Toyota Celica Supra Forum banner

1 - 20 of 90 Posts

3,964 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Project Blingification: Completed (restored wheels and other stuff) *56k WARNING

Disclaimer: This post is freakin' long, So unless you are really interested in my wheel
restoration, skip down to the pics.

Now that car is clean inside and out and I have 0 concerns for rust, it was time to add some bling.

Well, The work I had set out to accomplish of this winter is finally done. It took a very
long time but it was all worth it. The biggest of all these was my wheel
refinishing/restoration which took me well over 80 hours of work. I thought i'd post some
pics here and show off what I’ve done (have to show off every once and awhile right!?!)

So, the projects are:
- Refinished Wheels
- Restored armrest
- New Passenger side fender trim.
- Paint Power steering pump and pulley
- Polished an clearcoated power steering reservoir
- Refinished valve covers (gloss black, polished, cleared)
- Polished AFM
- Restored headlight assemblies
- Restored Foglight mounts
- New foglights

Tune up stuff
- NGK Platinum Plugs BPR5EP-11
- New distributor cap (Toyota)
- new rotor (Toyota)
- new plug wires (Toyota - Sumitomo)
- New PCV hoses (X2) - broke during valve cover restoration...$86.70 for a hose!?! holy
-cleaned PCV orifice and TB

Car runs awesome now, seems to pull all the way to 6 grand. Rocky steady, low idle, no
stumbling of fast decels either.

First the wheels: I know I’ll get a lot of questions on these so I'll give a basic layout of
what was done. First, I borrowed the autoshop’s tire machine and removed the wheel
weights and tires. The 20 years of baked on brake dust couldn't be touched with super
clean and a pressure washer and ended up throwing everything I had at them. Steel wool,
oven cleaner and wheel cleaner did it in the end, after lots of blisters and time. Stripped
all the old paint and clear. Then the sanding began, oh god....the sanding! I started dry
with 80 grit to remove all the curb rash and places where the wheel weights had reacted
with the aluminum. Once the main stuff was out I began wet sanding using 320 to remove
the machining lines and then400,600 and finally 1500 grit to get a perfectly smooth finish
for polishing. Once the was completed, I polished using a 3000rpm 1/2" hammer drill
(not actually on hammer) with a 4" loose cotton wheel loaded with white rouge buffing
compound. I also have spiral sewn wheels with black and brown compounds but found
them to be far too coarse for aluminum. The compounds themselves left scratches behind.
I got a much better finish by sanding to 1500 and then using the white compound.
Cleaning was done using sunlight dish soap and acetone.

Next, I cleaned up the painted sections of the wheels using steel wool and denatured
alcohol. I masked carefully and then sprayed the wheels (front and back) along with the
center caps with Duplicolor "High performance wheel coating" the colour is called "High
performance silver". It has lots of metal flake and really shimmers in the sunlight. When
finally finished, I took them to the bodyshop and had them spray on some clearcoat I had
already purchased. The clear is called "Glisten PC" made by POR-15 and is designed for
polished metals. They claim it is chemically resistant, will not crack chip or peel as well
as not yellow and stay water-clear for a lifetime. The Stuff is expensive ($84 CDN for a
quart, shipped to my door) but if their claims hold true, I shouldn't have to do this again
for a looooong time. They sprayed two coats on the whole wheel but had runs on the
front. This stuff looked perfect when he went home but slid on the polished area
overnight, it was just too slippery without it being thinned. the runs were sanded and a
third, light coat was put on and it did not slide, but the finish is not perfectly smooth. The
wheels are still shiny as hell but did reduce the shine slightly then when it was bare (on
the polished only, and when it was smooth and had runs, you couldn't tell the clear was on
it.) A small price to pay to know that I don't have to polish them again every weekend and
still never have them as nice again. Info on this clear can be found

Polished the raised parts of the valve cover in the same maner, painted gloss black and plugged the holes with pennys. I then wiped the raied parts with varsol while wet to expose the polished stuff. After curing, it was then clear coated with the same glisten PC as the wheels.

Finally, they were mounted and balanced using tape weights to maintain the clean look.

Each grit stage of wet sanding took aproximatley 4 hours per wheel. mix in the long polishing time, plenty of trial and error (I probably did 6 wheels total due to me learning) add all the cleaning and masking and I am well over 80 hours on this project.

Ok, now for the pics.

I started with this:

Hey! look! I found some paint that is still on the wheel! mmmm nice polished par too!

Nice and dirty, can see I was able to flake a small part off with the pressure washer.

I appologize for the flash, was taken at night in garage.

Work Begins:

Clear and paint stripped, looks better already!!

close up stripped. You can see where water got under the clearcoat

Sanded with 400 grit, nice and uniform. around half way done sanding at this point

Forget what stage of sanding this is but it's nice and smooth with no machining lines

Too much sanding has side effects - PAIN. This is why I say spread it out. :sadsmilie

The Polishing Weapons

The drill mounted with arbor adapter, Chuck taped so a mistake doesn't nick the aluminum, just leaves tape residue. (green duct tape)

Flashing forward a few dozen hours....wheel all polished. mmmmm

What machining lines??

Like a Mirror...

Getting Closer - Paint
Ready for paint

All polished and silver painted

All 4 done.

Back all painted (after removing all the brake dust, grime and old clearcoat of course.)

Ready for clear. Polished, painted (black lines too). This was done with an artist's brush and gloss black tremclad.

Ready for the car

Just back form clearcoating. You can see where the wheel weight was. I sanded this area
so much and removed so much aluminum I was worried about it getting too thin. I
stopped but not from laziness I assure you. When polished, you couldn't tell the small pits
were there but the first coat of clear reacted with the pits for some reason. They are sealed
from the other coats though. In person, they really aren't noticeable. They are still nice
and shiny!

Mounted and balanced with tape weights. Couple coats of Meguiar’s endurance tire

FINALLY!!!! on the car! finished center caps as well as polished all the lugnuts. For the center caps I scuffed up the stock paint with sandpaper and cleaned with alcohol. I then masked of the chrome and used the same wheel paint on the stock painted part.

really wish I could have had a pic of it on the ground and outside but batteries died. This
is the last pic I took. Also raining today.

Update: pic of a wheel outside.

Other pics of the car/wheels after a year of driving can be found on the forum somewhere, something to do with calendar pics

That's it guys. there's my half-assed write up of how I refinished/restored my wheels.

Lastly, all the engine stuff I did. Just a few pics here.

Some of you have seen these first two before. This is when I bought the car last June.

Last year, cleaning got this. Notice the ugly PS pump, rusty heatshield and flaking valve
covers (garden hose victim)

ewww ugly pump. I love the cad plating...if there was a way to get it like new again. (not
a huge fan of the spray on copy cad stuff)

Polished the reservoir. - close up. that's me...and the titan motorsports poster on my wall
:D . This was later clearcoated with the same stuff that went on the wheels.

Dremel got a good workout on these. wire brushed to bare metal and then rust converter
just incase. Gloss black tremclad on the pulley, Gloss black duiplicolor engine enamel on
the pump (did the bracket in engine enamel too later.)

Everything back together. I used the same polishing method I did on the wheels on the
valvecovers and gloss black engine enamel. Then the same clearcoat so I won't have to
polish them again...polished the bolts just using wire brush and brown compound on the
dremel. Polished the AFM using 400 grit and black compound, then waxed it (read: fed
up with polishing by the time I got to the AFM). Heatshield took a whole day. Wire
brushed to bare metal, two coats of rust converter, JBwelded any rust holes and then a
few coats of "aluminum" coloured very high heat duplicolor paint made for exhaust

Nothing to show with the headlight assemblies and foglight mounts. They were rusty... now
they are black :). This is the restoration forumthough, so if requested, I’ll post them up. Hope
you guys like the pics. Everything came out the way I wanted it to and I had a blast doing
it. I did lose some blood during the wheels not mention a chunk of fingernail....and some
tears....but we won't talk about that. I wanted stock
but a little bit of :ss_bling: While I was at it. I also did the highest quality as could
achieve, I didn't cut any corners and did the best I could. The way it looks now should be
maintenance free...kind of like Toyota did it. Everything came out the way I wanted it to and I had a blast doing
it. I think it was all worth it in the end.

Project Blingification: COMPLETED:ss_bling: :D


Update: fixed the pics today and throwing in a couple more. I painted the Powersteering reservoir semi-gloss black in spirit of a mk3 (figured it was the best choice). I sanded with 320 grit then used tremclad rust primer. Don't worry, I had the entire engine bay masked at one point.

few coats of krylon semi-gloss black. I appologize for the dirty engine bay but yo uget the idea.

unfortunatley noo good final pics with the engine the way it is now..with the headers etc. Few little touch ups have been done in this one. rusty clamps and PS line taken care of etc. will get some this spring. this is the best I have right now:

Super Moderator
7,300 Posts
Ok...haven't read it all yet...but seeing I've talked to you on msn everyday I know the full story...just wanted to be the first to say:


HOT F'N DAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN...THAT CAR IS SEXY....Kuddos to you man...great work...enjoy the car this year man. You deserve it after all that hard work...congrats.

7,332 Posts
:good: Great job Steve ! :good:
I fully understand your sour (sp?) hands from all that sanding / polishing.

I have to admit, the power steering thing is also amazing !
Might just do that too next winter.

Founding Member
6,552 Posts
All that hard work really pays off. Polished wheels really make the finishing touch on the car.

984 Posts
Man, I knew that car was in good hands.
Awesome job Steve, and if I may remind all of you :
He just turned 17 this year !!!!!!

2,560 Posts
Damn...those wheels are gorgeous!! I have a set of stockers which I'd love to have look like that! The engine compartment looks great, too. These cars do look great in black.

Definitely the Bling King!!

3,937 Posts
scarletlizard said:
Man, I knew that car was in good hands.
Awesome job Steve, and if I may remind all of you :
He just turned 17 this year !!!!!!

I guess I'm two decades older and lazier than someone who polishes power steering pumps for lunch.

Very nice detail! I know I don't have the time to do what you did.


Super Moderator
10,626 Posts
Very very nice. I did pretty much the exact same thing with a set of stock ptype wheels years ago. I will warn you now so the pain will be less when it happens, but any chips you accumulate in the clear will result in oxidation that spreads under the clear like a cancer. You get crazy little spider web like lines of oxidization. Basicly if you clear coat, you have to repolish and repaint the wheels every 3 to 5 years depending on how much you drive the car. Avoid gravel roads :) The alternative is to leave them bare and repolish every month, I much prefer the clear coat option. So easy to clean them now! Looks great, I hope to attack my engine bay soon too.

7,111 Posts
WOW, after seeing the step by step pics all winter long it is finally done :D Good job bro. Now go take that sonnamabish out for a spin :runaway: ;)

karaki said:

827 Posts
Wow! What a difference! Nice, thorough job on that engine bay. :cool: Definately should take that to SILV. :ss_bling:


Super Moderator
10,626 Posts
ZZT231 said:
That Looks great! I have to polish my rims some time with 400 grit paper (again), I still couldn't get the mirror shine :(

Good on you! It's all worth it...

Thats because your using 400grit. Start with that, then work your way up to about a 1000 or 1200. Then polish and shield your eyes :D

3,051 Posts
ok, i'm going to get more sand paper right now, and some clearcoat, already have black paint.

now i know what to do with that extra p/s pump. :)

My extra valve covers i'm going to be lazy and get powder coated :(

1,248 Posts
Supra_devil said:
My extra valve covers i'm going to be lazy and get powder coated :(

after seeing how much regular enamel chips on my valve covers, just from regular work on the engine, im gonna go the powder coat way too on my spare set. i jsut wish i had the paitence that tireshredder has so i could do my spare wheels like that too :)

3,964 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the kind words of encouragment everybody. This is a great place to get support and advice from such great and like-minded people. Such compliments make it that much more worthwile - to know the work is recognized is a great feeling...

I may be 17 but I assure you, the supra disease has festered for a few years before this and I am now well progressed in it. The more I do, the larger the list seems to get! I want to keep this car for a very long time and if things go my way (and they will, or people will die) I'll be driving a mk2 until I turn into fertalizer.

Due to the interest in the P/S pump here is what I did:

- Removed pump and reservoir (duh)

- Cleaned with castrol superclean on the outside.

- Clean inside
The screen in the bottom had a good 1/8th inch of crap in it (one day the pump squealed for 30 seconds due to this I believe). Spent a few hours letting it sit with superclean on the inside to eat away at it using some rubber I found to plug the bottom fittings. I then scraped it with a screwdriver and shook it. Eventually, it was clean.
- I rinsed and shook repeatedly with water to remove the super clean. Then repeated many times using denatured alcohol (bought a jug at the drug store) to remove the water so it won't rust.

- Sanding Begins
wetsanded with 320, 400, 600 and 1500. Some dish soap in your water works great for sanding. I noticed it kept the tooth longer on the paper and got a better finish because it suspended the steel filings (or aluminum) particles in the water - keeps the surface clean. Always go 90 degrees to the previous step so you can tell when you have sanded enough (scratches from previous step gone). This goes the same for polishing.

1500 probably wasn't necessary but this was my first polishing job so I wanted to try some things out and experiment.

- used tiny buff wheels that came with the dremel and loaded one up with black. I then cleaned using super clean again (superclean is harsh and works the best since the compund is greasy - there will always be some left on the part, even if you can't see it. Super Clean was not used on the wheels because it doesn't like aluminum... but safe for the bare steel. Then it was wiped with acetone and dried. You want to prevent contamination of previous steps at all costs. Keep the compunds and buffs in seperate plastic bags, well away from the work area (stuff gets everywhere)

- repeat using brown tripoli and white rouge compounds. I used a felt wheel for the white compound, spiral sewn for the black and brown.

- degrease thoroughly, mask and throw some clear on it.

- Re-installed the pump, flushed and bled per TSRM instructions. I used Mobil 1 synthetic ATF

Hope the clears some things up,


4,558 Posts
dude, that looks freaking amazing.... been talking to you on messenger for ages, but its great to see it all done.

now take her for a cruise to buy some camera batteries and get a few pics :)
1 - 20 of 90 Posts