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Wheel Rehabilitation

This is a discussion on Wheel Rehabilitation within the GM Trucks forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Finally got around to painting the wheels on our '07 Suburban this week. We bought the truck back in '10 ...

  1. #1
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Wheel Rehabilitation

    Finally got around to painting the wheels on our '07 Suburban this week. We bought the truck back in '10 from a local dealership. It was a New York truck and the wheels had taken a beating from the winter salt. I had been meaning to refinish them since we bought the truck and figured I would get to it when it came time to swap on some new tires. Well, with winter approaching that time finally came and I purchased some General Grabber HTS tires with a higher load range a few weeks ago.

    I tried to buy VHT wheel paint for Chevrolet wheels but none of the parts stores around here stock it. From my research on the internet, GM utilizes something called "Corsican Silver" on the factory aluminum wheels. I could have ordered VHT from Jeg's, but instead picked up three cans of Duplicolor silver wheel paint from Advance Auto as the color on the cap appeared to be close to what I was looking for. The stock wheels were pretty beat up with chipped paint and some serious corrosion around the bead:



    After dismounting the old tires, I dropped the first rim in my blast cabinet and went to work stripping the old finish. Within a few minutes I realized that it was going to take forever and with the limited work space was also going to be a complete pain to do. I went down to the lower garage and dragged out the Brut pressure pot blaster I bought at Carlisle last year and began prepping it for use. After getting everything set up I was amazed at how quickly I was able to strip off the factory finish. It took around 5 minutes per rim to sandblast the beads and outer surface of the rim (being an older truck I was not concerned with the inside of the rim):



    After sandblasting, I washed each rim in the garage sink with hot water, dish soap and Purple Power degreaser. One at a time, I blew the rims dry with compressed air and then ran over them for a few minutes with my heat gun to both ensure that all the water was gone and to warm them up before beginning to paint them. The instructions recommended three (3) light coats and one (1) medium coat with a 10 minute dry time between coats. I went with two (2) semi-light coats and one (1) medium coat and found that the paint really went on well:



    I kicked the heat up in my garage to help cure the paint and allowed them to dry overnight before mounting the new tires this afternoon. The tires went on easy and I didn't have to touch up any of the paint, however, I did have a heck of a time getting the beads to seat. I must have tried a dozen times to get the first one to seat. The tires are rated for 80 psi max and it took almost 60 psi on each tire to get the final section of the bead to seat on all four tires. Kind of scary but none of my other tricks were working. The wheels look so much better now and we'll see how they hold up over the winter:


  2. #2
    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    1998 PONTIAC TA

    Look like brand new wheels! Great job Jeff!
    1998 Pontiac TA, stock heads, FAST 90, FAST 90 TB, FLP LT, off road y-pipe with cat delete, flow master muffler, comp cams 54-457-11 223/231-610/617-112 LSA, Pro charger D1SC with FMIC @ 8psi, FROST tune, VIG 3200 stall, built 4l60e, snow meth kit, MOSER 12 bolt 373 gears, Derale 13900 trans cooler.

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    2002 Camaro SS

    Nice!! I stripped and powder coated my 05 Silverado rims years ago. Next summer they will get reworked for a second time.
    2002 Camaro SS
    Build# 9123
    Silver, TTops

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    I hope you did several coats of clear on top of the color coat(s).

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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Thanks guys.

    I did not bother with clear. We'll see how they hold up over the winter.

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Thanks guys.

    I did not bother with clear. We'll see how they hold up over the winter.

    Jeff... come on man, you're better than that.

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    If I clear coat the rims, any required touch up becomes a PITA. Time will tell...

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    If I clear coat the rims, any required touch up becomes a PITA. Time will tell...

    Would you paint a car and not clear coat it? This is exactly the same thing. And how would touch up become a pain? Bad decision man.


    Well, at the very least you should get some opticoat so the paint will have some protection.

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    I appreciate your opinion on the matter. It is done, my choice, I will live with it.

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