This past weekend I did the stealth wheels mod and it turned out great. I spent under $50 on all the supplies, took maybe 8-10 hours total spread out over 3 days, and most importantly it looks great. I got the idea from this thread my buddy showed me from an xterra forum (http://www.thenewx.org/forum/showthread.php?t=5067). I thought there was one like that here on TW but couldn't find it when I searched. I did find skistoy's write up on painting the stock rims really helpful and used that as a guide. It's essentially the same except I used Dupli-color bed liner instead of the flat black paint.
•medium grit sand paper (80 grit)
•fine grit sand paper (180 grit)
•old card board boxes
•2-3 cans of Dupli-Color spray-on bedliner
•optional: sander or sanding block
Here's a not so great shot of the materials I used. The Rockwell did make the sanding go by faster but it's not necessary.
Ok so pretty simple Prep which is done for both the wheels and hub caps. I'd recommend doing 2 things at a time like sanding both a wheel and hub cap and then you can paint them at the same time.
1. Either wash the wheels or wipe them down with acetone before you start sanding.
2.Before you remove the wheel weights, use the white out to mark the spot of the wheel weight on the tire (you can just scrape it off the tire after the bedliner has dried).
3. Sand the wheels with the medium grit sandpaper (you can use a sanding block or electric sander/dremel here) making sure to do the inner part of the wheel right behind the rim as well.
4. Wipe the wheel down with a rag doused in acetone.
5. Repeat step three using fine grit sandpaper and repeat step 4.
6. Wrap the stem with painters tape.
The wheel is now ready to be painted. Mine looked like this to give you a reference. You can see the white out mark on the lower part of the tire.
Once you have prepped you are ready to paint. I found the best technique was always spraying while my hand was moving and in short but controlled bursts.
1. Place the index cards in between the tire and wheel and this should be enough to keep spray off the tire. (NOTE: Keep a rag nearby just in case you spray the tire)
2. Spray the inner side of the wheel nearest the rim first to get a nice coat inside the wheel.
3. Start by spraying through the holes to get the visible parts of the inside of the wheel.
4. Then spray around the rim almost parallel with the index cards. This gets that little outside lip of the rim which is tough to get later in the process.
5. Hit the center of the wheel where the holes for the lug nuts are.
6. Lightly spray the rest of the wheel. At this point not every spot has to be covered.
7. Wait 5 minutes or longer depending on the drying conditions and give the wheel a second coat.
8. With the second coat start by working outside in on the wheel spraying any of the spots not painted yet.
9. Wait another 5 minutes and apply a third coat.
10. Touch up any spots and let it dry for at least 12 hours.
NOTE: When a can of duplicolor gets low it the can starts to spray heavier droplets which can mess up the nice smooth coat you've already laid down. Wiping the spray tip off with a rag helps but when I still got droplets I just started a new can.
Here's a picture of my set up. 2 hub caps drying in front, my 14 year old yellow hangin out, and the cardboard set up with wheels ready to paint in the background.
The result is:
Looks a little shinier than it actually is because of the flash.
1. Once the wheels have dried for at least 6 hours, I waited 12 in case, look for any spots you missed and touch them up.
2. Dry any thing you touch up for at least another 3 hours.
3. Place any wheel weights you removed back in the spots marked with the white out.
4. Remove the painters tape from the stems.
5. Put the wheels back on (you can rotate them here if you want, I went front to back cuz i still have the OEM spare).
6. Leave the hubcaps off for now.
7. Once the truck is back on the ground make sure the lug nuts are tightened enough.
8. At this point put the hub caps on.
9. Scrub off the white out on the tires.
10. Enjoy your new stealth wheels
One final comment, I tried Rustoleum's spray on bed liner and it was more like a rubbery spray paint than bed liner. The duplicolor has a much more "bed-liner like" feel to it while the rustoleum leaves a smooth rubber coating. I also found that the rustoleum pooled up much more easily than the duplicolor did.
Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading the write up and sorry it's a bit wordy but patience is also a key in this project.