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Powder Coat? Paint? Cerakote? Plastidip?

domodan

Member
Jul 15, 2020
399
180
UT, United States
TLDR; what’s the best method to change the color of some 21” Arachnids I’ve got?

I’ve got a set of Arachnids that are new and have never had tires mounted on them. I want to change the color from silver to matte black or a dark grey. What’s the best process to do so that strikes the right balance of durability, cost effectiveness, etc...?

I was going to just have them powder coated because I know it’s strong, but then was reading something about the baking process weakening the wheels and the powder coat being “extremely heavy”. Both those things seem crazy to me, but I’m no expert.

Plastidip seems cheap and easy, but I don’t want to ever have to do this again or deal with it peeling off like the 23’s on my neighbors Tahoe.

I’ve done cerakote on some firearms parts (had it done I should say) and it seems awesome! That said, I’ve got no idea if it can be done on parts as large as these wheels or if there are drawbacks for automotive use I’m not aware of.
 
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viper2ko

Active Member
Aug 30, 2017
1,425
1,364
USA
Powder coat I think would be the best, but not cheap. I have silver arachnids and 19's slipstreams for the winter. I plasti dipped the 19s a carbon grey. I think they turned out fine. Granted that was my first time ever doing it.
 

20165MS

Member
Jan 29, 2021
29
25
North Jersey
I had my Arachnids powder coated a medium hyper gunmetal metallic. The rims needed reconditioning and straightening. I paid 155/wheel. Completely stripped to the bare metal. What’s nice is they kept the inside black too. Where are you located?
 

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domodan

Member
Jul 15, 2020
399
180
UT, United States
I had my Arachnids powder coated a medium hyper gunmetal metallic. The rims needed reconditioning and straightening. I paid 155/wheel. Completely stripped to the bare metal. What’s nice is they kept the inside black too. Where are you located?
I’m in UT. I have a local company that can powder coat them for $450. I got two of them through a fluke thing, basically for free. One has a scratch on it. The other two (the wider rears) I bought reconditioned on eBay. I’m in the set about $650.

So it sounds like Powdercoat is the way to go.
 

20165MS

Member
Jan 29, 2021
29
25
North Jersey
Honestly, I think that's the only way to go. The weight is negligible and it is the more durable of the processes. To properly powder coat, the wheel has to be taken all the way down so you know you'll be getting a true repair and not a sprayover like with paint. That said, I can't speak to the baking process affecting the metal itself. I've been powder coating wheels for years and never had a problem. Any good wheel is powder coated too. Maybe someone smarter with a Google degree can comment? ;-)

Thank you for the compliment. The bright silver is so dated to me and I wanted something different than the usual charcoal, black, & satin finishes that are all over the road today.
 

Hblick48

Member
May 13, 2020
125
86
Folsom, CA
I am not a metallurgical engineer, but I was in the wheel repair business for 10 years. Powdercoated thousands of wheels, and the current owners continue to this day. Never had an issue with the heat from powdercoating damaging or weakening the wheel. It doesn't get hot enough to change the crystalline structure. Most new wheels are powdercoated from the factory.
 
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domodan

Member
Jul 15, 2020
399
180
UT, United States
I am not a metallurgical engineer, but I was in the wheel repair business for 10 years. Powdercoated thousands of wheels, and the current owners continue to this day. Never had an issue with the heat from powdercoating damaging or weakening the wheel. It doesn't get hot enough to change the crystalline structure. Most new wheels are powdercoated from the factory.

Yeah, thanks for that reassurance. It seemed crazy to me that someone would suggest that, but what I do know? I know I’ve seen it done a lot in the past and never heard of any issue. I’ll proceed with the plan to powdercoat.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,418
1,162
USA
Dyed in the wool metallurgical engineer here.

Don’t know what alloy Tesla uses. A typical T6 heat treatment for a common aluminum alloy like 6061 (or cast equivalent A356) is 540C for 2-4 hours followed by a quench and ageing treatment at 180C (T6) to 220C (T7) for 1 to 10 hours.

A 15 minute powder coat bake at 200C is just noise for a material like this.

I’m much more worried about weld repaired wheels that aren’t heat treated after the weld, but it’s also done commonly.
 
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