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DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

ChrisW
Posts: 1609
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:05 pm
Location: Whatlington, East Sussex

DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby ChrisW » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:14 am

I mentioned in another post that I was refurbishing my 5 spoke alloys and some members wanted to know the methods I used, so here goes !

This was the wheel at the start, corrosion and chips around the rim and centre cap.

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And these are the materials I used, all from Halfords. This was enough for all wheels, plus wet and dry 120, 1500 and 2500 grade sheets.

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First carefully remove any balance weights from the rim and the centre cap, push it through from inside. All of mine had missing lugs. Make a mark on the tyre to remind you where to re attach the balance weight at the end of the job.

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I used the rotary abrador in an electric drill to remove the loose flaking paint and get back to bright alloy, and then 120 grade wet and dry all over the rest of the wheel. Dont use a wire attachment over the outer surfaces, it scores the alloy too deeply. i used an angle grinder very gently where the rim was distorted by kerbing.

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Despite my pevious comment...I did use a wire attachment to clean out the inside of the wheel nut wells.

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And after 30 mins or so of hard work you get to this.

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Then mask off the tyre, I used the blue disposable paper roll type stuff they sell at Halfords, I scored the shape of the tyre rim into the sheets of paper and cut out the shape with scissors, then tucked the edges neatly behind the rim with a scoring knife and taped down securely.

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Then wiped down the whole wheel with white spirit

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And lightly spray in the exposed alloy areas with the etch primer (green tin) which apparently reacts and bonds well to exposed metal.
This dries quickly, 30 mins or so. After that start building up the layers of the filler primer using the usual aerosol techniques of a steady distance and keeping it moving and overlapping each pass by 50%. add extra layers to any imperfections/scuffs/chips.

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Then leave overnight to dry hard. Next day, flat it down with 1500 wet and dry using plenty of water. You may have to go down to 400 grade where there are imperfections. When youre happy with the finish, dry it off and give the wheel an initial light coat of the wheel silver aerosol. This acts as a guide coat and will reveal any imperfections, its annoying after all the care taken so far but there almost certainly will be some. Allow this to dry hard before rubbing down with 1500 or 2500 grade wet and dry with plenty of water. When youre happy, give it the final covering of wheel silver, as before taking your time to build up the layers. It should be starting to look good.

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When thats completely dry, apply the heavy duty lacquer. Be carefull as this stuff tends to run easily. Dont panic if it does as when its dry they are hardly visible. The lacquer takes quite a while to go fully hard, so dont be tempted to move it or remove the masking paper. When it is fully hard after 5/6 hours you can re-insert the centre cap/ I had to glue mine in using "no more nails" Which works quite well, any excess wipes off with white spirit.

the end result.

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The old girl with her new boots on.

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Last edited by ChrisW on Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.springballchange.co.uk
'93 XJR
'93 XJ12
'73 MGB Roadster
97 Range Rover Autobiography

naki_k
Super Moderator
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Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby naki_k » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:26 pm

excellent results there chris. thanks for sharing
i will have to try it one of these days, when i have a break from rust busting
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JagAdmirer
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby JagAdmirer » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:14 pm

Good post! Taken for my library of DIY.

Thank you.
Image Image

old del boy
Posts: 6929
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:29 am
Location: Kent

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby old del boy » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:24 pm

Good job on the wheel Chris , i'm wondering how many cans you would need for four wheels , i guess at least one per wheel as they're quite big :?

Derek..
'93 4.0L Daimler, solent blue,
'93 4.0L Daimler, Westminster,
'85 2600 Rover sd1 vdp oporto.

Jaguarsport
Posts: 4913
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:52 pm
Location: Bedfordshire, England

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby Jaguarsport » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:15 am

Nice work Chris, look forward to seeing the end results. I'm thinking of doing a DIY job on my five spokes.
http://www.jaguarxj40project.blogspot.com/
Alfa Romeo 159 Lusso 1.9 jtdm ('07)
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ChrisW
Posts: 1609
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:05 pm
Location: Whatlington, East Sussex

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby ChrisW » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:29 am

old del boy wrote:Good job on the wheel Chris , i'm wondering how many cans you would need for four wheels , i guess at least one per wheel as they're quite big :?

Derek..


Surprisingly all i needed was as in the picture. Although the Wheel Silver was pretty empty by the time I'd finished the last wheel. The lacquer and primer still have plenty left over. Probably cost me £40 if you include the wet and dry sheets, paper towelling, tape etc.
http://www.springballchange.co.uk
'93 XJR
'93 XJ12
'73 MGB Roadster
97 Range Rover Autobiography

katar83
Posts: 2714
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:17 am
Location: Cambridge

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby katar83 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:13 pm

I can confirm that too. I've painted mine with just one can, paint itself is great and dries quickly.
1997, 4.0 LWB X300 - Unlucky car but still a daily driver.
1988, 3.6S XJS - Never ending restoration project.
1994, 3.2S X300 - Accident damaged, October 2015. Gone!
1994, 3.2S XJ40 - Long gone.

nlcrane
Spain Rep
Posts: 7604
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:36 pm
Location: Spain

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby nlcrane » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:25 pm

Job well done, they are looking great and finished off quite professionally. Cost me 60 Euros each to have my 16 inch lattice wheels refurbished here in Spain. I added the matt black paint to give them a more “hollow” look. I had intendeed to do it myself but the lattice is a bit daunting, so I let the experts do them. I would never have gotten them looking as good as yours are.

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With matt black paint filling….

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1994 Sovereign Gold 4.0

Area rep. SPAIN
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Jag_

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby Jag_ » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:30 pm

Excellent guide, many thanks for doing that. The results speak for themselves, very professional.

John

Aidan
Posts: 717
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:57 am
Location: Tonbridge, Kent

Re: DIY alloy wheel refurbishment

Postby Aidan » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:08 am

Does anyone have any idea about the Diamond Turned finish (with regards to refurbing them) as found on my Kiwis? Are they just a different paint finish or is it something else completely, and thus beyond the reach of the diy'ers of the world?

Aidan Collingwood
Aidan

1994 Moroccan Red XJ40 3,2 Sport ("Ruby")
1995 Jade Green X300 3,2 Sovereign ("Jade")
2005 Cedar Green Pearl Volvo XC 90 SE