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Repainting Wheels... opinions and advice needed...

SleepinGVR4

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2003
Messages
2,483
Location
Danville, Pennsylvania
So I decided to tackle repainting my stock wheels before winter and I'd like opinions and help. I plan on painting them summit white again.

First off, did all the '91 wagon wheels come with the chrome lip? My wheels did but my friend's,(BoostedAWD91), did not have the chrome lip. Or maybe someone painted over his. Which is something I haven't decided yet, If I should leave the chrome lip or just paint over it. Anyone have any opinions?

Second, did the diamonds on the center caps come painted red from the factory? I also want to do this but I'm not sure what color red was used if they came like that. Anyone know?

I have a rough idea on how to do the prep...

Sand them and remove all the flaking paint. Not sure if I'm going to use a wire wheel, sand paper, steel wool, wet sand them or what yet.

Then I'll probably use a self etching primer.

Then probably clean them with some paint thinner or mineral spirits?


Now as far as paint goes I want them summit white again. I found this website that sells aerosol spray cans but $20 a can is expensive. click

Also which is the summit white paint code? AC10796 or W09?

I thought about using designated wheel paint but it doesn't look like you can get it in any color you want.

Also should I clear coat them?


Any help would be welcome.
 

G

Staff member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
8,896
Location
zompton
Find a local monument company and have them blast the wheels it will save you a lot of work.
 

89Mirageman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
2,502
Location
Stantonsburg, NC
I have refurbished several sets of wheels. I use paint stripper and a pressure washer to strip them down. Get the gel type and paint it on, let it sit and then blast it off. Repeat for any stubborn paint. All GVR4's should have the machined lip. I use 1/8" fine line masking tape to mask off the lip because it turns easy. Then use thicker tape/paper to mask off the remainder of the lip and the tire if you don't remove them first. If you want them to match find someone that sells the oem paint in the spray can, like you said regular white wheel paint will not match exactly. For the center cap I stopped by a sign shop and asked for a scrap piece of red vinyl, cut a small section and place it on the mitsu logo, heat it with a hairdryer and use a toothpick to get it pressed in good. Then use a sharp hobby knife to trace the diamond and peel away the excess. This is a lot easier than painting them for sure and holds up well.

It's up to you on the clear. For a stronger finish they will need to be cleared, especially if the paint you buy is just a base coat. I would take the time to polish the outer lip, paint the wheel and clear the whole thing. It'll look much better. Here is a set that I did for a member on 4g61t a few years ago. They just wanted a satin finish.


 

5OF2k

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Messages
664
Location
colorado springs, colorado
Just like mirageman said, only i'm a fan of blasting myself. If i were you, i'd blast them, prep/repair/polish the lips, mask, then spray them. That'd be your beat bet. The main thing is remembering to take your time, and keeping everything climate controlled. I disnt see where you're located, but temperature has a MAJOR effect on how paint lays out, and being in a colder climate/garage/etc will make getting a satisfying painted surface all but impossible and frustrating at the minimum. After all, winter is juuuuust about upon us!

The main things to remember, is making sure all of the painted surfaces are all but baby-ass smoothe, clean, not rushed, and a fair amount of time is left between coats. Too little time and you'll get orange peel/fisheyes. Too much time and you'll have dust/contaminates in the paint. I typically like to wait around 8-10 minutes between coats of paint. Then let them sit overnight to dry and cure, and clear the following day, heavily. You should also spend similar time between coats for the clear as well, but do each coat a tad thicker than you would the paint. All food for thought, being as different regions/conditions all have different methods for acheiving the optimum painted surface. Bottom line though, take your time and you'll be just fine.

Hope that helps!

-Jake
 

89Mirageman

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Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
2,502
Location
Stantonsburg, NC
The only reason I prefer stripping them is because a quart of paint stripper at Lowes is around $10. Most places would charge $10+ per wheel for bead blasting and you'd still need to strip the plastic center cap I believe. Regardless, getting the wheels down to bare aluminum is what you want. It's up to you how to get them there.
 

matt92vr4

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
676
Location
Venice, FL
89, those wheels look amazing.
 

SleepinGVR4

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2003
Messages
2,483
Location
Danville, Pennsylvania
Matt beat me to it. Agreed those wheels do look great 89Mirageman!

What do you recommend for polishing/reconditioning the chrome lip?

Thanks for your help, hopefully I'll have some that look just as nice.
 
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89Mirageman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
2,502
Location
Stantonsburg, NC
First you need to start with wheels that have very little to no rash. If any of them have bent lips just grab a replacement because it will be cheaper than getting it repaired I'm sure. I usually start with 320 paper and then 400,600,1000 & 1500 wetsanding. Be sure to change the water each time you step up to a finer grit and add a little dish soap. I have a polishing wheel that I put on my 4 1/2" angle grinder but with the guard removed. I also bought some polishing rouge from Lowes for aluminum. Then I finish up with Mothers aluminum polish. The process probably takes an hour or so per wheel but its worth it in the end. You also have to be very careful buffing with an angle grinder because it can slip and the metal piece in the middle can damage the wheel. I'm sure there's a better way to do it but this works for me.
 
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