Alloy Wheel Refurb - How To with Pics. - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 20:21 Thread Starter
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Alloy Wheel Refurb - How To with Pics.

Ok, so today I ventured to get two of my wheels looking a tad better than they have recently. One of the rears has had the lacquer stripped from it at some point probably with something like Wonder Wheels being left on it too long or road salt etc. Because of this, brake dust had nicely engrained itself into the rim.

These are 18" ZT Straights, but the process and principle are the same for an alloy wheel. Unfortunately I didn't get to remove the tyres from the rims although it would have been a nicety, its not an essential unless you want a fully pro job.

Materials I used are:
  • Multigrades of Wet n Dry paper ranging from 80 - 1200 (Halfords project pack is good here)
  • Cataloy filler (flexi filler although normal filler will probably do)
  • High Build grey Primer (Halfords)
  • Vauxhall Metallic Star Silver (Halfords)
  • Clear Coat Lacquer (Halfords)
  • Pain Thinners (Halfords)
So, this is what the bad alloy looked like, both had severe kerbing but this alloy was the one I really wanted to get sorted.







As you can see, pretty messy here.

So, a whip over with the 80 grit dry paper and we get something like this.



You can see the kerbing here as well. Remember, unless you are picking up severe brake dust that doesn't remove under normal washing conditions then this step is probably not for you.



So, on to the filling, I ended up using a knife for spreading with as it allows to give you a good thin film which is what you want. You can build this up with 30 minutes inbetween but dont go too mad or you'll regret it when you come to sanding. Also, give your primer the benfit of the doubt, it can mask a lot of imperfections.







Give this 45-60 minutes to fully harden, it was a scorcher today so this was a great benefit. Then crack on with the sanding to achieve a smooth finish. Again, don't worry if there are some slight imperfections, primer will hide this later, like so





I made three fairly thick passes with the primer and only sanded between coats two and three with DRY 800 grit (DO NOT WET SAND PRIMER). Don't worry about overspray, thats easy to sort.

Halfords actually sell a specific Alloy wheel silver spray but it really is cack. Its very dull grey and has no sparkle in it which is why I went for a metallic silver. I'm sure most will be an accurate match but the Vauxhall one is very good indeed.

3 coats of Silver with WET sanding inbetween coats 2 and 3 with 1200 grit paper. I would usually advise a curing time of 24 hours before painting on primer but this was not an option for me today and fortunately in the 24degree weather it was not too much of an issue.

After coat 3 of paint has dried it will be looking very sparkly. Sand it. Yes, thats right. BEFORE applying lacquer, use 1200 grit and WET sand around the wheel. Wipe down with a clean cloth then apply two coats of lacquer with 15-20 miunutes between coats. No sanding between coats necessary.

End results - sorry for dark pictures but the sun was starting to go down. Colour match with the centre cap is amazing. I'll take a brighter pic tomorrow, but in the mean time.





To remove overspray from the tyre grab your thinners and a cloth and rub. It can be stubborn but it comes off ok in the end. Use a damp cloth after you've removed the overspray to wipe around the tyre.

Hope this helps some people in the future.

Last edited by MGOracle; 14-04-2007 at 20:39.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 20:27
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Looks very good. Seems not a bad job to do.

Well done for attempting it yourself, not sure I'd be able to do it.

Your tyres, are they FK452's???

Ive just bought some for my C4, just wondering what you thought of them. Im getting mine fitted on Thursday.

EDIT: Just looked at the pics again, they are 452's!!!
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 20:32 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by *Mike* View Post
Looks very good. Seems not a bad job to do.

Well done for attempting it yourself, not sure I'd be able to do it.

Your tyres, are they FK452's???

Ive just bought some for my C4, just wondering what you thought of them. Im getting mine fitted on Thursday.

EDIT: Just looked at the pics again, they are 452's!!!
Hi Mike, yup 452s. I got these as part worns from my local trye dudes as some bloke had bought a set of alloys with these on and they were rubbing so he had to ditch the tyres. One week old and I got the 40 for the pair. Could'nt argue with that. They are actually very good tyre and the tread you see there (if you can) is after 22k miles. I have them on the rear though so can't comment on the grip ability too much but they hold the back in check very well indeed.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 20:49
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Well I read some very good reviews and also a guy on one of the C4 forums I go on has bought them and he seems to like them.

I got mine from FalkenTyres.co.uk for 64.11 each.

My car actually has the original Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2's still fitted and after nearly 30000 miles the fronts have had it. Citroen quoted 170 each for these tyres, a local tyre place quotes 121, so i got two tyres for not much more than 1 of the Michelins.

The Michelins are excellent in the dry, but crap in the wet. Im hoping these Falkens are better.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 22:08
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Very Well done!
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 22:16
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Well done MGOracle.

If you don't mind, I'll add it to the 75/ZT Common Questions thread
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 22:28
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Thumbs up

yep, really good but temporary repair, any up coming tyre change will rip out all the filler, the pro's grind/sand/blend the alloy to as near as poss to the original profile of the rim before repainting/laquering/coating etc, as with most jobs preparation is the No 1 priority for the end result, doug.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 22:32
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Nice work! I did a similar job on the old MG Metro years back, using pretty much the same method.........
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 23:01
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I clicked on this thread and thought... here we go, this is going to be pants based on other people's efforts... but wow what a good job!!!!! must say, when I saw those scratches with the wet and dry, I cringed lol but the ultimate end product is stunning, well done you!!!!
If I ever let my sister loose on mine and she curbs it (Like she does) I will defo use this thread to do mine.

Sean
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 23:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin-Towers View Post
Nice work! I did a similar job on the old MG Metro years back, using pretty much the same method.........

Wow, thats brilliant! as an indicator, how much was it for the materials? Im pretty sure it would be less than 60 as thats what halfords charge for an alloy refurb, anywhere else I dunno. Would definitely consider giving it a go when I get some time!

Cheers!
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 23:19
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much cheaper than that for the bits! great work, have some + rep!
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 23:21
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much cheaper than that for the bits! great work, have some + rep!

Great, gonnado that asap even though its just minor kerbing. Already given rep
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 14-04-2007, 23:45
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Wow, thats brilliant! as an indicator, how much was it for the materials? Im pretty sure it would be less than 60 as thats what halfords charge for an alloy refurb, anywhere else I dunno. Would definitely consider giving it a go when I get some time!

Cheers!
About 15 of the Queens pounds............
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 15-04-2007, 00:00
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Is wearing ladies shoes (photo 9) an essential part to the overall finish?

(Prehaps these are not ladies shoes and are Tony Montana style? but in my warped mind i like to think your called Barbara on a weekend)

Great job regarding the alloys, would be a shame if the filler does come out next time you change the tyre. Can this happen even if a company refurbs them?
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 15-04-2007, 08:44 Thread Starter
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LOL! @ shoes - my other half 'supervising'

@ Filler - well, in a way yes, I agree with doug that its possible the filler will come out with the next tyre change, but then I don't use Kwick Fit I go to a reputable independants.

If i'd had the tyre off the rim it would have been a far better finsish. Mine will be ok with a tyre change or two as although the kerbing looked bad it wasn't necessarily deep. Just long in places, so only a thin layer of filler was used.

Tyre swap machines won't come close to this area so I'm not too bothere. Will probably do it again in middle summer when I know I can get the tryes off the rim.
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 15-04-2007, 11:49 Thread Starter
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Ok, here's the money shot - on the car.









Feel free to use in a 'How To' guide.

Colour match compared to the wheel centre looks off, but its not, just light and shade in the photo. Taken dead on you really wouldnt notice
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 15-04-2007, 15:43
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Its amazing what you can do in photoshop
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 15-04-2007, 16:38 Thread Starter
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Lol - you wish!
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 15-04-2007, 19:35
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Nice job Mark. Shows what can be done with a little time and effort.

When are your tints being done?
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 15-04-2007, 21:55 Thread Starter
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Nice job Mark. Shows what can be done with a little time and effort.

When are your tints being done?
Wednesday - cant wait. Then its a full frontal respray in July and a full porter cable polish using a slight tougher pad to get the crap out of the paint work. Using a wax this time which is slightly expensive before next winter

Keep posted for a Porter Cable 'How To'
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