Saturday, April 18, 2009

Repainting My Track Wheels

With the help of my friend Thomas (who has obviously been very kindly sponsoring me onto Camp Zama, where the Auto Shop is...) I have been working on repainting my track wheels. Also, we took the opportunity today to do a little mod to improve the air flow into the engine (see next post).

A little history. A few years ago, I bought the four wheel set - standard R33 GT-R alloy rims - off of Yahoo Auctions. Looked pretty good from the photos, but when I got them, well let's just say that the seller overestimated his painting skills. But no matter, they were my track wheels, so I really didn't care how they looked. But as they got dirtier and dirtier, it occured to me that I could probably do a better job painting (based on the excellent result from painting my front lip spoiler).

So, two weekends ago, we took the tires off two rims, and proceded to prep them.

We decided to sandblast, sandpaper and use a grinding wheel on one. After a few hours, we realized that 1) the sandblaster was working, but very slowly - too slowly, 2) the sandpaper was also inefficient, and 3) the grinding wheel caused too much damage.


Grinding wheel

Then someone more experienced at the shop told us we should try using paint remover. Which we did, last weekend. While Thomas was indexing my plugs - see previous post - I managed to finish the two wheels. We also removed the tires from the other two rims.

Here is the prep:

Here's how they look when the paint remover begins working - see the bubbling?

After all the paint was removed, the wheel was sandblasted again, and then set on the "paint stand."

Almost forgot to tape up the valve stem.

And so here goes the first layer of paint - heat resistant black! (up to 600 degrees C - recall last time at Fuji Short Course the paint on my calipers melted?)

Stay tuned to see how well they turn out...finished removing the paint from the other two wheels, so they will be prepped and painted during my next visit. I wonder if I should put some red/orange/green pinstriping on the wheels? Just kidding.

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