Sunday, September 7, 2008

Powder Coating Wheels and Rims, part 2

In my previous article, we discussed various situations with powder coating wheels and how they affected the wheel after it was cured. It dawned on me today that while yes, many people have been wondering if it was safe or not, many others are simply trying to decide which style and what powder coating system or powder coating equipment to actually do their wheels with.

Powder coating wheels is pretty simple in the terms of application and curing, but where the real skill comes in is... what design are we going for with the wheels. This will largely depend on the wheel itself just as much as the equipment, but various performance wheels and standard alloy rims will give a much broader range of ideas.

At this point, I'm really kicking myself for not knowing how to crop images and all and put them in here... I swear I will figure this out soon and upload some, but for now, you're going to take a visual journey with me as we start powder coating wheels.

The very first part is to look at the wheel you're actually working with. Is it a forged alloy, a 3 piece modular rim, or a steel rim. Starting with the steel rims, there really isn't much we can do to make these bad boys look beautiful, as they're generally just stamped steel, and for the most part painted or powder coated black. You could give it some flare, by giving it a red edge around the exterior of the rim. This is where powder coating wheels can make the so so and drab wheel turn into something beautiful... and still be extremely cheap.

Stepping into the forged alloys or even cast alloys, we have a few different setups we can work with now. Depending on your powder coating equipment, you may be able to do in upwards of 4-5 colors on a single rim. This can take a very basic, $60 each alloy wheel and make them look like a set of rims costing well over $1000.00 for the set. Picture this one with me in regards to powder coating wheels. You have a standard split 5 star rim (meaning 10 spokes, but each spoke is paired with another one and running parallel). There is also a damaged but visible 2" lip going across the wheel, and a machined inset for the lug holes. Powder coating wheels like this will seriously take some time, but lets say we're working with a black car with blue and silver accents. The front of the spokes can be done in a super jet black, and then masked off. Spray the sides of the spokes in a royal blue so that straight on it is completely not noticeable, but as the rims are view from an angle you now have blue highlights on them. The pronounced lip on the wheel can be powder coated in a almost chrome like finish, and you can toss any color you want, or leave it black, on the machined inset section in the center of the rim. You now have up to 4 colors on a single rim, and the key to making them look good like this was in the preparation. If done correctly, people that see your set of wheels will have an entirely different outlook on powder coating wheels.

Getting into actually the easiest of the 3 styles to powder coat is the 3 piece rim. These wheels generally have a center section which includes the design and the hub, an exterior rim which goes outwards, and an interior rim which goes inwards. All 3 pieces bolt together around the edge of the center section, and similarly, they unbolt as well too. These individual screws give many more opportunities with powder coating wheels, in the fact that we can easily powder coat them as well too. With roughly the same example as above, and now the added screws, we have an option for a 5th color on a rim. (this doesn't necessarily mean 5 different colors, just 5 sections to apply different colors too, 2 might be black and 3 might be blue, or however you wish to do it).

Whether you decide on 1 color or 5, powder coating wheels can breath new life into old and worn out, tarnished and beat up wheels. I promise you guys I'll have some pics of some of them I have done in my time up on here soon :)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

So with each different color you bake it fully so it will stay on?

Jasmine said...

All powder coating of alloy wheels are performed in our workshop using our state of the art techniques and facilities.

unite tyre changing machine said...

This is really interesting. We must be a keen obeserver about the status of our tires. We must always check our tires form time to time before
going out.

carry on luggage size said...

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Lonnie Summerall said...

You are right! The process and application of powder coating is an easy job. What takes time is actually choosing what color to apply. Really, it seems like a simple task, but it usually takes a lot of time before you can finally decide on the color you want to use. The great thing with powder coating is that it can easily be removed and replaced! :)

Regards,
Lonnie

Sean Castle said...

Wow, I can't believe I found this blog. I'm sad to see that you haven't posted for several years. I also started a powder coating blog, not being aware that another one existed. Its aimed at beginners as well. If you still check your blog comments, you can check it out. Its www.powdercoatguide.com .