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Old 01-14-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
hopskipjump OP
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Powdercoating Guzzi LeMans Wheels...

So....

My new to me Le Mans 850 came with partially ("spokes") gold anodized wheels which I want to convert to
a solid silver color. I read an article over the weekend that talked about the danger of subjecting aluminum alloy wheels to the temperatures which are required to melt powder coat. The author talked about low temp coatings....

Can anyone shed some light on this.... the alternative is to bead blast and paint, which I believe is what BMW does on their car wheels.

thanks!
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
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Don't believe it, thousands of wheels are powder coated every year, cure temp is only 400f for 10 minutes.

I have done a few sets myself.

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Old 01-15-2013, 07:09 AM   #3
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As long as the wheels HAVEN'T been powder-coated before, you OK to powder-coat them. The problem with the heat is what's required to get old powder-coating OFF. It has to heated to TWICE the temp it took to bake it on, which, depending on the manufacturer of the coating, is somewhere around 800 degrees. At those temps cast wheel will become brittle afterwards. I have first hand experience with an exploding wheel, so I know of which I speak.
But with your Le Mans wheels, they'll just need to be sand-blasted and then coated. Just MAKE SURE you really like the color before it's applied, because once it's on, it's there to stay.

Chris
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:19 AM   #4
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Whether they were powdercoated before had no bearing on the strength of the aluminum. For starters, you'd be far better served using a powder coat dissolver than a burn off oven anyway.
Secondly, powder coating will not harm the wheels in any way whatsoever, I had a powdercoating business for years and can not count how many I've done.
The only things i would caution is to make sure they are cleaned and prepped properly, which is 90% of why powdercoating looks good and lasts long.
Next, do NOT let them use low grade crappy powder, spend the extra $25/lb for a good quality powder.
Finally, make sure they clean or sandblast with the old wheel bearings in, then remove them and have the wheels cleaned, hubs masked and obviously use new wheel bearings.

Only issue some people like to avoid is powdercoating magnesium...which I've also done numerous times with no issues.
Use a professional and you'll be fine, and if you go to http://www.prismaticpowders.com/
you'll see there are colors to match what you want exactly, or you can have them custom blend.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 AM   #5
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Only issue some people like to avoid is powdercoating magnesium...which I've also done numerous times with no issues.
Tips or process please, spent a few hours getting lost in the nays lately so had to put a project on hold.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by O.C.F.RIDER View Post
As long as the wheels HAVEN'T been powder-coated before, you OK to powder-coat them. The problem with the heat is what's required to get old powder-coating OFF. It has to heated to TWICE the temp it took to bake it on, which, depending on the manufacturer of the coating, is somewhere around 800 degrees. At those temps cast wheel will become brittle afterwards. I have first hand experience with an exploding wheel, so I know of which I speak.
But with your Le Mans wheels, they'll just need to be sand-blasted and then coated. Just MAKE SURE you really like the color before it's applied, because once it's on, it's there to stay.

Chris
Never even heard of using a 800 degree oven to burn off powder and I have been PC'ing for 4 years, we use a liquid stripper that causes no damage.

Just use a professional and you will be fine.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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Tips or process please, spent a few hours getting lost in the nays lately so had to put a project on hold.
if you're looking to do it yourself, i might advise against it, the flash point of magnesium is about 500 degrees Celsius, and it can make an awfully big mess if it ignites.
You can look for lower heat powders, some have longer bake times at lower heats.
FWIW, Caswell Plating has a really good forum, you can search there. There is a company named ScottRods that does a lot of really nice work, you might want to reach out to them.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:04 AM   #8
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Never even heard of using a 800 degree oven to burn off powder and I have been PC'ing for 4 years, we use a liquid stripper that causes no damage.

Just use a professional and you will be fine.
I had polished a set of aluminum wheels for dually that were then clear PC by a big PCíng shop in North Jersey, they "outgassed"and there were bubbles in the clear. According to them, the only way to get the PC off was to bake at twice the temp. to bake on. A few months later the same customer shows up with a new set of wheels to polish and told me one of the front wheels had exploded and turned to dust from hitting just a small pot-hole.
If you could, let me know about which liquid PC remover you say works, because in my 20 years of polishing and having to deal with PC many times...........I've found NOTHING that takes good powder-coat off.

Chris
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O.C.F.RIDER View Post
I had polished a set of aluminum wheels for dually that were then clear PC by a big PCíng shop in North Jersey, they "outgassed"and there were bubbles in the clear. According to them, the only way to get the PC off was to bake at twice the temp. to bake on. A few months later the same customer shows up with a new set of wheels to polish and told me one of the front wheels had exploded and turned to dust from hitting just a small pot-hole.
If you could, let me know about which liquid PC remover you say works, because in my 20 years of polishing and having to deal with PC many times...........I've found NOTHING that takes good powder-coat off.

Chris
polishing forces a ton of contaminates into the pores of the aluminum, you would need to strip it with acetone or brake clean, media blast it, clean it again and outgas it at 400. you'd probably have to repeat it a few times.
I've done wheels where I've had the lip polished and powdercoated the rest and it turned out great, also clear acrylic powdercoated polished race wheels for a racebike and they were spotless, they actually looked wet all the time and were easier to clean and without the oxidation.

as far as stripper goes, here's the good stuff:
http://bencosales.com/store/product_...products_id=12

and i've never...ever heard of a wheel crumbling to dust before from powdercoating. i have on the other hand heard of the chemicals used for stripping chrome eating away at the metal and causing those issues.
but that's a totally different world...i dont mess with chrome.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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polishing forces a ton of contaminates into the pores of the aluminum, you would need to strip it with acetone or brake clean, media blast it, clean it again and outgas it at 400. you'd probably have to repeat it a few times.
I've done wheels where I've had the lip polished and powdercoated the rest and it turned out great, also clear acrylic powdercoated polished race wheels for a racebike and they were spotless, they actually looked wet all the time and were easier to clean and without the oxidation.

as far as stripper goes, here's the good stuff:
http://bencosales.com/store/product_...products_id=12

and i've never...ever heard of a wheel crumbling to dust before from powdercoating. i have on the other hand heard of the chemicals used for stripping chrome eating away at the metal and causing those issues.
but that's a totally different world...i dont mess with chrome.
What would be the point of polishing the piece in the first place, if you're going to kill it be media blasting it? And the second time they cleared the wheels (with no media blasting), they pre-heated them and then coated them, and they looked like there wasn't even anything on them........perfect. Only problem was the total failure waiting to happen.
The powder-coating didn't screw up the metal, heating it up to 800 degrees or so to get off the previous clear coat did. Since I was involved with this whole debacle, I talked to a metallurgist and he's the one who told me what the deal was after I told him what the PC shop did.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by O.C.F.RIDER View Post
What would be the point of polishing the piece in the first place, if you're going to kill it be media blasting it? And the second time they cleared the wheels (with no media blasting), they pre-heated them and then coated them, and they looked like there wasn't even anything on them........perfect. Only problem was the total failure waiting to happen.
The powder-coating didn't screw up the metal, heating it up to 800 degrees or so to get off the previous clear coat did. Since I was involved with this whole debacle, I talked to a metallurgist and he's the one who told me what the deal was after I told him what the PC shop did.
for starters, relax with the bold green type, i'm not saying it's not possible, i'm saying i've never heard of it.
i never used a burn off oven for many reasons, primarily because it was an old school crude quick way to get old powder coat and contaminants off, which is really not needed anymore.
you can debate all you want, but i'm telling you that in all my years of powder coating, without a burn off oven, i've never had a wheel "explode" "crumble" or "structurally fail" in any way whatsoever.

To make it clear, you don't have to believe me, just do some research, aluminum car, truck, motorcycle, atv and side by side wheels are one of the most commonly powder coated vehicle parts...and by your line of thinking, if they didn't get it right the first time, the owner of the wheel is screwed? come on man...

frankly i don't care what your past experiences are, nor do i care what your opinion is. the OP asked about powder coating aluminum wheels and asking how it could be done...it can be done with a chemical powder coat dissolver, end of discussion.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by hopskipjump View Post
So....

My new to me Le Mans 850 came with partially ("spokes") gold anodized wheels which I want to convert to
a solid silver color. I read an article over the weekend that talked about the danger of subjecting aluminum alloy wheels to the temperatures which are required to melt powder coat. The author talked about low temp coatings....

Can anyone shed some light on this.... the alternative is to bead blast and paint, which I believe is what BMW does on their car wheels.

thanks!
one more thing to add, anodizing is commonly used as a powder coat pretreatment because of it's corrosion prevention qualities, however most commercial products sold with anodizing as the finish use additional treatments to make it more durable and abrasion resistant. So you would probably just want to glass or walnut media blast the anodizing off before powder in that case.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:52 AM   #13
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Well, that was fun!!

I learned a bunch of good things....

Media or chemicals to remove the old...
and powdercoat the new....

But for absolute color control, paint is still
preferred- but no one addressed that.

As stated, all of BMW's car wheels are painted
to look like aluminum....

thanks all!
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:40 PM   #14
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for starters, relax with the bold green type, i'm not saying it's not possible, i'm saying i've never heard of it.
i never used a burn off oven for many reasons, primarily because it was an old school crude quick way to get old powder coat and contaminants off, which is really not needed anymore.
you can debate all you want, but i'm telling you that in all my years of powder coating, without a burn off oven, i've never had a wheel "explode" "crumble" or "structurally fail" in any way whatsoever.

To make it clear, you don't have to believe me, just do some research, aluminum car, truck, motorcycle, atv and side by side wheels are one of the most commonly powder coated vehicle parts...and by your line of thinking, if they didn't get it right the first time, the owner of the wheel is screwed? come on man...

frankly i don't care what your past experiences are, nor do i care what your opinion is. the OP asked about powder coating aluminum wheels and asking how it could be done...it can be done with a chemical powder coat dissolver, end of discussion.
Bingo!
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