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    Thread: Full Polish Wheel Build/ DIY (Super RS content)

    1. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      05-16-2011 08:50 PM #1
      This winter I decided to take on a project to give my BBS Super RS wheels a finish that you don’t see very often, full polish. The hope is that this thread can help and guide anyone through the polishing process.
      The process all started with disassembly and removing of all the stock paint/powder coating. The faces took some work due to the colder temperatures in December when I finally started this. To strip the faces, I used Aircraft stripper and let it sit for 20 minutes then removed the paint. This process needed to be repeated a few times and with the help of a wire brush, the faces were all stripped. My plan for the barrels was to have them either painted or powder coated silver similar to the stock color.
      So a trip to the media blaster was in order. My local blaster gave me a roll of media blasting tape to protect the lips. Spend a good amount of time taping the lips making sure you have at least two layers over every piece of the lip with no gaps that could allow media to make contact with the surface you eventually would want to polish. Doing the taping myself, saved a good amount of money allowing all four barrels to be completely blasted in about a half hour and insuring a proper bonding surface. Remove the tape and any adhesive left from the media blasting tape.


      If your lips are raw, as mine were from the last rebuild, wipe them down with some acetone to remove any polish that is on the surface. If your lips are still coated in the stock clear, take this time to use the Aircraft stripper and remove it so you can give them a proper polish. After the lips are all clean, grab some green powder coating tape and again tape the lips with about two layers to prevent powder penetration. Caswellplating is a good source for the tape as they usually have it in stock and have a variety of widths. I dropped the barrels off at the powder coater and got a single stage silver. There are a ton of options, I chose to go simple as it was inexpensive and I can always change it. You can always paint the pieces and then clear powder them for a thick layer of protection.


      RS faces will take months of work, big thanks to my boys TJ and Justin for helping me out as much as they could, especially after finding out they still had blemishes. So I recommend keeping the fridge stocked with cold brews to keep the helpers interested, otherwise you may go insane. The faces are heavily etched during the factory powder coating process. So this is the list of grits we went through on the front/back and windows on each face: 80, 120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, and 1500. You can go farther but I didn’t feel it necessary because of the equipment I have at my disposal. After starting over, I started to sanding in what I would call a cross hatching pattern, in the windows especially. I would go horizontal and then vertical, move up a grit and sand horizontal until all the previous vertical lines were gone and then go vertical until the horizontal lines were gone. This helped to eliminate all the blemished and helps to make sure everything is getting sanded evenly and smooth.

      The blemishes you want gone before moving on:

      I followed this process all the way up, it’s long but it saves a few headaches when it’s time to make them shine. You’ll want to periodically stop and wash the faces off using some degreaser and/or brake cleaner to verify that all the blemishes are gone. The same process was followed for the center nuts, lips, and waffle centers although they didn’t need to start as low as the faces. Keep some markers handy to remember what you have done.




      And now you’ll be onto the nerve racking part of making the faces shine. Don’t have many pictures of during work because 1) it makes a mess, 2) it’s hard to take photos and keep the Vulcan death grip in the wheels. The tools:
      1/2hp Craftsman Bench Top Buffer with arbor extenders and pedestal:

      Rotary tools/dremel/coveralls/Compounds.


      Before starting to polish, cover everything in the surrounding area with plastic. I chose to creat a plastic room to contain the mess, periodically turning on the shop vac while polishing to pull out the dust. For the faces/Nuts and center waffles, I started with emery compound and a spiral sewn wheel to remove any sanding lines utilizing the pedestal buffer sanding perpendicular to the last direction of sanding. Then clean the pieces using brake cleaner removing the compound. Next use tripoli compound with a spiral sewn going perpendicular to the direction in which you just polished, clean the piece of all compound and repeat with Tripoli. Remember to clean the buffing wheel frequently as you will be removing some material. I choose to finish the polishing process utilizing green compound, which is generally stated for stainless steel only. I use this based on the hardness of the material piece I am polishing, Super RSs are some of the hardest aluminum there is, so it works very well. Otherwise I usually use the white rogue. I then went over each piece twice with spiral sewn wheels and the finishing compounds. Polishing the windows is the most difficult part of the process. It is possible to get in the larger ones with the machine but can get very sketchy as you’re putting the face very close to the machine. I chose to do what I could on the machine and finish them off with rotary tools and felt bobs. Once done, I cleaned any remaining polish using a light amount of brake cleaner and then went over them with some Mother’s polish.



      I chose to do front and back, just because:

      For the lips I start with the pedestal buffer using the emery compound and a spiral sewn wheel going perpendicular to the sanding lines the best I can. I then use a wool compounding pad with the Brown Tripoli, blue light cut with the Green stainless rouge, and finally a finish polishing pad with some Mother’s, cleaning the leftover compound in between.

      Next it’s time to clean all the bolt holes and reassemble, using loctite and installing the bolts in a cross pattern, similar to installing wheels. I use a batter operated drill on low torque to speed up the process. Then follow the same pattern and torque the bolts properly: Using Blue Gel Loctite: 25 ft-lbs for used bolts 35 ft-lbs for new, using Blue Liquid Loctite: 20 ft-lbs for used and 30 ft-lbs for new.
      A little sunshine makes you appreciate the hard work:


      It's a lot of words and not many pics, the process is repetitive. Thanks for looking, feel free to ask any questions.

    2. Member
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      05-16-2011 09:48 PM #2
      WOW... all tha hard work really payed off
      Will you be mounting these soon??
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    3. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      05-16-2011 09:59 PM #3
      Thanks, it was a ton of work. They actually went on yesterday, getting ready to go down to sowo
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      05-16-2011 10:23 PM #4
      unfortunately I won't be at sowo, so Ill just have to wait to see some pictures
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      05-18-2011 10:45 AM #5
      unreal dedication. what are they going on?

    6. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      05-18-2011 11:13 AM #6
      They are on my white, air ride mkv gti
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    7. Member graphix3's Avatar
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      05-18-2011 11:23 AM #7
      amazing work. yes need pics of them mounted!!!!

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      05-20-2011 10:34 AM #8
      Good work.

      Polishing definitely is a hassle, but the most worth-wile, relieving accomplishment when its done. Good work.

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      05-20-2011 11:50 AM #9
      You sir... are a god. They look AMAZING
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    10. Member Ben from RI's Avatar
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      06-01-2011 07:39 PM #10
      nice work... we must shoot at h20
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      no dubs :(
      06-01-2011 08:48 PM #11
      what are you rocking for center caps? i just contacted bbs and they claim they can sell me the carbons, the red or the black.

      i'm still thinking they won't fit but it looks like you have the silver caps, did you make your own out of the parts?

    12. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      06-01-2011 10:18 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Ben from RI View Post
      nice work... we must shoot at h20
      Definitely Ben

      Quote Originally Posted by Righteous Bucks View Post
      what are you rocking for center caps? i just contacted bbs and they claim they can sell me the carbons, the red or the black.

      i'm still thinking they won't fit but it looks like you have the silver caps, did you make your own out of the parts?
      My center caps and nuts are from regular 17" RSs. My set came with 3 Super nuts and 1 Regular and two of the Super caps were cracked. I was ale to find the regular RS ones pretty easily at the time. You could always use flat caps if you wanted, just need large thread
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      no dubs :(
      06-02-2011 12:16 AM #13
      cool, bbs claims they can send me carbons that fit. so i'm prolly gonna do that, factory direct $18, red and black ones are $34.

    14. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      06-02-2011 08:06 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Righteous Bucks View Post
      cool, bbs claims they can send me carbons that fit. so i'm prolly gonna do that, factory direct $18, red and black ones are $34.
      That's a pretty good deal, the Super RS caps are impossible to find.
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      no dubs :(
      06-02-2011 12:56 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by OVRWRKD View Post
      That's a pretty good deal, the Super RS caps are impossible to find.
      well, now that they're being sold here again that'll change.

      chris from watercooled can get the orig caps for $35 i think he quoted me. he's checking on bolts for me.

    16. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      06-02-2011 01:47 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Righteous Bucks View Post
      well, now that they're being sold here again that'll change.

      chris from watercooled can get the orig caps for $35 i think he quoted me. he's checking on bolts for me.
      Oh nice, that would be awesome if we could now get all the replacement caps and especially bolts, most of the replacement bolts seem cheap
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      06-02-2011 05:52 PM #17
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      no dubs :(
      06-03-2011 12:40 AM #18
      hey over did you replace your stems? by my account, it appears the opening is 1/2" or 12.7mm, is that the correct size stem?

      and where would you suggest getting stems, ecs doesn't appear to have any, and the other vw tuner sites seem to be bare too...

    19. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      06-03-2011 07:37 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Righteous Bucks View Post
      hey over did you replace your stems? by my account, it appears the opening is 1/2" or 12.7mm, is that the correct size stem?

      and where would you suggest getting stems, ecs doesn't appear to have any, and the other vw tuner sites seem to be bare too...
      I honestly don't remeber what the size is for the stems. I know tirerack was able to get BBS stems for a while, not sure if they still can. I don't remeber if I replaced them last year when I took the wheels apart the first time, if I did I probably got new stems from 20squared. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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      no dubs :(
      06-07-2011 07:57 PM #20
      how are you painting your barrels? mine are having the paint stripped right now, and they want me to tape the lips.

      my plan was to have them powder up to where that lip had paint originally. i don't know how to describe it, but that rounded edge that appears to be taped in your photos.

      i'm curious how you're taping your's off.

    21. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      06-07-2011 08:30 PM #21
      I don't seem to have any pictures of the whole lip after I taped them for powder. But, I taped both the front and backside of the lip and the backside of the surface that the face bolts to. I know where you're talking about on the lip. I chose to go farther down, mainly because my tires are stretched and in the rear you can see part of the inside of the lip.
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      no dubs :(
      06-08-2011 02:21 AM #22
      i'm just praying no powder seeps down onto the lip, b/c i plan having him paint that curved edge just like they were factory.

    23. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      06-08-2011 07:36 AM #23
      I used about two layers to make sure nothing got through, overlap the seams and you'll be ok.
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      no dubs :(
      06-08-2011 12:49 PM #24
      ya now that i think of it, i think a lot of guys that stretch just polish that rounded edge, i should do some pic searching, might make life easier for me and the powder guy. thankfully he's supplying the tape at no charge

    25. Member xamx's Avatar
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      06-16-2011 09:20 AM #25
      wow... so amazing...
      totally worth the time.

      extreamly helpful too... as i will be doing this within the next few days i need all the help i can get..
      all the products you used did you find them easy to get?

      the Aircraft stripper that removes the powder coating?? or loosens it up to be able to take it of with a wire brush?
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    26. Member OVRWRKD's Avatar
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      06-16-2011 09:59 AM #26
      Most of the products can be purchased at a local hardware or auto parts store. The polishing compounds and wheels I order from matchless or caswell plating. Aircraft stripper takes off the powder sometimes without using a wire wheel and sometimes you need the wire wheel to persuade it.
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      07-05-2011 05:57 AM #27
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      09-13-2011 07:46 PM #28
      not a big fan of these wheels but yours are good job
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