Welcome to RAW Works. My name is Raymond and I live in the western suburbs of Sydney. This blog will be a portal for me to photo-document the wheels I refurbish and repaint. This is only a side hobby for me so there won't be any crazy custom jobs! My skills have only stretched so far as to using body repair materials, resprays and polishing, so anything that requires welding and unbuckling will be beyond what I can do. I hope to improve on my current skills as I go along, and as a lover of wheels, it's a way for me to express my art side as well as giving life to some tired wheels again.

At the moment, I'm just scouring through eBay for damaged wheels selling for cheap. If you have any wheels you don't need anymore, throw me an email/comment. At the moment I'm just buying sets of wheels to refurb then sell them off. I prefer not to do personal jobs/requests as I don't trust myself with that yet! But that said, pass me an email/comment if you need any help wheel-wise.

My Facebook page is @ http://www.facebook.com/raysalloywheelworks/, please "like" it!


Dec 11, 2011

BBS RS001 - Part 3

After the bolts were torqued down, all that was left to do was seal up the wheels.  Now, I've seen many people seal the inside section of the pieces, i.e. they lay a bead towards the inside where the inner meets the centre and the outer meets the centre.  I honestly don't see the need for this.  The sealant is supposed to act just that, seal the section between a beaded tyre and wheel, and is not supposed to act as an adhesive.  That said, a thick bead over the mating sections of the pieces (bolts torqued down already) is all that is needed to seal the wheels up.

So I previously used a manual caulking gun (those hand-pumping ones you see at Bunnings) and they were horrible to use - hard to get a consistent bead and a mad workout on the forearm muscles.  So I bought a pneumatic caulking gun.  Sealing 3-piece wheels is something I'm not willing to cheap out on, and after seeing my wheel specialist use one for one of his jobs I decided it was something that I needed too.

And what a massive difference it made.  It took all of 20 seconds to completely bead the wheel.  A smear over the bead using my thumb finished it off.

And that's done.  Took two days to cure (still felt soft after leaving it overnight).  Here are some pics of the wheels in its completed form:

Black chrome bolts weren't really chrome at all, more of a satin-look, but I prefer that.

Wrinkle-black cap.

And finally some pics with 195/45R15 tyres mounted up and on Tony's EK.

Final specs ended up being 15x8 ET12.3 with a 2" stepped lip.


BBS RS001 - Part 2

Sorry for the slow updates, I've been a busy man, finishing final assessments for uni and jumping straight into 50 hour work weeks.  Anyway, a quick debrief on what had transpired since Part 1 - I replied to a WTB thread on JDMST for some low offset 15x8 wheels in 4x100 and the OP was interested, deposit received and work on completing the wheels began.  As of now, the wheels have been completely paid off, shod with 195/45R15 tyres and new owner Tony now rolls around like a boss!  So here in Part 2 I'll be picking up from where I left off in Part 1 and covering up to the bolt torquing stage.

Tony was pretty keen on having the wheels ready for an OzHonda meet at JDMYard on the 26th November, so he helped me out as much as he could with the rebuilding of the wheels.  The centrecaps were sanded down from 120 grit to 600 grit, and any gashes were covered up with Selleys Metal Knead-It putty.  I chose this specific putty as it was convenient to use, quick to set, and easy to sand down.

VHT's engine enamel primer was applied before spraying on some thick coats of VHT's wrinkle black paint.

Usually the wrinkle black takes an eternity to dry and wrinkle in normal temperatures as three thick, heavy coats in cross-hatching spray patterns are recommended, but I enlisted the help of a heat gun to accelerate the wrinkling process.

This was what the centrecaps looked like after ~3 minutes of continuous heating:

And about a minute later, the wrinkling sped up vastly and it looked like this within a matter of seconds:

Note some slight inconsistencies in the reflection of the paint - these spots were still quite wet underneath the top wrinkle layer.

I should mention that from the beginning of sanding all the way to the wrinkling of the paint took a couple of days, as I gave the putty overnight to dry as well as the primer.

Next up was a thorough metal polishing of the lips.  Once the bolts are on, it'll be extremely hard to polish in between the bolts so it's best to give it a decent polish before they get mounted.  It's hard to capture it in the pics but the new lips out of the box had some very very fine sand marks in it.  Of course this is quite normal unless you paid for a mirror polished product, so the aim of polishing it again yourself is to try and maintain and get rid of those excess hairline scratches.  This is the result of two complete thorough polishes (Autoglym's Metal Polish was used):

Once all the lips were polished up, Wheel Wax was applied to the centres.  I don't believe we applied it to the lips but we should have, along with the inners.  This is just so the wheels have an extra layer of protection and allow for an easier ordeal when it comes to cleaning the wheels.

Once the maintenance was done, it was time to mount the pieces back together using the new black bolts.  I'd recommended tightening the bolts with the nuts hand tight (grip on to sockets instead of the bare hardware for better leverage) and ensure they are bolted on in a star pattern.  I usually bolt them up in a 4 point star pattern (similar to bolting up a 4-stud wheel).  Here are some fancy shots half-way through:

Once all the hand-tightened bolts and nuts are in place, I then use an appropriate torque wrench and torque up the nuts to 24 ft lbs.  The bolts are usually held down securely as they should have been done hand-tight already.  I had new nuts for one wheel and reused the old nuts for the other three.  No Loctite was used but the nuts are holding up fine.

A helper isn't really needed here, but it will definitely make the time go by faster!

Tony helping out with the torquing!

Once all the bolts for all the wheels were torqued down, the next step was to seal.  Check out Part 3 here.