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Alloy wheel refurbishment on aftermarket RS4 rims

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by warren_S5, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    It is no great secret that I have been quite disappointed with the RS4 wheels I got from Wheelbase last year, so after an unfortunate kerbing incident last week I was presented with a prime opportunity to rectify the problem and get the wheels sorted.

    I looked around on the web for local(ish) wheel refurbishment centres, and by sheer good fortune a new centre had opened up that was fairly local to me in Swindon.

    The company I used are called The Wheel Specialist, and they are based on Westmead Industrial Estate in Swindon (Unit 4, SN5 7YT). I spoke to James about getting the wheels refurbed, and they were able to provide a very quick turnaround service which is very handy seeing I'm off to the Ring this week.

    The Wheel Specialist franchise have been about for a good few years now, and Swindon is their newest branch which has been opened by James (Pattinson) and his brother. It's literally 5 minutes off of the M4, so you don't need to be familiar with the town to find them.

    They offer a same day service, and provide complete refurbishments in a range of colours which are all guaranteed for 12 months. You can either drive in, or just drop your wheels off and go.

    [​IMG]

    I used the OEM rims to shunt about on in the meantime, and it's amazing how odd the car looked on the ET56 offset 18's (pretty lame if I'm honest).

    So the good news is I went to pick up the wheels today, and all was as expected. As you will know from my candid disappointment with the 19" replicas, I'm a bit of a stickler for detail, so checked the wheels thoroughly for finishing standards. I'm pleased to say the wheels were presented incredibly well, with a great finish, tyres refitted (with chromed valves - yes you can specify black), and all fully balanced (which is a pleasure as I've had wheel vibrations since Christmas as some weights had fallen off).

    In fact the job is so good I'm going to keep these for summer wheels and chuck some winter tyres on the 18's for use in the colder months as I don't want to trash these now they look so good. I went for OEM Audi silver (known as TWS D Sport), and they look a very good contrast against the Dolphin grey. I was tempted with Black Chrome but wondered whether they would sell as well later on.

    [​IMG]

    The end to end service has been fantastic, and the guys have been incredibly helpful to ensure they have fitted in with my time scales and provide the service that I need.

    For anyone looking to refurb their OEM rims to a 'better' (in my personal opinion) standard than factory OEM, or like me have a so-so set of aftermarkets that have been kerbed or suffered badly in the winter salt you could do far worse than give them a call. They have some introductory opening offers on in the first month, so if you are prompt you can get a good deal too. I'll certainly be taking my OEM Speedline's up to be done when I get a bit more cash reserve built up.

    Here are a few photos I took during the collection process, but haven't been able to do the wheels any justice as it is absolutely tipping it down outside.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once again many thanks to the Wheel Specialist team for doing such a great job and restoring some cosmetic quality back to my pride and joy!

    Their website: http://www.thewheelspecialist.co.uk/File/SwindonDetails.php
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
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  3. thejolster
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    thejolster Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    I also can recommend the Wheel Specialist. I used the Nottingham branch to do my Pescaras and they recommended chrome outer with black inner as I could not decide what I wanted to do and I am well pleased with them.
    [​IMG]
    #2
  4. jsws3
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    jsws3 Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    Iv had my BBS wheels done over the weekend and they need collecting webnesday i was going to use the birmigham brach of the wheel specialist lap-tab but found a place in birmingham town center
    that allso do the same job for peenuts .
    They did my mates ur quattro wheels that was curbed to death and they come back mint .
    So for £20 per wheel i thort why not give it a go .
    And just out of intrest what did they charge you in the swindon branch as i was quoted £260 for the 4 wheels with taking the tyre off and refiting ?
    #3
  5. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    Introductory offer was £325 with full wheel removal, repair, paint, wax finish, chrome valves and refit tyre and balance (and a bottle of their wax protector)

    I think it's usually 20% more. Wanted a perfect job so was happy to pay proper money in case I needed any recourse later on. This looks a mint job, and I'm sure from meeting the guys there any aftercare will be well taken care of.
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  6. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    After a recomendation from a coleague I visited the local WS branch in Newcastle.
    Their work is indeed excellent, so I had a look around the showroom to see what finish I want next.

    They do a `chrome powder`finish which will make the OEM wheels slightly more blingy which I think will suit Sprint blue.
    My only reservation is the £368 price I was quoted!! Ouch.

    Wheels look well Warren:icon_thumright:
    #5
  7. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    That is very expensive when you consider a new set of reps would probably cost less than that, I've had various quotes wth the average being between £60 - £85 per wheel but I must admit the finsh looks good. Be really interested to see how JWS3 BBS come out tomorrow.

    I still love the RS4 look, whats the weight like on your reps Warren ?
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  8. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    Weight wise.... ? By the time they have weighted and balanced them about 25kgs!!

    The 4 wheels and tyres package came delivery weighted at 49.8kgs so just under 13kgs per wheel inc. tyres based on that (assuming its correct).

    I know it's not particularly cheap, but even the wife said they look a world apart from the original finish tonight. I am sure that if I'd paid a hundred odd quid for a 're-surfacing' in no time at all I'd have regretted it, where at least now (until they get pot holed or kerbed), they look the nads. The reps just made a smart car look cheap originally.
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  9. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    Fair enough as long as you are happy and they do look the Mutts :)
    #8
  10. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    The Wheelspecialists use a powder coating process which is tough as whores knee and will resist stone chips etc.
    Ive had a cheap refurb done before and was no more than a rub down, paint & laquer. Didnt really last TBH and wasnt perfect.
    I had a powder coating job done on my old Corrado rims and they looked great long after the refurb.

    Cheers
    Paul
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  11. scottie123
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    scottie123 (●̮̮̃•̃) (●&# VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    Looks good mate, but they should do for that price lol!

    But at the end of the day, it is true, you get what you pay for.
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  12. gingers3
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    gingers3 Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    i ha mine done at lap tab (birmingham wheel specialists ) had them done in a new colour dark steel am really pleased with them , the finish is nt bbs but its good and very hard wearing . service from them is second to none :icon_thumright:
    #11
  13. bambam
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    bambam Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    If anyone is thinking of getting their wheels refurbished its probably worth having a quick look in to the effects of powder coating and failures that have (apparently) occurred due to this.

    I have no first hand experience of this (being too tight to have my wheels refurbed!) or opinion either way yet, but just thought I'd raise the topic so people could look into this prior to making the decision of either a spray or powder coating.

    OP - wheels look good, but as said, they should do at that price!
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  14. gingers3
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    gingers3 Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    if there was any damage to be done during the process surly not so many companys would be doing it ?
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  15. scottie123
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    scottie123 (●̮̮̃•̃) (●&# VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    I am not convinced on the 'damaging theory' about powder coating.

    I use a lot of powder coated parts in my job, and it is tough stuff when done properly. The heat levels used, From what I have been told, is not actually that high, that it would cause damaged to the structural level of alloy materials.And I have not experienced any weakening of metals from being powder coated.
    And that is on even thin 16 gauge sheet

    However, i am speaking from experience, and not scientific evidence :)
    #14
  16. bambam
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    bambam Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
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  17. Moley RUFC
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    Moley RUFC New Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    Thats where I had my Leon wheels done Matt Black. Really impreseed with the finish
    #16
  18. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    How certain are you that the Lotus wheel failed due to powder coating rather than a general material stress failure??

    I have 12 months warranty so I feel pretty comfortable.

    I know there is a concensus this ain't cheap, but compare to the price of fuel pump internals (£300), ITG filter (£360) and I think to have 4 wheels cut back, repaired, painted, lacquered, baked, waxed, tyres on and off, wheels balanced etc... it's a fair price.

    My brother in law just had his sport edition alloys on his C class Merc returned by Mercedes and the lacquer is peeling inside 6 months, they look terrible. This was what confirmed to me I should be prepared to pay for a proper job.

    When I get the car all logo'd up with the Revo decals and get it out on the ring I want the photos to look sharp!!!
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  19. bambam
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    bambam Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    Glad you're pleased with the results.
    As said, you pay for what you get.

    I was merely raising the subject from what I have read.
    Hopefully it isnt due to powder coating but just wanted to raise the point so people could research for themselves and make their own decisions.

    Enjoy the ring. Have you been before? Its somewhere Ive always wanted to go but not made it there...yet!
    #18
  20. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    [Mar 30, 2010]
    They look good but you paid for it, the nice clean work shop, the same day service!

    People of the midlands go here, save ourself a packet and get them done by the place that does hundreds for so called refurbishment companies. Its £20 a wheel or £30 if you wnat the tyres removing/fitting. This is real world pricing to have the job done properly. Word is spreading about them quickly on the forums so get in now before they put the price up!!

    http://www.citypowdercoaters.co.uk/
    #19
  21. SAiLO
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    SAiLO Enthusiast VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    Just went to Birmingham to Citypowdercoaters to get my wheels refurbed. 3-4 days they said. They've had vans dropping off kerbed alloys to them and they seemed to be quite busy! Can't wait to get them back! :)
    #20
  22. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    That is ridiculousy expensive! But ur happy Warren, thats all that matters.
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  23. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    Warren is rich and happy :)
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  24. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    Rich....... I wish :noway: ; usually (gormlessly) happy!!!
    #23
  25. crunchie
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    crunchie Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    I've never been a fan of "copies" as they cheapen the car something awful! Id get the facelift S3 wheels any day of the week as i, myself, dont like the phase 1 S3 alloys. RS4 wheels belong on a, well, RS4. But each man to himself tho i guess. Would be boring if we were all the same eh! :)
    #24
  26. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    Indeed it would. I don't like any of the OEM S3 wheels, so it as I wanted an OEM look wheel there wasn't much choice for me other than the RS4's.
    #25
  27. gingers3
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    gingers3 Member

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    i agree with you here too , oem S3 alloys are horrible , i had mine before i had the car !
    #26
  28. jsws3
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    jsws3 Member

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    had my BBS CH wheels back today form citypowdercoaters today and they look the dogs nuts
    had the tyres put on as well .
    Spent hours waxing them with poor boys wheel wax inside and out 2 coats for good luck and used maguiars tyre shine just to finnish them off .
    And fitted 4 new BBS center caps .
    Just need fitting tomorrow .
    #27
  29. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 31, 2010]
    pics lad.
    #28
  30. scottie123
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    scottie123 (●̮̮̃•̃) (●&# VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 4, 2010]
    PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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