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How to detail wheel wells Ford F250


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I have a 2001 Ford F250 that I will be detailing next week. 150,000 miles originally bought in Kansas and now is here in Arizona. It has seen some winters and has some minor rust on the under carriage. I would like to detail the wheel wells as close to what they originally looked as possible. So do I clean and paint the exposed areas like the frame rails and leaf springs? Anyone have experience with this as to what looks best. So much of the wheel wells is exposed on these trucks so its a big part of the detail.

I usually clean the black plastic areas in the wheel wells and detail with Adams Under Carriage Spray on the other cars but with this truck not sure what to do...









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Welcome Marcus! Nice truck, and we upgraded the grill on our 1999 F-350 Box truck with the same grille...nice touch! What motor does your truck have?


At any rate, repainting the wheel wells on your truck is pretty simple, and the two options I would suggest are to have the wheel wells sprayed with bedliner, like Line-X, or repaint them.


Upside of bedliner spraying is the longevity, and ease of cleaning. Downside is that doing the leaf springs and suspension parts is tough, expensive, and the whole process can cost upwards of $500, including the time it takes to tape off the truck, remove the wheels in the spray booth, etc.


As for painting them yourself, that's a very cost effective option, and I've done it plenty in my 30 years of detailing.


First, clean the wheel wells very well. I'm talking about using a gallon of APC, a brush, and absolutely a pressure washer. Plan on spending an hour or more spraying, scrubbing, and blasting the wheel wells, and try to get all of the grease and crud off first.


Then, let it dry for a 4-5 hours, but don't put many miles on the truck. For best results, remove the wheels, and do the job in a place where there is little or no breeze/ wind. (No need to overspray your truck while repainting the frame and suspension!)


Tape off the parts that you DON'T want painted! That means the plastic liners in front of, and behind the fender, your shocks, etc. Use a mile of tape and a stack of newspaper, but a clean job requires plenty of taping off.


Then, prime the frame and suspension parts. I use this automotive primer by Rust-Oleum, which worked well on our truck. Spray a few coats, waiting 10 or 15min between coats.


Allow the primer to dry for an hour at least!


Then, I used the same Automotive Rust-Oleum paint, this time a flat black, to get the frame back to perfect. 3 or 4 thin coats works best, but this time, wait about 20 min between applications.


A few more tips: wear a painter's mask so you don't inhale paint like mad. Take before, during, and after photos, and post them here when you are done!


Hope this helps, and again, welcome to AF!



Edited by Adam
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Marcus:welcomebanner: to the gang.


Those wheel wells are sure gonna need some love. Once done properly they are gonna look fantastic and your truck will look killer.:drool:


Take your time and plan your method of attack. Adam has given you an excellent option, one that I would follow exactly if it was my truck.


Good luck and keep us updated on how it is progressing.

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I have a 2006 Silverado that has painted wheel wells. I use a high quality undercoat that dries hard. I prefer SEM. Its about $15/can. Its not rubbery like others and leaves an amazingly even texture. I did my wheel wells as well as some suspension parts and wheel wells on my 2003 silverado.









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Thanks everyone for your responses.

This truck I bought about two years ago and has a 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel. I do alot of hauling with the restoration business I have (working on 69 and 70 Mustangs).


So it sounds like painting, bedliner spraying, or undecoating is the way to go....to give it a nice black finish again. I will need to put the truck up on the lift and see whats involved with removing the rust....I think there is some products out there especially for the frame rails before I put anything on top. I also would like to have some contrast for the leaf springs as I think they would have more of a bare steel type finish rather than black if I can find a way to do that.


I will post some pictures in the upcoming weeks when I have some results to show. Appreciate all the advice. Great forum with some great postings....glad I found this place and the product demos etc.

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  • 3 months later...

I finished my truck a while ago but I have been traveling so I wanted to post some pictures of everything finished and some of the products I used. Results are amazing and for a truck that was used as a truck with 150,000 miles I think the results speak for themselves.


First I used a clay bar over the entire truck which made a huge difference. Then I used the following Adams products in order (all of this was done using a Flex machine polisher):

Sever Swirl Remover

Swirl and Haze Remover

Fine Machine Polish


For final steps by hand I used a Buttery Wax and the last product for the paint was Brilliant Glaze.

I also used VRT on all plastic and rubber.


For the wheel wells....which was my original dilemma I used the Under Carriage Spray on all plastic liner parts that cleaned up and the rest of the exposed areas I simply used a rubberized undercoating. The undercoating was quick and easy to use and probabluy made the biggest difference in these areas. I was careful not to overspray the undercoating and taped off different areas.


Since I got that carried away I also took apart the whole front bumper section so I could remove the 10 years of rust and grime and repaint some of the brackets since it is visible when it is assembled.


All and all the truck now looks like new. It took a good number of hours and days to do everything but this was not your typical cleaning that I would do. Now should be simple to maintain.













Here you can see before and after polish. Left side of the tailgate has been finished and the right side has not.






Best picture I could get showing the paint after its all done.












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