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Scout99
8th February 2006, 11:34
Apologies if this was addressed elsewhere…my search for a like topic with answers to my questions was not found.

I’m about to undertake my most difficult project yet…coloring my stock cast wheels (I classify the task as difficult because I have very little experience with coating metal). Here’s some questions for the members – of which I would guess has at least a million years of collective experience:
· What is the best way to prep stock cast wheels for good lasting results?
· Can I achieve a quality (durable) finish using “rattle can” paint?
· How many coats of “rattle can” colored paint should I use?
· If I used “rattle can” paint is there any brand/type that will provide better results?
· Are there clear coat “rattle can” paints that will help protect the colored finish and stand-up to the road grime I’ll encounter?
· How many coats of “rattle can” clear coat should I use?
· I suspect that best results are achieved by removing the tire, wheel weights and discs – painting the wheel – then remounting/re-balancing everything…is this correct?
· Do I need to replace wheel bearings if I have the wheels apart?
· If I have the wheels apart, what is a good method to clean up my discs (they have discolored from lots of braking)?
· On the same subject, is painting the center portion (non-braking surface) of the disc a bad idea or can it be done?
· I’d like to pin-stripe the wheel after I paint it. Is there a technique on how to do this and achieve good lasting results (tape/mask and spray v. tape/mask and brush)?

Here’s how I thought I’d approach this project (I will do this in conjunction with mounting SS brake lines, speed bleeders and performance pads).
1. Bleed all my brake fluid (front and rear).
2. Remove the wheels, discs, tires and wheel weights.
3. Prep the wheels and the discs.
4. “Rattle can” paint the wheels with color.
5. Tape and mask the discs, then paint with “rattle can” paint.
6. “Rattle can” clear coat paint the wheels and discs.
7. Pin-Stripe the wheels.
8. “Rattle can” clear coat paint the wheels again.
9. Remount/balance the wheels.
10. Install and bleed the brake components.

Your help and advice is greatly appreciated.

…still learning.

coonass
8th February 2006, 12:52
With as much money and frustration you will face with rattle can, powder coat would be cheaper. I believe the last set I had done were about 50.00 bucks a wheel. Rattle can is not durable...at all. In addition most (if not all) rattle can paint will get destroyed by such things ad road debris, brake dust and any other cleaning or petroleum based chemicals. Save yourself the problems early on, and have them powder coated.

TheTick
8th February 2006, 16:56
Powder coat is more durable.
Than you can follow up with the pin striping and a clear coat.

sportsterrific
8th February 2006, 18:54
You do not need to bleed your brakes to remove your wheels. Save yourself the hassle. Also, you should not have to replace/repack the wheel bearings. Just protect them from the paint.

RedRider
8th February 2006, 19:04
Be advised, if you decide to have the wheels powder coated, the wheel bearing will need to be removed. They won't tolerate the temperatures of the powdercoat oven when the PC is being cured. I am not sure if the bearings can be reused after they are pressed out or not.

sportsterrific
8th February 2006, 21:25
Bearings are cheap. If in doubt- replace.

Scout99
10th February 2006, 11:41
All - Thanks for the advice...I'll start shopping for a Powder Coater here in Korea.

Any recommendation on aftermarket bearings or do the OEM bearings perform well enough for street use? Asking only because I’ll have to press them out anyway.

…still learning

petev
11th February 2006, 06:50
I'd thought of coating too but would much prefer to go for chroming instead. I liberated an OEM 13 spoke cast wheel from ebay and located a local chome plater. Trouble is the local guy has never seen a cast wheel before and doesn't know how to prep it.
I trying to find out if it needs to be ground and polished first or if I can plate "as is". May be worth thinking about as an alternative.

deadskull
11th June 2006, 06:24
hey scout, your sportster has a sealed type (caged) rear wheel bearing...just have them pressed out, no grease to clean up, no re-packing. any competent shop can press them out with almost no effort...make sure when you have your bearings pressed back in, install the center sleeve between the bearings, and make sure the writing on the bearings is facing out (you'll see what i mean). its really easy. and yeah, powdercoating is the way to go...

Takingabreak
11th June 2006, 06:49
HI.

Well, if you must use the "Rattle can" approach, Harley does sell the paint to do so, and a clear to go over it once done.

The secret to having the can stuff last is to scrub it with Paint prep cleaner just before you paint it, use a couple good coats, then bake it at 200*F for a couple hours.
Now, don't think about using the wife's oven here, even if it will fit, the paint fumes with stink up the house, and it will take a long time to get that smell out of the oven.
( I will not admit this to be first hand knowlage):shhhh :censor :roflblack

On second thought, take them to a Powered coater.

chrishajer
11th June 2006, 07:12
hey scout, your sportster has a sealed type (caged) rear wheel bearing...just have them pressed out, no grease to clean up, no re-packing. any competent shop can press them out with almost no effort...make sure when you have your bearings pressed back in, install the center sleeve between the bearings, and make sure the writing on the bearings is facing out (you'll see what i mean). its really easy. and yeah, powdercoating is the way to go...
Actually, the sealed wheel bearings cannot be pressed out and reused. There is a puller that pulls on the inner race, which stresses the bearing between the two races. When installing the bearing, you always press on the numbered side, and always on the race that has the interference fit (which in this case is the outside race) to avoid stressing the bearing.

Do not reuse the bearings. Buy new ones. The stock ones are fine, and I don't know that anyone has found replacements for the OEM ones anyway. They are made specifically for HD by the bearing manufacturer.

--Chris

Big_Baazzoo
11th June 2006, 09:47
I find this fascinating, since I am thinking of doing it also, and really didn't give much thought to it since I thought it was elementary, but I am wrong. I'm glad I read all this before I did something stupid.

giveme2wheels
6th July 2006, 18:30
Hey Big,

I have seen your bike in lots of posts, dig that color scheme!

Did you buy factory blacked-out wheels or did you have it done by a powdercoater/do it yourself??

I am liking this idea of some painted mags...

-Jay