Today I’m going to restore these aluminum wheels.
These are OEM 16” x 7.5" Honda S2000 wheels. They’re made in Japan by Enkei. They’re pretty sought after but I got this set for $120 on Craigslist because they are in rough shape and have no tires.
🔹Sand the failed clear coat
🔹Fill in the curb gouged edges
🔹Prime, paint and clear coat
Here are the supplies I’ll be using. I’ll include links to each one as I go through the process. If you happen to buy them I may earn a commission.
The pair that aren’t poorly painted blue are all chewed up from hitting curbs. I’m going to start by hitting the edges with 180 grit sandpaper.
Knocking that gnarly edge off.
Before I fill in the gouges I’m going to remove any oil or grease with this DupliColor Prep-Spray but any grease and wax remover will do. After a good spray and wipe down I’ll let it dry.
Bondo is a two part filling compound. Once you mix the two parts you have just a few minutes to work with it before it starts to dry. Once cured it is very durable and can be sanded and painted. Wear gloves!
And fill in the deep pits and scratches.
The goal here is to have a consistent smooth edge where I once had chewed up aluminum thanks to bad parking jobs from the previous owner(s).
While I’ve been filling the other wheels my partner in crime has been wet sanding the blue wheels. They don’t need any body filler so she’s using a fine grit to prep the surface for primer and paint.
Now it’s time to scrub these wheels free of any dust, dirt, oil etc while the Bondo cures. I’ll give the Bondo at least 30 minutes before I touch it.
The Bondo body filler has cured so I’m going to use 320 grit sandpaper to get a smooth edge.
Sanding Bondo is a dusty job so wear a mask!
Sand, sand, sand and eventually you will have some smooth edges
You can spend A LOT of time making these edges perfect if you want to. Since I’m planning to take these wheels off-road on my CR-V I think this is good enough.
Wash the dust off with soap and water and let them dry.
I’m going to prime with this Duplicolor Filler primer to help deal with the light surface scratches all over these wheels.
Here is all 4 wheels after the first light coat of primer. By the way, this primer is sandable so if I’m not satisfied with the surface I can still sand more later.
And here is after 3 light coats and 2 heavy coats of primer:
Now it is time for paint. I’m going with white DupliColor Wheel coating for a bold contrast with my “electric blue pearl” CR-V but silver or gun metal would be good color choices too. There’s definitely cheaper paint you could use but durability is important if you don’t want to have to redo this later. I bought 2 cans of paint for the 4 wheels.
Here is after 3 coats of white. I go light with these first few coats while always focusing on the nooks and edges and not so much on the face of the wheel.
I put on 2 more heavier coats of white paint, of course being careful to avoid drips. Next I will give the surface a 2000 grit wet sand to get the best finish I can.
And I finish off with 4 coats of Duplicolor wheel matte clearcoat. This is not strictly necessary but will affect how durable this paint is in the long run.
The clear coat is dry so I’m dropping these wheels off at the tire shop where I have already ordered Toyo Open-Country A/T 215/70/16 tires.
I refused to spend hours in tire shop lobbies so I drop wheels off and come back the next day to pick them up and install them at home.
I think this will be the head-turningest 2001 Honda CR-V in town once I source some 76mm Honda center caps. Thanks for reading!