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      07-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
Kriston
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DIY RIM Polishing / Refinishing

Whats up fellas,

I wanted to share with you a quick tutorial for rim lip refinishing. I had a chance to snag a set of BBS RS GT Reps with tires for a heck of a deal for my wifes Mazda 3. However, the lips started to peel/Crack and bubble. This is common for many replica / cheaper made wheels. The clear the manufactures use do not hold up well to our Canadian Elements.

Long Story Short, i decided to tackle the refinishing my self this weekend, With the help of my wife we managed to get the wheels back to sparkling condition. Took about an hour per wheel.

DISCLAIMER: If you are not handy / confident working in this capacity you should not attempt at home. In all honesty i was afraid at first, but if you get too close to your wheels with your finger it just pushes your finger away. But still always practice caution and saftey.

VIDEO TUTORIAL - PLS IGNORE THE MUSIC AS ITS FRICKEN HORRENDOUS, BUT YOU GET THE IDEA!




TOOLS / MATERIALS REQUIRED: - ALL Materials can be found at Canadian Tire for under 50 dollars.
Sand Paper - 40 / 60 / 120 / 220 / 320 Grit
2 Abbrasive pads - Soft / Hard
Wheel Polish - Prefererably a silicon based polish (we will not be clear coating the wheel) so it it important to have a good wheel polish. I used Blue Magic from crappy tire
2 Jack Stands + Jack
2 Clean cloths
Garden Hose / Water bucket - your choice.
Flat Piece of Metal to remove the previous clear coat, I used an old measuring triangle i had laying around, anything would do. As long as its flat and rigid.


STEP 1 FOR FRONT WHEEL DRIVE CARS:

Put the front of the car on the jack stands, give your self enough ground clearance to allow your rims / tires to spin freely.
Ensure your rear wheels are blocked and your hand brake is up (Safety First)
Engage the break and shift your car into Drive or 1st / 2nd gear. Let the rims begin to Spin.

STEP 2 PREP WORK:

Using your flat metal object, apply a little pressure on the lip surface, you will see the clear coat coming off immediately, try to make the marring evenly. Your silver lip will start to turn a lighter shade of silver.

Once you have all of the Original Clear coat off, start by cutting a small square in the 40 grit sand paper. apply a small amount of pressure on the lip with the sand paper. As the wheel spin, you will see the surface appearance will become more even. Continue this for 5-10 minutes.

Repeat this above process with the 60 and 100/120 grit sand paper as well. Maintain 5-10 minutes on the wheel with each grit.


STEP 3 WETSANDING WORK:

Using the Same process outlined in the "prep Work" step. proceed to use the 220 then 320 grit sand paper. Ensure you keep a bucket of water near by to ensure the surface is always wet. TIP: Skip the bucket and keep your garden hose near you, spray light mists of water onto the spinning wheel, ensuring the surface is always kept wet.

After you have completed wet sanding using the 220 and 320 Grit paper. Repeat the process using the Hard abbrasive sponge, again water is needed with this process. After 5-10 minutes of using the Hard abbrasive sponge, proceed to use the Mild abbrasive sponge with water as well.

The fruits of your labor should be showing by now, the surface should be extremely smooth to the touch and a nice bright silver should be seen.

STEP 4 POLISHING:

This is the final step to refinishing your wheel lips. Stop your wheels from Spinning (Hit the brakes gently) put the car in Neutral and then ensure your wheels have fully stopped. Put your car into park.

Wipe your wheels / lip down with a dry cloth.

Apply Silicon Metal Polish to the lips and let sit for 5 minutes.

Start the Car back up and put the car into drive or 1st/2nd gear.

Utilizing the same approach as the sandpaper, simply let the rotation of the wheel do the work for you, keep your hand positioned in one spot. 5-10 minutes of Polishing and youre done!

[b]BEFOREB]





AFTER:
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Last edited by Kriston; 07-23-2012 at 02:00 PM.
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      07-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
MOAB
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well done. nice job.
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