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Second Generation Legend (1991-1995)

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Old 08-05-08, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Post DIY: Aluminum Rim Refinishing

(Yes, I know this is in the wrong section but I can't post in DIYs)

So, A couple of weeks ago I bought a set of OEM 7 spoke rims from a guy here. The condition was ok but they were scratched and there were pits and clearcoat peeling in some spots so I just decided to lightly refinish them myself. This is by no means an easy job. It's VERY time consuming and VERY dirty. If you're sure you want to do this then, HERE WE GO!

Supplies:
1. Heavy duty stripper (I chose Klean Strip)
2. Safety Glasses
3. Heavy duty rubber gloves
4. Cleaners (such as paint thinner and acetone)
5. Light grinder wheel (ONLY FOR COROSSION)
6 Drill bit buffer
7. Paint of your choice (if you decide to repaint inside of rims)
8. Very strong clearcoat (has to hold up to all weather conditions)
9. Masking tape
10. Soft Rags
11. Aluminum polish
12. Tire shine (if you have the tires on the rims already)
13. Plastic scrapers
14. Paint Brush
15. Container for stripper


First off, survey the damage to your rim. If it's bent out of shape, you might want to get it straightened by a professional. After this, apply stripper generously to the whole rim (NOTE: if you don't intend to refinish the inside of the rim then mask it off and don't apply stripper there. It is painted ( I didn't know that when I did mine)
Applying stripper:

Stripped rim: (yes it's dirty)

Once the rim is stripped, VERY carefully us grinder or wire wheel on the spots where the corossion is the worst (DO NOT LET GRINDER SLIP. if it does, you will have a nasty scratch on your rim FOREVER) After that, use progressively finer sandpaper to smooth spots out. I went from 320 to 2000 grit and it worked fine. Using this method, it will NEVER be perfect... but it will be less noticeable.
Next, after you are satisfied with how the corossion removal turned out, Mask off fronts of the rims so you can prime and paint the insides. It doesn't matter what paint you use for the insides as long as it's heavy duty and durable. The paint I got was Rust Oleum dark gray that was good for metal surfaces. It didn't match perfectly but it looked very good on the rims.

*Note: this will not be perfect after you peel the tape off, that's why you have the paint thinner to clean up around the edges.

After this, you can peel the tape off and reveal your work. If you are satisfied, continue on.
The next step is to polish the aluminum fronts. If there are any streaks or fingerprints, they will show and be encased in the clearcoat. To polish the rims, I used Mother's mag and aluminum polish. It is good for a nice shine and takes out all the dirt and streaks.
Once you have a good shine on the aluminum, you are ready to clearcoat. Make sure to get a clearcoat that is ExTREMELY durable and can stand up to all weather conditions, especially salt. (i used a spray can)
While applying the clear you want to be in a very well ventilated and well lit area. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle before you coat the rims.
The finished product should look like this:







BEFORE:





I hope this helps if anyone is doing this. This was a first time for me and quite a learning experience. If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask either here or via PM.
I will post pics when I get them on the Legend!
Thanks for looking!!!


BTW Greg, Thanks for the rims!!!
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Old 08-05-08, 09:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow!!

$hit that looks great.
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Old 08-05-08, 09:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Absolutely beautiful work! Thanks for sharing your process, it is certainly going to help me when I refinish my GS rims.

What brand of clear coat did you use?
Looks like you are using the grind wheel that goes on the end of a regular drill. Is it the hard type for rust or is it the wirebrush kind?
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Old 08-05-08, 09:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Impressive turnout !!

Great write-up

=D
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Old 08-05-08, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyTheBullet View Post
Absolutely beautiful work! Thanks for sharing your process, it is certainly going to help me when I refinish my GS rims.

What brand of clear coat did you use?
Looks like you are using the grind wheel that goes on the end of a regular drill. Is it the hard type for rust or is it the wirebrush kind?
Hi, I'll have to get back to you on the clearcoat. I'm not sure what brand I used. I used both a wire brush and a rust grinder on my project. I think that the hard rust grinder works better. Thanks for the comment!
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Old 08-05-08, 10:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow!!

$hit that looks great.
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Old 08-06-08, 08:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I believe I used DuPont clearcoat for this project. There are many different types that you can use but I picked this because it is rated well.
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Old 08-06-08, 09:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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looks good man..world of difference!
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Old 08-06-08, 10:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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were those deep scratches or jus paint chips? i want to redo my tls but the scratch are pretty deep.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by STR8H00D201 View Post
were those deep scratches or jus paint chips? i want to redo my tls but the scratch are pretty deep.
Most of the scratches in mine were just in the clearcoat. Once I removed the clearcoat, they were really shiny. There were some scratches that were pretty deep so all I could do was lightly grind around them and then buff them. If yours are really deeply scratched, you might want to have them remachined by a pro.
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Old 08-10-08, 11:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Holy crap! Those are my rims? Damn, man, that's some good work. I'm impressed.
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Old 08-10-08, 06:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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wow turned out great, good work
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Old 08-10-08, 06:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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THE SILVER 7 SPOKES?????

Who would try this on a set of silver 7 spoke wheels? If I get something to ride on for about a week I'd try it.. Is it worth it?
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Old 08-11-08, 01:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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GREAT WORK! Yes I meant the all caps. You are a very handy young man. First you restored the car from rust hell and now the wheels. They look great. Nice write up. Can't wait for pics with the wheels on so I can see my twin.
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Old 06-18-09, 09:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nice job on the wheels. How long did it take you to finish the wheels
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