Is it worth recovering molded drives?
Although the cast discs are quite resistant to damage compared to steel rims, if they hit a pit at high speed, they can cause damage and geometric disturbance. In some cases, chips or cracks may occur. The speed of the vehicle and the topography of the road surface directly determine the extent of damage to the cast discs.
Can I repair a damaged molded disc?
In the vast majority of cases, the molded rim cannot be repaired, although the success of the repair depends directly on the degree of damage and the method of repair. It is important to understand that the cast discs are produced by casting a hot alloy into a special mould, then performing a hardening and artificial aging procedure on the metal. This technology gives the finished product its consumer characteristics.
Welding of cast rims
In tire fitting centres, mechanical damage (chips, cracks and broken pieces) is often repaired by argon welding. In fact, this allows only the appearance of the rim to be repaired, but not its suitability for further use.
After the hardening procedure (heating the alloy and its rapid cooling), the cast rim can no longer be reheated under any circumstances. This will have a negative impact on its physical characteristics, since after heating the alloy from which the rim was cast, it will lose its structure forever. No matter how much the tire manufacturer praises his equipment, you must remember that it is simply impossible to restore the original alloy structure under these conditions.
In support of this, we quote from the EUWA (Association of European Wheel Manufacturers) “Safety and Service Recommendations for Wheel Rims”: “Any repair of rim damage by heating, welding, adding or removing material is strictly prohibited.
It is very dangerous to ride the rim after heat treatment!
Rihting the cast discs
Cast rim rolling (straightening) is common everywhere in almost any tire center. The rolling procedure is similar to rolling steel rims on the same equipment. Please note that in this case, masters roll the casting after heating the deformed rim elements with a soldering lamp or by other means. This is expressly forbidden for the reasons mentioned above.
A relatively harmless way to restore the rim is to try to “hammer out” the deformed parts of the rim with a hammer and then roll it on the machine “cold”. As a rule, it is a very labor-intensive and expensive process. Such restoring is possible only in case of light damage, when it is still possible to do without straightening. With more complex deformations, it is no longer possible to “knock out” the deformation without heating.
It is important to remember that a heated cast rim is no longer suitable for installation on your car. When buying molded rims, carefully examine their surface from all sides. Heating will usually leave stains on the surface of the molded disc that cannot be washed off. This allows you to determine where the rim should be heated if it has not been pre-painted.
Do I need to paint the alloy wheels?
Cast rims can be painted at almost any tire centre. The paintwork can indeed be repainted, but it is up to professionals in this field to do so.
To prepare the rims for painting, you need to remove the old coating completely. In addition, after painting, it is desirable to check the disc for statistical imbalance caused by uneven application of paint and varnish on its surface. And for this procedure you need special equipment.
A general recommendation when painting cast rims is to find serious specialists in this field with good recommendations who have the necessary conditions and equipment. If possible, sign a written contract with them, which will set out the warranty. Otherwise, you risk getting rims that are unsuitable for your car, or their factory appearance will be lost forever.