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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:06 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 502
My Ride: 2004 330Ci
Refinished Style 71s (Polished Lip) DIY Lots of Photos

Finally completed this project.
Paid $100.00 for the set - all 4 were pretty rough, 2 were rashed all the way around.
Maybe $50.00 in supplies including wax and polish for future use.
Plan on 4 hours per wheel

8mm Triple Square Socket - don't skimp on this...the screws are really tight and you don't need any stripping going on.
Socket Wrench (I used a breaker bar too)
Rubber Mallet
Fine File
Cloth wheel w/ drill attachment for polishing

Simple Green or equivalent
Klean-Strip Peeler Basecoat and Clearcoat Remover
Sandpaper (I used 40 and 80 grit paper, Medium/Fine/Extra-Fine Sanding Blocks, then 1000, 1500, 2000 Grit Paper)
Polishing Compound (I used generic white)
Clay bar for the centers
Hand polish (Mothers Billet worked great)
Wheel wax or sealant

Here's what I started with....Pitted. Rashed, etc. etc.

Soaked the lips in WD40 overnight then started loosening the screws. Took an 8MM Triple square Bit and a breaker-bar because they were so tight. THESE SCREWS WIL BREAK SO TAKE YOUR TIME. Used a rubber mallet to seperate the center from the hoop.

Soaked and scrubbed both pieces (and the screws, actually) in simple green.

The centers turned out to be in decent shape. Clay bar, KLASSE, Poor Boys Sealant and Wheel Wax got me this result - I'd say a 8.5 out of 10

I went through the process of spraying the Klean-Strip, letting it sit for 5-10 min then scraping - 2 or 3 times. You're going to be sanding everything down so don't worry about scraping too much.

Filed down the rash to as smooth as possible w/ the file. (Thankfully a file did the trick, no fill required)

Start wet sanding. Get everything as consistent as possible before going to the next step. Use the 40 to get rid of ALL the discoloration from pitting or damage before moving on.

Here's after 40 grit

This is after 2000 grit

Polish: I used a few drill mounted polish wheels and basic white paste. 3 big pieces of advice. 1. Tape up the nut holding the wheel to the bit. The wheel slipped a few times on me and nicked the rim which called for re-doing that section. 2. Rake your wheel often. That gets rid of the metal shavings and old polish. 3. A little polish goes a long way. If you end up w/ black junk on the rim, you're using too much.

Here's after polish. I took them to a solid shine. I'm sure I could have gotten to a mirror finish w/ the right compounds. I opted not to, mainly because this is my daily driver and maintaining a mirror finish seems a bit much.

Used Mothers Billet by hand, Poor Boys Sealant and Wheel Wax before I put them back together.

I decided to not clearcoat as any flaking, rash etc would = redoing the entire wheel from step one. I'll be maintaining w/ hand polish and wax.

Reassembly: I'm too cool for a torque wrench so I went 1/4 past wrench tight w a breaker bar. Do so at your own risk.


$100.00 for 4 rough wheels
$50.00 in supplies
$120.00 for slightly used tires off of CL (I know-risky)
$60.00 to mount and balance

$330.00 plus maybe 4 hours per wheel for 8/10 summer set.
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