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Car Features

Alloy Wheel Refurbishment – The Pristine Way

25 Aug , 2017  

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I purchased the 207 nearly eight years ago. At that time it had a set of perfect alloys, they’d all been refurbed and looked mint.

Over the next few years I curbed them once or twice…maybe three times. Crying a little bit and cursing every time it happened.

For the last six years I’ve looked at them and thought…I should really get those sorted. After all, they were letting the car down.

A fact that was reinforced last year when I entered the Show n Shine at the Peugeot Festival.

The 207 looked immaculate, not a scratch, mark, or dent on it. And then you look at the kerb marks on all but one alloy. Urgh. I came second place.

 

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Mobile Alloy Wheel Refurbishment

Over time the rest of the alloys had dulled. It turns out the refurb job that the dealership had done on them was a bit of a bodge ‘do it in the back of a van’ job.

You see there are two ways to have alloy wheels refurbished. The cheap way, and the proper way.

Whilst you can get a cheapo mobile refurbishment job done out the back of a van, it’s never going to last. Think of them as a quick fix solution. Ideal if you want to shift a car on, but if it’s for your pride and joy, you want something that’s going to last.

Mobile alloy refurbishment normally means filling the damage with metal filler, or re profiling the edge of the alloys to remove the damage.

Then primer and paint is sprayed over the top, before lacquer. The wheels are never baked, degassed or even fully stripped.

So in a few years’ time the alloys will either dull, or worse the paint will just flake off. Especially if you go to hand car washes that use acidic wheel cleaners.

 

Pristine-Alloys-Website

 

Many moons ago when I realised I’d learnt to drive and not hit kerbs left right and centre I researched the best places to have my wheels refurbed. A company further up north was highly recommended on Detailing World, but then a few members had experienced problems.

The other place with stunning reviews and not a bad word to be said was Pristine Wheels.

Turns out they are about a 20 minute drive away. Perfect.

Six years later and I finally get the 207 booked in with them. Dropping it off on the Tuesday I’d be back on the Thursday to collect it.

 

The process

When your wheels arrive at Pristine each wheel is de tyred, then inspected by hand. They are marked and coded for complete traceability.

 

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Next, the alloys undergo a non-corrosive chemical stripping process. This removes all the old paint, grime and muck.

The wheels are then machine blasted to remove any final bits of corrosion, creating a finish ready for powder coating or wet painting.

 

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If you’re wheels are badly damaged…ahem…then they’re now repaired by welding new metal in place of the damage.

After that the alloys are turned in a computer lathe to profile the edges after repair. Each wheel is then prepped by hand to make sure it’s perfect.

Then they’re degassed to expel any moisture before being coated with a coloured powder or wet paint, before a quick bake in the oven.

 

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RaceChip

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If needed the wheels are then diamond turned to achieve a precise polished finish.

Powder or wet lacquer is added, then the alloy is baked once again.

 

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Finally, quality control inspects every wheel. All documents regarding traceability are checked and completed.

 

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Depending if you’ve left your car with Pristine the wheels are either but back on your car, or packaged up and shipped back to you.

 

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Whilst at Pristine some new rubber was put onto those gorgeous new wheels, Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2. Replacing Toyo Proxies that had long seen better days. But more on that another time.

 

 

Collection time

All that happened in just two days, so I could get the car back before this year’s Peugeot Festival.

 

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Picking up the car on Thursday I was blown away by the finish. I’d decided to colour match it against a brand new alloy that was on the front right.

The spare wheel was original and had never been refurbed, but when comparing the two there was far more silver flake on the front right. I’d replaced this one some years ago with a brand new boxed rim from Peugeot.

The sparkle is apparently a 50/50 mix, they really pop and catch the light. Comparing them to the flat grey of the cheap refurbed wheels, they look incredible.

 

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The Show n Shine

It was Show n Shine time once again. I was determined to win.

A further ten, yes ten hours were spent detailing the 207.

The big day arrived. I drove the two hours to Prescott Hill Climb where yet more cleaning ensued. At 11:30 the judging commenced.

And at 16:00 the results were announced.

 

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Third…not me.

Second…Chris, who has won the last two years running. My heart sank.

It had all been for nothing. There was no way I could have beaten Chris with his pristine white 205 GTi.

Frist – ‘White Peugeot 207 GT belonging to Adam Tudor-Lane’

ARGH! We won!

I have no idea how many points we clinched it by, but a win is a win. After coming second last year it was awesome to come first in the modified class. Especially after such long term planning.

Where were the points made up? Wheels and tyres.

 

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If you want the best, and I really mean THE BEST you need to take your wheels to Pristine.

Next up is the Clio Trophy and Project 106 GTi.

 

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Owner / Editor of Carwitter - French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter