I hope this will be a good contribution to the forum. I wouldn't say this is a HowTo thread but rather just documenting what some of you may have to go through to save an expensive set of aftermarket wheels or even your factory wheels if they have seen better days. Powdercoating is a nice way to get durable coated wheels, if done properly. I do powdercoat and bead blast on the side and love the stuff. But look at the following and take notice, not all shops are equal.
Well I finally got the wheels Ive been searching for finally. The optional 17" wheels for the SLP GTX package for I believe the 97-03 Grand Prixs, GT or GTP. Best wheels for the cars in my opinion, or maybe I couldn't decide on aftermarkets, guess right and win a prize.
Well, they are known for the chrome to flake and the previous owner decided to have his wheels powder coated white to match his car. Said he had problems with his sandblast guy and the powder coat guy. No Biggie I figure. Strip the powder and polish them. Sorry about the quality of the cell photos.
I figured the blasters missed some of the chrome and the coater just laid the powder on thick to fill in and messed up. This was the worse wheel, I think.
Decided to test methods of stripping the powder coat on another wheel, To say the least I don't think those are grinder marks, I think we're looking at the aftermath of really really bad place to take aluminum to get sand blasted...
You may be thinking, taking a D/A to an aluminum wheel? Got no choice. The spokes will be slightly flatter than factory, but the only real way I can see to save these wheels. Without resorting to bondo and paint at the moment..I'm not an expert.
So here are more "Highlights" from the bad wheel, this time I stripped it with gasket remover, a bit more easy.
Not sure if that'* casting flaws or what, there was no chrome left on the wheel. I figure that sand blaster struck again....
ooooh pitting and lots of it, the wheels or the car must have came from the north.
So here'* where I am right now, not sure if I will be able to polish these wheels anymore, the pitting between the spokes is horrible in spots and other than hand sanding to keep the contour, I have no other idea to smooth those areas and keep them uniform.
So right now I'm at a stand still. These wheels deserve to be in a chrome or high polish finish. I'd rather not resort to self etch primer, bondo, fill primer and silver paint. Dont think it would look right on my car.
here are examples of both finishes,
slp'* store bought painted 16'*
an original chrome 17" GTX wheel
I know this has been an extremely long post and I hope you guys and gals can help me make a decision. Go the easy way and paint them or go for broke and make them shine.
Really don't think I could make them look worse?!? And don't even say chrome powdercoat, it looks like junk.