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Wheel Repair

My Wheel is Bent or Out Of Round?

Wheel With Flat Spot

Flat Spotted Wheel

Whether you have sent your wheels in to be chromed, or you are sending your original wheels back from a chrome exchange, we are going to check every wheel for trueness upon arrival at our facility. At that time we may find that the wheels coming off of your vehicle are out of round. This may or may not have been something that you felt during use of your vehicle, but it is something that must be addressed before any finish work is applied.

Hazards that may cause this out of round condition can be virtually anything from potholes, road construction, railroad tracks etc., and may be made worse on vehicles equipped with lower profile tires. Out of round conditions affect the back side of the wheel, with todays highly offset wheels designs, the back barrel section of the wheel is unsupported. With vehicle manufacturers increasing the wheel size to 19s, 20s, and 21s, and decreasing the tire sidewall, this type of damage becoming more prevalent.

Out of Round Wheel

Out of round wheel

While a flat spotted wheel may be visible to the naked eye as shown to the right, an out of round wheel must be spun on a high speed balancer with no tire to see the run out. We can supply you with a video as shown below, if this condition affects your wheels.

If you are sending your wheels to have a special finish applied, ultimately you decide whether we repair this condition or not. If you are returning a chrome exchange it will be necessary to repair these conditions and deduct the repair costs from your core deposit.

Why Should I Repair My Wheels?

Many vehicle owners will leave damaged wheels on their vehicle because they feel that it is "good enough" or that repairs are too costly to justify. The truth is that even a minorly damaged wheel will cost you more money over the long run, and worse, can lead to dangerous driving conditions.

Uncorrected vibrations caused by out of round or bent wheels, will cause uneven tire wear, extra heat, and pressure, which will require costly premature tire replacement. Worse, this can cause a tire blowout during high-speed driving. Beyond tire damage, these vibrations can also cause serious damage to both the steering and suspension systems of your vehicle. This untrue rotational mass can also be a safety hazard due to the contact patch changing dimension and location with every revolution of the wheel.

Cracked Aluminum Wheel

Cracked alloy wheel

Some wheels may just have damage to the face or lip from scraping a curb. While this damage may seem cosmetic only, what has happened is that the protective layer of paint has been removed in that area, exposing the raw aluminum to the elements. This will eventually lead to oxidation and corrosion of the base material. This can lead to low-density areas in the aluminum which leak air from the tires or be more likely to crack during normal driving.

Cracked wheels present the most dangerous situation to you as a driver. Cracks are virtually always the result of a significant wheel impact and thus are almost always accompanied by a bent wheel as well, which will cause all of the damage listed above. Additionally, the crack itself will not only leak air, but can continue to spread eventually leading to a catastrophic failure of the wheel.

Who Should Repair My Wheels?

Welding a Cracked Wheel

Welding cracked wheel

If you plan now, or in the future to have your wheels Chrome Plated, Black Chromed, or Fusion Powder Coated, the answer is simple.

Have CalChrome repair your alloy wheels.

Most wheel repair or restoration shops return the wheel to the original "look", by using body fillers such as Bondo to fill in curb scrapes, scratches or dents in the aluminum. They are then painted over, to give the wheel the original alloy look. If such a wheel were to be stripped for chrome plating, the body filler would be removed as well, leading to even further repair costs, or an unsatisfactory appearance as a result.

Additionally, many wheel repair shops will simply try to pound out of round wheels into shape with nothing more than a lead hammer. All metals including aluminum alloy, has a 'memory'. Given the proper heat and precision force, the wheel will return to its original shape with much less strain on the rest of the wheel.

Benefits Of CalChrome Repairing My Wheels

Straightening a bent and cracked alloy wheel

Straightening a bent and
cracked alloy wheel

At CalChrome, our repair techniques all center around the assumption that the wheel will eventually be Chrome Plated or Fusion Powder Coated. This means that we repair your wheel the correct way, by reshaping the metals, welding in new aluminum where required, and shaping and polishing the metals back to their original shape.

Specialty Lathe for wheel repair

Specialty lathe

While body fillers may work on a wheel that is going to be painted, a proper repair is absolutely required when a wheel is to be Chrome Plated, Black Chromed or Fusion Coated, as these finishes are applied to the wheel via electric current. Obviously electric current does not flow through a body filler.

The wheels are measured with an indicator dial, then heated and pressed. Once the wheel has been straightened to within OEM specifications, and passes a visual inspection for any facial repairs, the wheel is ready to begin the Chroming, Fusion Coating, or Black Chroming process.

Checking trueness by eye

Checking trueness by eye

Runout Indicator Dial

Runout indicator dial

Heating wheel for pressing

Heating wheel for pressing

How Much Do Alloy Repairs Cost?

Wheel repairs are a labor-intensive service. Depending on what is wrong,the timing required to repair a wheel can vary. This time required to straighten and true one wheel may take half or twice the time it takes on another.

Beyond the visual damage, static and dynamic lateral runout is also checked to make sure the wheels run true. Because of all the different possibilities, it is our best effort to estimate by telephone. Once the wheel arrives here we are better able to determine the time involved in the repair.

Call For Pricing 661-294-0170 depending on the severity of the damage.

Multi-Piece Wheel Repairs & Services

Three Piece wheel parts before assembly

Custom finish work on a multi-piece wheel requires additional steps not required single piece wheels, but the unique customization options make up for the additional cost and time involved.

Multi-Piece wheels cannot be processed for custom finishes in their assembled form, as it would certainly lead to failure of the finish. The wheels must be disassembled, then each piece is processed individually, then reassembled back into the original configuration. This means that each piece may be processed in different finishes, to achieve the ultimate level of customization for your vehicle.

Multi-Piece wheels also must be properly prepped to receive the custom finish of your choice. This means machining a small amount of material from the pieces to accommodate the forthcoming finish work.

3-Piece Wheel After Assembly

3-Piece wheel before
and after assembly

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