WG Buick Rally Wheel Restoration/Reproduction

Discussion in 'Chassis restoration' started by GSX10/10, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. GSX10/10

    GSX10/10 Well-Known Member

    As it seems the reproduction wheels seem to be on terminal backorder (I have been waiting since early Oct. and have tried a few sources with the same result), I may have to have my original WG wheels replated sooner than I was prepared for. I called Rally America and they said they no longer do this type of work where they have to cut the center from the hoop. I think this typically has to be done this way do the the chrome plating process with regard to proper coverage.

    Steve no longer does this service and it looks like the Buick community might just be screwed on this. Any thoughts or recommendations from folks who have had this done?
  2. GSX10/10

    GSX10/10 Well-Known Member

    OK, I think I may have found a source that will do the wheels properly - CalChrome.com. I spoke with the guy today and it appears they can do wheels as a single unit, or separate the inside from the hoop and plate them each, then weld back together. I asked about the "satin chrome" on the center and he indicated that if this were left unpolished, it would be somewhat dull after the plating process. I think if the center was only cleaned and not sanded, etc. to remove the slightly rough texture, you might get a similar result?

    Of course they are not cheap - single wheels are slightly more than a reproduction piece and to have the wheels separated, it's about twice the cost.
  3. 87GN_70GS

    87GN_70GS Well-Known Member

    Curt Mckim on this board does this
  4. Hawken

    Hawken Hawken

    Which process? Replating an entire wheel? Or, cutting the centers, replating the two separated pieces and then welding them back together?

    What's his avatar/screen name or contact info?
  5. 87GN_70GS

    87GN_70GS Well-Known Member

    Curt McKim
  6. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    I wouldn't do it without separating the pieces. I've thought the same thing about not polishing the centers (had to be how they were done originally), but have never tried it.
  7. Hawken

    Hawken Hawken

    My understanding of the problem with not separating them before the replating is that the most difficult areas in chrome plating are interior curved pockets and surfaces (including creases). These areas are where you will most often find the plating prematurely wearing off compared to other areas of the part over time.
  8. DeeVeeEight

    DeeVeeEight Well-Known Member

    This shop has a good rep and has been around for quite some time. I had cause to do business with him about 20 yrs ago and was satisfied with the results. Don't know about the chrome plating part though.
  9. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    My understanding is that the plating they use today is trivalent chrome which is very thin. Back in the day, it was Hexavalent chrome which was far durable but due to environmental laws, not done anymore. That's why a 50 year old Buick wheel still looks good and a repro Wheel Vintiques wheel will rust to hell if left outside for less than a year. They rust in your garage. You cannot use any metal polish or 0000 steel wool on a new wheel as you'll burn through the chrome. My Wheel Vintiques wheels you can see the underlying copper plating through the chrome.
  10. Stage 2 iron

    Stage 2 iron Nice Chevelle LOL

    May have found a source to restore WG wheels I called Tim at wheel Works here in Burlington New Jersey he could only do the welding part he gave me the number to super chrome in Asbury park New Jersey I called and talk to a guy named Joe explained what I was looking for he told me to email him pictures so he could see the wheels so he could give me an estimate we also discussed the chroming process he said they do both trivalent an hexavalent is more expensive. Their email address is superchrome@Verizon.net there phone 732-774-2210 Talk to Joe.
  11. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    Frank, I keep kicking around the idea of restoring them - I've had a few guys over the years ask me and I owe @UNDERDOG350 a call to discuss it. I can true and weld them better than factory and have used Dayton Wire Wheel for plating in the past and would have to talk to them about it and/or Super Chrome. I could even get new rims made to duplicate the factory WG's if the demand warranted the tooling costs, but seemingly there are enough out there to restore that it wouldn't be necessary. I have a couple in my shop not that I've been looking at, just not sure if I want to get into this. I play with cars for fun and make wheels for a living and not sure I want to mix those worlds plus I have my hands full already and don't need to piss off any more people with long lead times - Would depend on the demand and pricing, but would basically be a labor of love regardless compared to my normal work. I don't know Tim personally but know of and have talked to Wheel Works and I'm sure they know me and have never heard anything bad about their work. In the end, they may be better suited to do this, but I'm at least willing to consider it. Shoot me a PM or call me if you want to discuss further. Otherwise, if I do decide to do it, I'll have to start a thread to gauge interest and talk to Jim about getting into the vendor forum.
    Jim Jones likes this.
  12. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    Underdog no longer rallye wheel restoration because the manufacturer will not sell him the rim shells. He can probably give u good advice as to what route for u to proceed on.
  13. Kenny462

    Kenny462 Gold Level Contributor

    I have had 4ea wheel vintiques wheels 15x8 since 2003 and they are perfect!!!!!!!!!!!! not a blemish on any.kenny462
  14. drspencer

    drspencer Well-Known Member

    My brand new (expen$sive) Wheel Vintique rims turned to crap in less than a year, sitting in my garage.

    Best of luck.
  15. 87GN_70GS

    87GN_70GS Well-Known Member

    Stockton wheel quoted me $400 ea to restore/rechrome and widen

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