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BBS LM Wheel Refurb Advice

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im about to get some genuine BBS LMs refurbed, I’m going for an original finish in BBS Silver.

Im considering options with the dish - polished versus powder coating in chrome which I understand looks the same and involves less maintenance as a polished dish will oxidise so needs effort to maintain the finish.



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The original LM's had a machined/diamond cut then lacquered lip, so if you want to be 'OEM' then you need to get that done. Problem there is that perhaps 12-18 months later, it's likely the surface of the lacquer will crack to the extent you'll get the moisture through and the finish will get that spidery/milky look, and you'll be in the same position again.


Your second line is confusing. 


If you polish the lips to bare metal, you'll get that absolutely awesome shine as the aluminium used is high quality and comes up looking beautiful. 


If you powder coat the lips which will give you a very tough finish that will last a long time, you'll never get anywhere near the shine and mirror finish of bare metal polishing. Any powder coat with 'chrome' in the name of it doesn't look anywhere close to genuine chrome and/or a mirror polish level type finish. 


The latter option will also just look like BBS imitation wheels ie, nothing special at all. 


What you need to do is have the lips polished to bare metal and then have a ceramic coating applied to protect it and keep oxidization away. You'll then get the fantastic looks only genuine LM's provide and not have to polish the lips every 3/4 days. I'd also suggest painting the centres as you can get a very smooth finish. Powder coating the centres will also give you a tough finish but it suffers from the 'orange peel' effect. How good a powder coater is, the quality of powder coat used also plays a part but it's also governed by the style of the centre's. If there's large portions of surfaces of the face, then powder coat can cover well when in the oven and finish to a smooth finish with only minimal orange peel effect. A wheel with little spoke surface area is harder to do and to do with little orange peel effect and LM's have little surface area of the spokes. 


Final choice is up to you, the last set of LM's I sold the buyer wanted diamond cut lips with lacquer and powder coated centres;




The right of the 3 spokes shown, just before the spoke splits to two there's a circular 'flaw' showing, this is a air bubble that's popped whilst in the oven and the molten powder coat. 




In this pic of the face, the lower right lug nut hole, you can see the orange peel effect just above it and in the spoke next to it. 




The effect is a little more noticeable in this pic - look at the light reflection on the top two spoke splits



Similar to the above, orange peel effect on the spoke inner area.


Here's the diamond cut lips






The set you are looking at 'could be' this very set (most likely isn't though!) , so if you go diamond cut/lacquer lip and powder coat centres, it won't be too long before you'll need to re-finish them again. 


Go for bare metal polish lips with a protective coating and painted centres for the best finish.


Cheers, Dennis!



Edited by DennisCooper

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I've had another set of splits recently refurbished and after many previous sets done, can echo what DennisCooper has advised. Painted centres will give a finer finish as powdercoat is heavy in comparison and hand polished lips will give the "wow" factor. 


PM anytime if you need a recommendation for a top split rim builder & refurbisher.



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10 hours ago, sayanthan said:

Thanks for advice have gone for polished lips/ceramic coat.

bbs silver paint to centres 


Top choice. ;)


I had my set done the same many moons ago and I added a set of original BBS Red Centres Caps with Gold Lettering which really set them apart from the standard caps.



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On 9/9/2018 at 5:17 PM, sayanthan said:

I haven’t applied it yet

im going to use Gtechniq ceramic wheel sealant

i’ll probably RE-apply every 6 months


That stuff is excellent.


You really don't need a lot.  Few drops (probably size of 50p coin) on the cotton pad.  Use one pad per wheel.


You will be surprised as the pad will look like there's no coating left once you've gone round some of the wheel, but it will.


I would split the wheel into 3.  Front rim, front face and rear dish of the week.  Once you've coated each, wipe (not buff) with microfibre cloth.  Once finished leave for a few days (I left mine for a week before fitting).


Once fitted to the car, the dirt will fall off.  All I use is a bucket of car washing detergent and they clean up good as new!


Excellent stuff.


Nice wheels by the way.

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I recently had my BBL Rep refurbished at Lepsons with custom anthracite centres and diamond cut lips.  



Edited by M5 Russ

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