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Wednesday 10 September 2014

Painted Wheels and Mud-Terrain Tyres

This post is not in order but lots happened on the same weekend and I'm catching up with posts.

I spent a couple of weekends and evenings over the summer cleaning up and painting an additional set of wheels to fit Mud-Terrain tyres on.

My original wheels are 18" alloys with a good set of All-Terrain tyres already fitted.  I could not find any Mud-Terrain tyres of the right size for 18" wheels so I bought a used set of 16" Land Rover wheels, also for a Discovery, to have Mud-Terrain tyres fitted to.

Not being content with just any old wheels I have taken the opportunity to paint them black.

The shape of wheels is awkward to work round but the process for painting them is fairly straight forward.

I decided to leave the tyres on to avoid damaging the rim while working but I know some people would prefer to have the tyres removed.  I deflated the tyres and masked them which has worked well.  I could angle the spray to cover all visible parts of the bead.

I painted the inside of the wheels where it can be seen from the outside through the spokes. I was careful to mask the back of the wheel where it rests against the hub.  You don't want to end up with a layer of paint sticking and the wheel not being true!

Cleaning the brake dust off took as long as keying the existing paint.  The wheels had some surface corrosion on the back and I scraped the worst of this off to help the paint stick better.  Cosmetically it cannot be seen once the wheels are on the car so I only did the worst.

I used 600 grit wet and dry paper and a drill mounted nylon sanding brush to key the surface inside and out.  Alloy is notorious for being difficult to get paint to stick to but in most cases this is not bare metal so that is not a problem.  Having said that I still put a layer of Adhesion Aid and a couple of layers of primer before the colour.

I just followed the instructions on the tins of spray paint regarding drying time with at least a day between coats of different colours.

On the side of the wheel that you can see when it is on the car I finished off with wheel lacquer to give a nice shinny and strong finish.

I found for all layers it is important to do the inside of the wheel first.  The paint drips through the spoke holes but is easily incorporated in to the paint layer if the outside is covered very shortly after the inside, before it has had a chance to cure.

I gave it a good few days to dry before attempting to remove the masking tape and I also cut round the seam.  The tyre bead was not a problem but where I had masked the wheel nut holes I had some areas to touch up.  I just used a small brush and some of the paint sprayed in to the lid.

In total for the 5 wheels I used one 400ml can of Adhesion Aid, 5 of primer, about 8 of Gloss Black paint and 2 cans of spray wheel lacquer.

Now for the tyres.

For the first time ever I used a mobile tyre fitting service.  I called round several places and the lowest cost was the mobile service I had come across on the Internet.  Ordering was easy online and staying at home to have the job done was so convenient.  I will always do it this way in the future, I don't know why I haven't tried it before.

The end result with the new tyres fitted looks very nice, especially with the finishing touch of some hub centres I found on e-bay.  The advert said they were originally for a Range Rover model.



We went off-roading today and finished off with a jet wash to clean the wheels and bits.  The jet wash was so powerful it stripped off the lacquer from the wheels!  My guess is that the wheel lacquer is not intended for use over paint but is supposed to be used on alloy wheels.

Anyway the black gloss paint is fine so in future I will just add an extra layer of the gloss paint without any lacquer.

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