Paint Rally II Wheels

Article: 1 Author: Rich Miller Contact Rich

Now that you've found a clean used set of Rally IIs it's time to paint them. I did the wheels on my Judge and my '70 Trans Am (above) using spray cans. Most of the parts companies sell spray paint and masking kits which cover the spokes. Your other choice is to have them painted. In this case hook up with Pontiac enthusiasts in your area for their recommendations.

If you decide to paint them yourself here's my best advice: patience, patience, patience!

Go to your local auto parts store for supplies. A decent match is Dupli-Color Truck & Van Paint #229 Silver and Dupli-Color Auto Spray Touch-Up #318 Charcoal Metallic. Make sure you buy the same brand or compatible rust-inhibiting primer and cleaner/degreaser. Also pick up several sheets of fine to super fine sandpaper and masking tape. I recommend you use some manner of mask or respirator intended for paint.

- If the wheels are rusty have them professionally media blasted. You may want to find out how much this would cost before purchasing rusty wheels.

- Clean them with the degreaser, rinse thoroughly, and let dry.

- I lay all of the wheels out on a flat breeze free surface (inside my garage with the door partway open). I complete each step for all four wheels before moving to the next.

- Sand the complete surface, you don't need to go to bare metal if there's paint still on the wheel. After each sanding be sure you wipe the wheels clean.

- You can paint the wheels with the tires mounted, use plastic or newspaper to cover the them. You have to be a little creative as tape won't stick to the rubber. John suggests "..spreading a generous amount of Vaseline on the exposed side of the tire. Paint the rim as usual and when the paint has dried, simply wipe off the Vaseline. This tire masking method is a foolproof way to keep that unwanted overspray off your tires."

- Prime them with two or more coats of primer following directions between coats.

- After the primer is dry scuff it with sandpaper to help the paint adhere.

- Paint the rim with the silver paint. Since the centers will be painted gray don't worry about completely covering them. At least two coats here also. The trick with the silver paint is to paint thick enough that it becomes shiny. Not enough paint will look "dusty" and too much will run. You may want to practice on the back of a wheel that's clean.

- Let the silver completely dry. Scuff the area to be painted gray. At this point the patience comes in, the better job you do masking the nicer your wheels will look. Place the masks on the spokes. I press the edges down but not the center of the triangle. This makes it a little easier to remove later. Using the masking tape cover the rim joining the triangles together. You can finish masking the entire wheel or place plastic, or newspapers over the rest of the rim. The goal is to have only the metal center showing which receives the gray paint (you knew that).

- Apply at least two coats of the gray. This paint seems to go on easy compared to the silver. Because of all the angles between the spokes make sure you cover everything. Between coats I look at the wheels with a shop light to see if I missed anything.

- Before the last coat of gray is completely dry peel the masking off. You're looking for it to be tacky to the touch, not wet. Test it on your masking. Go slowly and bend the masking back over itself which seems to help not lifting the paint. On a couple of wheels I had to do a little touch up on the silver.

- Let them dry thoroughly before putting on center caps and mounting. Depending on the caps they can be a bear. You may have to pry the prongs inward a little on new caps to get them on the wheel. Also, I hold a cloth around the metal so the paint doesn't get scratched.

Other's Suggestions

...when I masked my wheels I just layed on regular pieces of masking tape and ran around the silver/gray edge with a sharp razor blade. This allowed the edge to be perfect whereas sometimes the masking kits are not exact. After spraying the silver and gray I applied several top coats of clear so the wheels would stay shiny and not fade. Doug P.