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Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
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Magnum TE Offline
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Post: #1
Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
Is this the right forum for this?

I've got a set of OEM Honda alloys that I'm going to put on my Wife's car (got from a buddy for a bro deal). They had a rattle can black paint job on them that's all flaked off. My plan is to media blast them and prime paint+clear some color of her choosing onto them.

Anything I should concern myself with during the bead blasting process? I've never done alloy wheels before. The glass bead media is very fine, I forgot what it said on the bucket, but it's large dust particle, whole wheat flower kinda fine.

I'm just going to blast every inch of the rim unless I get told otherwise.

After media blasting I'm going to wash, air duster dry, degrease, prime and paint. I'm thinking about using some rustolium enamel primer and paint, seems easy to lay down and lots of color choice. I've got some old 2 part clear that I may gun a few coats on just to make it stronger.

Any better ideas on paint? I have no idea what color she wants to choose, I'm trying to not make the car embarasing to drive around in... what's more embarrassing than a Light Blue/Green '92 Tercel 2 door with flaking clear? That car with Safety Orange 15" honda alloys.

said rim:
[Image: 15%20Inch%20Split%205%20Spoke.jpg]

Before and after:
[Image: Photo328.jpg]
(This post was last modified: 02-15-2012 02:15 AM by Magnum TE.)
01-24-2012 12:17 AM
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volvogeek Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
I refinished a set of Thors that had a LOT of curb rash, and all I did was take a sanding block to 'em to rough up the surface a bit. No primer, just top coat, though I DO think I put a bit of clear on them to make sure they'd last. It would have definitely been easier to blast them than sand them, but you use what you've got, right?

[ Richard Langis ] [ Yeti | Betty | MooMoo ]
[Image: 6818504367_35ecb7f0e7_o.jpg]
01-24-2012 01:32 AM
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Gross Polluter Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
I just want to say good luck, we're all counting on you.

Don't know if it's just the finish on Virgo's, but after stripping mine and powder coating them I'll never EVER blast or otherwise attempt to strip a set of factory finished wheels again.

If you're just painting the wheels then what volvogeek suggested would be a better route.

68 Rustang - MS'd 351C
88 245 - 2JZGTE VVTi powered, MS3X/MSGPIO controlled
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01-24-2012 02:14 AM
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Magnum TE Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
Why's that GP? Why won't your blast factory wheels? I am just planning on painting them, but I though it'd be easier to just blast them than to hand sand them Sad.

At work we've got an industrial sized media blaster, I could fit 3 wheels at once on the rotisserie. Also air is from a pair of roots style 176SCFM compressors. It never runs low on air and never runs low on media.

So what's the catch?

Ken's already directed me to some dupli-color wheel paint which I will use instead of the aforementioned rostolium.
01-24-2012 03:22 AM
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thebornotaku Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
When I did the rims on the 240 (the steelies), all I did was wash them, then spray them. On the car. The paint started to chip a little bit so I sprayed them, again, on the car. I used high temp engine enamel and they still look pretty good imo.

If you want to do it right though, I'd say watch this:

1985 Volvo 245DL "The Battlewagon"
1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle "Diego"
01-24-2012 03:35 AM
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Gross Polluter Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
(01-24-2012 03:22 AM)Magnum TE Wrote:  So what's the catch?

I can only speak for doing my Virgos and a set of DSM wheels, but I'm sure my experience is pretty general.

The coating on OEM wheels is gnarly stuff, it's thick and tough. Try blasting it with glass media and that coating will straight up say "come at me bro". Even using coarse garnet I was at it for 10 hours each wheel when I did mine. Media blast doesn't lift wheel coating like it does paint, it just slowly erodes the coating away.

If you're really adamant about blasting then I'd suggest removing as many layers of coating as you can with Jasco or similar methylene chloride based stripper compound. It'll aid the blast media in getting under the coating to lift it up.

But, unless you're powder coating the wheels it isn't necessary to strip down to the bare metal. If the existing coating is in acceptable shape then roughing it up with some sand paper would provide a good substrate for paint.

IMHO, you're only creating more work for yourself by trying to blast your wheels with glass media.

68 Rustang - MS'd 351C
88 245 - 2JZGTE VVTi powered, MS3X/MSGPIO controlled
98 XJ - Stock(ish)
(This post was last modified: 01-24-2012 03:59 AM by Gross Polluter.)
01-24-2012 03:58 AM
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volvogeek Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
I DID blast mine a bit, but that was mainly to get at the corners and where there was very nasty caked-on brake dust and crap. I don't think the blaster even really touched the OEM paint, now that I think about it. I believe this was this sand-sized glass media as well, but I'd have to double check.

[ Richard Langis ] [ Yeti | Betty | MooMoo ]
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01-24-2012 05:01 AM
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thebornotaku Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
(01-24-2012 05:01 AM)volvogeek Wrote:  I DID blast mine a bit, but that was mainly to get at the corners and where there was very nasty caked-on brake dust and crap. I don't think the blaster even really touched the OEM paint, now that I think about it. I believe this was this sand-sized glass media as well, but I'd have to double check.

Yeah, it seems to me like blasting it will act more like a thorough cleaning and less like a good way to strip off the factory coating.

Just hit it with some good sandpaper to roughen it up and don't worry about taking it down bare imo. especially if it's just for the tercel. you can always touch it up with a quick shot of spray paint if you're really worried.

1985 Volvo 245DL "The Battlewagon"
1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle "Diego"
01-24-2012 05:38 AM
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badvlvo Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
Took me about 1.5 hr each to blast the last set of virgos I did, but with a smaller setup I could see it taking a while.

Consider sanding the flakes, washing down with muriatic acid, rinsing, prepping and painting as an option. Easier and worthy of the Tercel.


When are you going to get the lady a real car?

I know the meaning of life.
01-24-2012 08:52 AM
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Magnum TE Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
(01-24-2012 08:52 AM)badvlvo Wrote:  When are you going to get the lady a real car?

When we can afford a c30 I guess, that's the only new car she really wants.

I'm still going to blast them, at least to get the flaky paint off and clean them a bit, if the OE paint comes off cool, if not well then I'll sand them.

Thanks for the tips.
01-24-2012 02:29 PM
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Spugs Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
(01-24-2012 02:29 PM)Magnum TE Wrote:  
(01-24-2012 08:52 AM)badvlvo Wrote:  When are you going to get the lady a real car?

When we can afford a c30 I guess, that's the only new car she really wants.


I like her style.
01-25-2012 08:35 AM
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Magnum TE Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
I go to an off shift on the 13th, I should have some time to get this sorted.

These are going to look pretty silly on the TerKel, I don't know if I'm down with it.
(This post was last modified: 02-02-2012 02:58 PM by Magnum TE.)
02-02-2012 02:56 PM
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Magnum TE Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
Ok got to work on this last night and tonight. About 12min per wheel resulted in awesomeness!

Loads of room: (15" wheels)
[Image: Photo327.jpg]

Before and after:
[Image: Photo328.jpg]

One done:
[Image: Photo329.jpg]

Close up:
http://i483.photobucket.com/albums/rr191...oto330.jpg

The Media used:
[Image: Photo332.jpg]

Now to clean, convert and paint.
(This post was last modified: 02-15-2012 02:19 AM by Magnum TE.)
02-15-2012 02:18 AM
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Michael Yount Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Bead blasting wheels and paint ??
If you're repainting, the original paint/coating doesn't have to come all the way off. It just has to be clean/roughed up to accept the new paint. You can get there with either media blasting or sanding. Media choice (glass, shell/hulls - probably not sand) and pressure (relatively low) are important. It's pretty easy to cause damage with higher pressure sand and soft aluminum wheels. None of that comes into play with sanding. I painted mine about 10 years/30k miles ago. Much like the video link above -- clean throughly, dry sand 320 grit, wet sand 600 grit, well dried, mask tire, rattle can paint, Eastwood rattle can semi-gloss clear. They've held up amazingly well.

[Image: DSC00065-1.jpg]

I'm about to sell these and put on some 17x8 wheels. I've done a good bit of research about powder coating and have decided not to risk it. Of course with coating -- the wheel has to come down to bare metal. There is a lot of information but no clear conclusion about what may or may not happen to the manufacturer's heat treat/annealing work when you bake aluminum wheels at the 350F-400F range required to set the coating. Powder coating kills the warranty on almost everyone's new aluminum wheels. I'll likely take the same approach I did above. It takes some time -- but I could do worse than spending some time sanding wheels on a nice spring day under a Carolina blue sky....

1982 242 5.0L
(This post was last modified: 03-31-2012 08:57 AM by Michael Yount.)
03-31-2012 08:54 AM
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