaping duty....Anybody elses fingers hurt??....Didn't think so.....
Nice work!
 

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Re: DIY: "Hardcore" Wheel Refinish - Are you brave enough? (BlueMKV)

Quote, originally posted by BlueMKV »


Awwww....Well now your back's gona hurt, because you just pulled landscaping duty....Anybody elses fingers hurt??....Didn't think so.....
 

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FV-QR

can you please take clear pictures? my eyes seriously hurt from trying to focus on something.
with that said, http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif refinishing wheels is by far not a task for the weak at heart
 

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Re: DIY: "Hardcore" Wheel Refinish - Are you brave enough? (BlueMKV)

Good stuff man. I'll be utilizing you in the future...as always
Quote, originally posted by BlueMKV »


Awwww....Well now your back's gona hurt, because you just pulled landscaping duty....Anybody elses fingers hurt??....Didn't think so.....
Nice work!

Nice Happy Gilmore drop
 
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