The question our company is most frequently asked is can my wheels be refinished. The answer is most alloy wheels can be refinished to their original finish. There are many different types of alloy wheels. They can be cast painted wheels. They can be a machine finished wheels, polished wheels, chrome plated, OEM, or after market wheels. Wheels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer how they are made. Most original equipment manufactured wheels (OEM) can be easily refinished. OEM wheels in most cases are of higher quality than after market alloy wheels. OEM wheels vary in size, coatings and how they corrode. The most common OEM alloy wheel is machine finished. This is a wheel that has painted inserts or a painted center with a machine face or outer edge. Most inserts are either bright silver, dark silver or black. These inserts are easily refinished as well but done before the wheel is re-machined. That is if they need to be refinished. In most cases the inserts are perfectly fine. The machine area is usually the area that gets damaged and or corrodes first. Our refinishing system will spin the machine finished wheel at high speed, the operator will then re-cut a new machine finish removing any corrosion or curb damage. From there it is just a matter of re-clear coating and the wheel will look like new again.
Color painted alloy wheels can be a cast alloy rims or a machine cut wheel the manufacturer
decided to paint rather than clear coat. Some manufactures do both to the same wheel.
Toyota Tacoma truck wheels are one example. Same machine cut wheel with some painted
silver and some with a clear coat finish. Aftermarket wheels can be easy or impossible to refinish. Easy in that the paints and clear coats are usually very thin. This makes working on the wheel generally easy. Some aftermarket wheels unfortunately have fake/imitation parts. Usually to make it look like a two piece wheel with fake bolts. In most cases these bolts are chrome plated plastic and cannot be removed. Depending on their location it can make refinishing difficult.
With this blog we will talk about what we have learned over the last 25 years in the field of Alloy Wheel Repair and Refinishing. Why we get Corrosion, curb damage, general scuffs and scrapes, coatings on OEM and refinished rims, bent wheel straightening, cracked rims and what we do to wheels and what others do to repair wheels are just some of the topics we will get into over to life of this blog. But first, a bit about who we are and how we got here. The post below is a news article that was just written about us.
2016 will mark WheelCrafters 25th year manufacturing and selling the system they developed in 1990. WheelCrafters now has refinishing and straightening systems in over 200 locations around the world. WheelCrafters doesn’t just manufacture and sell the equipment for others to use. They still use the very first system they built for local wheel refinishing which shows it is a time proven system.
In 1990 a local need to clean and repair alloy wheels was noticed by WheelCrafters. At that time they were a high end Auto Detailing company. The northeast is generally hard on alloy wheels because of the climate and bad roads. Just repainting wheels silver was an option but most of their customers that had machine cut alloy wheels didn’t want that. They wanted the OEM finish like they always had.
The only solution was to re-cut the wheels like they did from the factory. Unfortunately those machine lathes were very expensive and not up to the job of working on all the different sizes of wheels from all the auto manufacturers. WheelCrafters decided to make their own equipment. Right from the start they knew what they needed. A robust system that would replicate the OEM finish of machine cut alloy wheels. A system that was quick and easy to use and didn’t require any adapters to fit all the various sizes of wheels on the market and the larger wheels that were coming out.
Through their own ingenuity and the outside help of local engineers they soon had a system that did everything they needed it to do and more. The original idea was to use the system and provide it with the auto detail franchises they were selling. Wheel repair quickly outpaced the auto detailing part of the business. Auto detailing was soon dropped to concentrate on alloy wheel repair. WheelCrafters soon added wheel straightening and developed their own rim straightener. Over time the system has been upgraded with small improvements but the machine works exactly the same as it did in the 1990’s. A time proven system that continues to refinish wheels around the world 25 years later.
Click here for our Alloy Wheel Repair and Wheel Refinishing Web Site
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