GS450H Wheels cleaned and calipers painted

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Took the wheels off my 2008 GS450H and gave them a thorough clean, polish, and wax. Also cleaned up the the calipers and painted them silver and cleaned under the arches.


All that described in a very short paragraph but Jesus H I’m feeling it now. My legs are tired, my arms ache, my knees hurt, I’m a wreck!


Anyway, unhealthy middle aged bloke grumblings aside, here’s the evidence of what turned out to be about 12 hours work.


This is the car pre-clean. Note the dull grey calipers and dirty wheels.




This picture shows in better detail the caliper behind one of the front wheels, the dull locking wheel nut, and the grime under the wheel arch (but hey at least the body work is pretty clean).




Here’s a rear wheel shot. The rear calipers are tiny in comparison to the meaty bad boys on the front, and on my car at least the rear discs while still ok in terms of thickness look rusty and naff around the hub. Apparently since it’s a hybrid the rear discs don’t have to work very hard as there’s a braking with regen. Either way, looks could be improved.






Once jacked up and wheels off I could get to the arches with the pressure washer and scrubber. I wasn’t going for pristine here, just improved. I blasted several times with the Karcher, sprayed G101 and agitated it around, blasted it all off again, and once dry sprayed and wiped with Aerospace 303.




The wheels of my era GS450H have chromed plastic ‘spokes’ which might look nice but are a right pain to clean around. Since this was going to be a proper clean I decided to remove them. A spray with WD40 around the 10mm nuts helped and my electric screwdriver paired with an adapter from my socket set saw them all come off easily enough. This is definitely something worth doing every year or so as I could easily imagine them seizing solid if they went ignored. Wheels are a pretty hostile place for a happy union of plastic and metal like this.




I cleaned them up with some Autosol, which is brilliant stuff.


Once the plastic bits are removed the wheels look like this. This is pictured towards to the of the (back breaking) process of cleaning them.




I cleaned the wheels with Bilberry wheel cleaner, Dragon’s Breath iron remover, G101, then tar remover. I used some old Meiguars polish then waxed with Collinite.


With the wheels sorted it was time to tackle the calipers and rear discs. I was undecided between going for black, which is possibly more original, or silver, which to my eyes looks cleaner and fresher. I went with silver. I used Hammerite smooth coat which came well recommended and a brush I stole from my 5 year olds art box (now replaced with a new one).


Beefy front caliper done.




Weedy rear caliper and drake disc done. I could have done a slightly neater job but figured any small excess would be hidden by the wheel or removed the first time I braked, so didn’t worry too much.




Car jacked up waiting for wheels to be reattached.




Weirdly one of the bits I’m most proud of is the locking wheel nuts. I cleaned them up as best I could and then dipped the nut face down onto the open lid of the paint tin. The residual pain on the lid was enough to provide a small coat to the surface of the nut but no more. Looks pretty neat I think and doesn’t interfere with how they work at all.




Front wheel done and back on (yes I know a nut is missing, I was letting the locking ones completely dry before reattaching).




Rear wheel done.




It was a hard slog but now I’ve done it once I know what’s involved I’d happily paint calipers again in the future. I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.


Thanks for reading!





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Well done Andrew, looking good and should clean up easier now too.

I'm impressed that you did a thorough strip down of the wheel spokes too :thumbs_up:

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Thanks Lee, I did start cleaning without taking off the spokes but quickly realised it would make my job easier and faster in the long run to whip them off. I put some grease on the thread when I put them back on so hopefully that will help get them off easily next time I do this job.

A few more pictures showing the silver calipers behind the clean wheels and the newly painted locking wheel nuts.





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Those rear calipers are amusingly small vs the front big guns up front...but as you say, the rear don't work much with the regen braking taking much of the work.

Painting the calipers is well worth doing tho as the OEM finish is :sleeping:

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Good job and well worth doing, do the same on my RX every couple of years.

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Lovely job and well worth doing. I did mine about 2 years ago and they’re just needing doing again now.

I’ll probably do them this month as the old girl is going in for a 2 Stage paint correction and wheel refurb this week.

Have you thought about some caliper stickers to finish it off?



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