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Bad wheel finish, what to do?

This is a discussion on Bad wheel finish, what to do? within the Wheels and Tires forums, part of the General Help category; Just that. Once again the 'you get what you pay for' bug has bitten. I bought a set of Sportmax ...

  1. #1
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Bad wheel finish, what to do?

    Just that. Once again the 'you get what you pay for' bug has bitten. I bought a set of Sportmax wheels (Primax) at the Carlisle Swap Meet a little over a year ago new in the box. Well, regardless of that, the clearcoat is coming off. Not just chipping and corroding the aluminum, but rather coming off in SHEETS. The first spot to peel started out as a quarter sized piece, which quickly became a dollar bill sized spot of missing clearcoat after just driving down the road. Seems as if the highly polished lip was TOO smooth, and left nothing for the paint to grab on the surface so once the integrity was compromised (stone chip) all hell broke loose. Anyways, The wheels are aluminum, with a grey painted center and clearcoat over the entire wheel. I know stripping them with a chemical stripper would take next to forever, and I know for sure that blasting them with glass beads is going to 'rough up' the surface, however, Would this be a good winter project? Perhaps blast them to get the surface clean, then invest in the proper polishing equipment and re-polish the entire wheels? I've (barely) looked into chroming, and even powdercoat, however, ive learned in my research that most shops wont even touch a set of wheels for chrome. It all started on a front wheel, and now the rear wheel has started, and I've noticed some funky surface blemishes on the other two wheels starting to show. I keep the wheels clean, stored them over the winter, and I've never used any harsh cleaners or chemicals on them. The only conclusion I can come up with as to why they started peeling was a stone chip, as I live on a dirt road and travel dirt roads rather frequently. Here's a picture of the wheels before anything started happening. I don't have a 'current' picture to show though.


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    Member jujofields's Avatar
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    Pewter Metallic
    2002 Trans Am WS.6

    What is your goal? By that, I mean are you wanting to repaint them to look like they did before? Or are you wanting to change the appearance entirely?

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    I'm entirely unsure of what I want to acheive in the end. I considered blasting them to get the original paint/clear off, and then seeing what the powdercoater could do, but I've heard that the local powdercoating company doesn't like to do car wheels and I'm really not sure what kind of colors they could come up with (i've not gone and seen them personally). As far as re-painting goes, I could do that here at home even. We painted the car, so why not the wheels? The only thing I'm unsure of is how the finish is going to be once the wheels are blasted. I've got some polished aluminum diamondplate I plan to 'test' on at my friends house with the blast cabinet.

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    car paint on wheels come out pretty bad ass i sold my original 16 inch rims with jet black with clear and where not bad. then i bought zr1's i love them

  5. #5
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    The wheel design doesn't really lend itself that well to painting them to match the car, and in my opinion, orange spoked wheels on an already orange car would be way overkill. I thought perhaps re-doing them in a similar gun-metal color, and talking to the guys at the paint place to see if maybe adding a lot more hardener to the clear would make it hold up better (or possibly worse). Either way, I know now that next time, I'm either fully polished, or chrome.

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    Powder coating would be the best option. With the rocks you describe who knows how long paint would hold up. Check the yellow pages to find a powdercoater that will do the wheels.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    I'm sure I could get the guy to powdercoat the wheels if i get them stripped, but it'd probably take some talking. I have an idea what it boils down to is 'his name is on the line' because there are some real asshats out there, the type that would get their wheels coated, then when they get a stone chip, blame the guy who laid the powder for it not being good enough. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people around here that make those kinds of claims. I'm not one of those people, so i'm sure i'd just have to convince him of that.

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    Internet Tough Guy Fury_786's Avatar
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    shooting powder on wheels is a major PITA

    stripping them takes forever to get it right and shooting them even takes a while.

    i did my ZR-1's last night for my SS...the last set i ever wanna do.

    however, you could get your wheels powder coated chrome and they would look nice.

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    Firebird Encyclopedia 9T8W66's Avatar
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    Same thing happened to me, the clearcoat started to peel but only on the wheel lip.
    What I ended up doing was sanding the wheels to remove the clear then progressively going to finer paper. If you have access to a big enough lathe or mill it would definetely help. Afterwards I used Mother's Wheel polish and it looked pretty good. I'm just going to try and make it through the season and then dismount the tires and have them powdercoated over the winter while I buy new rubber.
    Craig
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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Yeah, I considered powdercoat 'chrome' even. I'm pretty sure I might just take the clear off of the 3" lip, as the clear in the center of the rim is perfectly fine. I'll just have to make sure I keep up with the lip and make sure it stays polished up real nice. I have used Mothers "power metal" for the powerball before on my truck rims and it worked, but I wasn't very pleased with the results, granted, the wheels are in pretty poor shape, but I had expected maybe a bit 'brighter' shine from them than I got.

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    Internet Tough Guy Fury_786's Avatar
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    Sinister, SixGun
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    eagle one's polish is great...its in a black and aluminum can, looks like wool.

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    Yeah, Never Dull. I have some of that, it works really well, but i really prefer the machine-applicable stuff lmao. I'm lazy But I do have some, and for no more than there would be on these rims, a good hand-polishing wouldn't be too much.

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    Internet Tough Guy Fury_786's Avatar
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    Sinister, SixGun
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    thats it...i keep some basic stuff in my car in the spar tire well (no spare, jack, crap) things like mothers, never dull, nxt, just whatever...never know where you're gonna be and wanna clean it lol

  14. #14
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    haha, i keep my amp down in the well and Its not that easily accessed because of the speakerbox/four 10" subs, that things heavy.

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    Internet Tough Guy Fury_786's Avatar
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    Sinister, SixGun
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    geeze, i got 2 10's back there...i cant imagine 4 lol

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    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    I'd like to downsize back to three, maybe 2. It sounds alright, but its almost too much subwoofer for no more cabin space than there is.

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    Internet Tough Guy Fury_786's Avatar
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    Sinister, SixGun
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    ive got 10's in my ss and 2 12's in my V6..i really like the 12s better...but for no more than i turn it up, the 10's are just fine

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    Member knappbunch's Avatar
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    mine are bonspeeds and payed extra for clear powder coat. Wash and go. If I were you I would pay to powder coat and clear powder coat the lip save any future hassles.


  19. #19
    Giant Dicks Car Club Zapper2003's Avatar
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    so you just took polished rims and had them powder-cleared?

  20. #20
    Member knappbunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zapper2003 View Post
    so you just took polished rims and had them powder-cleared?
    actually had it done when I ORDERED THEM BUT YOU CAN POLISH THEM AND GET THEM CLEARED JUST DO IT RIGHT AFTER POLISH AS TO NOT GET ANY BUILD UP BEFORE YOU POWDERCOAT

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