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DIY - repairing curb rash on a 162 rim
Published by Paul330d
DIY - repairing curb rash on a 162 rim

EDIT: Nov. 19, 2007 - pictures re-uploaded

This post is designed to complement the already excellent post on repairing curb rash on a Porsche wheel here. I am merely adding a few more photos, as well as proof - for those, like me, who need additional reassurance - that the process will work on BMW wheels, too.

Note that, unlike the OP, I removed the wheel to make the job easier and to avoid the risk of any paint going on my black bodywork. It DOES fly everywhere!

Here's the damage. Only cosmetic, fortunately, but it had to be repaired and the garages & bodyshops I contacted were quoting me $200 + 3-4 days w/o the car, as, of course, there's no spare wheel (great idea that, BMW!).

Shopping list (approx $30):
  • emery paper, 4 sheets (1 each of 180, 240, 400 & 600 grain)
  • white spirit/paint thinner
  • masking tape + adhesive tape
  • 1 small pot aluminium putty (you hardly use any)
  • grey primer spray
  • "alloy wheel" silver spray
  • clear varnish spray

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the affected area of the rim with the white spirit on a clean cotton rag. This is IMPORTANT.

Then, using the coarsest emery paper (180), wrap a strip around a knife handle to achieve a flat, yet manoeuverable tool. Finish off carefully with the paper around your finger, if necessary.

I was amazed how much better the rim looked already after just 2 minutes of rough sanding:

Cut some short strips of masking tape and mask off the tyre ready for the putty. Make sure the tape is pushed as far into the lip as possible between the tyre & the rim.

Mix the aluminium putty & hardener as per the instructions on the tin. It begins to harden after 60 seconds or so, which is why you should mask first.

The wheel should look something like this once the putty has dried.

The instructions on the tin recommended the putty be left to dry for 4-6 minutes, but I left it for 20 for good measure, then sanded it down using the next grade of emery paper (240) until it was smooth and looked like this.

The wheel should now look like this (alreay a lot better):

Now the scary bit - painting. Begin by masking the entire wheel, cutting a circular piece of newspaper to fit around the damaged area. Note this applies ONLY to the primer stage: do not make a hard mask line for the silver spray (more on this later).

Now spray the primer as SLOWLY as possible. I put on three coats, waiting 20 minutes between each application.

Now, using the 400 or 600 emery paper, lightly sand the primer to roughen it up and feather the hard edges.

Now mask the centre of the wheel again, but DO NOT create a hard edge on the rim, or else paint lines will build up during the spraying. I formed a slight inverted cone shape with the newspaper and stuck it to the centre of the rim in such a way that the edge (which I had 'traced' by pushing the original sheet around the tyre-rim lip) stood proud of the outer part of the rim. This avoids spraying the rest of the rim needlessly (and messily), while achieving an invisible feathered 'edge' to the paint.

I sprayed 4 coats of silver - be patient and spray as little as possible each time, allowing 20 minutes minimum for each successive coat to dry.

Repeat the process with the clear varnish (3-4 coats). Avoid the temptation to rush this part - leave plenty of time for each coat to dry and avoid spraying too much in a single pass!!

Hey presto, the finished wheel. Leave overnight then put it back on the car and give it a polish to buff out any remaining overspray, dirt, etc

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By ska///235i on 08-03-2006, 02:53 PM
WOW Good Job man
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By toughluck on 08-03-2006, 03:25 PM
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By Asiann on 08-03-2006, 04:45 PM
Damn good post! I want to do this next month when I have the time.
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By Hunter399 on 08-03-2006, 05:27 PM
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By BMW_E90 on 08-03-2006, 05:59 PM
impressive. my friend hit my rear bumper on my old car (benz) i did about the same thing and now i looks brand spankin new! nice job
comment: might want to wet sand paper the rim after u bondo it and after u prime it help a lot rather than dry sandpaper.
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By KL2DC on 08-03-2006, 07:05 PM
Very well done, Paul

Admin, please add the DIY master list. Thanks
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By Paul330d on 08-04-2006, 08:37 AM
Thanks. I think the trick to getting a good finish is 'soft masking' the rim so that the spray paint is feathered. The job took all day from start to finish, but there was a lot of waiting around for the various layers of paint to dry.
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By 06E90Rostik on 08-12-2006, 01:32 PM
Defenetly Add to Master List

Thanks Paul Great job
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By yamazaho on 08-12-2006, 11:10 PM
Oh wow~~~

Oh wow this DIY is definitely some of the best ones, I mean skill wise.... All I can really say is YOU THE MAN dude!!!!! Rock on!!!
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By Chesmu on 08-13-2006, 03:36 PM
VERy impressive. Wheel looks great!
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By Pretender on 08-13-2006, 04:06 PM
I'd like to see the up-closed picture of the finished product...Can you post?
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By Paul330d on 08-14-2006, 09:36 AM
It's not that I don't want to, but honetly there's nothing to see. You'll just have to trust me; the wheel looks as good as new
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By txusa03 on 08-14-2006, 09:49 AM
Originally Posted by Paul330d
It's not that I don't want to, but honetly there's nothing to see. You'll just have to trust me; the wheel looks as good as new
Question on the clear varnish...when you applied the clear coat, do you applied the clear to the whole wheel? Very nice work.
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By Paul330d on 08-16-2006, 08:03 AM
Originally Posted by txusa03
Question on the clear varnish...when you applied the clear coat, do you applied the clear to the whole wheel? Very nice work.
The varnish was applied to and around the damaged area using the soft masking technique explained above. I would say that no varnish went more than about 8cm in towards the centre of the wheel from the outer lip.
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By Paul330d on 09-16-2006, 01:15 AM
Just to report - as requested - that 6 weeks and 4000km later, the repair is holding out: no putty or paint has peeled off the wheel
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By NaTuReB0Y on 09-16-2006, 01:43 AM
can this be done for chrome wheels too?

cause my wife scraped one of her 22's on her SUV.......
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By jorgex on 09-16-2006, 11:01 AM

Very well done! Just like a professional!
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By EvanL on 09-16-2006, 11:29 PM
Very nice! I plan to do this on my scraped-up ZCP wheels.

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By oneshare325 on 09-17-2006, 12:10 AM
That looks so so good! I think it looks like you never scraped it! Great work! Thanks
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By Paul330d on 09-22-2006, 02:08 AM
Originally Posted by NaTuReB0Y
can this be done for chrome wheels too?

cause my wife scraped one of her 22's on her SUV.......
I suppose you could try, but I would imagine that replicating that mirror finish would require a lot of skill. I for one wouldn't feel comfortable attempting it, although I have seen chrome spray cans for sale.
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By BobbyP on 11-26-2006, 03:23 AM
I did this and wet sanded the clear coat with 1500 sand paper and buffed out with polishing compound to get the factory shine and smooth feel. The clear coat felt rough. I used Wurth's while in this post another brand was used. Not sure if it makes a difference. Thanks for the post.
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