Wheel rim polishing

Bmachine

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When contemplating which wheels to use on my car I decided that I liked the look of the Style 5 on the coupe but also read several people stating that the 17" size was a little too big for a suspension which was designed for 14 inchers.

So I picked up a set of 16" BMW style 5's which are one piece instead of two on the 17". But I liked the look of the polished lip so I decided to try and replicate that. One way to do it is to lift the back end of the car up and use your motor as a lathe. At first I did that and, after taping the inside basket weave, started sanding the outer rim. Much to my disappointment, it took FOVERER to sand down to the aluminium. It turns out that those wheels have a hihgly resistant coat of paint on them and trying to sand that down is nearly impossible. Plan B was to use some aircraft paint remover. It did that but it took 4 or 5 applications and serious scrubbing to get most of that out.

Then it was back on the car/lathe to do the final polishing.

I am pleased with the end result. But it certainly took A LOT of work to get to that point. I believe I read that to get this done professionally runs about $100 per corner. So, it's a $400+ savings. But no easy ride.

Here are the Before, During and After pics.
 

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HB Chris

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Vince,

What size wheels are they? I just bought a 75 2002 for my 16 YO son as a father son project and want to at least go 14".
 

afeustel

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Wheels on an o2

Chris, I think you saw pictures of this but I really liked the 14" wheels on my o2. I think they are Fiat Lancia wheels. They were a perfect fit and no mods or spacers needed.

Drew
 

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vince

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Vince,

What size wheels are they? I just bought a 75 2002 for my 16 YO son as a father son project and want to at least go 14".
Hey Chris,

They are 15x7s, ET25. The same exact wheels that are on the Clarion '02 but I went with custom made shorty caps.
 

bluecoupe30!

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You did an excellent job! I recently had my 17 inch Style 5s rebuilt/polished for my E39 touring. Huge difference, I did not think anyone could get the shine and finish at home that shows in your pix. $$$ saved, now you can afford that motel room in Monterey in August! Mike
 

Bmachine

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You did an excellent job! I recently had my 17 inch Style 5s rebuilt/polished for my E39 touring. Huge difference, I did not think anyone could get the shine and finish at home that shows in your pix. $$$ saved, now you can afford that motel room in Monterey in August! Mike
Haha. Thanks for that bluecoupe. Yep, $400 should buy me at least an afternoon at a cheap motel at that time. ;-). I think I may keep it for my 5 speed upgrade instead... :)
 

Arde

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Chris, I think you saw pictures of this but I really liked the 14" wheels on my o2. I think they are Fiat Lancia wheels. They were a perfect fit and no mods or spacers needed.

Drew
Chris I have a set from the Lancia Monte Carlo looking for a good home, in case they fit.
They are 14. FPS alloys made in 1974.
 

Laldog

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They look awesome.

I have the same wheels and have been thinking about doing the same thing.
A few questions:
 

Laldog

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Did you take the wheels apart?

Any tips on that?

Did you powder coat the middle(basketweave) section?

What paint did you use if you didn't powder coat?

Thanks.
 

HB Chris

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They do look nice but 4 1/2 is the early narrow steel size and if 4x98 vs 4x100 it might take some fine machining to fit on the studs.
 

Markos

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Looks good! Those are 16x8's correct? I see these wheels for sale on CL all the time for $300 or so.
 

Bmachine

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Thanks Markos. Yes, 16x8.

I lucked out and found them for $150.
Set of Dunlops 215/55/16 on Tire Rack: $400 shipped
Mounting and balancing: $115
Tons of elbow grease to polish the lips: No (monetary) charge.

The only thing I had to do was add 5mm spacers in the front. Could have done with 2mm on passenger side but driver side required 5 for some reason. The lug nuts have 13mm of contact threads which is probably ok for leisurely ease. But anything more than that, I will need to go for longer wheel studs.
 
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