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E30 Basketweave Restoration


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Hey all, picked up a set of e30 Basketweaves. They were in solid shape, not a lot of rash, no bends or cracks. The paint was chipping so I decided to refinish them, here’s how I did it for those of you looking to take on a similar project. I’ll include videos and a write up. Here’s what the finish product looks like:

IMG_5013.thumb.jpeg.5e2322a6e562e926a738311077c48060.jpeg


video 1:

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4 likes, 1 comments - _carsnocoffee on March 11, 2024: "Decided to refinish the basketweaves before putting...


video 2:

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19 likes, 3 comments - _carsnocoffee on March 11, 2024: "Part 2 of refinishing the e30 basketweaves for the...

 

I used the following items:

1. Citrus Paint Remover (gel) from Home Depot 

2. Duplicolor grey wheel paint (1.5 cans)

3. Duplicolor clear coat (1 can)

4. sandpaper (600 and 1000 grit)

5. power wash

6. paint brush

7. Aluminum primer (1 can)

 

Step 1 was to paint on the citrus paint remover with a brush. Aircraft remover would be better but this is all I could get my hands on. After painting I let it sit overnight. 
 

Step 2 was to power wash the gel off the wheels. Be careful not to get the paint remover on yourself, wear protective gear as needed.

 

I repeated steps 1 and 2 about 5 times but with less time in between coats (1-3 hours between coats) . Aircraft remover may save you some time but I can’t speak to that. 

 

Step 3 was to get all the loose paint and primer off. I sanded down any paint that was left. You really have to get in all the corners of the spokes so be prepared to spend a long time. Your hands will hurt by the end. I used various sand papers to do this. I also used a brush drill bit to loosen up anything that was left. I was able to get the wheels all the way back to bare aluminum.

 

Step 4: wash the wheels so they are completely clean and hit them with some compressed air. You want them as clean as possible so the paint is smooth. If there is any dust or debris it will bubble your paint.

 

step 5: two coats of primer. Since I went back to bare aluminum I needed primer, others may not depending on how much paint you strip.

 

step 6: 4-5 coats of the wheel paint. Key here is to spray very softly. Don’t let the paint pool. I found it better to do more coats of light paint than fewer coats of a lot of paint. Keep your hand back so the paint just falls on the wheel. Don’t spray at the wheels.

 

step 7: 2 layers of clear coat to get the wheels a nice finish and protect them 

 

happy to answer any questions

Edited by 200two
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Nice, thorough job.  I'm not looking forward to doing this for my 318is...What kind of aluminum primer did you use?  Since the old (and very good) zinc chromate (the green stuff) is no longer sold, is there an equally effective primer that really sticks to aluminum?  I did an aluminum skiff with supposedly "aluminum primer" and it started to peel within a few years. 

 

And...did you repaint the hubcaps at the same time?

 

mike

 

 

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Aircraft Paint Remover use to work really well, you’d know right away if it got on your skin, burned like heck. Then they changed the formula and removed Methylene Chloride, now it doesn’t work so good.  One application of the old stuff would have the old paint bubbling and lifting. Now it takes several applications and 3x as much stripper to remove the paint. With what it cost, and the mess associated the next time I need paint removed I’ll pay to have it blasted off. 

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@Mike Self hey Mike, I just grabbed rust-oleum aluminum primer. I don’t love all their products but figure it’ll be good enough and I’ll address it if I need to later, hopefully the sanding helped it bind as well. 
 

I still haven’t got the caps (had to get new ones) so will paint them when they arrive if the color is different (which I think it will be, this wheel paint is slightly lighter than OEM I think)

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@72pdx02 yea I think they have aircraft remover Ultra which might be decent but my order didn’t arrive so had to go with this. I was going to get them blasted but then saw online some people say it may ruin the wheels since they’re aluminum so just went this route… not sure if it’s true though

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Did this to my BBS, hands hurt alright!! The next set I did I got blasted, even the sand blaster said it’s hard to see when you get the paint off.

One thing I did when I ran these is made sure I had a good quality clear coat and used quality wheel cleaners or all the hard work is wasted by brake dust etching.

I ended up with kleen wheelz covers which sit behind the wheel and effectively block most of the brake dust, at the time I got the last set, may be worth asking if he still makes them.

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