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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a load of Style 65's, many mint, many in dire need of repair / restoration.

I have the wheels in Latvia and convinced my determined and stubborn painter Ainars Valdmanis at AV Works (AV Works – Ainārs Valdmanis Works – Passion for excellence.) to figure out the Chrome Shadow paint process. It took about year and ~50 wheels painted before my painter got Chrome Shadow right in true form on the Style 65's.

We started off by painting all my Volvo rims in Chrome Shadow. It was not perfect match to factory process, but since these were just tries, it was good enough. The chrome shadow was too 'silver' and not enough 'chrome shadow' on the Volvo wheels. Still good enough for the Volvos.

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It is very hard to produce identical finishes and stories told from BMW dealerships: That when a Style 65 Chrome Shadow wheel was to be replaced on a BMW, an existing wheel was brought in from the car to warehouse and one matched/picked from numerous wheels available to get the shade right. Even from factory the Chrome Shadow slightly varied from set of wheels to another set of wheels.

The original Chrome Shadow paint is manufactured in Italy and illegal in United States. The factory that produces Chrome Shadow original Style 65 paint, does not have any in stock and are unable to give a date when they will produce more paint as of September, 2019. The paint only comes in 50 liter barrels, which is the minimum order. In this case, a replacement Chrome Shadow paint was used at retail cost of 400 EUR per liter.

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The final outcome of the Volvo wheels:

Moving on to the Style 65's:

The process of painting the BMW M5 E39’s Style 65 wheels in factory Chrome Shadow.

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^^ The Style 65 BMW wheels in condition they arrived in. Note the damage to one of the wheels, which will be straightened.




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^^ Paint removal, sandblasted and straightened.



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^^ Cleaning up previous damage from scratches and scrapes. It takes two full days properly sand down & prepare six 18-spoke Style 65 wheels by hand.



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^^ Multiple primer layers applied.



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^^ First attempt of Chrome Shadow on Style 65 wheels.
On the right you can see the Chrome Shadow layer but it’s too silver-ish and not enough Chrome Shadow, which prompts for re-doing all the wheels again.
Overall ~50 wheels (10x Volvo and ~40 Style 65) wheels were painted and stripped before true Chrome Shadow form was achieved.




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^^ In picture shown above are 6x Style 65 wheels newly painted in Chrome Shadow and one factory original Style 65 Chrome Shadow in mint condition, for comparison. Because of a very fine dusting showing on the inside of the spokes, these above wheels will be be stripped once more of paint and whole process re-done again.


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  • Top Left: Original factory Chrome Shadow
  • Top middle: Sanding down silver-ish looking Chrome Shadow
  • Top right: Chrome Shadow achieved but with dusting on inside of spokes
  • Middle left: 6x painted wheels with dusting & 1x factory original wheel
  • Middle middle: Stripping Chrome Shadow w/ sandblaster
  • Middle right: Stripping Chrome Shadow w/ sandblaster
  • Bottom left: Stripping Chrome Shadow w/ sandblaster
  • Bottom middle: Black Chrome Shadow try-out
  • Bottom right: Chrome Shadow achieved in proper form
 

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2002 BMW M5 E39 Dinan
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
More pics:


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^^ Full size image: http://valdman.is/files_valdmanis/style65/av_works-19-shades-of-chrome-shadow-v01.jpg



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^^ Full size image: http://valdman.is/files_valdmanis/style65/av_works-20-shades-of-chrome-shadow-v01.jpg





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^^ Full size image: http://valdman.is/files_valdmanis/style65/av_works-29-shades-of-chrome-shadow-v01.jpg


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^^ Full size image: http://valdman.is/files_valdmanis/style65/av_works-32-shades-of-chrome-shadow-v01.jpg


I will be putting them on the car next couple days. Also next set of Style 65's that I'm bringing to the painter will be done in "Black Chrome Shadow". It looks amazing. It is like black paint, but gives great high-light and will really pop the features of the Style 65 out on a black wheel, where the spoke design is not 'drowned' by the black paint.
I'll be bringing my friend's M6 G-Power wheels to be re-finished on Chrome Shadow as well. Excited for how that will turn out.

Overall this has been an extremely long process and very tedious for my painter guy. He spent more in materials than I paid him with all the tries on the ~50 wheels, before getting Chrome Shadow in true form... but now it's rewarding to finally get what I always wanted, and to know I got a place locally where I can just drop of wheels and get them all painted Chrome Shadow. Another 12 wheels to go and all my wheels are in Chrome Shadow for all my cars.



*** I must add that the new M5Board format sucks as hard the best most expensive brand new industrial-grade vacuum available. 10 attachments per post, can't do (img) tags or "img src" html tags, ... must make 4 different posts to get all the images in, meanwhile the board's upload features are buggy and suck. This place went down hill fast after Gustav sold it.
 

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Looks awesome!
What is the car scene like in Latvia? It seems like a bunch of cool parts come from there.
I got my metal sunroof from Latvia. Are there lots of BMW freaks there?
 

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Oh so your the one who's been hoarding up all the 65's. No wonder I can never find any for my car lololol.

I'm joking, I love the dedication and process you went through to restore the wheels since it's been a long and many threads debated process. Awesome, awesome work my friend!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is awesome. Will this be a service we can solicit or will you be selling these wheels?
I'm not selling anything, just doing my load of wheels all in chrome shadow. You can hit up my painter guy at AV Works – Ainārs Valdmanis Works – Passion for excellence. and he can paint your wheels too.

The photos were done because I'm excited about the results and I told my painter that I'd photograph the wheels to the 9's for him after he gets chrome shadow right, after all that work he has put into them. So i did.
 

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Looks awesome!
What is the car scene like in Latvia? It seems like a bunch of cool parts come from there.
I got my metal sunroof from Latvia. Are there lots of BMW freaks there?
Latvia is E39 country. It's one of the most common models/cars here. Standard E39 parts common with M5 are dime a dozen. Clean parts will not be sold by the bucket, but everything is still easy to find and plenty to choose from.. such as interior trim pieces very desired elsewhere, seen various clean Piano styled E39 trim go for very low prices, among many parts. This makes M5 E39 ownership in many ways easier. Parts galore. Usually my go-to used parts guy/store tells me when they have a new arrival of clean E39 from Germany and that I should go there check out first and put dibs on what parts I want., if any.. so I have restored all the old rubbers and almost all all interior pieces to good condition on my car.

Speaking of BMW freaks, in Latvia, BMW is probably the most common modded car. Almost everyone who wants to race around got an older E36 or E46 with a diesel 3 liter or so and welded diff. E36 comes with a stigma. E39 is getting there now too.. many are 22-24 years old and winter beaters. Joking about BMW is a common theme in Latvia- "if the beemer is flying, don't walk there, at night all the laws cancels".

Overall drift culture has a good scene here, check out this clip to get an understanding:

There's an abandoned air field called Rumbula on outskirts of Riga where every Friday night during warm season the youth meet that wants to drag race. Overall cops just let them do it.. better than on the streets. Though now the city has designated the air strip as a street so cops can pull drivers/racers over if the cops want to. Still races go on and cops come and check it out and leave and so far no major incidents, while also the streets are quiet because everyone's at the strip.

What I love about car culture in Latvia is that even though Latvia is so small, there's a lot of skilled people here, that can build motors, fabricate, etc. Pretty much you can get everything done here for competitive pricing, fast turnaround and quality work. Restoring my Volvo 740 including paint, engine rebuild last year was made very easy by people with a lot of knowledge around me, where things went very smoothly with rebuilding engine/transmission, etc. My friend who owns numerous cars and lived in USA before as well, says it's amazing how you can get so much done here in Latvia on your projects. Car project friendly.

Here's blog post on last year when I painted my M5 in Latvia, same painter as the Style 65's above:

Here's my blog post on Volvo 740 restoration done in Latvia:

Good place to be if you into cars. Especially BMW's. Though I'd say California is M5 E39 friendly as there's a huge concentration of them in Cali. Easier to find M5 specific parts in Cali than Latvia, because here anything M5 related is appreciated and hyena'd up in no time. Forget finding M5 E39 rear axles, drive shaft, diff, etc.. specific parts desired by non-M5 E39's such as LSD diff will not be found in Latvia or anywhere Eastern Europe for that matter.. yet in USA it's not that hard. Since I've had the bad luck of braking my rear axles on the Autobahn, I usually order my rear axles from [email protected] in USA and just x-atlantic ship them to Latvia. Cheapest and best way.
 

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This is great information. Thanks for sharing. A bit a fine art this process of Shadowchrome paint.
 

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Hi Terabass,
Thank you for sharing the information about the chrome shadow process and Latvia. I would be interested in having my spare set of style 65 redone for my car. Would you pm me his contact information? The current ones on my car are presentable, but it would be great to have a perfect set on hand.

Furthermore, I have a 59 bmw 502 that I am currently looking for parts. If you know a go to parts person in Latvia I would be most grateful if you would pm me contact information as well.

thanks again!
James
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Furthermore, I have a 59 bmw 502 that I am currently looking for parts. If you know a go to parts person in Latvia I would be most grateful if you would pm me contact information as well.
The painter's contacts are all on his website, including photo blog on how the wheels were restored:
AV Works – Ainārs Valdmanis Works – Passion for excellence.
I did just message him that you are interested. Also I got another 8 wheels to refinish, 4 of them in black Chrome Shadow. I do have to wait for at least a month because he's working on moving to a better location and up new paint shop so he can up his quality more.

For restoration on something as rare as 59 BMW 502, best case to get in contact with would be Riga Motor Museum since they restore these type of old cars and there's a community of enthusiasts. I do personally know the owner but I think he's too busy with these type of requests, but when I see him I will bring it up.

As for other go-to part guys, the non ///M E39 parts here are in great abundance, including ///M bumpers, etc. Still M5 E39's are very rare here, but it's quite nice to have a wide selection of trim and other stuff to choose from at the BMW parts guys here in Latvia. There's many guys here that specialize in E39 headlight restoration, including re-chroming and assembling/disassembling entire unit for very good prices. Still @Clemster got most of the stuff needed for M5 E39 in USA, without cross Atlantic shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Couple shots from the DSLR

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Following shots are #nofilter from Canon 6D

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When going to mount tires I made the mistake of leaving the PS3's on the old wheels, and mounting whatever I had in matching pairs with most thread, without double checking what I grabbed. It would been far more fitting to make these photos with PS3's on the wheels. When set of wheels that came off the car, will painted in Black Chrome Shadow then they will have PS3's for the shoot.
 

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Thank you Terabass, the rims look spectacular!
James
 
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