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I run Audi painted alloys in the winter and have used the same
techniques I have listed to repair the salt corrosion, except I use a brush
for spot repair instead of a spray gun. It gets more difficult with the
clear finish alloy wheels because you cannot use the epoxy and urethane
primers; it is the primer that provides most of the corrosion protection.
The M3 metal conditioner I use can be used on alloy wheels, but it
sometimes gives a "rainbow" tint to the metal surface. This doesn't matter
if you are painting, but I don't know what would happen if you clear-coated
over it. Try a small area of your wheel to see what happens; you can always
sand it off to bare metal again. The metal treatment will go a long way to
giving you a durable job; as well as passivating the metal; it cleans and
chemically etches the surface to give the paint better grip. Check the
literature on the product before you buy to make sure it is compatible with
As for the clear finish, I would try a good two-part urethane clearcoat.
This is the finish used as the topcoat on modern cars and it is very
durable. It is usually available in regular, fast-dry, and hi-build formats.
The hi-build product is designed to go on heavy, giving thicker layers of
paint; you might want to try this for your wheels. The only acceptable way
to apply this stuff is with a spray gun, although it can be successfully
brushed on to small areas if you are experienced (and fast; you've got to
get it right the first time - use a slow reducer if you are going to try
this!). If your wheels are clearcoated over the white paint, you can
clearcoat the whole wheel. Prep by washing with a silcone-wax remover, wet
sand with 600 grit, solvent clean & spray.
From: Dave C. <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Saturday, January 24, 1998 11:34 AM
Subject: Re: Rust
>Nice post on Paint steps.
>I wonder if you can tell me the best way to touch up my alloy wheels?
>They are two tone, mostly white paint with shiny metal around the outer rim
>area. The white paint looks great but the 1 inch wide shiny part is
>shabby. It seems the clear finish is about half gone and it takes a lot of
>work to shine it up.
>I'm thinking of stripping just this part to bare metal. Would the
>phosphoric acid based metal conditioner be suitable for surface prep?
>What clear finish is suitable for use directly on the metal?
>I'd appreciate any suggestions you can make.
>> 2. Treat the bare metal with a phosphoric acid-based metal
>> 3. Base prime with an epoxy-based wash primer such as Dupont Corlar.
>> 4. Top prime with a two-part urethane primer such as Dupont 1020R.
>> 5. Topcoat with good quality paint. I find Dupont's Chromabase
>basecoat/clearcoat system easy to use,
>89 100 w/ 85 k miles
>87 5KS w/ 116 K miles, w/ new bomb
>86 4KQ, w/ Konis and retarded timing (tooth jumped)