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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 05-04-2008, 05:26 PM
GBimmer GBimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 M Roadster
How to: Fix trashed roadstars for $40

So I finally got sick of looking at all the rash on my roadstars so I decided that I would try to tackle painting them myself.



Here's what you'll need:



1) Dupli-Color Rim Paint
2) Dupli-Color Rim Paint Clear Coat
3) Fine grit sandpaper
4) Possibly some coarse grit sandpaper for bad rash
5) water
6) Dupli-Color prep-wipes (I used 2 packs for 4 rims)

Costs a whopping $40 at Pepboys for all this!

Here's what they looked like before I started:






The paint was really thin and even missing in places. Besides, that, two of the rims had severe curb rash from the previous owner (I, on the other hand, know how to drive...)


I removed them from the car, removed the center bezel, washed them off a bit and started sanding. For the tough parts, I used the coarse paper with the drill attachment.




These had the small M emblem missing but they still had some of the black glue left on them. The only way I could get it off was by scraping with my knife:


Once that was done, I washed the rims again and dried them off.



After that was done, I used the prep-wipes to further clean them (the directions say to use gloves but I'm manly enough that I skipped that step. That said, I'd strongly recommend that even manly-men use gloves with this stuff as it burns like battery acid! OUCH!!!)


I washed the rims again, dried them off and let them sit for 30 minutes so all the water evaporated. Once done with that, it was time to mask off the rubber!



Don't forget the valve stems!

Now it's time to paint. Use short bursts of paint while your hand is moving quickly. You want to do a LOT of thin coats to avoid orange peel and dripping. Also pay attention to your finger when you push the nozzle down or else the paint will hit your finger and drip.




Notice my finger: In these pics it's too far forward and had I been painting like that I would have had drips of paint on my rim.

So, I did two rims at the same time. I'd paint one with a thin coat, then move to other and put a thin coat on it. Once done, the other rim was ready for another coat. I was able to go back and forth like this 3-4 times to get a nice even coat of paint. Then I let them sit about 10 minutes and started with the clear coat. I did the same procedure with the clear coat as I did with the paint to get a nice even coat. Take your time! The thinner the coats, the nicer the finish!

Once done, I let the rims sit for an hour before mounting them:



And now, for the finished product:







here's what happens when you don't have patience....



I'll redo this one next weekend after it dries...

Next weekend I'll wet-sand them to get a glossier finish. Right now, they're a little rough but with the right TLC, they'll be like brand new. I just want to wait so they're 100% cured before I do this.


Before pic:



after pic:




Little bit of a difference?

Last edited by GBimmer; 05-04-2008 at 06:44 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2008, 10:19 AM
GBimmer GBimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 M Roadster
I'd like to amend this since I just had to re-do all four wheels.

Once you get done with the color-coat, let it dry for a good 2-3 hours (despite what the can says). Once you do that, wet-sand with 1000+ grit sandpaper to take out the roughness of the paint. Clean the wheels off again and then clear-coat them with at least 3-4 thin layers of coat. I literally just used 2 whole cans of clear coat on my 4 rims and it's just enough to make it smooth.

The problem I had with them over the last two weeks is that I didn't get enough clear-coat on the rims and the brake dust literally caked up so bad that I could not get them clean again. I'm hoping that the extra layers of clear coat along with the wet-sanding will give the rims a smooth enough finish to help keep them clean and looking good.
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2008, 12:34 PM
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dwm dwm is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 M roadster
Put some Wheel Wax on them, it'll help keep the brake dust off. I'd recommend 2 coats to start. It has worked well for me for several years. With regular use, brake dust just rinses off.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2008, 03:55 PM
GBimmer GBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwm View Post
Put some Wheel Wax on them, it'll help keep the brake dust off. I'd recommend 2 coats to start. It has worked well for me for several years. With regular use, brake dust just rinses off.
Never heard of it. Can I get it over the counter or do I need a prescription? (do they sell it at autozone?)
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2008, 12:56 AM
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dwm dwm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBauer View Post
Never heard of it. Can I get it over the counter or do I need a prescription? (do they sell it at autozone?)
I haven't looked at Autozone or the like. I buy it from TireRack or properautocare.com or autogeek.net. autogeek.net has a combo kit of Wheel Wax and Extreme Black. I like Extreme Black as a tire dressing and for black plastic bits (mudflaps, engine bay plastic, etc.).

EDIT: I usually apply Wheel Wax with my fingers, if only because it's the easiest way for me to tell I've gotten it everywhere. It dries pretty quickly, and changes from pale yellow to white when it dries. By the time I'm done applying on the 4th wheel, it's time to buff it off the first wheel. It's a cleaner wax, so I don't fuss too much about cleaning the wheels (I don't have to if I've been using Wheel Wax regularly). I've tried using Rejex, Menzerna FMJ and Meguiar's NXT, but always come back to Wheel Wax because it seems to shed brake dust better than anything else I've tried and the tub is convenient for applying to wheels.
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Last edited by dwm; 05-18-2008 at 01:01 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2009, 07:29 PM
Tomminil Tomminil is offline
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Location: Lockport
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 97 z3
HI Just got a 1997 Bimmer Z3 looking for the wheel centers mine are peelng off as if they were a decal. Where can I get new centers?

I need to fix my Glove box /It is jammed and willnot open with my key

Just read and ordered parts for the sliding seats
Any help is appreciated!!

Tom David 1.708.699.9148
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2009, 03:52 AM
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EOD Guy EOD Guy is offline
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ebay has the centers really cheap, no help on the glove box..... beaware the clip and tabs that hold the glove box to the dash are very small and fragile!
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2009, 05:44 PM
aba4430 aba4430 is offline
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Just a thought; are you perhaps using the valet key on the glove box?
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2009, 12:21 PM
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Zedfor Zedfor is offline
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Very well done. Thanks for the post.
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