The BBS Restoration

As some of you may already know, we picked up a new B5 last weekend. One of the many extras that came with the car were a set of BBS RXIIs, yes real ones. The previous owner had planned on fixing them up for the car, and we felt obligated to pick up where he had left off. The wheels also came with a complete set of tires but we won’t think about those just yet. Rather, lets talk about the wheels: 18 inches of pure two piece glory. The wheels were in rough shape but the potential is there. There is still lots of work to be done, but most of the major sanding and grinding is complete. Every one in the office likes the wheels, much to our relief (So there may be some fighting as to who gets to wear them first). As for the final color, a gun metal gray has been chosen to complement the silver on the new B5. So now you know the basics, what about the process? Undoubtedly some of you have a similar project of your own. The good news is it’s not as hard as it looks, the bad news is that it takes some time. The sanding and grinding took an entire day, using several different methods and techniques. If you are planning on taking on a similar job, it is good to have the following:

Rubber Mallet

High Powered Drill + Brass Grinding Wheel

Dremell (Oh My Lanta, How you will need this…)

Sand Paper (80 Grit|150 Grit|400 Grit)

Soapy Water

Air Duster (Used it to clean off the dust in the small cracks)

Triple Square Bit for Rim Bolts

Any Safety Gear Needed

*Note this is just for the prep work, painting will come later

Oh and you will need a ton of time, like a lot of time. However you should be use to that by now. The process we used went roughly like this: Start by removing the bolts around the rim carefully (If you strip them, you are screwed). Then, use the rubber mallet to gently tap the center piece out (Sensing a theme here?) while holding it to prevent damage to the face, tap it from behind. After you separate the two parts, you can begin the fun. Start by grinding off the loose and caked on junk around the rim, using the brass grinder wheel attached to your drill. Then, after clearing as much as you can, take the 80 grit paper to the wheel and work your way over the rim and face. If you have curb rash, you will need the dremell to grind it down carefully. Use the sanding bit (60 Grit) to quickly and steadily work your way around the edge until the rash is gone (We thought this part was going to suck, it did, but it was not as bad as we thought). Now, use the 150 grit on the wheel as well as the face of the rim to sand down any imperfections. After you have completed this, bust out the 400 – dry at first and then with a wet sanding the second time around. This will get you an ultra smooth finish, primed for painting. Use the air duster to blast out any dust in the bolt holes. Finally? It’s not so bad, just a little prep work and a whole day later you are ready to paint. Stay tuned for an update about the paint side of things. We will break that down for you as well. As always, happy wrenching. -CA

CleanAudi is not responsible for any damage cause by failing to work correctly, plase make sure you are comfortable with this sort of work before you start and work outside away from fire hazards. Grinding metal can be dangerous, please take the safety steps needed to protect yourself and property. Seriously.


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