Can wheels be restored?

l008com

Original poster
Member
Feb 19, 2016
886
Massachusetts
My truck has those angled 5 star 17" wheels. They're not my favorite wheel design but i got what I got. I was looking around the internet to see if I Could find "new" or like new replacement wheels. And I could on ebay but they are very expensive, generally about $900 shipped, and center caps not included.

So is there a way I can get my existing wheels "restored"? I don't want them chromed, I would want them just restored to like new factory condition. Theres a lot of what looks like corrosion under clearcoat. If such a service exists, how much would I expect to pay for it? If it's reasonable enough, I just might do it. The wheels and headlight lens covers really make my truck look old and worn out.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Donor
Supporting Donor
Member
Jul 22, 2015
2,724
Sure is. Search on 'automotive wheel restoration' and 'MA' -- you should be able to find shops nearby (I did this, which is why I'm so 'sure' of my answer)

It's a fairly easy process (for them); I've seen it done on automotive shows and the like. You might be able to do it, too (way cheaper), with the right materials. I'll bet YouTube has some vids on it (I didn't check, but I'm *almost* as sure... lol).

A lot of coated wheels are just paint / clear. Others have a rubberized coating, etc., etc.

(on edit: I have no idea what it would cost, but I'm guessing up to $200 / wheel. I got a quote for powdercoating a few years back, and it was about $150 / wheel, in the Chicago area)

If you're interested in having the wheels made black, or a color that matches or contrasts (ick) to your body color -- check out powdercoating.
 
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TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,053
Brighton, CO
Or find another rim from the same truck line that fits..

Looks like is MA, theres quite a few.. (I used Boston as the search point, you didnt specify in your profile)

https://vermont.craigslist.org/wto/7544733066.html <-- I am pretty sure these are GMT360, CHEAP!!

And more.. I didnt even check facebook marketplace
 
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Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,335
Ottawa, ON
I had a set of wheels done for the Caprice in all black powder coating. Really contrasted the white car. Cost me $600CAD 5 years ago. There are shops that specialize in wheel restoration and others that do it as a side gig when powder coating other stuff. And colours are limitless.
 

JayArr

Member
Sep 24, 2018
504
Mission BC Canada
I know this is an old thread but I just did this so I'll add what I learned here.

You can just sand off the old rims and spray them with lacquer clear coat. It's a lot of elbow grease but not difficult.

I bought four OEM rims with corrosion under the clear coat, it looked like spider veins all over and horrible but I got them for $50Cdn each.

I cleaned them all up with wire wheels and rough 80 grit sandpaper first. Inside and out including the beads then I went to work on the outer 'show' surfaces with sandpaper starting at 100 grit going to 200 grit on an orbital sander. Then I hand sanded with wet paper in 400, 600 and 800 grit to a smooth surface. I cleaned them all up and sprayed clear lacquer on them and they look pretty good. Not perfect or new but 1000% better. Now my snow tires look OEM.

It took about 3 hours per rim so not quick by any means but not rocket science either.

JayArr
 
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Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,335
Ottawa, ON
Any pictures? Would love to see what the clear coated aluminum looks like.
 

JayArr

Member
Sep 24, 2018
504
Mission BC Canada
Here are a few pics. I just came back from a trip so they are 'road dirty' but they still look pretty good.

The center caps were an eBay purchase since I didn't get the OEMs when I bought the rims.
 

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