loading
I needed to put winter tires on my car and rather than go through the hassle of going to a tire shop to have the tires unmounted and remounted I decided to get a dedicated winter set-up.

In this write-up I will show the process I used to strip, sand, and powder coat a set of alloy wheels with a little time and help from the folks at Techshop. The project can be completed over a weekend or two based on experience in the methods discussed.

Note: This write- up is meant only to show the steps required to refinish wheels, it is not a detailed instruction manual. Please follow the proper instructions and safety precautions when using the materials, tools, and equipment mentioned here.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

I was looking for an OEM set of wheels as I feel they are of a higher quality than cheap aftermarket wheels, if there is any truth to this I don't know. The set I found was older and beat up, but cheap enough that I could try my hand at a little DIY refinishing and powder coating over at Techshop.

Tools I used:
Chemical resistant gloves
Nitrile gloves (for final washing NOT chemicals)
Respirator (rated for chemical exposure)
Non-marring plastic scraper set
Drill
Set of brass brushes with drill attachment
Shop vacuum

Materials:
1-2 quarts "Aircraft" stripper
Cleaner/Degreaser
Powder Coat (.5-1lb) I did just the faces of four 17" wheels and used right about half a pound.

Advertisement

<p>A good write up. Thanks</p>
great write up. great little bits of info that a newbie could use to do at least a halfway decent job.
I hate to say this, but I hope you don't plan on doing much driving on these wheels. The SCCA banned any form of powder coating a few years ago, because most people use the steel process (400&deg;F cure), which will induce what's known as &quot;overaging&quot; of the alloy, which weakens it and might embrittle it. After a few wheel failures, the SCCA banned it altogether. There is a lower-temp powdercoat process, which should be used for aluminum. Also, cleaning of the aluminum needs to be CAREFULLY observed, because some chemicals can negatively affect the hardening of some alloys. <br> <br>Read this for more: http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=151053
Thanks for checking out the wheels and for the concern.&nbsp;I did read quite a bit of information regarding stripping and coating the wheels before I started.<br> <br> In the link you provided there doesn't seem to be a clear consensus, and they seem to be referencing baking the wheel for an hour as opposed to the 10 minutes or so it takes to cure the powder; it's very unlikely the wheel itself reached cure temp in that time.<br> <br> You mentioned it is banned from the SCCA but I couldn't find anything in the rules specifically stating that, it was a fairly cursory check though. The only other reference google found to this was another post by a Tex Arcana a couple of years ago.<br> <br> In any case, I appreciate your comments and I would recommend anyone looking to do something similar be informed before starting.
That looks like one heck of a lot of work! <br>You did a good job, but I'm curious as to your color choice. <br>If my car was white, I probably would have done the wheels in white. <br>A white car with blue wheels seems a bit odd. You just like blue? <br>Are you planning on painting the car to match or contrast? <br>Nice job!
Thanks, it was a decent amount of work, but not so much that I wouldn't do it again. Honestly, I wasn't 100% confident in the wheel color but I figured they were only for the winter and weren't expensive so if I hated it I'd do something different. It is a Ford and my going in idea was to do them the same color as the Ford emblem. <br> <br>I really like the idea of white, and I almost went with that. The biggest reason I didn't was color matching, I think two different hues of white would look silly. I'd have to get factory paint then and I really wanted to try powdercoating. <br> <br>Thanks again for the comment and checking it out.
great job. i always look for automotive stuff here. i did my wheels white back in 99 (Blue car) and loved the look. Blue looks great!! i would join tech shop but its like 4 hours away and i don't have that kind of money to join and stay in SF when doing projects.. i may just get one of those weekly rentals and join for a month :P. Again great write up.
Nice. I was just thinking of doing something with my own wheels.
Thanks! Give it a shot, I had a good time doing it.

About This Instructable

57,784views

242favorites

License:

More by jturnbul:How To: Refinish Wheels at Techshop 
Add instructable to: