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Thread: Should we use body filler on wheels?

  1. #1
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    Default Should we use body filler on wheels?

    Hi all. I bought some wheels last night and one is a bit butchered as the owner's nug nuts got stuck and the mechanic had to try cut them off. There are deep gouges near some of the nug nut holes and a few deep marks on the rim. What would be the best way to fill in the gouges before painting over it? Pictures of the wheel below

    IMG_8519.jpgIMG_8522 2.jpg

  2. #2
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    it's ok to use filler on rims, but you should consider what type of finish you're doing before you choose the filler type. also, look at the damage done to the seats where the lug nuts contact the rim. repairing conical seats, or seats with hard inserts needs to be done carefully, so you maintain safety when torqueing the nuts.
    if you know the alloy, welding is also an option, and probably the route i'd go.
    but if filler is the way you're going, choose something like all-metal if you're going to powdercoat. it can hold up to the powder curing temperature. if you're just going to epoxy/urethane topcoat, almost any filler will work. just be sure to clean them well before starting, rims are usually covered with all kinds of tire shine products, most containing silicone. sanding without cleaning first will just drive that into the pores of the metal.
    b marler

  3. #3
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    If I had them I would toss that bad one out. I wouldn’t say that two years ago but since I lost a wheel on the road I have a new understanding of just how easy it is to have lug nut failure. When one or two loosen up the wheel starts moving against the hub and causes the others to loosen up and wreck the wheel then it separates from the axel. Mine happened at a stop sign. Lug nuts broke the wheel when I applied the brakes and the wheel fell off when I tried to pull away from the stop sign. Second best place for it to happen. The only better place would have been standing still in my driveway. The rest of the wheel can look like crap but those lug nut bosses should be perfect. None of them are redundant. You need them all.

    Bob K

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    If I had them I would toss that bad one out. I wouldn’t say that two years ago but since I lost a wheel on the road I have a new understanding of just how easy it is to have lug nut failure. When one or two loosen up the wheel starts moving against the hub and causes the others to loosen up and wreck the wheel then it separates from the axel. Mine happened at a stop sign. Lug nuts broke the wheel when I applied the brakes and the wheel fell off when I tried to pull away from the stop sign. Second best place for it to happen. The only better place would have been standing still in my driveway. The rest of the wheel can look like crap but those lug nut bosses should be perfect. None of them are redundant. You need them all.

    Bob K
    as usual, good advice from bob k. try to find a replacement for that rim before trying to fix it. there must be some out there.
    b marler

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    If I had them I would toss that bad one out. I wouldn’t say that two years ago but since I lost a wheel on the road I have a new understanding of just how easy it is to have lug nut failure. When one or two loosen up the wheel starts moving against the hub and causes the others to loosen up and wreck the wheel then it separates from the axel. Mine happened at a stop sign. Lug nuts broke the wheel when I applied the brakes and the wheel fell off when I tried to pull away from the stop sign. Second best place for it to happen. The only better place would have been standing still in my driveway. The rest of the wheel can look like crap but those lug nut bosses should be perfect. None of them are redundant. You need them all.

    Bob K
    Hi Bob. Thanks for telling your story as safety is very important to me. I understand what you're saying it's very important every bolt has good contact and torque on the wheel against the hub. If I hired a welder to weld the lug nut contact points so they completely level this should theoretically fix this issue? I would like to buy a replacement wheel however it costs $600 which is three times what I purchased for the wheel set


    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    it's ok to use filler on rims, but you should consider what type of finish you're doing before you choose the filler type. also, look at the damage done to the seats where the lug nuts contact the rim. repairing conical seats, or seats with hard inserts needs to be done carefully, so you maintain safety when torqueing the nuts.
    if you know the alloy, welding is also an option, and probably the route i'd go.
    but if filler is the way you're going, choose something like all-metal if you're going to powdercoat. it can hold up to the powder curing temperature. if you're just going to epoxy/urethane topcoat, almost any filler will work. just be sure to clean them well before starting, rims are usually covered with all kinds of tire shine products, most containing silicone. sanding without cleaning first will just drive that into the pores of the metal.
    Thanks for this advice. Fantastic. I think I'll get the conical seats repaired professionally. Im not sure if this can be welded then machined level so it has a good contact. I was thinking of just painting it with some sort of acrylic but first ill see if I can repair it cause most import is that its safe. Thanks for the tips to clean before sanding. They are very difficult to clean I think they need brake cleaner or wax and grease solvent

  6. #6
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    You might have one more opportunity to fix that wheel but too be honest it may pay to find another rim. If I was attempting to fix that rim I would over tig weld all the gouges, clean/grind what I could and take it to a FULL machine shop. Years ago I worked/owned a machine shop and I could have repaired that rim with no problem in about 1-1.5 hours. We would have put the rim on a CMM (coordinate measuring machine) to define the parameters on a good lug hole (lug hole with no problems), this would produce a program for cutting parameters on the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) vertical mill . Using a .250 end mill and possibly an end ball mill on the CNC, we would zero out and cut that area to spec in about 3-5 minutes (depending on how much filament from over tig exceeded surface).
    As a replacement rim is $600 your best bet is to take it to a machine shop for them to look at and give you a quote as it won't cost you anything for a quote. Advise them you can have it over tig welded if they cannot perform that function.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    You might have one more opportunity to fix that wheel but too be honest it may pay to find another rim. If I was attempting to fix that rim I would over tig weld all the gouges, clean/grind what I could and take it to a FULL machine shop. Years ago I worked/owned a machine shop and I could have repaired that rim with no problem in about 1-1.5 hours. We would have put the rim on a CMM (coordinate measuring machine) to define the parameters on a good lug hole (lug hole with no problems), this would produce a program for cutting parameters on the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) vertical mill . Using a .250 end mill and possibly an end ball mill on the CNC, we would zero out and cut that area to spec in about 3-5 minutes (depending on how much filament from over tig exceeded surface).
    As a replacement rim is $600 your best bet is to take it to a machine shop for them to look at and give you a quote as it won't cost you anything for a quote. Advise them you can have it over tig welded if they cannot perform that function.
    Wow thanks for this info. It was very fantasizing to read how its done. I'll see if I can find a full machine shop in my town with the CMM and CNC. I'll pass what knowledge you've stated here onto them and get a quote. Thanks

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom86 View Post
    Wow thanks for this info. It was very fantasizing to read how its done. I'll see if I can find a full machine shop in my town with the CMM and CNC. I'll pass what knowledge you've stated here onto them and get a quote. Thanks
    to add to what ron said, there are also wheel specialists that will restore it to original condition. anodizing and all if that's what you want.
    b marler

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    You might have one more opportunity to fix that wheel but too be honest it may pay to find another rim. If I was attempting to fix that rim I would over tig weld all the gouges, clean/grind what I could and take it to a FULL machine shop. Years ago I worked/owned a machine shop and I could have repaired that rim with no problem in about 1-1.5 hours. We would have put the rim on a CMM (coordinate measuring machine) to define the parameters on a good lug hole (lug hole with no problems), this would produce a program for cutting parameters on the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) vertical mill . Using a .250 end mill and possibly an end ball mill on the CNC, we would zero out and cut that area to spec in about 3-5 minutes (depending on how much filament from over tig exceeded surface).
    As a replacement rim is $600 your best bet is to take it to a machine shop for them to look at and give you a quote as it won't cost you anything for a quote. Advise them you can have it over tig welded if they cannot perform that function.
    funny how many things we seem to have in common. my machining experience is all on manual equipment though. i'd love to fit a small nc mill into my shop someday though, it's surprising the good deals to be found.
    b marler

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    funny how many things we seem to have in common. my machining experience is all on manual equipment though. i'd love to fit a small nc mill into my shop someday though, it's surprising the good deals to be found.
    Absolutely agree! I miss my Mitsubishi 40V. It was a 5 axis 24 pod that was ran by MasterCam software. When I sold my old shop it just wouldn't fit into the new shop I build at home, I rue that day. Your suggestion on a wheel company might be the way to go for the entire repair. If they have programs on hand for that wheel it would be really fast, easy and maybe cheaper. I have not personally ever used one the wheel companies but I see some good work done by them, great idea!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    Absolutely agree! I miss my Mitsubishi 40V. It was a 5 axis 24 pod that was ran by MasterCam software. When I sold my old shop it just wouldn't fit into the new shop I build at home, I rue that day. Your suggestion on a wheel company might be the way to go for the entire repair. If they have programs on hand for that wheel it would be really fast, easy and maybe cheaper. I have not personally ever used one the wheel companies but I see some good work done by them, great idea!
    maybe one of the what they call "micro" mills can fit? https://www.mhi-machinetool.com/en/p...n_machine.html

    probably a bit too much for my budget. i can get a small haas, or fadal for around 5k used. there's a lot of boeing support shops that have good deals on used stuff in my area. 5 axis would be a stretch for me though. i can hear the tool snapping off already.
    b marler

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom86 View Post
    Wow thanks for this info. It was very fantasizing to read how its done. I'll see if I can find a full machine shop in my town with the CMM and CNC. I'll pass what knowledge you've stated here onto them and get a quote. Thanks
    You might consider printing what I have stated here. They will understand what I am getting at, could make it easier for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    maybe one of the what they call "micro" mills can fit? https://www.mhi-machinetool.com/en/p...n_machine.html

    probably a bit too much for my budget. i can get a small haas, or fadal for around 5k used. there's a lot of boeing support shops that have good deals on used stuff in my area. 5 axis would be a stretch for me though. i can hear the tool snapping off already.
    I would absolutely do a small Haas or maybe a bridgeport mill in a heart beat if I could get it to fit in my new shop. Maybe I need to start looking again. I sold my old shop in order to built a new shop at home sometime around 2015(?) as I wanted to be closer to home and my wife. My wonderful wife knew I was involved in building/restoring cars long before I met her and she has supported my hobby through 36 years of marriage which has made this a great move. However, when I permitted the new shop the city restricted my new building dimensions to the point the Mitsubishi would not fit. I really miss several of those fabricating tools. Pic of my old Mitsubishi included
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmarler View Post
    to add to what ron said, there are also wheel specialists that will restore it to original condition. anodizing and all if that's what you want.
    Depending on where you live, but I know in the area we live there are a couple of companies that specialize in alloy wheel repair. I think that would be your better option instead of filler. Must happen often to have companies that make a living doing this. LOL.
    Building my dream one piece at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marten View Post
    Depending on where you live, but I know in the area we live there are a couple of companies that specialize in alloy wheel repair. I think that would be your better option instead of filler. Must happen often to have companies that make a living doing this. LOL.
    i think it does marten. i know my wife, (bless her) has curbed every rim on her car at least once. when they get too ugly i just replace them. lucky for me, the vw rims it wears are plentiful and cheap.
    b marler

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