I've always liked Range Rover 3 spoke aluminum rims and
thought that they looked good on Series
Land Rovers. But, apparently, a lot of grinding was/is required to make them fit series axles. Having
early 90 axles, this conversion should be easier? Locally a set of 5 Range Rover rims were for sale
from a Range Rover that a guy was stripping for parts. As you can see in the picture to the right,
they were not the prettiest set of rims, that's why I got them at a very good price. ;-)
Once the remold tires were
removed and thrown in the dump, I began the job of stripping the
rims. I think I was having flash backs from sanding the body, it was very had to get motivated
with the sanding! So, I decided to take my time and I did one rim a month. I certainly wasn't in any
rush. It took approx. 8 - 10 hours of sanding per rim to get them ready for painting. ( If you every
strip old rims like these, in this condition, use a full face mask, the aluminum dust is not good for
So, it was time for the etch primer coats.
Painting, presented a problem, as I was doing it all in
my garage. How do you paint rims, both sides at one time? Here I had a flash of brilliance, I ran 2
pieces of 4x4 across the opening into the attic, hung rope from them and tied them to a ladder.
Presto, a painting hanger for the rims.
Four coats of etch primer
did a great job of filling in imperfections on the rims, providing a
smooth finish for the paint to bond to.
Now the paint layers.
Another 4 layers of paint, matching the body color of the Landy. I was really
impressed with paint job. Only 2 very minor runs, that I simply left there, you wouldn't even notice
them, if they weren't pointed out to you. The rims looked so good, I started to question weather it was
worth my while to clear coat them.
Glad I listen to my
friends, I clear coated them the next day and did they ever look good! Seven
coats of clear coat and the paint looked so deep. Very impressed, considering this was the first time
I sprayed clear coat.
Ok, now to make the rims fit
on early 90 axles. The front axle hub sticks out a little further
than found on Range Rover axles. Using a Dremel, I removed just enough material so that the rims
could be installed without interference on the hubs. I know some people have concern about how
much to remove, therefore I took my time removing as little as possible. I don't think, the material
that I removed has affected the integrity of the rims. It was only a few mm's, at best, that I
removed. You can be your own judge, I'm pleased with what I've done.
The finishing touch to the
Range Rover rims, a new set of tires. I decided that these rims are
going to be my off roading rims, so I installed 265/75R16 BFG MT's . The body color on the rims,
does a great job of blending them into the rest of the landy. They really look sharp!
Back to Home Page...