DIY AMG I Wheel refurb - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 05-27-2017
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DIY AMG I Wheel refurb

Hi all,

Been a while since I have posted apologies, had a holiday, lots going on work wise etc etc.

So anyway, my r170 came with AMG I wheels, I'm unsure if these were the original wheels on the car, they might be, as the levels of corrosion are pretty bad.

I have had it in the back of my mind for a while I wanted new wheels, pricing is an issue though. I've seen some very pretty AMG V & VII wheels out there for €600-€800 but I'm not about to spend that, given the value of the car. So I came across some AMG I wheels for €160 in need of refurbishment and I need a project at the moment so I said what the hell why not. See below.

1) the three wheels i left in the 'gardening car' overnight
2) All the items you'll need to start the refurb
3)After one very light layer of paint stripper
4) A very heavy layer of paint removed left on
5) Covered with a garbage bag to slow down evaporation

NOTE: When using paint stripper make sure you're in a well ventilated area and use sort of mask to avoid inhaling too many fumes. Same again when repainting.

My plan is to clean the wheel off, prime then paint and lacquer. I will post results of the first one when it's finished, maybe even a video too.

Happy SLK'ing.
RLander.
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#2 Old 05-28-2017
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You've got to give it to Mercedes;

A heavy coat of paint stripper overnight and it's still not coming off the alloy easily, time to get out the wire brush!

Pretty happy with the way the first alloy came out on the face (pic 1), pre primer, paint and topcoat. I will probably get the middle of these alloys sandblasted (the part the tyre connects to) as I had a problem with current alloys where corrosion ruined the seals, even though the seals on these aren't too bad at all, still worth doing for longevity.

*Tool update* - make it easier on yourself, grab a couple of wire brushes which attach to a drill, I have a couple of 18V cordless drills but a corded one will suffice providing you have a power supply near. Might be easier with a mains powered drill to be fair, I went through approximately 4 batteries.

Done the dry run, video will happen next weekend.
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#3 Old 05-29-2017
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Very happy with the way these are coming up.

All being well should be finished by the end of the week, stripping at least, painting maybe a bit longer.
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#4 Old 05-30-2017
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So I've been thinking, dangerous I know...

I'll have two sets of OEM 17" staggered alloys once I've finished this project. This set I want to get as close to OEM colouring as possible will post pictures how they turn out....

This is when the thinking part comes in, I might think about customizing my current set of wheels once they come off and get stripped back.

So far my thoughts are below on the attached picture....Blue glitter spray paint this is just something I knocked up at lunchtime for fun...

What do we think?
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#5 Old 06-02-2017
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Not bad! Not bad at all!! The blue is nice there but i must ask what's the color of your car?
Also what about the details around the rim. I see some scraches. Will they be repaired?
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#6 Old 06-02-2017
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Could be cool, and looking at wheels on your car and thinking "I did that" is very rewarding compared to just buying them.
I put old 14" Camaro Berlinetta wheels on my El Camino because I wanted an older custom look and here is before and after. (I used a different center than the one in the picture). Try to think, "What would the manufacturer do, as an option" when making non-factory changes.
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#7 Old 06-02-2017
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Car is Also blue, I have pictures up on my profile.

I looked around, no-one seems to have done this before, which I find strange?

Yes I have also purchased the correct drill attachment to smooth out any major scratches, there aren't many deep ones thankfully.

Unfortunately I have started the last wheel already, so once this set is complete I will post before & after shots but the video will have to wait until I complete the next set.

Scoring the paint with a Stanley blade before applying the paint stripper seems to be an effective extra, Mercedes paint has really stuck on these wheels, it's impressive.
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#8 Old 06-02-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer4x4 View Post
Could be cool, and looking at wheels on your car and thinking "I did that" is very rewarding compared to just buying them.
I put old 14" Camaro Berlinetta wheels on my El Camino because I wanted an older custom look and here is before and after. (I used a different center than the one in the picture). Try to think, "What would the manufacturer do, as an option" when making non-factory changes.

Those look great.

Weirdly that's exactly what I was thinking about (what would Mercedes do), I'm genuinely surprised no one has thought of adding a touch of colour to the engraved amg logo before now, maybe they have and I just cant find it.
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#9 Old 06-02-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLander View Post
Those look great.

Weirdly that's exactly what I was thinking about (what would Mercedes do), I'm genuinely surprised no one has thought of adding a touch of colour to the engraved amg logo before now, maybe they have and I just cant find it.
Thanks, I was going to polish/sand out small scratches, but after cleaning, then masking, and painting, I thought they looked good enough. I really like the bare machined look on wheels, and they came out nice. They were originally painted grey on the inserts where I painted blue. Masking them took almost an hour each with all of those curved ribs.
Here is what they look like on it.

I missed what color your SLK is, also, if putting refurbed wheels on, don't neglect the wheel bolt heads!
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#10 Old 06-02-2017
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That looks great, even though I'm not a huge fan of that type of vehicle that really does look good.

come across some curb rash under some of that corrosion tonight so will buff that out once I've finished stripping the paint, this is taking me much longer than I had anticipated, part of me wants to just say, forget it and pay for sand blasting the entire wheel(s), but I've gotten so far now...

I think I'm using the wrong type of paint stripper really still will keep my busy for a few weeks.
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#11 Old 06-03-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLander View Post
That looks great, even though I'm not a huge fan of that type of vehicle that really does look good.

come across some curb rash under some of that corrosion tonight so will buff that out once I've finished stripping the paint, this is taking me much longer than I had anticipated, part of me wants to just say, forget it and pay for sand blasting the entire wheel(s), but I've gotten so far now...

I think I'm using the wrong type of paint stripper really still will keep my busy for a few weeks.
Yeah, I didn't strip paint, I painted over the light grey with the blue. The bare parts were already bare. Also, try to find some real Mag Wheel cleaner, not something that says "Safe for..." anything You don't want safe for painted, safe for plastic, safe for chrome... That stuff is real acid, and will foam slightly as the bare metal is attacked. BUT only use it on the BARE wheel, not center cap or anything else, and after a couple min of it foaming, scrub the heck out of it with a stiff brush, and don't let it dry (you'll get spots), then rinse,rinse,rinse. Then do your finishing work.
I think it is something like this (the "Etching" is a new thing in the name, I guess they are trying to really let you know what it is)
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#12 Old 06-03-2017
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Thanks for the heads up, again!

I have all four faces of the wheels 99.5% stripped back, just a little touching up to do, then it's onto the insides!

Planning on cleaning them down with a strong de-greaser and wire brush once finished stripping and then power washing after; before priming. I think I've put in 15-20 hours already by now.

Will be worth it though once they are finished.

They're looking pretty sweet, hopefully get some sunshine tomorrow so I can take pics.

At this point I don't think I can wait until I refurbish the set currently on the car to try my customization, I'm going to go all in on this first set and see how it turns out.

Wish me luck & Happy SLK'ing.
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#13 Old 06-03-2017
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I have had rims sandblasted from one of the local machine shops they put them in the booth and come out perfectly stripped and when you paint them they take the primer nicely because it has something to grasp onto. Usually costs about 20 bucks per rim. Good luck with the project and Dare to be different --Customize them!
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#14 Old 06-04-2017
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...Almost finished stripping the faces.

Soon will be time to do the inner and finally the outer (where the seal is)

First picture is how they used to look, second pic is how they look now;

Still need to finish up the one on the far right.

Once all finished a good scrub down with some steel wool and some degreaser followed by a pressure wash and dry them off ready for priming!
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#15 Old 06-04-2017
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So yea,

Have three of the inners pretty much done, there's a few odd small patches of paint left on them(see pics), I may go back over them before washing down, haven't decided yet. A lot is going to depend on energy levels in the next week; enjoying this more now though coming towards the end of it, seeing real results now.

Had a hard time getting some of the corrosion off, pretty much got it all now I think though.

Still have to do the outers, no sure if I will bother doing them entirely, may just brush down the seals to make sure the corrosion doesn't mess with tire rpessure again, prime and paint them.

****Stupid question of the day****
Is lacquer the same as top/clear coat?
Just been doing some research there, I have an acrylic lacquer, will this perform the same as top-coat? Meaning will it give the wheels a nice shine and does the paint under it also have to acrylic?

****Any and ALL opinions appreciated!!****

Thanks, and happy SLK'ing

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#16 Old 06-04-2017
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Yes it is. The silver metallic paint will be Matt, top coat / lacquer gives it shine.

I had mine done professionally, the guy said they use a lacquer that is particularly tough and good at standing up to brake dust. Not sure what type it was sorry, but clearly there is different types. Perhaps other members can confirm yours is okay or recommend one.

After my wheels were done and after some research on detailing websites, I sealed them with GTechniq C5 Wheel Armour. Two years later they still look great. Only damage is on the inside from ham-fisted tyre technicians.

Keep up the good work.
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Upgrades: X pipe and secondary cats delete, smart top, John's 3rd brake light module, DRLs, carbon rear spoiler wrap, black vinyl roof wrap, rear window tint, chrome front indicator bulbs, led number plate bulbs, white fog light bulbs, extra bright led reversing bulbs, stubby antenna, refurbished wheels in chrome silver rims and anthracite sparkle centres, remapped by GAD Tuning.
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#17 Old 06-10-2017
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So it's coming along nicely, finally found the time to clean down and prime the wheels.

Bit disappointing in the results on the sides and the back with some of the paint I didn't remove, the faces have come out almost perfect though, bar a little over sanding I did and and a couple of surface scratches I missed.

Using an old heat lamp to dry them out at the moment.

One of the hardest things I have done thus far was finding the correct material which would fill in the engraved 'AMG' logo and still be easy to remove after painting. After messing around with some blue tack, I decided on wax in the end, the type you might use to cover a crack on some furniture - this should hopefully be pretty easy to remove with a stanley blade after painting....

Hoping to start painting tomorrow after a quick sand down.

Will post pictures as progress occurs, not long now though, hoping to get these on the car Saturday next weekend!!.....(disasters pending obviously - still have a way to go with my glitter customization yet)
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#18 Old 06-10-2017
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post waxing and cleaned down, I cleaned between all the engravings as well as I could, we'll see how it works out.
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#19 Old 06-10-2017
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Bump,

Any & all opinions welcomed - I have four more wheels to do

At this point I'm thinking of getting them sandblasted;

Does anyone have a paint code for AMG I OEM wheels please?
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#20 Old 06-11-2017
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Masking the letters with wax is an interesting idea. But why not remove by melting with a hairdryer, rather than risk scratching with a blade?

Thanks for the detailed story on preparation.

The photo above of the blue wheels reminds me of the first Paris SLK show car from 1994 that had body colour blue wheels and looked great, but no one has copied it.
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