So the process went like this...
I dropped the wheels off and chose a colour... Initially I thought the factory finished anthracite colour from Caterham would give me a good contrast with the orange rim, but once I had the full set I instantly knew they were too light. So when at Mint alloys I chose a dark grey colour with a bit of a silver metallic flake in, called... well I'll get onto the colour name in a bit...
Here are the wheels with the colour swatch to show the difference in colour that would be achieved.
|Caterham R500 8 spoke 13" wheels in factory finish anthracite grey.|
The wheel gets chemically stripped for roughly a couple of hours and ends up looking like this:-
|Chemically stripped Caterham R500 8 spoke wheel.|
Any light kerb damage would be removed using hand tools, but for the larger deeper damage in some instances a weld will be added proud of the wheel rim then the wheel would be re-profiled accordingly.
The wheel then goes into the blast cabinet for media blasting using an ally oxide for cleaning and keying to allow the powder coat to adhere properly.
|Wheel after media blasting.|
The wheels then go into the clean room where the guys at mint allows apply a coat of an anti corrosive product to the naked wheel to eliminate potential future corrosion problems. The wheel is then placed in the oven and runs through a bake known as a de-gas cycle at a temperature of 200c for approximately 20-25 minutes.
|My wheels with what looks like a set of 997 turbo wheels in the oven in the 'degassing cycle'|
|Wheels powder coated in black.|
|Wheel painted with Skoda glitter black|
|Wheels with Powder Lacquer coat before final baking.|
Having used Mint Alloys a number of times in the past, I was once again left very happy with the end result. They really do a good job, and with all the equipment they have, they make your wheels like new again. A link to their site is here http://www.mintalloys.com and it's best to speak with Andy (who loves Caterhams and used to race in the Academy in 2002!) or his business partner Keith.
On the way back from Mint Alloys I dropped the wheels off to Dave at Daytona Coachworx who will be painting the wheel rim over the next three or four weeks. We discussed where the rim should be masked to and how large the orange rim will be. After looking at some pictures online we decided to go right around the curved section of the rim and a sample mask was laid onto the wheel.
|New wheels with a sample mask laid onto rim.|
|Mactac Semi Flourescent orange decals on Caterham R500 match RAL 2004 colour code.|