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Rechroming of an existing Chrome is a very special procedure. Unlike chrome plating an original OE (Original Equipment) painted wheel or part, extra steps and care need to be taken to process a previously chrome plated wheel or part.
We can rechrome your parts and wheels
From slightly to severely damaged, we can fix it! If you have a chrome wheel that has rubbed against the curb or flat spotted from a pothole, we can repair and refinish the part for far less than it would cost to purchase a new one. In addition to rechrome we also offer paint match, powder coating, clear coating, and wheel repair services.
Here are some scenarios where you want to consider getting a rechrome:
How much does it cost to Rechrome my wheels or parts?
How do we Rechrome?
Before the procedure begins, all wheels we receive are inspected, photographed, and catalogued to evaluate their current condition. If any specified instructions accompany the wheels, these are reviewed at this time (please remember to include a Customer Instruction Sheet and review these helpful shipping instructions).
Our process starts by removing the chrome plating and other base metals to bring the wheel into raw form. At this point, we inspect the wheels for trueness and for any repairs that might be necessary. For repairs, if needed, Call For Pricing 661-294-0170 depending on the severity. Also, a concern is any possible corrosion or pitting damage that was not apparent prior to the removal of the plating. Similar to the damage caused to wood by termites, some damage may not be visible from the outside. Aluminum alloy wheels are a softer material than the metals plated on them and corrosion will attack the softer metal first.
Examples of Corrosion, Porosity and Pitting
Please note that rechroming a wheel does not guarantee a perfect wheel. Your wheels may appear to be in good condition but may have corrosion pitting or porosity in the wheel casting which can’t be seen until the finish has been removed or are just below the surface which may be exposed during processing.
These casting flaws from porosity and or corrosion pitting in the aluminum alloy base metal if large enough may not be completely filled in during chrome processing and may show through the new chrome as a pit. This porosity or pits are a defect or damage to the base metal of the wheel casting and not due to the chrome plating. Chrome and Rechrome plating is completed on a best effort basis. We will do the best we can to make the wheels look as good as possible. We process thousands of wheels every year with excellent results.
A further detailed example of the porosity and corrosion process is shown in the images below.
What about inner barrel polishing on a Rechrome?
As explained in the sections above, rechroming of an alloy wheel is a difficult process. In performing the rechrome, the main focus is on the front side of the wheel. We virtually never offer inner barrel polishing on a rechrome order. If the inner barrels of the wheels have been previously polished, we may offer to repolish this area of the wheel to make it bright and shiny like the face of the wheel. If corrosion occurs on a chrome plated alloy wheel, it can often times affect the inner barrel more than the face of the wheel. This is due to several reasons. This area of the wheel is most susceptible to brake dust built up, it is the area also where road salt tends to settle, and it is the most difficult area of the wheel to keep clean.
Because of the protective shell that chrome plating provides to the base alloy wheel, it is sometimes difficult to see corrosive damage to the base substrate. Aluminum alloy is softer than the chrome plating that has been applied to the wheel, therefore the corrosion will attack the softest material first. Once the chrome is removed we will be better able to determine whether inner barrel polishing will be available. This decision is somewhat subjective and based on our experience and expertise.
What is corrosion? Unlike steel, which oxidizes and turns to a rust color, corrosion on aluminum dissolves the material. Once the material is gone, it is difficult to polish or grind the area smooth, without compromising the thickness and integrity of the wheel. Unlike a painted wheel, in which the corrosive pits may be filled with bondo, on chrome plated wheels these pits will still show due to the reflectivity of chrome plating.
Polishing swirl marks from hand tool polishing may be visible in areas difficult to access and may vary due to wheel size and design.
At California Chrome Wheel Inc. every attempt is made to produce the highest quality finish available. However due to all of the circumstances which are beyond our and your control, all rechrome work is done on a best effort basis. If you are unsatisfied with the results, requesting us to rechrome the wheel again will only amplify these problems. This explanation is to give you the facts about rechroming. Understanding these facts hopefully prevents an unrealistic expectation of the results of rechroming an alloy wheel.
Shown in the photos below, are examples (front and back) of completed rechrome inner barrel polishing (see A and B). Compare to a wheel without inner barrel polishing (see C).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & INFO
When sending in your wheels to be re-chrome plated, we do require that a form be sent in along with the wheels. The Customer Instruction Sheet can be found here.
This contract is in place to assist in communications between all parties to help insure a smooth re-chroming transaction. Please make sure you fill out and send with your wheels for re-chrome.
Upon receiving your wheels, we will review the re-chrome contract information you have sent to us, along with your wheels, and determine all charges required to perform the work requested. We will estimate and contact you if there is any additional work needed. Full payment (except shipping charges) is required before beginning any procedures. Payment can be made in one of three ways. For domestic customers, you may send us your personal check and upon us receiving the funds, and the check clearing, the procedures will begin at that time. As an alternative, to expedite time, you can send a cashiers check / money order. For international customers, wire transfer is available as well. Credit card / PayPal payment is not available on re-chrome plating and repairs. Any remaining balance, such as freight is due upon completion.
Total processing time may vary and is approximately 10-20+ work days depending on how difficult your wheels are to process, any repairs that may be necessary, and our current work load. Please do call for more info.
*Important information for wheels with cosmetic rivets.* The cosmetic rivets will need to be removed before chrome plating. We can remove and install the rivets Call For Pricing 661-294-0170. Most rivets can be removed and reinstalled. However, some rivets may need to be drilled out and lost. You may want to contact the manufacturer to see if replacement rivets are available before shipping the wheels to us. We may be able to supply replacement rivets at an additional cost but the replacement rivets may not match the original size or design and some rivets may not be available at all.
If your wheels have sustained minor curb damage (scraping), more often than not, your wheels will be able to be plated. The photos below are examples of acceptable curb damage that we are able to blend in during our polishing procedure at no additional charge.
Many times the reason for rechroming can be an air leakage problem. This is where the plating has lost the adhesion between the tire and wheel assembly (bead). Often times this condition is found when having new tires installed to older chrome plated wheels. Many factors can cause this issue, such as older plating, improper tire mounting solution, or fix-a-flat tire sealant. When performing a rechrome we will first remove the plating to examine the corrosion damage to the base material of the wheel. Unfortunately, the damaged area may reveal more pitting/corrosion than was apparent with the old plating on the wheel.
During the rechrome process every effort is performed to provide as much copper plating time to help fill in the porous holes caused by the corrosion. Due to the severity of the corrosion, this area may still be a concern once the new plating has been applied. Keep in mind, the chrome plating will be brand new, but the end result is only as good as the base material that it is plated on. If the corrosion is very severe, there are additional remedies we can provide to help seal the tire and wheel assembly. Pictured below is an example of a corroded bead area that was successfully rechromed.
We recommend wheels with corrosion and pitting be bead blasted to help reduce some of the smaller pits and give the wheel a more uniform look. For the bead blast cost Call For Pricing 661-294-0170.