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Andrew Havens

How To Diy Restore Steel Wheels And Hubcaps?

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If you want to paint wheels on car instead of masking off I just get a deck of playing cards and shove them between rim and rubber overlapping, A lot easier, If you want you can then run some masking tape around the cards

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(edited)
On 7/23/2014 at 5:31 AM, glemon said:

the paint may not have been fully cured also,

 

Bingo!  

 

For anyone that hasn't used an industrial DIY blasting cabinet, it's the MOST FUN you'll have in restoration, IMO.  "Crushed" glass to remove heavy rust, and then glass "bead" to smooth the metal before adding primers and paints.   I've done a wheel in 20 minutes, inside and out.  That calculates to about 20 bucks a wheel, but considering the age and value of vintage steel wheels I think it's a great investment to preserve these babies.DSC03014ed1.thumb.jpg.d362dea8719800f99e598b204d7b29a4.jpg

DSC03013ed1.thumb.jpg.470e8a5eb360d6733c2aee091cd26d11.jpg

Edited by PaulTWinterton
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^those before and after pics are crazy! Most people would 'bin those rusty wheels

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Nice job on the hubcaps. Whats a set of restored hubcaps worth ? I have five or six that came with my 02 that need restoration.

Looks like a nice little project to do. 

  

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^worth keeping and restoring.

 

hard to find nice ones and the price is going UP^

 

If I find a set I'll make sure they never leave

my sight

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1 hour ago, iinca said:

Most people would 'bin those rusty wheels

 

I was one of those people back in the day.  The wheels didn't even have to be rusty, just stock.  What was I thinking?

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we were just talking about how casual we were about these cars way back

 

How I just 'gave up' on my 1800ti when the tranny went south..and sold it for

850 LOUSY BUX..what an edtiot I was

 

I wouldn't hesitate to cut holes in the doors or rear deck to get tunes!

 

AND we must have tossed more than a few old seats in our  shop's dumpster..

Now I'd die to find some fresh vinyl for my latest interior and I'd kill for another

1800ti with a broken gear box

scared0016.gif

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17 hours ago, iinca said:

^worth keeping and restoring.

 

hard to find nice ones and the price is going UP^

 

If I find a set I'll make sure they never leave

my sight

 

Maybe you should send me a PM.

 

I bought a set of the late style steelies, to replace the e21 set on my car.  I was eager to feel the difference the offset would make and attracted to the fact that the stock 2002 wheels were date matched from 10-'75; the same month my car was made.

 

The wheels looked great and described as 'freshly powdercoated'.  Now I am not so sure.  I am thinking rattle can paint job, because rust is bleeding through on all of them.  They look worse now than the tired ones I took off.  I tried a little Rust-Off on one of them and it did take the discoloration out, but also streaked the paint; which is why I think it was cheap paint.

 

I have a few cans of Krylon Dull Aluminum, bought for the first wheels, but seeing these fail so fast, I'll be springing for something more durable.  Considering the hassle involved in painting them, it will be worth the cost.

 

I will be doing mine with the tires still on.  Years ago, I ordered a wheel masking strip of steel, when I was going to paint some VW wheels.  In the photo it had a conical shape to it, flaring out from where it tucked in behind the rim; but in reality, it was just a thin band of sheet metal that stands up straight.  That does not allow any paint on the edges, so I was a bit disappointed about what I got for those twelve bux.

 

Recently I painted an eight inch wheel barrow wheel and made masking paper up for both sides.  I used a compass to draw the proper size circle on my cutting mat and then laid strips of masking tape over that, with most of it on the outside of the line.  Then I put a trammel point in the same center hole, with a knife set to the same radius and cut out the tape.  With paper outside the tape, it protected the rubber and tucking the tape behind the rim let me do a thorough paint job.

890237725_001(800x600).jpg.6ad95c6ad19f4ab4af5442606c4ed1b0.jpg1981889702_004(800x600).jpg.36a71ec6c5d87857a3333324429f79fc.jpg

 

I decided to paint some trailer tires too, since I already had the masking work done. (the side that shows... lazy me) 

020.thumb.JPG.e829883ebe0e2a24dce8651b7d857a5c.JPG

I'll probably stick them to cardboard and squirrel them away... with four wheel barrows in the fleet, there's more of that fun to be had.  :) 

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I've got a set of steelies waiting in the wings. The hubcaps too but they need some

serious 'wheel work. For now it's all about my new to me Slots' and RIngs'!

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6 hours ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

 

Maybe you should send me a PM.

 

I bought a set of the late style steelies, to replace the e21 set on my car.  I was eager to feel the difference the offset would make and attracted to the fact that the stock 2002 wheels were date matched from 10-'75; the same month my car was made.

 

The wheels looked great and described as 'freshly powdercoated'.  Now I am not so sure.  I am thinking rattle can paint job, because rust is bleeding through on all of them.  They look worse now than the tired ones I took off.  I tried a little Rust-Off on one of them and it did take the discoloration out, but also streaked the paint; which is why I think it was cheap paint.

 

I have a few cans of Krylon Dull Aluminum, bought for the first wheels, but seeing these fail so fast, I'll be springing for something more durable.  Considering the hassle involved in painting them, it will be worth the cost.

 

I will be doing mine with the tires still on.  Years ago, I ordered a wheel masking strip of steel, when I was going to paint some VW wheels.  In the photo it had a conical shape to it, flaring out from where it tucked in behind the rim; but in reality, it was just a thin band of sheet metal that stands up straight.  That does not allow any paint on the edges, so I was a bit disappointed about what I got for those twelve bux.

 

Recently I painted an eight inch wheel barrow wheel and made masking paper up for both sides.  I used a compass to draw the proper size circle on my cutting mat and then laid strips of masking tape over that, with most of it on the outside of the line.  Then I put a trammel point in the same center hole, with a knife set to the same radius and cut out the tape.  With paper outside the tape, it protected the rubber and tucking the tape behind the rim let me do a thorough paint job.

890237725_001(800x600).jpg.6ad95c6ad19f4ab4af5442606c4ed1b0.jpg1981889702_004(800x600).jpg.36a71ec6c5d87857a3333324429f79fc.jpg

 

I decided to paint some trailer tires too, since I already had the masking work done. (the side that shows... lazy me) 

020.thumb.JPG.e829883ebe0e2a24dce8651b7d857a5c.JPG

I'll probably stick them to cardboard and squirrel them away... with four wheel barrows in the fleet, there's more of that fun to be had.  :) 

 

When I got my steel wheels refinished, I asked the specialist to powder coat them. He strongly warned against that due to the fabricated construction of steel wheels leaving seams that he can’t fully media blast and coat. He was concerned that where the seam between the wheel centre and the rim barrel was visible that it would bloom with rust. 

 

Sure enough, never had any problem with rust but my criticism would be that by painting the wheels black with silver on the face (the authentic finish that I DIDN’T ask for), the silver is not well adhered to the black and scratches off easily so I am going to bust out the rattle can at some point. 

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I wish I knew a place that baked paint'..

 

just like the factory, super durable if you keep them clean

 

 

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3 hours ago, Simeon said:

When I got my steel wheels refinished, I asked the specialist to powder coat them. He strongly warned against that due to the fabricated construction of steel wheels leaving seams that he can’t fully media blast and coat. He was concerned that where the seam between the wheel centre and the rim barrel was visible that it would bloom with rust. 

 

Yes, I have seen photos of powder coated wheels that have ugly issues down in the crevices. 

 

I am not a big fan of powder coating which is basically like plastic coating.  Often, the dust is laid on thick and lettering and other details get obscured.  Not that it can't be done well!

 

The rust on these is sort of all over.  Like flash rust, in spite of the coating.

 

I have an electric kiln that I could bake painted rims in, but I'll be painting with the tires on to save cost and hassle.

 

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Looking at Mike A’s post at #13 above, I have those original wheels and caps and was thinking of a variation on the traditional colour scheme.

 

I saw a guy here in Oz who had painted the rim black in behind where the hubcap sits, with a traditional silver on the outside lip you can see.

 

Not sure why, but by blackening the area behind the hubcap made the chrome on the cap and silver on the rim really pop.

 

Has anyone else seen this?

 

If you look at the last pic at post #5 above, you could kind of imagine it if you “squint” .

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3 hours ago, zambo said:

Looking at Mike A’s post at #13 above, I have those original wheels and caps and was thinking of a variation on the traditional colour scheme.

 

I saw a guy here in Oz who had painted the rim black in behind where the hubcap sits, with a traditional silver on the outside lip you can see.

 

Not sure why, but by blackening the area behind the hubcap made the chrome on the cap and silver on the rim really pop.

 

Has anyone else seen this?

 

If you look at the last pic at post #5 above, you could kind of imagine it if you “squint” emoji16.png.

 

I’ve not seen that, but it sounds like you’re volunteering to produce a sample for our approval...  I’d suppose it makes the rim look a bit more “deep dish”, which 99.9% of ‘02 owners like!

 

We’re just going to hang out while you prepare the sample. 😋

 

Thanks and regards,

 

Steve

 

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(edited)
6 hours ago, zambo said:

Has anyone else seen this?

 

This wheel was my spare and in the spare tire well when I bought the car in 1990. I was SURE that it was an original paint scheme from BMW.  I was later convinced (by the FAQ) that it had been painted by some PO.OriginalSteelie1.jpg.27c21adddd8f3e01e81cd6a97851d3ac.jpg

Edited by PaulTWinterton

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