Vanagon Sunset

Vanagon Sunset

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Wheel Upgrade

14" wheels are too small but they work.  Most everyone who owns a Westy long enough will upgrade to a 15" or even a 16".   My van came with 14" steel wheels, complete with rotten tires that I wouldn't trust on a trip around the block.  However, tucked away in the back of the van, was a set of 4 15" Ronal R9's with damn-near brand new tires.  I just needed to get some longer lug bolts/nuts and clean them up a bit.

Ronal has been making wheels for a long time and I didn't know too much about them aside from seeing the name now and then.  I guess they were pretty popular in Europe at least from what I can gather.  I did a little research and finally figured out mine were R9's.  They had been painted and re-painted quite a few times, so I had my work cut out for me.

My typical approach when painting wheels is this:
-Pressure wash
-Degrease
-Sand lightly
-1 coat of self etching primer
-sand
-2 coats of wheel paint (In this case, a satin black on the outer part of wheel and a texturized paint on the spokes since these already had a texture on them).  I use a brand of paint from Autozone, it runs about $8/can.

It took me about 6 hours worth of work, but they turned out pretty good and gave the van a whole new presence.  

Eventually, I'd like to add a more aggressive tire, but that will come after the suspension upgrade.

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