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Discussion Starter #1
I just got back from Discount Tire where I ordered some 245/60R15 BF Goodrich TA Radials for about $109 each. The rally rims that are on the car now are not terrible but do show some rust. I was thinking about having them blasted by a guy around here for $25/each and then spray paint them myself. Sure the spray paint is somewhat cheesy and cheap, but it would work ok as the chrome center and ring trim would hide much of the rim.

When I made the appt to have them blasted, the guy asked me if I was going to get them powder coated. He said it would be about $50 each.

So I'm looking at 1 of 3 options:

#1 - have them blasted, spray paint them myself = $25/rim

#2 - have them blasted, powder coated = $75/rim

#3 - wait and save that $75/rim and hopefully find some Craigslist rims that are close to Minneapolis.

Obviously having them powder coated would be the best option rather than painted. I like the look of the Cragar rims on the vette, they're a classic by themselves. However, brand new they're around $150/rim, half the price of having mine blasted and powder coated.

I was looking for comments from DC users who might have gone the powder coat route.
 

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Since you have new tires, and are now looking at dropping between $500 to $750 on wheel restoration...have you considered after market wheels?

Are you looking to keep it looking stock or could you think about enhancing the look of the car some with different wheels?

Paint and wheels are the best two ways to set off a car visually.

A nice set of alloy wheels won't cost a whole lot, and will really pop. Polished are a bit more, but are more shiny, and then you can blow it all away with chrome.

I'm a wheel fan though, and I will generally never drive a car with stock wheels.
 

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If you don't want to cash up for new rims, powder coat IMO would be your best way to go. It would look at least as good as the best paint job you could give them, be substantially harder wearing than paint and there are some awesome colours available :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There was a time before I had the car that my brother and I believe that the stock rims and trim looked awful. However, after having the car, I don't think the stock trim on the rally rims looks all that bad. I've already started to redo the center trim pieces, new black paint on them.

This is one of those budget decisions. There are a few aftermarket rims I like, but not within my current budget plans. Even the powder coating was not in my budget plans. The $200 for the set to be powder coated is probably not a bad price.

I think I'd have to have the car for a while with the stock wheels to really know if I'd want to go with aftermarkets. I've looked at the wheel/rim sticky thread and there are definitely some nice Foose ones I'd like, but are way too much $ for me currently, there are more important things to spend the money on.

My car will never be NCRS, so keeping it stock isn't a high priority for me. That said, I'm not going crazy either and having a scoop stick out the hood. :) However, it's good that some of the others on this forum are crazy! :smack

I regularly scope out the Craigslist area, and can usually find some Cragar or America Racing chrome rims that I know look nice on the car, but they're usually not in my immediate area. Of course timing plays an issue with finding stuff on CL as well. I'm not one to buy things sight unseen. The pictures on CL are awefully small. I couldn't buy anything from CL without having some great pictures of the rims, I'd prefer to see them in person as pictures can always hide imperfections or make them worse than they are.
 

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$200 for powder coating and $100 to blast seems high to me.

:down:

I've had larger/harder parts done for less.
I'd shop around.

Personally, if your even considering replacing these in the next 5 years or less, I'd paint them and save the cash toward other stuff. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
$200 for powder coating and $100 to blast seems high to me.

:down:

I've had larger/harder parts done for less.
I'd shop around.

Personally, if your even considering replacing these in the next 5 years or less, I'd paint them and save the cash toward other stuff. :thumbsup:
:agree:

I'd personally blast them myself but my tiny little booth I bought at Harbor Freight isn't big enough. I did buy a blast gun but that created a big mess in my driveway. Could I build my own cabinet, sure, but by the time I buy the materials, build it, and my time included, I'm probably close to the $100. It's more the powder coating that I'm trying to decide upon.

I was thinking more like $20 to strip them. I've never done powder coating before so I have no idea what it would take. I did find a place in town online that does PC, I sent them an email to get a quote.

It's hard to say if I'd replace them anytime soon. I'd have to see them after they're finished before I'd know. Classic chicken and the egg dilemma.
 

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The rims were original painted, and most of the rim is hidden by the beauty ring. I feel powder coat would be a waste of money...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The rims were original painted, and most of the rim is hidden by the beauty ring. I feel powder coat would be a waste of money...
Couldn't agree more as that same thought was in my head when I first thought about what I should do with them. I know they need to be stripped of the rust, that's a given. I already have the primer and gray spray paint for them.

I think you're right, for now it's a waste of money that can go to other things.

Thanks for letting me air my thoughts and getting feedback. :thumbsup:
 

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:agree:

I'd personally blast them myself but my tiny little booth I bought at Harbor Freight isn't big enough. I did buy a blast gun but that created a big mess in my driveway. Could I build my own cabinet, sure, but by the time I buy the materials, build it, and my time included, I'm probably close to the $100. It's more the powder coating that I'm trying to decide upon.

I was thinking more like $20 to strip them. I've never done powder coating before so I have no idea what it would take. I did find a place in town online that does PC, I sent them an email to get a quote.

It's hard to say if I'd replace them anytime soon. I'd have to see them after they're finished before I'd know. Classic chicken and the egg dilemma.
Just to put it in perspective: As you've noted, you'd need a blasting cabinet big enough to handle a rim. How long do you think it would take to strip and blast 4 rims? Then each rim must be spotlessly cleaned before powder coating - any traces of oil or brake fluid etc, will ruin the powder coat. You then might to want to spend some time masking up the lug and valve stem holes with heat proof tape. Then, you're going to need some way of holding a rim so you can coat it and the few places I've seen that do rims will have a setup that will hold 4 rims at once so they can all be shot at the same time. This makes it easier to ensure you spray each rim with the same amount of powder - important, to make sure they all end up the same colour or shade of colour. Then, you need an oven big enough to accomodate at least one rim and however you can support it in the oven - or, an oven big enough to handle the setup that holds the 4 rims. And, no matter what you spray them with, the paint will not be as hard as powder coat :thumbsup:
 

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I would agree with just stripping them and painting them. Only a small portion of the wheel is visible after you put on the trim. They have specific paint that you can buy to match the original also.
Save the money and get nicer caps and trim pieces if you need them.

Also, how are you going about re-doing the caps. I was just thinking about doing that my self but haven't figured out a technique to get the black on the caps.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
trim painting

x2! I've heard of people do this and have wondered how. Masking off every line seems complicated...
I used a gel paint stripper to get 98% of the paint off. Then I'm using a wire wheel with my dremel to gently get off the other 2%. That also cleans them up nicely to get them ready for paint.

As for painting, I don't have a 100% solution yet. My plan was to mask off what I can. The put down a couple layers of black spray paint. Finally, after taking the tape off, use a razor blade to carefully scrape off the excess on the top, leaving the recesses alone, and the tip of those ribs on the side. If that doesn't get it all, then use my 1500 grit sandpaper to finish it off. I may spray on a single layer of clear, not sure on that yet.

At least that's the plan right now, I'm sure it will change once I get to the paint stage.
 

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One thing that came to my mind about masking off the ridges. I wonder if there is a way you can run the ridges in a pool of melted wax. Than you could paint everything and than just pull/scrape off the wax?
 

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I used a gel paint stripper to get 98% of the paint off. Then I'm using a wire wheel with my dremel to gently get off the other 2%. That also cleans them up nicely to get them ready for paint.

As for painting, I don't have a 100% solution yet. My plan was to mask off what I can. The put down a couple layers of black spray paint. Finally, after taking the tape off, use a razor blade to carefully scrape off the excess on the top, leaving the recesses alone, and the tip of those ribs on the side. If that doesn't get it all, then use my 1500 grit sandpaper to finish it off. I may spray on a single layer of clear, not sure on that yet.

At least that's the plan right now, I'm sure it will change once I get to the paint stage.
Can you post a closeup pic of the rim to show what areas you're trying to mask up?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Can you post a closeup pic of the rim to show what areas you're trying to mask up?
I'll get a pic up here today some time.

One other method that you could possibly use is to take a small paint brush and use that to paint between the ridges. I think the guy I talked to who had done this said he used modelers paint and quickly wiped up any excess he got onto an area he didn't want. Just an option.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here's what I currently have done on a single "guinea pig" center trim. Once it's dry, I'll use a razor blade to shave off the paint on the areas that shouldn't have it like the ridges.

If it doesn't work, at worst I just re-strip it and do it all over again.











 

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Ah, ok. Dunno how sharp the edges will be after scraping the paint away with a razor later. I think you might end up with marks in the areas you remove the paint from too, scrape marks from the razor blade. Not so much on the straight "fins" but on the upper, convex surface where the writing is.

Just a thought, if you spent the time on a computer and Photoshop (or similar) you could get a mask for the top made in vinyl. I guess that would be a lot of work and maybe not really viable to do just 4 hubcaps, but if they were spot on, you could always sell them.

I would try using pin striping vinyl to mask the "fins".

Just my 2c...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
finished

Here are the results. Now you have to remember that my center trim wasn't in pristine condition when I started this. There were scrapes and imperfections all over it. That made it harder to get every tiny piece of black paint off. Also, if you look close enough on the top part by the letter and circles, you'll see the paint up to the edge isn't always as perfect as I would like. Could I spend more time and pretty up the cap even more, sure, but it'll do for now as I've got too much else on my plate.

But trust me, if you're looking that closely at my center trim to try and find imperfections on my car, you don't have to go that far!









Jeff
 
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