Sitrep on the wheel refurb.
I spent more than a year searching for someone in Germany and Europe who could refinish the wheels in the original Chrome Shadow. I sent out over 50 emails to any alloy repair shop I could find in Germany.
I also talked to Lepsons in the UK since I read good things about them and their chrome shadow work. I got a great impression from them and their general manager explained to me in detail their repair process. If I was in the UK, I'd be going with them but shipping from Germany would be costly and downtime too long.
I managed to find only 2 places in Germany that were doing chrome shadow but they were rather pricey and didn't have pictures of Style 65 refinished and I was adamant on having the correct finish.
In the end, I went with Superfelgi from Poland as they have been doing this finish for some time and actually did a bunch of M5 rims plus the price was very fair, half the price of what I was quoted in Germany. After seeing pictures of their previous work, I felt comfortable sending out my rims to them.
My rims weren't particularly bad, one rim was little curbed but mainly the finish was starting to fade in places.
Rims safely packed and shipped out to Poland. I used double wall cardboard boxes, styrofoam inside the box all around, pipe insulation along the lips of the rims and just bunch more packaging material to stop the rims from moving. I spent nearly as much on packaging material as I did on actually shipping.
In simple terms, achieving Chrome Shadows is as follows: rims stripped, powder coated black, then comes silver (depending on how much silver is added the finish can be darker or lighter) and the last step is clear coat.
Here are mine stripped.
The most important thing for me was to get them refinished to the correct shade of chrome shadow, I've seen them refinished too dark which gives them gunmetal look or too light and they look plain silver and that's just not what I was going for.
My instructions were sorta simple - get them to the original finish as close as humanly possible and if doubt, my preference was lighter finish as mine were like that from the factory.
From the paint booth.
We all know that the finish of the M5 wheels deviated even from the factory, some darker some lighter, but I think they absolutely nailed the finish of my rims and accomplished exactly what I wanted, not too dark and not too light just a proper Chrome Shadow finish.
Wheel porn incoming.
Pics taken shortly before sunset, the perfect time for Chrome Shadow to pop.
Before dropping them off at the tire shop, I treated them with this rim specific ceramic coating for protection and to make them easier to clean. They claim the protection lasts for 5 years but time will tell.
At the tire shop. I had to profoundly express myself through my Greman friend that the rims are freshly refinished and that if they scratch them, I'll be the mood to throw a fit. Luckily, it all went smoothly.
New M emblems and lock caps. I should say that these pics weren't taken on the hood of the M5 but a rather disintegrating 2002 that's in the garage.
I'm extremely against putting anything on the paint of the car but in case of this poor 2002, it's the least of its worries.
Shame that the new caps don't have the BMW logo.
Quickly coated the lug bolts to make them look the part.
Tires are Falken Azenis FK510 that were bought new last year by the PO and I got new center caps last year as well.
And we're back in business!
The beast is due for a nice wash but I'm super stoked how the wheels turned out! The communication with Superfelgi was good and on time, his English isn't brilliant so once it got technical I resorted to google translate which worked out fine. As I already stated, the shade of Chrome Shadow is really perfect and was my main concern but there is some room for improvement in their work. Primarily with the overall finish as there are some tiny imperfections and specks of dirt if you really nitpick, but considering the price and work done I can't really complain and it's acceptable since it's not noticeable at all once on the car.
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the pillar covers are missing in the above pictures which is the next project.