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Thread: Painting hubs.

  1. #1
    steeve's Avatar
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    Painting hubs.

    Just a word of warning under no circumstances ever paint any wheel mounting surface, this can cause the wheel bolts to slacken off with potential fatal consequences


    I've painted the hubs on the last half a dozen cars or so. Sadly manufacturers don't provide a coating that lasts very long. I think they don't consider rusty hubs an issue. But they can look unsightly.

    This is just from my view, I'm sure others have a different regime.

    I've generally used silver Hammerite smooth finish paint. It's easy to apply and had great corrosion resisting properties.

    Hammerite Product Range

    Most if not all Halfords stock some of the Hammerite range.

    I usually paint the hubs before they go rusty but apparently the paint can be applied to rusty surfaces. But why wait?

    Carefully remove the wheel, be careful on the S3 if you have 18" wheels as there's not a lot of clearance past the calipers and it is easy to cause a chip or two to the inside of the wheel.

    I usually give the area to be painted a rub over with some fine wet and dry then a wipe with white spirits to clean it. Don't worry too much about a little paint on the braking surface it will be wiped off first time you apply the brake. Obviously try and avoid great dollops of paint!

    Hammerite dries very quickly so its only a few minutes before you can safely refit the wheel.

    But before you do it's worth applying a little copper slip or similar to the wheel mounting spigot on the hub. BUT NOT ON THE WHEEL CLAMPING SURFACE! These go rusty quite quickly and the wheel can oxidise too making life difficult if you're stuck at the side of the road with a puncture and your wheel just does not want to part company with the rest of the car! The rear hubs were already showing a little corrosion on the wheel mounting spigot and my car only has around sixty miles on the clock.

    Use a torque wrench to tighten the wheel bolts, it's a 120 Nm or 88 pound feet.

    The following pictures might help any one who was unsure about attempting to paint their hubs.
    http://cdn.as-static.com/vb/images/s...attach/jpg.gif
    http://cdn.as-static.com/vb/images/s...attach/jpg.gif
    http://cdn.as-static.com/vb/images/s...attach/jpg.gif

    For some reason I don't seem to be able to order the pictures.......
    But first one is after painting, second one is hub before paint, third is hub before paint but with wheel on and the last one is wheel refitted after painting.


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    Last edited by steeve; 2 Weeks Ago at 20:36.
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  3. #2
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    Don't think the before pics have uploaded correctly.

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    Nice guide thank you, slightly jealous of those calipers though...
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    Did you just do the one coat?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RYuill View Post
    Did you just do the one coat?
    One coat is fine, I've never had any hubs rust. Perhaps if you're covering rust up or if you've had to sand down to bare metal another coat might help.

    But as the original coating is silver it covers easily.
    Last edited by steeve; 2 Weeks Ago at 19:56.
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    Perfect - this is exactly what I want to do!!

    Couple of questions - was the wheel off long enough that you used axel stands and did you paint up to the bolt holes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp84 View Post
    Perfect - this is exactly what I want to do!!

    Couple of questions - was the wheel off long enough that you used axel stands and did you paint up to the bolt holes?
    Doesn't take long so I did it while it was on the trolley jack, under no circumstances paint the wheel mounting surface. Painting the wheel mounting face could result in the wheels coming loose as the paint creeps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeve View Post
    Doesn't take long so I did it while it was on the trolley jack, under no circumstances paint the wheel mounting surface. Painting the wheel mounting face could result in the wheels coming loose as the paint creeps.
    So did you just go up to the edge of the face? I guess there needs to be a small overlap?
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Challinor View Post
    Don't think the before pics have uploaded correctly.
    Only the round parts of the hubs were painted NOT THE WHEEL MOUNTING FACES!
    Steeve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp84 View Post
    So did you just go up to the edge of the face? I guess there needs to be a small overlap?
    Never....................... any paint on the mounting face will creep and cause the tension in the wheel bolts to reduce. The coating on the hub faces is Audi and extremely thin.
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    OK got it.

    I have some small rust spots where the hub meets the alloy centre hence my questions regarding a slight lip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp84 View Post
    OK got it.

    I have some small rust spots where the hub meets the alloy centre hence my questions regarding a slight lip.
    Its OK to use some copper grease or similar just on the spigot that engages into the wheel centre. But never any paint or grease on the wheel clamping surfaces.
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    Great info Steeve. Car arrives tomorrow. This job on Thursday.
    S3 Stronic Sportback, Mythos Black, Lunar Silver, 10 Spoke Alloys, Red Calipers, Tech Pack/Audi Connect, LED Headlights, Comfort Pack, No-smoking, Black styling, A C C, High Beam Assist, Audi Parking System Plus, Reversing Camera, Audi Sound system, Advanced key, Interior Lighting Pack, Folding door mirrors, Hold Assist, Electric Seats, Extended mono.pur, Panoramic Sunroof, Through Load, 3d Black Inlays, Body Colour Mirrors, Pre-Sense Basic, Rear Airbags, 4 year warranty.

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    Essential job in my book.

    My local dealership almost every car on the forecourt suffers from rusty callipers or hubs.
    S3 Sportback S-Tronic - Amalfi White, Comfort Pack, LED headlights, LED interior lights, High-beam assist, hill hold assist, privacy glass, mono-pur, folding mirrors, TPMS, Audi sound system and black Alacantra. Built week 17. Arrived 17/05/14. Wow......just wow

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    Its a very quick and simple job do that will last the life of the car.

    BUT if you're not used to doing jobs like this and you're not sure please just ask rather than jumping in feet first. I'm happy to advise.
    Steeve

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    Thabks for the guide Steve! I'll be doing this the weekend after getting my car along with spacers and sealing the wheels!

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    One final question......is their enough ground clearance on the S3 for a normal jack or do you need a low profile version?

    My last jack seems to have gone walkies when I moved house so need to get another. Decisions decisions on a new one.....
    S3 Sportback S-Tronic - Amalfi White, Comfort Pack, LED headlights, LED interior lights, High-beam assist, hill hold assist, privacy glass, mono-pur, folding mirrors, TPMS, Audi sound system and black Alacantra. Built week 17. Arrived 17/05/14. Wow......just wow

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    One final question......is their enough ground clearance on the S3 for a normal jack or do you need a low profile version?

    My last jack seems to have gone walkies when I moved house so need to get another. Decisions decisions on a new one.....
    S3 Sportback S-Tronic - Amalfi White, Comfort Pack, LED headlights, LED interior lights, High-beam assist, hill hold assist, privacy glass, mono-pur, folding mirrors, TPMS, Audi sound system and black Alacantra. Built week 17. Arrived 17/05/14. Wow......just wow

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    A normal jack will be fine mate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J6YAK View Post
    A normal jack will be fine mate.
    My old standard jack will not go under my S3, I have a low line jack which is great. So if you are looking to buy a jack go for the low one then it works in all cases and you wont end up running onto a wooden block first.
    Steeve

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    Quote Originally Posted by steeve View Post
    My old standard jack will not go under my S3, I have a low line jack which is great. So if you are looking to buy a jack go for the low one then it works in all cases and you wont end up running onto a wooden block first.
    My jack is quite old right enough, I guess if I were to buy a new one now I would also get a low one. Good point Steeve.
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    I hate to be the voice of doom on such a useful thread (!), but .....

    If you are tempted to apply Copper Slip on the wheel bolts (as is common practice):

    The Audi Workshop Manual specifically warns against lubricating or applying any anti seize compound on wheel bolts. It says that the torque values given are for dry assembly.

    In normal engineering practice, torque values are normally stated for dry assembly, unless otherwise stated.

    If you lubricate or apply anti-seize compounds prior to tightening/torquing up - the friction and thus the final torque value is different as the thread of the fastener engages. If you use a dry torque value on a lubricated fastener, you will end up tightening it to a higher value than specified.

    This link show the difference between dry and lubricated torque values:https://www.fastenal.com/content/fed...0Fasteners.pdf

    Now, in the real world, we all know of garages and folk who have applied Copper Slip to countless nuts and bolts, including wheel nuts and bolts. I've even done so in the past, and will probably continue to do so in non critical applications, where the importance of being able to undo a fastener is more important than its absolute torque value and tightness.

    But the reason why we don't seem to have an abundance of wheel bolt failures out in the real world is that there is a large safety margin built in the design. Plus the fact that these days most cars have alloy wheels that will give if over tightened, rather than deforming the steel bolt.

    That's not to say that we should be abusing this safety margin! Next time you're at a motorway junction roundabout, have a look in the gutter and you might spot a few (normally from trucks) sheared wheel bolts. I've seen a few Audi wheel bolts that have been over tightened and displayed signs of necking.

    So - the engineering advice (and Audi's Workshop Manual) is to assemble and torque wheel bolts in a clean and dry condition. Without anti-seize or lubrication.I know some folk will insist that their grand pappys have been doing bolts up since 1845 with Copper Slip and never had a days cold etc., but it's best to make your own choice in knowledge of all the facts
    Last edited by veeeight; 2 Weeks Ago at 22:17.
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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeve View Post
    Only the round parts of the hubs were painted NOT THE WHEEL MOUNTING FACES!
    Makes sense, I can see they were silver before but would quickly degrade.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by veeeight View Post
    I hate to be the voice of doom on such a useful thread (!), but .....

    If you are tempted to apply Copper Slip on the wheel bolts (as is common practice):

    The Audi Workshop Manual specifically warns against lubricating or applying any anti seize compound on wheel bolts. It says that the torque values given are for dry assembly.

    In normal engineering practice, torque values are normally stated for dry assembly, unless otherwise stated.

    If you lubricate or apply anti-seize compounds prior to tightening/torquing up - the friction and thus the final torque value is different as the thread of the fastener engages. If you use a dry torque value on a lubricated fastener, you will end up tightening it to a higher value than specified.

    This link show the difference between dry and lubricated torque values:https://www.fastenal.com/content/fed...0Fasteners.pdf

    Now, in the real world, we all know of garages and folk who have applied Copper Slip to countless nuts and bolts, including wheel nuts and bolts. I've even done so in the past, and will probably continue to do so in non critical applications, where the importance of being able to undo a fastener is more important than its absolute torque value and tightness.

    But the reason why we don't seem to have an abundance of wheel bolt failures out in the real world is that there is a large safety margin built in the design. Plus the fact that these days most cars have alloy wheels that will give if over tightened, rather than deforming the steel bolt.

    That's not to say that we should be abusing this safety margin! Next time you're at a motorway junction roundabout, have a look in the gutter and you might spot a few (normally from trucks) sheared wheel bolts. I've seen a few Audi wheel bolts that have been over tightened and displayed signs of necking.

    So - the engineering advice (and Audi's Workshop Manual) is to assemble and torque wheel bolts in a clean and dry condition. Without anti-seize or lubrication.I know some folk will insist that their grand pappys have been doing bolts up since 1845 with Copper Slip and never had a days cold etc., but it's best to make your own choice in knowledge of all the facts
    I should have mentioned this but mistakenly thought every one would be aware of it? Never apply lubricant of any kind to wheel nuts/bolts the reduced friction will result in a higher than designed tensile load taking the bolt or stud past the elastic limit meaning they will elongate and come loose or even shear.

    A 'smear' of Copper slip or similar can safely be used on the wheel locating spigot only.
    Steeve

 

 

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