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Refinishing Gen1 4Runner wheels

Old 03-10-2012, 07:03 PM
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Refinishing Gen1 4Runner wheels

My 4Runner has performed admirably over its 25 year life, but salt and the environment had taken a toll on the SR5 alloy wheels. After seeing how nice my FJ looked with black steelies, I decided to refinish the alloy wheels on the 4Runner into a nice satin black result.

In short, the steps I followed were:
- Remove the tires from the wheels
- Walnut shell blast the cosmetic side of the rim
- Mask off the bead area
- Paint the rims with two coats of chemical-bond primer for aluminum
- Let the primer cure for a week
- Paint the rims with two coats of satin black
- Mount up some nice new tires and put them back on the truck

The process can be seen here:

A few notes:
- The walnut shell blasting worked wonderfully, removing dirt, corrosion, and pitting. It took about 1-1/2 hours to blast the four wheels. And it leaves a nice rough surface for the paint to adhere to.
- Expect the tire shop to scratch the rims when they mount the tires. A cotton swap (AKA Q-Tip) and some paint sprayed into a dish fixes those blemishes right up.
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