Received wheels are first checked for circumference (roundness) and lateral (side to side) damage with a dial indicator. Once determined the wheel is not bent out of perpendicular plane with the spindle it can then be evaluated for repair. This evaluation includes checking for the existence of cracks that may have been overlooked up to this point by the wheel owner. Once the evaluation is complete a phone call is made or email is sent to the owner for authorization to continue and once granted the wheel proceeds to straightening.
Hubcap & Wheel utilizes the newest technology with a purpose built precision wheel straightening machine that was purchased in 2006. Our straightening experience began in 1997 with a machine we built ourselves. However the new Lehigh equipment with our proprietary modifications has greatly increased our consistency in repairs and generated a quicker turn-around that usually allows us to provide the next-day reshipment or pickup that our customers have grown to expect. Early drop off for basic straightening by our local customers is rewarded with same day afternoon pickup on most repairs.
First, wheels are tightly torqued through the lug seats after centering the wheel on the precision head and variable centering collet. This insures the measurements of the finished repair can be accurately duplicated down the line at the tire balancing equipment and ultimately to being straight on the vehicle's hub or spindle.
Then if necessary the wheel is flipped on the straightening machine to place the damaged portion of the wheel up for easy access. We work with each side of the wheel until it is true. While this particular wheel is only damaged on one side, were it damaged on the other, after it is allowed to cool and we equalized strains and stresses with an operation we call "ringing out," the process would be repeated on the other flange. Because of high heat, face bends that are painted and not chrome plated will burn and discolor in the area to be straightened. Face bends on other than chrome plated wheels generally are going to require a full refinishing and the basic straightening pricing below will not apply.
Wheels are gently heated in the areas to be worked to that critical "sweet spot" that allows the metal to be worked, while staying below the melting point. The softened metal at the bent point of the wheel is moved slowly back to the normal arc. Care is taken not to overheat the alloy. Our years of experience have taught us how to recognize and deal with the nuances of working with the forged and various qualities of cast wheels used in production today. The hydraulic ram is used with the appropriate custom straightening dies to slowly bring the bend back to the original specifications.
Each heating and moving process is followed by a check of the progress of the repair with a precision dial micrometer. Most bends are returned to a maximum circumference run-out of less than .030” (30/1000 inch.) Typical run-outs of a repaired wheel are between .015” and .020” inch. We have found over the years that new OEM wheels in the box have a nominal run-out of .010” - .020” and our typical results are within the approximate thickness of a sheet of writing paper of the nominal tolerance of a new wheel.
Though only one bend may be originally apparent, sympathetic collisions of impact forces create strain binds in the circumference of the wheel. Controlled heating and cooling of these impact and non-impact areas and subsequent ringing out of the wheel strain created by the push of the distortion in the original impact bend equalizes the distortions and as the wheel cools it anneals (hardens) so it is as strong as ever.
The straightened wheel is given a final quality check. It is then cleaned to remove any burnt paint on the finish Cleaning is not usually necessary for chrome wheels. The wheel is then repacked and is ready for shipping or any welding necessary.
Wheels smaller than 20"
Basic flange crack weld 1 crack
|$75 (only $50 additional with straightening)
Additional cracks: $50 each
Complex welding, long barrel cracks
|Call for quote
A crack is a crack and wheel size is of no consequence. Except in the cost of freight.
These prices are approximate and to be used as a guideline only. Actual pricing is determined after an evaluation of the damage done to the individual wheel. All prices listed above are before freight charges are added.
Freight is charged using actual UPS ground pricing unless otherwise requested. If an incoming shipping carton is damaged, and unfit for safe return trip, or deemed unsuitable to protect the finished work, it may be necessary to up-charge for the acquisition of proper packaging. We have been shipping AND receiving (both properly and improperly packed) wheels for years. We know first-hand what will make the trip without further damage. Proper packing will be rewarded with a protected, ready-to-enjoy wheel. Understandably, any shipping damage that may result after the advice of packing carton deficiency will be the responsibility of the wheel owner. Of course, customer will be advised of charges before shipment. Shipping is not a profit center for us, it is merely a necessary operation that we must pass along the cost incurred.
NOTE: When packing wheels to send to us, check with your local wheel stores for properly sized and constructed boxes for shipping. It may take a couple of days before the right box is available, but the delay will be well worth it.
Impacts and curb scrubbing can crack the barrel or the flange of a wheel; causing loss of structural integrity. We employ high strength Tungsten Inert Gas Welding (TiG) to correct this dangerous situation and restore the integrity. Our certified welders will restore the strength and structural integrity to your damaged wheel. Your wheel will be straightened to perfectly align the edges to be repaired and then expertly welded.
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