Where Can I Get Wheels Chromed/Polished?
[NM] Many of you asked me during NSXpo 98 where I had my wheels done. Jeff Bennett researched and has apparently used this place / person several times. I can definitely vouch for the quality (as can anyone who saw how fantastic my stock 91′ wheels now look!). Anyway – feel free to send George the business and thank Jeff for finding this awesome resource.
"George Oliver's shop is called: Wheel Creations Plus located at: 2006 Mary St. Fresno,CA. 93721 phone: (209) 233-3654 I have done alot of business with him and he does excellent work. Be sure and tell him I sent you. By the way, I may have forgot to tell you, the center caps need to be cleaned with mild soap and water. Do not use those caustic wheel cleaner products. The center caps are plastic and thats why they require extra care. Your friend, Jeff"
[SE] I purchased stock ’91-’93 factory chromes from Discount Tire about 3 months ago. They have a great program for swapping in your old cores and getting new chromes on the spot [of course you need to set it up ahead of time]. They came with a "flush" chrome cap.
[JBE – 99/11/22] Check with George Oliver with Wheel Creations Plus in Fresno, CA (559) 233-3654. He is a master at wheel chroming and I think he may also do repair.
[MN – 99/6/15] I have a reference to the place that not only polishes and maintains my 7-spokers, but has done ALL of my custom polishing work! The place is:
Name: Wheel Tech
Location: Campbell, CA (near San Francisco)
Telephone: 408-866-5859 or Toll Free 1-877 WHEEL TEC
I HIGHLY recommend these guys !
[TFS – 2000/8/18] I was recently referred to Globe Tire by HRE Wheels to locate a set of chrome 97 NSX wheels. Spoke to the owner named Arnie. Asked several questions regarding the plating process such as: how long do the wheels stay in the nickel tank and do they come full polish. To mitigate any additional shipping charges, I asked that he look at each wheel before shipping just to make sure (have had problems in the past with chrome quality from other platers). Just a simple question to look at them before shipping.
Gave him my credit card number and address to ship to. A week later they had not shown up. Called and spoke to Arnie about the status of my order. His response was that I seemed to picky about quality and therefore he decided not to ship the wheels. He thought it would be more trouble than it was worth. He was concerned the quality would not meet my needs.
I was referred by HRE. I do not recommend anyone use Globe Tire for their NSX wheel needs.
Wheel Creations Plus (listed above) does chrome center caps.
[DrManny@aol.com] I replaced them with center caps from the Legend. They are chrome and have a raised gold A in the center. I personnely think they look great. I had to modify them to fit, however they do not need to be glued on. Purchased from Acura.
[SE] Discount Tire has chrome center caps. No lug holes and no Acura logo. But, they are "flush" with the rest of the rim. I know you can purchase just the caps for around $30-$50 ea.
Are There Problems With Chromed Wheels?
[AW] Just to elaborate a little on this subject, I have yet another hard-luck 928 story that might be applicable to anyone who has or is considering chromed aluminum alloy wheels:
1. Porsche issued a service bulletin recommending against chroming their alloy wheels. I’ve never read it, but as related to me by a Porsche dealer mechanic it observed that, at least with respect to the chrome plating processes usually used after-market on automotive wheels, there are a couple chemical/physical problems: a) chrome plating is porous (to water), and b) chrome plating has a different index of thermal expansion than the underlying wheel alloy. This sets the car up for moisture penetration and corrosion beneath the chrome layer which *inevitably* causes pealing and flaking. So far we would seem to have "only" a severe cosmetic problem. But that’s not true, as I found out…
2. My particular ’86 928, like most 928s, had its wheels chromed at the time of initial delivery. Right before I bought it the PO replaced all four tires. Two of the wheels subsequently but at different times developed mysterious slow leaks, which turned out to be the chrome plating peeling away *at the tire-bead to wheel-rim interface*. I believe this developed at that time because of the disturbance resulting from changing tires. In any case, I finally had to have all four tires removed *again* and a rim carefully scraped. I also am pretty sure that the problem would have recurred with each tire change, if not sooner.
My conclusion from all this is that after-market chroming of alloy wheels is not worth the risk and hassle. If I ever acquired a car that had chromed wheels again I would without further ado have the chrome stripped off and returned either to the factory appearance or have them polished, or get new wheels. I don’t want to have to worry about leaks around the bead at 150 mph. IANAM (I am not a metallurgist) but I suspect there are chrome plating processes that would work and be reliable, if expensive. I just don’t know how I would verify that myself.
[AVE – 99/6/21] During the chroming process, Hydrogen is released, albeit in minute amounts. Depending on the release rate and the crystalline structure of the steel, Hydrogen can be "absorbed" in the first few molecular layers of the steel. The result is what is called "hydrogen embrittlement". As the phrase implies, the steel actually becomes slightly brittle in localized spots.
What About Polishing Wheels?
Polished Center Caps
[MN] Here’s what you do for the 7 spokers. Get somebody to punch you out some aluminum .090 by 1 13/16 circles. Take your center caps out. Taking an x-acto knife, put the cap upside down on a flat surface and lay it right up against an aluminum disk. Put the knife point up against the plastic and hold it also flush with the surface of the disk.
Rotate the plastic 360 degrees. What you are doing is making a mark around the circumference of the plastic cap, the thickness of the aluminum disk. Hold the top part (with the insignia) flat against a belt sander, and sand the surface down until the lines are gone. Epoxy the aluminum disk to that sanded surface. Polish the aluminum surface and put the caps back on. Looks totally flat and cool !!
Powder Coating Wheels
[CA – 99/6/13] I have powder coated stock 94+ wheels, although it looks killer, the outside of the rim will chip due to the devices that are attached to the wheel when aligning, if you can get just the very edge not powder coated, then this may help. I dont have any regrets even with a chip or two, I have a testors paint pen that fills in very nicely. I spray painted the center caps black and filled in with silver paint pen and the clear coated the letters with clear finger nail polish. The lugs can be bought at Acura in black or silver. For contrast , I also painted my calipers bright red with black
lettering...looks very killer. [the rest of the] powdercoating is VERY hard to chip. It is tougher than the paint used on the stock wheels. They are stripped down, sanded, then powdercoated.
[AT – 99/6/15] Ppowder coating doesn’t like sharp edges or angles. This is where it’s most vulnerable to being chipped. That’s why the edge of the rim is easily chipped with the wrong tire installing technique.
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