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Should I paint or powder coat my OEM wheels?
Paint 50%  50%  [ 10 ]
Powder Coat 50%  50%  [ 10 ]
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 Post subject: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:44 pm 
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I am considering changing the color of my OEM wheels from silver to black. Here's what my Jeep looks like at the moment:
Image

The silver wheels stand out like a sore thumb! I think changing them to black will greatly improve the look of the exterior, especially when I tint my windows.

My dilemma is that I don't know if I should paint or powder coat them. I have heard pros. and cons. about both processes. Should I go with a full gloss, semi gloss, or matte finish? I think either the semi gloss or matte finish would look best and better compliment the fenders, etc. I have heard that the heat treating process in powder coating can change the compound composition of the wheel making it weaker. Is this true? I am unsure how much weaker our steel wheels would become from the result of this process. This makes me a little concerned and is one of my main reasons for considering just painting them. I know the wheels would have to be prepped properly to make the paint stick, but I am not too worried about knowing how to properly do the work since I am planning on having them professionally done. I have also heard that powder coating creates a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint. Is this ture? This brings up another one of my concerns: How will the paint/powder coat finish hold up? I live in Minnesota and am afraid how the salt during Winter will affect the durability of the wheels.

Feel free to post pics of your KJ if you have painted or powder coated your wheels 8) Also, feel free to comment on how the paint/powder coat finish is holding up. Thanks in advance for your help!


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:24 pm 
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I would say paint for the following reasons....

#1 - cost....painting will be much cheaper, and with no heating process you won't have any concerns about the heat weakening your wheels.
#2 - with paint, if the road salt does damage the finish, a quick touch up will fix it fast without having to re-coat the entire wheel.
#3 - with paint you have far more choices of color and finish, and if you don't like the way it looks you can re-coat with another color.

Prep work is the key with painting anything, especially anything that's exposed to the elements and UV. As for the type of finish....(gloss, semi-gloss, flat)....on wheels I think either semi-gloss or hammer finish looks the best, but your mileage may vary.

Wash them down real good with a solvent, sand with #0000 steel wool or #400 grit wet/dry, wipe, and wash again with solvent. Tape off any part you don't want painted, and spray several light coats in a warm clean...(dust free)... environment.

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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:10 pm 
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Yep paint, powder coat will come off and get scratched if you off road, that's why its better to paint even bumpers and rockrail's, scuff them up and its a 20 minute job to repaint!
My ARB was powder coated of course and its going to have to be sand blasted and painted next spring due to rust getting under the powder coating

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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:48 pm 
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Take them down to bare steel, prep properly, prime and paint. Rustoluem paint in satin black was my choice.
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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:47 am 
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Did you guys use a spray gun to paint your wheels or just a spray can? Did you dismount the tires from the wheels before you painted them? Did you paint the balancing weights on the wheels? If so, wouldn't that affect the balance/alignment?

BugginKJ wrote:
Take them down to bare steel, prep properly, prime and paint. Rustoluem paint in satin black was my choice.
Image

That looks soo much better than all silver wheels! I want to paint my center caps black though. Leaving them silver kind of gives them a police appearance. What was the reason why you didn't paint your center caps?


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:45 pm 
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I didn't paint the center caps because that is the look I want, silver cap on black rim. I may decide to paint them later. I used a spray can. I did remove all of my wheel weights, left tires on rims, wire wheeled and sanded the rims down to bare steel, cleaned rims with acytone, taped off tires real good, primed and painted. I have not rebalanced my tires since I have done it, to my suprise I have no shimmy or shakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:42 pm 
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I noticed no one has mention clear coating their wheels after painting them... Did you guys just forget to mention that step or did you not do that process?


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:03 am 
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I did not clear coat.


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Powder Coat is superior to paint... just sayin'

Click the link in my signature to find out more.

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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:24 pm 
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May be superior in some cases but not all
Rockrails for example if you use them at all powdercoating will be scratched off real quick then what?
Paints better and easier to touch up.
Even with wheels, scratch them off road or on a curb and then what, back to the Powdercoater?

just sayin' :wink:
Of course if you never wheel or go to the mall you're fine

Or tell you what JL
I'll send you my wheels and rockrails
you powdercoat them and let me test them out for 6 months, if they are fine at the end of that time I'll pay you for doing them. If not, no payment due. :wink:

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03 OVERLAND EDITION /Kilby-Skidrow-Mopar-4XGuard skids/ 2.5 inch TOTAL CONTROL JBA coilovers -JBA Arms/MOABS-31 FALKEN WILDPEAK AT3W / 4.10's etc, 04 Kilimanjaro Edition loaded, plus 05 KJ limited


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:44 pm 
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FYI - I don't take my KJ off-road and go trailing. It's all city and highway driving for this guy. My main concern is hitting curbs and salt eating at them.

I am debating on what color I should go with now: dark charcoal to match the fenders, bumpers, side skirts, etc. or black to match the tires, tint, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:43 am 
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Go dark charcoal :wink:
black wheels are like belly buttons, everyone has them :ROTFL:

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MUDD'S MOTORSPORT'S We do IFS lift installs ,
03 OVERLAND EDITION /Kilby-Skidrow-Mopar-4XGuard skids/ 2.5 inch TOTAL CONTROL JBA coilovers -JBA Arms/MOABS-31 FALKEN WILDPEAK AT3W / 4.10's etc, 04 Kilimanjaro Edition loaded, plus 05 KJ limited


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 Post subject: Re: Painting vs. Powder Coating OEM Wheels
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:15 am 
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tommudd wrote:
Go dark charcoal :wink:
black wheels are like belly buttons, everyone has them :ROTFL:

That was pretty funny, but I would recommend keeping your day job :lol:

I wonder if Dark Charcoal is available in powder coat. I am considering powder coating my brake calipers Inferno Red Crystal Pearlcoat to match my paint job. I am also considering pin stripping "JEEP" in this color located on the center cap. What do you guys think?


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