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Old 08-13-2010, 04:56 AM   #1
Tempted2Speed
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The Official MK5 Denver/Huff to MK6 Detroit conversion DIY

So my car is getting repairs done and I have alot of time on my hands and I hate Denvers, so I decided to make them like MK6 style Denvers, and make a DIY while I was at it.

Bluetrep made the first DIY on this which gave me the inspiration to start on this. His DIY didnt have the most detail so I thought I would make one to help people like me who wanted more info.

Thanks to all the guys on the forums who helped me out with their advice on this including ElectricalBox, RSMark5, and Darcness.

Anyways here it is.

Supplies needed:

2 Cans Duplicolor High Performance Wheel Coating Black

2 Cans Duplicolor High Performance Wheel Coating Clearocat

Sponge, Microfiber or any other lint free cloth

Sandpaper, somewhere along the lines of 500 and 1000 grit. 2000 if you want to polish them up when your done

Rubbing alcohol

Scissors

1 roll 3m Scotch EdgeLock tape

1 roll of cheap Scotch tape from home depot or w/e

Id also recommend a bucket or something you can place the wheel on to be comfortable while you work, and you can spin the wheel around easily

Most important, lots of patience



Step 1: Take wheel off your car and remove the centercap

Step 2: Cleaning the wheel

Your wheels will obviously be pretty dirty and its better to not be sanding them like that. I used Simple Green, sprayed the whole wheel while it was dry then rinsed it off after a couple minutes; then I used a microfiber sponge and rubbed it down while hosing it out.

I also recommend cleaning the sidewall of the tire so the tape can stick better unless your using index cards. Dry the wheel/sidewall

Step 3: Sanding

Well I purchased an assorted pack of sandaper from Harbor Freight for like 4 bucks and it came with 220, 500, 1000, 1200 so I used some of the grits from there for my job and it was more than enough for all 4 wheels and perfectly fine too.

Remember you will be wetsanding, no dry sanding through this whole project

I started off with 500 grit, I cut up the sheet of sandpaper into small strips and used one strip for ever insert.

Heres where you have 2 choices in which route to take

A) You can sand the whole wheel down then clear the whole wheel(Including the face.) This is the method I used.

If you do this, after taping, you will blend(which Ill talk about later) the black inserts and spray layers of clearcoat over the whole wheel. If you go this route, you will not clear the wheel until the wheel is dry, which can take 3 or more hours depending how hot it is where your doing this.

B) Keep the factory clearcoat on the face and blend the inserts(which you have painted and cleared.) I havent tried this method so I cant tell you exactly how it'll turn out except for the fact the the factory clear is better than the Duplicolor you'll be using though the Duplicolor will still hold up fine.


No matter what method you use, you will still need the upcoming steps so we'll get back to the DIY. For those of you using method B Im sure you can figure out how to use the upcoming steps to your project because it wont be much difference.

Anyways, make sure to get every part of the wheel including the lug holes sanded, and also the curves inside the inserts cause they could be tricky. I applied a pretty damn good amount of force when sanding these things.









Step 4: Clean again

All that sanding is going to make a mess to make sure to clean the wheel good again. Same method as Step 2

Step 5: Taping and paint prep

This may just be the longest step and where the Edgelock tape comes into use. Trust me, this stuff seriously works, throughout yourproject you'll notice how strong the edges are of these things.

Ive seen the method used where the tape is sliced up so it could be flexible but I tried that and I dont like it much. So what I did was with scissors I cut a very thin line(using only both the sides of the edgelock tape.)

So what your left with is a very thin long line of tape. The outer part will be perfectly straight, so make sure to use that side to outline the insert. Go slowly, with the tape this way, the curves will be a breeze. After a while you'll get used to it and start doing it really quick.

Cut an individual line for the big curvy part of the insert, and then a shorter line for the flatter side(closest to the tire.) Like I said remember to only use the edges since not only are they stronger but also because one side is perfectly flat so you dont end up outlining your inserts with an imperfect line of tape.

Youll end up with alot of extra "middle" tape, just cut it up in pieces and stick em on the wheel since youll be taping the fce of the wheel up anyway.

After your done with all the outlines comes the easier part. Tape up the rest of the wheel, and you can tape over the outlines too for reassurance. I used a cheaper tape for this part since its not really important what tape your covering with, tape is tape.

You can use index cards or tape to cover the tire, I used tape.







Just before painting, I used a microfiber towel and rubbing alcohol to rub down the inserts I was preparing to spray.

Step 6: Painting

I sprayed three coats and that seemed to work great for me.

I started off with a pretty dry coat, "dusting" some may call it.

Second coat I applied was medium wet, and the third was the most wet.

I waited 10 minutes in between each coat. Usually the temperature was 80-90 and it dried QUICK.

If your using Method B, you can start clearcoat 10 minutes after your 3rd coat.



Step 7: Clearocat Prep

Since it was so hot, I only waited about 3 hours for my inserts to dry. Untape everything and do it relatively slowly.

Now you'll notice that the inserts arenot smooth with the face of the wheel since youve just added layer of paint to them, so time to start blending.

I used 1000 grit sandpaper. Start wetsanding the edges of the inserts. I used very little force because the paint still isnt completely cured and you could chip the paint if too much force is applied.

After you done it youll notice its completely flush with the wheel if youve done it right.

Clean the wheels again.

Step 8: Clearcoat

I didnt even tape up my tires when I clearcoated because I noticed that the clear doesnt stick to them, and just comes off when rubbed on.

I started out with a very light layer of clear, and didnt spray too close either. Let it dry for 10 minutes then start the next layer.

This layer was also light but just a little heavier, I held the can closer to the wheel and got more detailed with where I was spraying.

Third coat was the heaviest, but you have to realize clear isnt the same as paint, and a heavy coat of clear is half of what a heavy coat of paint is so dont go crazy. I made the mistake and went pretty heavy on the last coat of clear on one of mine and one of the spots stayed yellowish.

Props to RSMark5 for the above advice



Step 9: Finishing touches

Your done at this point. If you want, you can leave it the way it is or you can wetsand the wheel with a high sandpaper grit after the wheel is FULLY cured. Some may also buff it or w/e.

I personally didnt do it. I know if I do, the wheel will be more smooth but Im just glad to be done and maybe at a later time I will but just not now.



Thoughts, etc


Its a long process, its not hard, but just tedious. I did one wheel at a time, and each wheel took maybe 4 hours.

But it's totally worth it. The difference is night and day, and transforms the look of your car. Denvers are just so bland and boring. Ive gotten so many compliments already on how its much better looking than stock, even by my dad who hates when I do mods to my car lol

This whole thing costed less than 40 bucks and really taught me alot since going into it I was inexperienced at projects like this, especially with all the sanding and painting.

The biggest thing is starting on the project, your very skeptical at first but once you get into it youll get the hang of things. Even though it took so long I gotta say I kinda liked doing it.


Anyways thats it for this DIY, I typed it up at 2am so I may be missing some info which I can add later.

PM me with any questions you may have!




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Old 08-13-2010, 04:57 AM   #2
Tempted2Speed
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Reserved

Sorry for typos, its late and Im tired
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #3
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All the pics of the process have been added!

Later on Ill be posting pics of the finished wheels and when their on the car
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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nice DIY. we need more people like you on this board.

if i had denvers i'd jump on this shit.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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Looks great man. Subscribed for pics back on car
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:58 PM   #6
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Good DIY. I really like your idea of sittingthe wheel with a bucket inside so you can spin it. I've worked on wheels so many times and never thought of that so good thinking.

The taping, another method just to throw this out there is to mask the whole wheel and then just cut out the inserts with a razor blade and a fine touch. Its less hassle but takes a good bit of skill.

Great budget minded DIY. Looks great. Much better than stock denvers for a couple days work and some patience. Cant wait to see them all finished up and mounted to your car
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:52 AM   #7
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Great work man! They really do look 1000x better.
You have way more patience than i do, i woulda gave up after the first wheel. haha

I wanna see some pics of them mounted on your car.
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:15 PM   #8
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wow, nice DIY and nice final product too! I'm in for pics as I love my real Detroits.. but if I had Denvers, I would do this in a heartbeat! ... err... well 16 hours more like it ;-)
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:30 PM   #9
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Looks amazing! Wish I had a quarter of the patience and taping skills as you to get this done.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:54 PM   #10
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lol thanks guys, yea it was something like 3-4 hours a wheel but you can do it in less, Im bored all day so I didnt mind going slow, I just did work and listened to Pandora lol

You really dont need skill to do this, trust me I didnt have any but you get used to it and by the fourth wheel it'll be cake.

My cars getting paint work done so when its all done in 5 days or so Ill add pics of it on the car.

Ive never been a guy to like stock wheels but man the detroit styles look good
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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bump for pic with wheels on car
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:38 AM   #12
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How hard is this to do? I have about 0 experience with things like this but I'd REALLY like to try it and will have a TON of time on my hands the next few weeks. How easy is it to screw this up?
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:13 PM   #13
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Wow, I have forgotten about this. Bump just in case more people want to do this.

The paint of my wheels are still going strong with no signs of wear.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:15 PM   #14
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Pic update? :D
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:29 PM   #15
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Updated with crappy pictures! Hope it gives you an idea
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #16
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looks good
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:14 PM   #17
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wow, looks great man! good job
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:23 AM   #18
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awesome stuff..gonna do it ASAP!
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:09 PM   #19
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Nice work man!
I'm new to the site (1st post), and I'm really glad I found your DIY... I just bought an '08 GTI with 18" Dufs, but I really want the inlays to be black instead of gunmetal (ie. to make them Detroits... I think), and wanted some advice, since my Dufs already have a polished face and inlays. Is this reasonable/feasible/possible? What do you think is the best way to proceed? wet sand just the inlays, and then just skip to step 5? I wonder if the factory clearcoat on the gunmetal inlays is even able to be sanded down... Any ideas or other owners who've tried this input appreciated!
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:23 PM   #20
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This looks REALLY good and I'd love to do this to my wheels. Just a few questions I don't think I've seen posed/answered yet though…

I assume you painted the inside of the wheels black too, not just the inlays?

What did you do about wheel weights…did you paint over them or mask them out? Or did you remove them, paint, and then reattach?

And on that note, if you ever needed to have the wheel rebalanced, can a shop attach the wheel weights to the paint or would that be problematic?
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:58 AM   #21
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This looks REALLY good and I'd love to do this to my wheels. Just a few questions I don't think I've seen posed/answered yet though…

I assume you painted the inside of the wheels black too, not just the inlays?

What did you do about wheel weights…did you paint over them or mask them out? Or did you remove them, paint, and then reattach?

And on that note, if you ever needed to have the wheel rebalanced, can a shop attach the wheel weights to the paint or would that be problematic?
I've painted my winter steel wheels, and the shop attached the weights right on them. after this winter they still holding up pretty good.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:01 PM   #22
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First of, wheels look awesome! Side note- what type of suspension you got? Looks like the perfect ride height
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