When I first bought #10515, one of the four rims had been replaced by the original owner because it had been damaged. But, the replacement rim was a grey rim, not silver like the other three. That’s been bugging me for a long time. That, combined with the paint starting to chip on a couple of the rims, got me thinking about replacing the rims. But, at $200+ for each rim, I’m not excited about that.
So I got to thinking about Plasti Dip – the rubberized spray paint. People have painted $200,000 cars with Plasti Dip. Click the photo to the right to see a bunch of examples, then watch the video to see how easy it is to do the rims.
Plasti Dip is pretty inexpensive, and is ‘easily’ reversible. It withstands hand-washing, comes in tons of colors and treatments, and seems to be a ‘miracle paint.’ So, I figured I’d take a chance and see how it worked on the DeLorean. I thought flat-black would go well, matching the bumpers. (Although I *REALLY* like the machined rims that Toby Petersen is doing in Seattle!) You might ask, “What does ‘easily reversible’ mean?” Well, it appears that Plasti Dip comes off by either peeling it off by hand, or by a high-pressure sprayer, or if it’s being stubborn, to spray the paint with Goof Off, then hit it with the pressure washer. Again, people have sprayed entire cars worth hundreds-of-thousands of dollars – so I figured it’s unlikely to do any damage to the aluminum rims of a DeLorean. So, I headed to Walmart and got 2 cans for $4.55 each.
How I Did It
Unlike the numerous other videos of people painting their rims, the biggest issue with the DeLorean rims is the fins. There are 45 fins and they’re pretty close together. And, when painting anything, the surface needs to be *CLEAN*! DeLorean rims are notoriously hard to keep clean. So, I decided to take the wheel off the car and take it to the back yard to clean it as good as possible. I used the pressure washer (and got soaked trying to get in between all the fins!) and a couple of brushes. Then I used a rag and my pinky finger to get between every fin. Then I pressure washed it again. I don’t think I could have gotten it any cleaner. I used an air hose to blow out any excess water and let it dry in the sun until it was a bone-dry.
Again, with the fins being so close together, I knew it would be difficult to get good spray coverage. So, I came up with the idea of putting the wheel on an IKEA lazy susan (Snudda) so I could spin the wheel and cover everything evenly. I covered the lazy susan with paper towels, then put it on top of a box I covered with a trash bag. Once I got the wheel centered so it would spin easily, I was ready to go. And it worked better than I’d hoped!
Even though I watched a lot of videos, I thought I would mask-off the tire, just to make it easier to clean the tire from the overspray. Yeah… Nothing I tried would stick to the tires! So I just trusted the videos. One of the things I learned from the videos, is that you want to do a few very light coats, to allow the paint to ‘bond’ to the surface. Which gives later coats something to stick to. Again, it worked perfectly. I ultimately did 6 coats (about 1/2 of 1 can), waiting 25 minutes between each coat. And the next day, just like in the videos, the overspray on the tires came off as easy as sliding an egg out of a teflon-coated pan! Then it was just a matter of spraying some tire cleaner on a rag and wiping off the remnant from the tire.
I’m going to do this to the other three rims before DeLorean Weekend, to see how well it holds up over the next 3 weeks, and the drive to Vegas. If it looks awful, I’ll take more pics and show it – then I’ll stop by a self-service car wash and do some cleaning. If it looks good, I’ll add more photos to this post as an ‘update’, to show how it’s held up over time. If it does hold up, I hope it inspires other DeLorean owners to give it a try. And if you’re thinking “I don’t like flat black”, maybe you’d like ‘Blaze Orange’ with a Metalizer finish…