Timm's One-Hour Alloy Wheel Kerb Rash Removal
Not Again ! I hate kerbing my alloys, I don't do it often but when I do I seem to make an awful mess of them. Just a little bit too close to the kerb while doing 1 MPH and scrunch - blast!
Look at the state of that! A close look when I got home showed all sorts of damage, the lacquer is flaking off and the metal of the rim is seriously scrunched. I could get it refurbished, but I worry that it will end up looking different to the rest - so, I'm having a stab at a temporary fix until they all need doing.
But, we are going to start with a Whetstone - these are available in various grades and this one is big, and very coarse:
The handy thing about Whetstones is that they wear quite quickly - and that means that they end up sculpted to the shape of the alloy after a few rubs and that helps get the shape of the alloy rim back. Here we go, to keep the stone lubricated I've got a bucket of water with washing-up liquid in it - this also helps remove debris:
I started by masking off the tyre, but soon gave up with that when it kept falling off. Initially, the stone is used to remove the big flakes so that the surface will allow the stone to move smoothly around the edge of the rim rather than clouting into lumps of alloy.
  If you only have small gouges, use the masking tape from the headlight kit to protect the rest of the rim as seen below:
 Once the big lumps have gone I used the wetted stone around the rim and slowly the stone took up the shape of the rim:
I kept the stone lubricated and wet all the time and just worked around the damaged part of the rim until it was reasonably flat.
I've taken quite a lot of metal off, but it only took five minutes with the Whetstone. The rim still has a few marks - the last time I did this I was so glad I had got this far that I didn't try and get rid of them - but this time I'm going to use a reciprocating sander - this is probably the only use I've found for it so far, it is absolutely useless at most things:
I'm using quite a coarse paper, probably 200 grit - but I'm also using a little water and lubricant. It is an excellent tool for getting right to the edge of the rim - the end result was very flat face and edge of the rim, just what was needed. The next stage is get a bit of shine back on the face as any slight brush with the reciprocating tool really scoured it up:
Now it is time to use the headlight polishing kit - the kit is cheap, available anywhere and contains various abrasive pads, 400, 800, 3000 grit and a polishing pad. I'm using a 3M kit from Ebay
So, start off with the 800-grade paper (the white one above), no need for the coarser pad as the reciprocating tool got rid of all the tiny gouges - we are now just interested in polishing the rim back from dull grey. I'm using a mains-powered drill for this, the battery ones are just too slow for polishing. The real transition happens when the Trizact pad (3000 grit) is used - everything ends up polished, in fact, the metal ends up just a bit too shiny and makes the transition point noticeable:
The last pad is the foam pad, this is used with the polishing compound which goes absolutely everywhere - all over the car, your face, and everything within 20 yards. The pad is soft and can be used over the complete rim of the alloy as it only adds polish and doesn't remove any metal. The pad will get black from the alloy so give it a wash now and again.
Once the rim is as good as it is going to get, it is time to add some protection and a little texture with some lacquer. As it is a cold day I have heated up the aerosol in the kitchen sink with some hot water - and I've got a fan heater to warm the rim up and to speed up the drying time so that I can get three coats of lacquer within my allotted 1-hour time
Above is the usual mess I generate whenever I do any work, the picture does not do the mess justice, the 650i on the right is covered with blobs of polish including the soft-top, and that's not going to be easy to clean! Anyway, using the fan-heater I managed to get three coats done in around 10 minutes - so, all done!
And that's it, done, and not too shabby if I say so myself. It is not absolutely perfect, but the rim polishing really hides the imperfections well - and that's the trick to this - get the rim polished to a mirror shine. The lacquer helps dull the rim so that it matches the rest of the alloy. And, all done within an hour! Below is the rear I did last time:
All done, time for a cup of tea
I've done this once before and it worked out OK, not perfect but close enough, I'm aiming to get it a bit better than last time. My secret weapon is a plastic headlight refurbishing kit - yes, really!
Timm's One-Hour Alloy Wheel Kerb Rash Removal
Not Again ! I hate kerbing my alloys, I don't do it often but when I do I seem to make an awful mess of them. Just a little bit too close to the kerb while doing 1 MPH and scrunch - blast!
Look at the state of that! A close look when I got home showed all sorts of damage, the lacquer is flaking off and the metal of the rim is seriously scrunched. I could get it refurbished, but I worry that it will end up looking different to the rest - so, I'm having a stab at a temporary fix until they all need doing.
But, we are going to start with a Whetstone - these are available in various grades and this one is big, and very coarse:
The handy thing about Whetstones is that they wear quite quickly - and that means that they end up sculpted to the shape of the alloy after a few rubs and that helps get the shape of the alloy rim back. Here we go, to keep the stone lubricated I've got a bucket of water with washing-up liquid in it - this also helps remove debris:
I started by masking off the tyre, but soon gave up with that when it kept falling off. Initially, the stone is used to remove the big flakes so that the surface will allow the stone to move smoothly around the edge of the rim rather than clouting into lumps of alloy.
  If you only have small gouges, use the masking tape from the headlight kit to protect the rest of the rim as seen below:
 Once the big lumps have gone I used the wetted stone around the rim and slowly the stone took up the shape of the rim:
I kept the stone lubricated and wet all the time and just worked around the damaged part of the rim until it was reasonably flat.
I've taken quite a lot of metal off, but it only took five minutes with the Whetstone. The rim still has a few marks - the last time I did this I was so glad I had got this far that I didn't try and get rid of them - but this time I'm going to use a reciprocating sander - this is probably the only use I've found for it so far, it is absolutely useless at most things:
I'm using quite a coarse paper, probably 200 grit - but I'm also using a little water and lubricant. It is an excellent tool for getting right to the edge of the rim - the end result was very flat face and edge of the rim, just what was needed. The next stage is get a bit of shine back on the face as any slight brush with the reciprocating tool really scoured it up:
Now it is time to use the headlight polishing kit - the kit is cheap, available anywhere and contains various abrasive pads, 400, 800, 3000 grit and a polishing pad. I'm using a 3M kit from Ebay
So, start off with the 800-grade paper (the white one above), no need for the coarser pad as the reciprocating tool got rid of all the tiny gouges - we are now just interested in polishing the rim back from dull grey. I'm using a mains-powered drill for this, the battery ones are just too slow for polishing. The real transition happens when the Trizact pad (3000 grit) is used - everything ends up polished, in fact, the metal ends up just a bit too shiny and makes the transition point noticeable:
The last pad is the foam pad, this is used with the polishing compound which goes absolutely everywhere - all over the car, your face, and everything within 20 yards. The pad is soft and can be used over the complete rim of the alloy as it only adds polish and doesn't remove any metal. The pad will get black from the alloy so give it a wash now and again.
Once the rim is as good as it is going to get, it is time to add some protection and a little texture with some lacquer. As it is a cold day I have heated up the aerosol in the kitchen sink with some hot water - and I've got a fan heater to warm the rim up and to speed up the drying time so that I can get three coats of lacquer within my allotted 1-hour time
Above is the usual mess I generate whenever I do any work, the picture does not do the mess justice, the 650i on the right is covered with blobs of polish including the soft-top, and that's not going to be easy to clean! Anyway, using the fan-heater I managed to get three coats done in around 10 minutes - so, all done!
And that's it, done, and not too shabby if I say so myself. It is not absolutely perfect, but the rim polishing really hides the imperfections well - and that's the trick to this - get the rim polished to a mirror shine. The lacquer helps dull the rim so that it matches the rest of the alloy. And, all done within an hour! Below is the rear I did last time:
All done, time for a cup of tea
I've done this once before and it worked out OK, not perfect but close enough, I'm aiming to get it a bit better than last time. My secret weapon is a plastic headlight refurbishing kit - yes, really!