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Original Wheel Color For <'73??


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Roundies and squarelights all had their steel wheels painted the same color--kind of a dull silver.  The wheels came from Lemmetz painted black, and BMW (or someone) painted 'em silver.  Sometimes both sides were painted, sometimes only the outside. 


I've had good experiences with using Krylon "Dull Aluminum" for '02 steel wheels.  You can either leave 'em plain, or use Krylon clear over the silver if you want a little gloss.  That's what I did with my factory alloys, and they look real nice.  Inexpensive, and available most everywhere.




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When the alloys on my '73 started looking tired, I redid one in the typical silver with a spray can. It turned out OK, but not the way I wanted it to look. So I found a local company that does powder coating and had all four wheels cleaned up and powder coated. Now they look new and are much easier to clean. I recommend the process.

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Although I've had steel rims powdercoated -- and found they looked good and held up well -- I have some additional reactions to it that will probably only appeal to the nuttier among us.

First, getting the "right" color is a challenge. My '76's original steel rims are currently powdercoated; we re-did them twice and the color is still not a good match for Wurth Silver or untouched originals I have in my collection. So after trying three "promising" powdercoat colors, the final appearance was not as expected/needed.

Second, powdercoating is somewhat uneven, somewhat thick. I believe this is not the case with machine-applied factory powdercoating but your local "retail-level" powdercoating, even if they are very good, will tend to have this thickness to it. This means that identification data stamped on your rims are sometimes obscured and your use of a non-original finish is apparent to those familiar with original finishes (particularly for square taillight models where the rim data are not concealed by wheel covers).

Yes, I know this information is not particularly valuable to most readers but if I can save just one other nut from pursuing the wrong path, my work here will be done!


Edited by Conserv
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