Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Orange Wheel Rims and Woes

So following on from my last wheel post where I'd had the wheels repainted by mint alloys, taken them to Daytona Coachworx and supplied Dave (at Daytona Coachworx) the RAL 2004 colour to paint the wheel rims... Well they're finished and they look ace...

Here is the painstaking process he had to go through in detail to achieve a painted rim... 
Dave started by meticulously flattening the wheels, barrel and spokes with 1500 grit superfine wet and dry which took around half an hour per wheel.
8 spoke wheel after flattening with 1500 grit superfine wet and dry
8 spoke wheel after flattening with 1500 grit superfine wet and dry
He then masked the inside of barrel and the spokes were masked with a fine masking tape which took around two hours per wheel!
Inside of the wheel barrel masked
Inside of the wheel barrel masked
Masking around where the spokes meet the rim was apparently fiddly
Masking around where the spokes meet the rim was apparently fiddly
Once where the spokes meet the rim were masked the entire spokes were masked.
Spokes being masked
Spokes being masked
All spokes and wheel centre masked
All spokes and wheel centre masked
And the final part in the masking process was to mask the outside of the wheel barrel to avoid any orange overspray - which is sort of attention to detail I really like.  This also totted up the  total 'masking time' of each wheel to nearly three hours!
Wheel barrel masked to avoid orange overspray
Wheel barrel masked to avoid orange overspray
The rim was de-greased in the spray booth with a panel-wipe degreaser and sprayed with three coats of the orange RAL 2004 colour I specified.
Wheel rim sprayed with RAL 2004
Wheel rim sprayed with RAL 2004
Two wheels painted with orange rims
Two wheels painted with orange rims
Once the orange coats were allowed to dry Dave had to be extremely careful in peeling each piece of masking off, to save damaging the paint which took around another half an hour per wheel...

The wheel was then completely degreased and the ridge between the orange rim and the black of the barrel was again flattened with 1500grit wet and dry to make it look as seamless as possible.

And finally a coat of clear coat was applied, left to flash off for half an hour or so, then another clear coat applied to give that high gloss finish.
Wheel finished off with a couple of clear coats
Wheel finished off with a couple of clear coats
Masking removed and I think they look superb
Masking removed and I think they look superb
Well, I think they look amazing.... All that's left to do now is get the ZZR's fitted to them - I even got 'excited' and test fitted a rim the other night.  As you can see from the picture below the colour match is perfect, and they're going to look superb once the ZZR's are fitted....
Wheel with orange rim test fitted
Wheel with orange rim test fitted
Onto the ZZR fitting
To cut a long story short - it didn't happen.  Why?  The sidewall of the ZZR is so stiff that it was practically impossible for the fitters to get the tyres on without damaging the orange rim.  Nightmare! 

So after weighing up my options and speaking to Dave I'm going to find an alternate tyre fitter, and somehow try to get the tyre sidewalls slightly warmed before getting them fitted.  After asking some advice on blatchat, it seems most people don't experience a problem fitting ZZR's; but then aren't so 'precious' about damaging the rims. 

Anyway... Dave said get them fitted, see what damage (if any) is done, and then he'll sort them out and make them look perfect.  He's really done a spot on job and comes highly recommended - a link to his site is here http://www.daytonacoachworx.co.uk

I see now why no-one else has painted rims on a Caterham and it also makes sense why the new Apollo wheels on the 620R have diamond cut rims too.

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