Problem: My old BBS alloys need a serious refurb, and the worst looking parts were the centre caps. I can’t afford a proper returb!
Solution: The centre caps are plastic, with a thin alloy stamped, painted and lacquered inset. Firstly I removed the plastic cap from the main alloy centrepiece. It’s held on by 3 plastic lugs clipped through 3 slots:
Once the plastic centre cap is removed, the alloy inset can be prised off with a blunt knife and some care not to dent it or slice the plastic edge. As you can see in this image the inset is glued on with some fairly weak epoxy adhesive:
So I stuck them in a pan, and covered them in some of the wife’s nail polish remover (cheap and very effective) over night. Here’s the result showing the lacquer and paint reduced to a jelly-like substance that just wiped off with kitchen roll:
Next I used some wet&dry glass paper, about 400 grit, to smooth off the oxidisation. Instead of water, try WD40 or GT85 as your ‘lubricant’, it cuts way faster. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the sanded inserts, I forgot!
Finally I was going to prime them with some Acid 8 etch Primer (Available from halfords etc) and spray them black, but instead I decided to try a covering of some wide PVC tape (previously purchased for a couple of quid from Tool Station). For a very quick and temporary finish it came out well. The newly covered inserts were then glued back into the centre caps with Epoxy Resin:
Evidently this is not a long-term solution, the PVC will scuff and probably rip over time, but so far they’ve survived 2 car washes and about 400 miles of fairly grim weather driving. When it’s daylight and I remember I’ll add a pic of them on the car.
Please let me know if you like this cheaty tip, thanks!