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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday I got an eBay alert about a new takeoff set of Z51 wheels and I couldn't resist. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette 19 034 20 034 Wheels Rim 5635 5641 Set of 4 Opt Q7S | eBay.

Since day one I've wanted a hyper silver version of the Z51 wheel and now that mine is built I figured it was time to get started on the project. Living right down the road from CCW Complete Custom Wheel - Forged Aluminum Wheels I stopped by and had a very good conversation with John, the owner. They are about 6 months away from having their own powder shop set up so he turned me on to their supplier, Technical Painting of Jacksonville TPJ. They are OEM to Honda, Enkei, CCW and a number of others.

Their Hyper Silver / Black is created in 4 steps.

Step 1, clean and prep wheels.
Step 2, lay down a black powder coat base, prep for next step
Step 3, hand apply a silver translucent coat along the top horizontal surface. This concentrates the silver on the front facing surfaces (top) with a gradual fade to black as the surface becomes more vertical (remember, the wheel is laying flat on a table). The amount of silver in the mix determines whether it's Hyper Black or Hyper Silver. Prep for final step.
Step 4, apply a final clear powder coat and detail wheel for delivery.

Because step 3 is a manual process, performed by a human, not a machine, no 2 batches are exactly alike. It's truly a custom wheel coating. Steps 2 and 4 are automated.

I asked about powder coat vs. paint and the heat issue. The process they use is specific to automotive wheels and certified by Honda and others as perfectly safe, I trust their certifications.

Oh, and the best part, the cost is about $100 / wheel :)

The wheels should be here early next week then I'll take them up to Jax the week after when I get back from Bowling Green. I'll document everything in this thread, which I guess could be called my "build thread".


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Discussion Starter #4
Here's an example of the color I am shooting for.




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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
So a clear coated pewter or thereabouts?
Well, sort of. The "hyper" part is the gradient they create that starts as black inside the barrel and turns more silver as you get to the wheel face. It's nearly impossible to appreciate in a photo. Here's another example.

ImageUploadedByCorvette Stingray Forum1402108578.104433.jpg

But, if clear coat pewter were a factory option I would have ordered it and been quite happy.


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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Ok, 6 days into ownership and here's what's going on.

- Took the second set of wheels up to get them refinished. Decided to go with Hyper Silver and since it's a custom, done by hand so I asked for about 20% darker than their normal Hyper Silver application. I should get them back next week.

- Ordered clutch pedal extender. I may not like it but I want to try different distances from the gas/brake pedal, felling a bit cramped when moved forward enough to be comfortable on the clutch and with a wife who's 5' 0" tall she needs it.

- Lowered on the stock bolts. Got down about 1" all around though the right rear is now 1/4" lower than the left. I may have to raise that side a bit but it's an easy adjustment. I got into everything while it was up on the ramps and forgot to take before measurements but I did notice the right rear bolt took more turns then the other 3 so they do seem to level it at the factory.

- Completed 1000 mile oil change, switched to Mobil 1 Extended 5W-30 DEXOS spec with Mobil 1 filter. air box and intake checked and 100% dry.

Full detail comes tomorrow.


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Discussion Starter #10
Well OCD got the better of me so I raised the right rear 1/4" so all corners are balanced. Of course I don't have any corner weight scales but this is a looks thing anyway :)


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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Wheel update: The shop doing the work is actually a division of Enkei in Jacksonville so they have a full production powder and paint shop. Doing customer wheels is a sideline for them and part of a custom shop within a shop.

Here are the first 2 steps

Step 1, prepare the wheels (clean, sand, etc.)

ImageUploadedByCorvette Stingray Forum1403181693.042248.jpg

Step 2, lay down a black powder primer coat

ImageUploadedByCorvette Stingray Forum1403181727.426500.jpg

Step 3 will be the metallic silver top coat sprayed on one axis to allow a transition from silver to black as the paint hits the flat and angles surfaces.

Step 4 will be a clear powder coat finish for gloss and durability.


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Discussion Starter #13
how much $ mark?
$75 / wheel. Stupid cheap but to quote the production manager, "Doing customer wheels is a hobby for me". They said the Z51 wheels are really well built and are pretty confident they are forged though they agree it's uncommon for a forged wheel not to say as such on the wheel itself. OEM's have very specific standards, very different than the aftermarket from a branding perspective.

The company is Technical Painting in Jacksonville (TPJ), they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Enkei who make OEM wheels for Honda and Toyota in their Jacksonville factory. They sub out their powder coat and paint shop to custom wheel manufacturers like CCW, that's how I found them. Anyone who has been around cars for the last 30 years knows who Enkei is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Got the detailing done this morning. Started out at 9:00, finished at 1:00 with a break for lunch. Here's the steps and products I used

Step 1: Clean and strip finish using a Dawn soap wash
Step 2: Clay bar the finish to pick up any contaminates using the same Dawn soapy water as a lubricant followed by a spot free rinse and dry
Step 3: Polish and seal using Blackfire Total Polish and Seal. I used a Porter Cable 7424 orbital on 4 with a Black Lake Country Smart Pad. Note: although they advertise Total Polish and Seal to not need any buffing I found that since the machine pad retains a fair amount of product it never drys out enough to buff out the product like it would with a hand applicator. I followed each panel application with a microfiber wipe to clear residual product. No elbow grease needed, it just wipes off.
Step 4: Eat lunch to allow the product some cure time (probably not needed but I was hungry)
Step 5: Apply final seal using Blackfire Crystal Seal. Be careful here to not use too much product. I did initially so although it would eventually dry and level I went over the car with a plush microfiber to level the finish and pull of any residual product.

All was done in a climate controlled garage with high intensity halogen lights. Having a 15,000 BTU A/C unit makes it a piece of cake when it's 90 degrees outside......

One thing to note, the Museum delivery prep work is top notch. I could not detect any significant paint imperfections using the halogen or high intensity LED flashlights I have. I confirmed they use Adams products but I'm not sure if they used a 1 or 2 step process. Too many things going on and not enough time to talk to Dave, the PDI manager. Overall I would say they produce a detailer's quality of work, something I doubt any Chevy dealer will take the time to do.

And now the pictures :)

IMG_0427.jpg IMG_0425.jpg IMG_0423.jpg IMG_0429.jpg IMG_0426.jpg IMG_0424.jpg IMG_0422.jpg
 

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What, no Blackfire Wet Diamond??? ;)
 

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nice mark, I have never found the TPnS to be "haze free" but the haze to be wiped off is just that, a simple swipe and you're clean. Also for the wise ass comment (LOL) above, I'm only using WD when guys are wanting protection against winter weather, us fla guys only need TPnS+CS.....Carry a MF with you this week, you'll find a high spot somewhereof CS where it left some product when you reversed direction of the stroke....wipes right off, never "dries"...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I know it's not the Corvette but I had all the equipment out so I did a quick TPnS on my Ram 1500. Not bad for 2 hours start to finish.

ImageUploadedByCorvette Stingray Forum1403278738.962224.jpg ImageUploadedByCorvette Stingray Forum1403278775.613856.jpg ImageUploadedByCorvette Stingray Forum1403278792.835198.jpg


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Discussion Starter #20
Just killing time waiting for more parts to come in ;)


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