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    Thread: I want to copper plate my wheels, looking for some imput!

    1. Junior Member
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      01-30-2012 07:38 PM #1
      I have a set of D90's that I want to get copper plated. I've talked to some plating companies and they say that it isn't very durable. I looked on some low rider fourms and saw that chrome dipping them and having a clear brown powdercoat applied gives them a copper look.

      I need some help picking the best looking/most durable option. (I've never had anything plated or powdercoated before) Help a rookie out!

      thanks!

    2. Member unimogken's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 10:19 PM #2
      Do it up just like Paul Jr. did with the copper Statue of Liberty bike!

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    3. Senior Member skidplate's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 10:44 PM #3
      Actual copper plating would tarnish pretty quickly. The route the lowrider guys are taking is probably your best bet. I'm sure if you talk with a plating or powder coating expert they can probably tell you the best route to go.
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    4. Member miatafreak's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 11:11 PM #4
      Didn't somebody up north have some CCWs with that finish on a mk5 Rabbit?

    5. Senior Member skidplate's Avatar
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      01-30-2012 11:54 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by miatafreak View Post
      Didn't somebody up north have some CCWs with that finish on a mk5 Rabbit?
      It was Scott Moore's old gti. From what I hear the new owner let them get all tarnished and they're all curb rashed now.
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    6. Senior Member MEISTER's Avatar
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      01-31-2012 01:18 AM #6
      Powder coat = No tarnish.
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    7. Member LieutenantShinySides's Avatar
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      01-31-2012 11:42 AM #7
      Copper plating your wheels is the only way to get the the right look. The place that did mine was great and they can clear coat them to seal the polished finish.



      Art Brass Plating in Seattle is who did my work.



      The valve cover couldnt be clear coated because of the heat so it required polishing regularly. The rest was all clear coated and retained a perfect shine.

      Good luck.
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    8. Member dubsnmotion's Avatar
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      01-31-2012 01:59 PM #8
      ya just clear coat em after, then you can treat em like any painted product. polish/wax n such.

    9. 01-31-2012 02:18 PM #9
      as scott said art brass in seattle does a great job...not cheap, but if you are gonna do it, do it right...

      powder coat will not come close to looking the same as actual plating and will cheapen the look imo...
      Hella Waffled Yo

    10. 01-31-2012 04:08 PM #10
      its not copper, but would be the cheapest rout to go with chrome wheels.
      http://www.duplicolor.com/products/metalCast/

    11. 01-31-2012 08:50 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Us2bA4dr View Post
      as scott said art brass in seattle does a great job...not cheap, but if you are gonna do it, do it right...

      powder coat will not come close to looking the same as actual plating and will cheapen the look imo...
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    12. Senior Member MEISTER's Avatar
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      02-01-2012 03:17 PM #12
      The problem with clear coating over polished metal or chrome is that over time the clear coat breaks down and will start to get hazy. It is inevitable that moisture and impurities will absorbs into the metal over time and this is what causes it to get hazy.

      Age and the cumulative effects of acidic and alkaline compounds that occur commonly in our environment, including road salt and harsh chemicals, brake dust and even contaminated rain puddles. These materials attack even the tiniest cracks, chips, or scratches, and eventually undermine the clear coat.

      It's almost better to not clear coat it so you can polish it. Just keep a thick coat of wax on them all the time and clean them regularly.

      Powder coat definitely does not have the same finish as real copper plating on flat surfaces. But depending on the wheel (a wheel with a lot of curved surfaces) you can achieve a look that is almost as good with a more durable surface.

      Here is a example I found online of chrome powder. You can add pretty much any transparent color on top to achieve a anodize, copper or bronze plated look.





      The site I found these links on (not mine) http://www.clubchopper.com/forums/po...r-coating.html
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    13. Member Dark_VR6's Avatar
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      02-01-2012 11:47 PM #13
      If your gonna actually go through with this plan do it once and do it right. If you want a true copper look, then get it copper plated. Powder coat can't compare to copper. And as far as clear coating them its pretty smart since copper plating costs triple the amount of powder coating. I say go copper no body does be different every one powder coats

    14. Member AKrett's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 12:14 AM #14
      So based on some facts given, cars themselves should not have clear applied and should be powder coated!! I need to inform my manager of this new information!
      I clear coated the copper CCW's previously mentioned. Just apply an adhesion promoter (which can be tricky) and clear over. Done and done.

    15. Member BrownBag's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 01:14 AM #15
      Listen to Scott on this

    16. Member LieutenantShinySides's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 02:09 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by AKrett View Post
      So based on some facts given, cars themselves should not have clear applied and should be powder coated!! I need to inform my manager of this new information!
      I clear coated the copper CCW's previously mentioned. Just apply an adhesion promoter (which can be tricky) and clear over. Done and done.
      Two years later when I sold the car they looked just as polished and vibrant as the day I brought them to you. Clear coating works. I'm not an expert on metal finishes but I do know that Art Brass Plating offered to clear coat mine to retain the finish, but what do they know? They've only been around since 1915. I had Andy clear them since he was already working on my GTI.

      Here are some pictures from the last few years. The finish didn't change at all. No powder coat comes close to actual polished copper. Ever.















      I have plenty more examples. Also, to clear things up, the guy who bought my car let the lips go to **** by curbing them and not polishing them, not the centers.
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      02-02-2012 02:19 AM #17
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    18. Junior Member
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      02-02-2012 10:49 AM #18
      Thanks everyone!

    19. Member LieutenantShinySides's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 11:58 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by MEISTER View Post
      The problem with clear coating over polished metal or chrome is that over time the clear coat breaks down and will start to get hazy. It is inevitable that moisture and impurities will absorbs into the metal over time and this is what causes it to get hazy.

      Age and the cumulative effects of acidic and alkaline compounds that occur commonly in our environment, including road salt and harsh chemicals, brake dust and even contaminated rain puddles. These materials attack even the tiniest cracks, chips, or scratches, and eventually undermine the clear coat.

      It's almost better to not clear coat it so you can polish it. Just keep a thick coat of wax on them all the time and clean them regularly.

      Powder coat definitely does not have the same finish as real copper plating on flat surfaces. But depending on the wheel (a wheel with a lot of curved surfaces) you can achieve a look that is almost as good with a more durable surface.

      Here is a example I found online of chrome powder. You can add pretty much any transparent color on top to achieve a anodize, copper or bronze plated look.
      You forgot to include the link to the article you copied that from...

      http://www.carwashandspa.com/Report_...Tire_Care.html

      Why do wheels get “cloudy”?

      The principle reason modern wheels (i.e., those produced after 1990) become cloudy or dull is the breakdown of the clear coat finish. This happens for several reasons:

      1. Age, and the cumulative effects of acidic and alkaline compounds that occur commonly in our environment, including road salt and harsh chemicals—heck, even contaminated rain puddles. These materials attack even the tiniest cracks, chips, or scratches, and eventually undermine the coating.

      2. Failure of the clear-coat. Certain manufacturers, notably GM in the period
      1998 – 2002, experimented with alternative coating materials (such as water-based urethanes). These materials did not meet the demands of everyday use and were abandoned. Unfortunately, owners of vehicles with these wheels are now discovering how these coatings fail to keep their shine. Fortunately, most of these wheels can be repolished and refinished while mounted on the vehicle, usually in just a few hours.

      3. Inappropriate use of cleaners. Applying alkaline cleaners to polished (but uncoated) aluminum wheels (“billets”) will generally result in a cloudy haze forming over the entire surface. Fortunately, most wheels can be polished with jeweler’s rouge (or equivalent) while mounted on the vehicle and returned to new or nearly new condition in just a few hours. Regular polishing and waxing is required to combat the oxidation that inevitably dulls these wheels.
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    20. Senior Member MEISTER's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 12:19 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by LieutenantShinySides View Post
      You forgot to include the link to the article you copied that from...
      http://www.carwashandspa.com/Report_...Tire_Care.html
      Oops forgot. Thanks for validating my first response.

      From the replies above, I think I've been misunderstood as usual. The body of your car doesn't roll though puddles, rotate at high RPMs, have caustic brake dust on it every time you drive and get hot and cold every time you drive it.

      I'm not saying that painted clear coat won't work. I am saying that 'typically' it won't last as long as powder. If you plan on not daily driving your car, that clear will be fine. Powder is designed to withstand temperatures to up to 250º, 4 times more if you use high temp silicone based powder

      There are companies that make powder coat with 200% gloss clear coat made just for polished metal. It is much lower maintenance than painted clear coat. You don't need to wax the wheels, you can hose off the brake dust fairly easy with out having to scrub and most powder will repel the hot brake dust.
      Last edited by MEISTER; 02-02-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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    21. Member LieutenantShinySides's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 12:35 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by MEISTER View Post
      Oops forgot. Thanks for validating my first response.

      From the replies above, I think I've been misunderstood as usual. The body of your car doesn't roll though puddles, rotate at high RPMs, have caustic brake dust on it every time you drive and get hot and cold every time you drive it.

      I'm not saying that painted clear coat won't work. I am saying that 'typically' it won't last as long as powder. If you plan on not daily driving your car, that clear will be fine. Powder is designed to withstand temperatures to up to 250º, 4 times more if you use high temp silicone based powder

      There are companies that make powder coat with 200% gloss clear coat made just for polished metal. It is much lower maintenance than painted clear coat. You don't need to wax the wheels, you can hose off the brake dust fairly easy with out having to scrub and most powder will repel the hot brake dust.
      Take your validations however you can get them, even if you plagerize them. I'll take the advice of the professional's if thats Ok with you.
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    22. Senior Member MEISTER's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 12:52 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by LieutenantShinySides View Post
      Take your validations however you can get them, even if you plagiarize them. I'll take the advice of the professional's if thats Ok with you.
      Typlical vortex response. A person makes a mistake and you get called out and made to look bad. And it's perfectly fine to get a second opinion. But lets all re-read the OP....

      Quote Originally Posted by spudster_425 View Post
      I need some help picking the best looking/most durable option. (I've never had anything plated or powder coated before) Help a rookie out!
      I'm just trying to help out OP, not argue with anyone and not start any drama like everyone else constantly does.

      spudster_425, my suggestion is to get them copper plated and powder coated with 200% gloss powder. If you have any questions feel free to PM me, as I'm done with the people in this thread.
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    23. 02-02-2012 01:13 PM #23
      i wonder if the car manufacturers know about this clear coat on polish issue...

      as far as i know every factory polished wheel has clearcoat on it standard...

      at least my polished audi a8l's did, but i guess audi is goin the cheap inexpensive route...

      o.p..as said before, powder is a cheap alternative, if the cheap half assed look like the ones on the chopper appeal to you, then go that route, you have not said what you are trying to achieve, copper color, or copper plated look.

      if you want powder, listen to meister, if you want plated, listen to scott who has done it, and listen to art brass plating who has done it since 1915...
      Hella Waffled Yo

    24. Member LieutenantShinySides's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 01:32 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by MEISTER View Post
      Typlical vortex response. A person makes a mistake and you get called out and made to look bad. And it's perfectly fine to get a second opinion. But lets all re-read the OP....



      I'm just trying to help out OP, not argue with anyone and not start any drama like everyone else constantly does.

      spudster_425, my suggestion is to get them copper plated and powder coated with 200% gloss powder. If you have any questions feel free to PM me, as I'm done with the people in this thread.
      I was also trying to help the OP out, but didn't find it necessary to try and point out everything wrong with clearcoating polished surfaces by info you scrounged up from a website about washing cars made by a third grader.

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    25. Moderator Arsigi's Avatar
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      02-02-2012 01:44 PM #25
      OK, I think we're done here. The OP has been given some insight regarding various methods of finishing his wheels, as well as some insight regarding the character of some of the usual suspects in the PNW forum. Time to nip the drama in the bud.

      Good luck with your project.
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