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I have a red and white '01 F4i and I want to make the rims white. But I am not sure if I should paint the rims or have them powdercoated. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.:D
 

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If you are going to get them done professionally, go ahead and get them powder coated. Powder coat should be more durable than a regular paint coating.
 

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You may find that you like them better stripped, than painted!! You should have aluminum wheels and when stripped and sanded and polished, the have a almost chrome shine to them. 100 for powdercoat seems a little high, guess it depends on where you are located. I have seen powdercoat starting at 45 for both wheels and up to 120 for both. Search you local paint shops and do most of the work yourself and save some bucks. Make sure you tape over the bearing areas or remove them and stripping them yourself will save you a lot of labor cost.
 

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I used to work in powder coating - just a couple of tips:
- make sure your coater has a zinc phosphate system, not iron. Alloys and/or aluminum will not etch without zinc. This will GREATLY help with adhesion.
- go ahead and pay extra for a clear coat over the color - it's well worth it.
- use polyester or acrylic based powder with UV protection - this will help it weather better - won't get that ashy coating after a while like some of the cheaper powders do.
 

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powdercoating rims

I've heard that the heat you use to bake the powdercoat to the rim could weaken the aluminum. Any truth to that?
 

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powdercoating rims

"IF weaking of them were any concern, I dont think anyone would do it."


I've seen multiple car stereos wired with scotch tape. By this logic, just because the stereo works, and a fuse hasn't blown, or the car hasn't started on fire, using scotch tape is OK. It's not.

I guess I'm just looking for a more technical answer: "The aluminum will retain its strength as long as it's not heated over xxx degrees." That sort of thing.
 

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You'd have to speak with a metallurgist to get xxx of degrees, but I can tell you I have coated aluminum engine parts (intake manifolds) that cured at 400 deg. F for 30 minutes - apparently this was acceptable to the auto companies. Just the fact they use aluminum in engine components should verify that temps at 500 or so don't hurt the metal. We did not fixture the manifolds to keep them from warping.

I would imagine a wheel would cure at 375 or so, and can't belive that would hurt it.
 

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I'm a mehcanical engineer and it's not necessarily true that heating an aluminum will weaken it. Heat treat for aluminum is usually referred to as "aging." As the aluminum is "aged" the strength increases to a certain point and if continued to be "aged" the strength starts to decrease. This is referred to as "over-aging." You would have to know the alloy used for the wheels to be absolutely certain, but the time and temperatures typically used for aluminum heat treating (T6 for example) are stages of anywhere from 400 to 900 degree F range for 8-12 hours at a time and then the material has to be cooled in a special way. So the 30 minutes at 400 degrees F for powdercoating shouldn't have much of an effect.
 

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I've painted a lot of wheels and polished many more and both provide fairly easy touch-up. I have never tried this with powder coating. Paint chips and dings are common place and even good bike shops will make a mess out of your paint with their big heavy duty tire changer. I would need to know how effectively you could touch up the powder coated items, without having to strip it and start over. Anyone done this?

This is another real concern with chrome plating. Only now your talking really big bucks to deal with chips and dings.
 

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yeah, they should be.. my thought was to save you the labor, the guess work of the shop( is there work going to stand up?) i've seen them dirt cheap ,and mine are 15 years old and still look great.. just my thoughts
 

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Powder Coat

Powder Coat should be more durable. Just remember that it is more final. If you think that later you may want to polish your rims you are better off painting. One other option is to anodise a different colour. It's not that cheap but looks factory standard. I've nickle plated mine after I polished them cause I like things to shine!;)
 

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Powdercoating wouldnt be heated enough to weaken the aluminum...u dont usually go over 400 deg not like u are taking them to 1500 and then weaken the aluminum...sometimes chroming weakens the rims i have heard it makes them brittle and it cracks if the job is done poorly. just make sure u get it done by a good place.
 

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bob said:
I used to work in powder coating - just a couple of tips:
- make sure your coater has a zinc phosphate system, not iron. Alloys and/or aluminum will not etch without zinc. This will GREATLY help with adhesion.
- go ahead and pay extra for a clear coat over the color - it's well worth it.
- use polyester or acrylic based powder with UV protection - this will help it weather better - won't get that ashy coating after a while like some of the cheaper powders do.
I have a set of magnesiums that I got cheap. I just got them straightened and called up a powder coat company. They said it generally costs $150 to bead blast and power a set of motorcycle wheels.

Now, if you make sure they use a zinc based power, that will adhear to aluminum better, what about magnesium?

The wheels I got, second hand, are powder coated, but is peeling everywhere. What does this mean? And what do I have to look for, with powder coating magnesiums?
 

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Very sorry, missed your post - hopefully you'll see this even though it's been a month.
The zinc referred to is the pre-treatment, or wash system - zinc would also be preferred for magnesium. It will work just fine.
The powder coat is peeling because adhesion is lacking. If they're factory coated they must either be old or have been seriously weather abused. If they were coated aftermarket, they're probably peeling because of poor pretreatment. Have them bead blasted with a plastic media (most powder coaters have their own blasters) before they pre-treat and coat them. Other than that, just make sure they use an acrylic or polyester powder, and don't forget to have them clear coat (also a powder paint) after the color is applied.
 

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Bob,

Many thanks. I didn't know clear came in powder form. I would have overlooked that one.

A friend of mine just told me he found a coater in Santa Clara, CA (reputable, does a lot of racebikes) for $45 a wheel, including blasting! I'll have to go check them out.
 
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