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Re: Corroded Wheels!??

These postings imply but do not state that the problem is limited to alloy
wheels. I had a similar problem with steel wheels on my 85 turbodiesel, last
year. And with my alloys on the 86 4kcsq.

My experience is that steel wheels also corrode enough to cause the same
symptoms.  Three of my cars from the 1980's have demonstrated this problem
of massive air  loss when temps drop toward 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Solutions were similar to those described: Remove tire, clean up the wheel,
slop on sealer, and replace the tire. Usually I have this done by a tire dealer.

One steel wheel on the 85 Jetta was so scaled and pitted that the dealer
gave up and declared it beyond his ability to work with. He only had a
power-driven wire brush to do the job. Wanted to sell me a generic
replacement for $60, and could deliver it in three days, maybe. Having 3
days to wait, I elected to fix it myself. I took the bare wheel home in the
trunk, still driving on the emergency donut spare.

In my back yard, at home,I ground off the scale and smoothed the pits all
around the rim, using commercial grade grinding discs in my hand drill.
Took 30 minutes to do both sides of one wheel. Then I painted the bare metal
and let the whole thing cure for about a day. Looked like almost new, and
new steel wheels are about $60 each. That's about $100 an hour for my time.

The grinding removed some metal. That reduces the safety factor for the
wheel not cracking at the bead line.
That is probably why the dealer didn't want to assume the liability of
actually grinding off some metal. O.K., I understand that position. And it
was a dirty job...lots of metal dust.

Perhaps alloy wheels could be refurbished by their owners, in somewhat the
same manner as I did with the steel wheels.  My own experience with my own
alloys is that the extent of scaling and pitting was much less than what I
observed on my steel wheels, although the air loss was very evident.Since
alloys cost much more than steel, owners may want to find ways to avoid
replacement. The grinding wheel in a power drill may be an acceptable option
for them. 

O.K., listers  What do you think of the odds that my steel wheel will fail,
because of my repairs? 

86 4kcsq

At 12:26 AM 1/31/97 EDT, you wrote:
>>In a message dated 97-01-24 09:45:01 EST, you write:
>>    I was gone for 11 days, and upon my return I found that my tires where
>> rather low on air. I took the Q out, and filled up the low tires. The next
>> the RF was flat and the RR was 1/2 way there. I pumped up the tires and
>> the car to where I purchased the tires. 
>>    The monkey-lads working the counter took my car in and checked out the
>> tires. When I picked it up, they said that they removed the tires from the
>> wheels and discovered that "corrosion" was causing the beads to not seal
>> properly. I said.. "huh"? He said that my wheels were old, paint peeling,
>>etc,<<Stuff Deketed><<<<
>>                                -Osman Parvez
>>                                 89 200q (150K miles)
>>                                 Siena College
>>                                 Albany NY
>>  >>
>>He's totally correct.  I've got an 89 200QW - alloy wheels.  The tires were
>>replaced four years ago.  They held air perfectly up to last year.  Then both
>>rears started leaking caused by corrosion on the rims.  Only cure is to sand
>>off the corrosion and then maybe use a sealer between the rim and tire.
>> Isn't it nice to live in the salt belt?
>>Chicago, IL
>Funny-- Never had a problem with my '82 4ks Diesel alloy wheels having that
>Jordan '90 90