How-To: Repair and restore rims (Surface pitting, chips, curb-rash)
Greeting Fellow Focus enthusiasts.
We all love rims, but cringe at the moment we feel contact with a curb, etc.
This thread is a basic how-to, and information regarding how to go about fixing, and repairing rims that have chipped paint, gouged surface from curb-rash (I call it curbage), gravel pitting, etc.
Basically, short of bent, or structurally damaged rims, I will show you how to repair, and restore rims back to original condition.
Check-list before initiating project:
1) determine whether the damage to the rim is surface damage. If no bends, or structural damage that can ruin integrity of the rim, continue.
-- Lots of sand paper of various grits (100-400)
-- Metal file
-- Disposable surface, and stir rods, or Popsicle sticks.
-- Lots of nitrile or, latex gloves.
-- Laquer thinner / Paint- thinner
-- Etching primer
3) remove wheel weights, tires.
Repairing rims, is rather simple, and if you glanced at the above materials, you should be able to guess what I am about to say...
We will begin 1st with a Pre-rinse, Metal-file the bead of the rim, Sand the rim, thoroughly clean the surface. Apply JB-weld. Let cure, Sand smooth, Prep rim for Painting.
Begin by pre-washing the rims. A simple garden hose will do. No need to spend a lot of time, just clean it well enough, so you wouldn't mind picking it up, and moving it without ruining your clothes, and getting your hands black.
Basically, we will begin by using a metal file. go along the rim, in one direction, going up and down, until you remove protruding, sharp edges from the curb-rash.
now, you can go across the face of the gouge, or curbage damage... leaving with you surface that looks like this.
Now, put on your gloves, and wipe some JB-weld on there. I used an expired card I had laying around. Get a little glob of JB-weld on an edge, and swipe the card against the bead of the rim, where there is curbage.
Apply enough to fill in the damaged area, and a little more-some, so you can finger wipe it across. You should have bought a box of gloves, because yes, you will go through them like crazy.
While JB-weld is drying, you can sand the rim, sand over pitted surfaces, and note other areas on the surface of the rim where you could apply some JB-weld.
In 4-8 hours, you should be able to sand off the JB-weld. I didn't chance it, and I waited until the following morning.
Sand the rim smooth, and add more JB-weld if necessary.
Now prep the rim by wiping it clean with paint thinner or lacquer thinner...
Lot's of brake-dust on the inside of the rim? Spray Goof-Off aerosol. wipe clean with a towel you will throw away.
Apply 2 thin coats of Etching primer. Wait 5-10 minutes. Spray your paint. 3-4 coats usually does the trick.
Let rims cure for a few days, before mounting and balancing tires.
Hold off on cleaning your rims for as long as you can. NO chemicals, solvents, or cleaners should touch the rim for the first 30-45 days.
If you need to clean your rims, use only Water, and a clean microfiber towel.
Now, I present Pics of my recently acquired ASA KA3s.
Just getting started:
Applying Etching-Primer: (2 thin coats)
Painted, and Done-Dealio: (4 coats of Duplicolor Silver wheel paint)
Cheers, and enjoy...
I'll have these mounted and balanced by next week-end I hope.
I had all 4 wheels sanded and prepped for painting after 2 days, 6 hours labor each day.
I was going slow, taking my time, as well as over 200 pics available for viewing at Full resolution at my gallery I just setup.
To keep this on topic if you don't mine I will add my : how to get rid of the clear coat pealing off and mag lips polishing.
If someone has wheels in that condition :
320 Sand paper :
400 Sand paper :
600/1000 sand paper : note : Wheel on the car still has factory clearcoat ( not done yet )
2000 sand paper : note : Wheel on the car still has factory clearcoat ( not done yet )
2000 again :note : Wheel on the car still has factory clearcoat ( not done yet )
When done with the wet sanding stuff , all you have to do is use any paste to polish aluminum and more you polish better it will get..
You can also fix minor curb rash , I had a few , here's a example..note : I guess you know by now..:)
I used a drill with a san paper wheels to sand down the deep scratches , it can fix some pretty nasty scratch after it will all go away with the wet sanding procedure explained earlier.
Here's a before and after pictures , it is the exact same wheel.
After.. Bah....Note Why not....: Wheel on the car still has factory clearcoat ( not done yet )
It took about 2 hours per wheel and I have 8 wheels like that , I even did the wheels who had no issue with the clear coating , I wanted all of them exactly the same..
Since you're a moderator you can edit or delete my post if you think it doesn't belong in your thread [grinking]
Great how too info. I also suggest that if you are good with a Dremel rotary tool, it can be used to reduce hand sanding and filing with the appropriate grinding wheels and sanding discs. Be careful though, as they can cause more nicks and scratches if you're not on your toes and paying attention.
mpcv, thank you very much for your addition. I have one wheel (Rota) that looked like curb rash and gave me a heart attack - 1) wheels bought new less than a year ago. 2) wheels NEVER curbed! 3) wheel that looked curbed was driver side front... kinda hard to curb! Anyway, a close look showed the peeling clearcoat to be the culprit... I'm going to mark this thread for future reference!
I wanted those wheels. How much did you end up getting them for?
Fosho... slick man. Looks like a pro-worthy job. I'll have to call you up if I run into issues with this in the future.
if the questions were about my wheels ( the polished one ) I bought the car and they were there , after destroying one ( put hole ) I bought the last one the distributor had ( No longeur available ) , so no more if I break another one , I found a used set for $400 CDN with good tires on them so I have 8 wheels now.
To get back on topic , the finish of the lips is so perfect that you can see the sanding if you look very closely , so I will suggest to be very patien if you start this project , wet sanding is very cool , easier to feel all the imperfections on the surface so go ahead and make it smooth you'll see the difference. After doing all 8 wheels , I picked up the first one I did and started all over and came out as good as the 7 others , I was getting good at this...
Let's try to keep the "How to" on topic.....
I'm advising myself.... [:p]
I was referring to foci_fosho's wheels.
Well, now that I've had a chance to think about it, my wheels are GunMetal, so sanding the clearcoat is not going to fly. Any other tips?
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