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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Does anyone know how to tell the type of finish I have on my 2005 Lotus Elise wheels?

Thank you very much for the help!

IMG_20210222_160756141.jpg
 

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Hard to say they could use some cleaning and I'm on backup 10yo PC while Dell has mine but they look more like the anodized than the painted.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the response Catsailr27. I was thinking the same thing, but wasn't 100% sure. Just trying to figure out because I'm planning to get them back to factory finish.
 

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Hopefully others will look and chime in to verify. Here's some links


 

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Looks like anodized to me as well.
 

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Either they're very dirty or anodized. Ask me how I know!

Kiyoshi is right, as the Sport Package cars (about 1/3 of the total) built in the first batch of ~500 Elises had anodized wheels. Due to warranty issues with discoloration, they next went to clear coated, then silver painted if I'm not mistaken. My car was a sport pack car built in July, 2004 so it has the anodized wheels.

After the local Lotus dealer gave my car a free wash job I didn't ask for, the wheels came back with permanent water spots all over. One of their most experienced Lotus techs advised me not to have them painted/powder coated, as he said that the paint usually would start to peel off at the sharp edges. I noticed this on cars with painted LSS wheels, so it made sense. Most wheels that are designed to be painted have nice radiused corners/edges to that the paint won't be thin and chip at those areas.

I found a company in the Baltimore area that did military grade anodizing and had the dealer send them up there for stripping/reanodizing. The finish came back very high quality, but not as bright/shiny as the original finish. The original finish would dull after time, so I didn't worry about it.

I guess you could paint them, but be prepared to do it over again after a number of years. I suppose they'll be a few dozen replies from folks that have painted them and never had any problems, but maybe they found a good shop to do the work. I think that there are some on previous posts that have warned against powder coating these wheels, as the heat may weaken them. I'm not sure about this, but it has been discussed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the responses! The car build date was September 2004. So I assume they are most likely anodized.
 

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Are these anodized?
1280909





1280910
 

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Those look painted to me.
 
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Here's what my anodized wheels looked like after the dealer's detailer washed them with wheel cleaner:
1281014


Here's what the surface looked like after stripping and reanodizing:

1281015
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Those look great! Is color the same as the original? I can't tell from the picture.
 

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The original poster has anodized and the second is painted. The clear anodized finish looked great when new but did not wear to well. My first Elise had them and they looked sweet. I heard that wheel supplier was suffering poor yield with this finish and unable to keep up with the demand so Lotus switched to the easier to paint - painted finish.
 
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