Shogun Alloy Wheel Restoration with Full Dip
When we bought the Shogun from the UK we knew that the alloys were tatty, to be expected on a 4×4 of this age that has spent the last twenty years in the UK with salt on winter roads plus whatever the vehicle had been used for.
One good thing about big alloys like this is that curb rash is minimal due to the big tyre walls that stand proud of the rim. The alloys were heavily oxidised upon closer inspection and need a full sanding down before anything else.
Looking at paint online in Spain and the options were surprisingly pretty limited however there was always the Full Dip option which offered a variety of colours – particularly blacks, greys and graphite’s which we favoured against the original chrome [just for a change]
Full Dip liquid vinyl was also a cheaper option, €41.00 euros gets you half a dozen cans which will do all the wheels on the car with six coats each, the key with jobs like this though besides from being patient with the application of the product is the prep.
Sanding: [1 – 2 hours]
Sanding is what takes the time and it depends on how complex the design of the alloy is, first gen Shogun Sport alloys are pretty easy to work with particularly on the earlier models as the alloys are flat with block spokes [no fancy curves].
We bought a pack of 120 – 3000 grit sandpaper, using the most coarse first and working down until there were no visible imperfections on the wheel surface.
The rear side of the wheel was a different story, obviously this is the less important side but as we were doing the whole thing it still needed taking back, the quickest solution in the first instance was a circular wire brush, there was plenty of crud and oxidation so two passes were required even before sanding.
Cleaning: [15 -20 minutes]
Getting the alloy clean is crucial too, it needs a good wash, left to dry then treated with a degreaser before a rub down with alcohol. Cleaning takes no time at, it’s the drying that adds a few hours [we chose to leave our wheels to dry overnight].
When using a liquid vinyl it is not necessary to mask off your tyre, we have all seen the Youtube videos where the wheel isn’t even taken off the car and this works ok as long as the liquid vinyl is applied thick enough so that it peels off.
This however was our first attempt as using this stuff and as the wheels were off for sanding and refurb anyway we went the masking route. No tape involved, all we did was buy a sheet of card from the local cheap shop for 50 cents and cut it into playing card size rectangles, place these around the rim overlapped and you’re ready to paint.
Primer: [24 hours]
Full Dip claims that you don’t necessarily need to spray on top of primer but our wheels were in such a poor state that we had to primer anyway, even with sanding you still get slight pitting and marks in the alloy, the primer acts like a filler so you can smooth it off later.
Using the cards mentioned above we went with two coats of primer, first a thin base coat then a second thicker coat to finish a full covering. Drying time: 24 hours.
Liquid Vinyl: [24 hours]
All primed up and it was ready for the Full Dip, this stuff comes out just like paint and the key is layers. We managed to build up six layers per alloy – the thicker it is on the wheel the easier it is to peel off at a later date if you need to.
First layer is very light, just a base from which to build up, the second layer we applied fairly light too, horizontal strokes left to right approximately eight inches away from the alloy with the can always moving.
Later coats gets heavier until you have a nice thick covering, the wait time is around 10 – 15 minutes per layer but this will heavily depend on the ambient temperature. Each wheel was left to dry for 24 hours.
If you are painting in a cold environment, place the can into some warn water to warm up the paint, this results in a finer, more even spray with less chance of the can spitting.
Start spraying before you hit the alloy in case the can spits when you first press the nozzle.
You will know when you’re nearing the end of the can – don’t fully empty it as the last spray comes out uneven.
Apply first coat thinly so you get a light covering, do not try to do it all at once.
Leave at least 10 minutes in between coats and build up gradually, patience yields better results.
Remove the cards [if you are using them] or masking as soon as you have finished, don’t let the paint dry first.
Leave the wheel to dry/cure for 24 hours.
Overall we were quite pleased with the results, in our case the main aim was to restore the alloys, the final colour being only one part of the process, the beauty of Full Dip and other liquid vinyl products is that is changeable any time you like as it simply peels off.
If you are considering wheel restoration with Full Dip – one word of warning – we went for anthracite grey and it did come out paler than in the product images [across more than one website too], naturally a digital image on a monitor will be different so unless you are going jet black then this may be something to be aware of.
Wheel restoration with full dip:
Have you used Full Dip or Plasti Dip on your 4×4 alloys?