STAGE 1: Pre-refurbishment inspection
If tyres are fitted, they are removed from the wheel and inspected for wear, damage and punctures prior to being marked with a unique reference identification number and original position on vehicle if known.
Original balance weights and old valves are removed. TPMS valves are also removed and inspected for wear or damage. (Please see information about TPMS valves).
The wheel is then assembled on a wheel straightening machine to be digitally tested for run-out, buckles and dents. This is very important if an alloy wheel is to be machine cut on a CNC lathe to produce the finish known as diamond cut.
Stage 2: Stripping alloy wheel back to bare metal
The wheel is put in an ECO friendly water-based solution for the stripping process. We do not use an acid solution which is cheaper and far more aggressive to the wheel and dangerous to the person using it. This may take several hours for the stripping to remove the old paint, lacquer and accumulated deposits from years of motoring. This process is required to achieve the perfect surface for the new primer, paint and lacquer.
Once stripped, the alloy wheel is then jet-washed to remove all chemicals, any leftover deposits of old paint, lacquer or dirt.
The wheel is then put into our oven for 5 minutes to dry and then undergoes a further clean in our shot-blast or wet-blast machine for the optimum finish prior to painting.
Once completely cleaned, the wheel is checked for rim or curb damage, cracks or splits in the alloy. If the wheel needs welding or straightening, the customer will be informed and quoted before any further work is undertaken.
Stage 3: Priming the wheel
The wheel enters the oven once more for de-gassing which will eliminate any trapped air or bacteria build-up.
Once temperature is achieved, the wheel will be removed from the oven and will be primed using a powder coat for optimum protection. The wheel will then re-enter the oven for a further 12 minutes to be fully cured.
The wheel is now fully inspected before further refurbishment.
Stage 4: Applying paint and lacquer
The wheel enters the oven again to reach the required temperature before we apply the finishing colour. If the colour is powder coat, then the wheel will re-enter the oven for a further 12 minutes for curing.
Having reached the required temperature, the wheel will be removed from the oven and sprayed with a powder coating of clear lacquer for the optimum appearance and protection.
If the wheel requires a water-based colour, then the wheel will be lacquered immediately before entering the oven for the final stage of curing.
After a further 12 minutes of curing, the wheel will be removed and left for cooling before a final inspection takes place.
Stage 5: Quality control
Each wheel will be carefully inspected to ensure that the finished wheel in as close to the original factory finish as possible. The finish produced is only possible if the wheel had no underlying flaws to begin with, such as age, corrosion, pitted, type of alloy or extensive damage.
We will not let the wheel leave Creative Wheels unless we have obtained the best result possible.
Stage 6: Refitting of tyres (if originally removed)
The tyre will be retrieved from storage using the original reference number allocated.
A new rubber valve or the original TPMS valve will be fitted before the tyre is re-fitted using the very latest machinery.
The tyre is then inflated using nitrogen air for optimum performance before being balanced using colour coordinated weights.
If the vehicle has been left on site, the wheels are replaced and the nuts torqued up to the correct settings.
Some alloy wheels will have limitations and sometimes cannot be assessed until a chemical strip has been completed.
There might be corrosion active within the structure of the wheel and although a refurbishment may take place, an appearance close to the original might not be possible.
There are also limitations as to how many times an alloy wheel can be diamond cut due to the small amount of material removed after each procedure.