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Old 03-08-2011, 12:51 AM   #1
Redwood Chair
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Default Straightening Alloy Wheels

I heard about this through the grapevine.
A guy that straightens wheels says to heat up the affected area to not above 450º to work them out.
I had straightened some wheels cold and I had to hit them really very hard with a 10 pound sledge,and a block of hardwood to get them to move at all.
With this method only a relatively reasonable amount force is needed to get them within 1mm run out.
Volvo wheel spec is 1.5mm.

Heating the wheel.

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A couple of good swats with the 5 lb deadblow,and an IPE' hardwood stick then off to the front hub to check run out.
It's hard to find the affected area if you take your time,and watch what you're doing.

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Old 03-08-2011, 12:59 AM   #2
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Is there any specific direction to hit the wheel?

Just on lip?
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazychopstick View Post
Is there any specific direction to hit the wheel?

Just on lip?
North.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:08 AM   #4
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I'll have to try one of these mangled Columbas in the yard, too bad, they were going to be epic planters.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
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This is the most common bend I see on wheels. More of a flat spot than just a bent lip. Usually from a bad pot hole when tire pressure is too low I think.

Have you tried straightening one of these?

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Last edited by dbarton; 03-08-2011 at 01:54 AM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotSoFresh View Post
North.
Well it's hard to tell from the horrible pictures where the actual bend was, I was imagining it bent like the one dbarton posted.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:24 AM   #7
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I'd be more comfortable with 400º on alloys. Much above 425º starts to jazz with the moly-cues and can weaken the area.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbarton View Post
This is the most common bend I see on wheels. More of a flat spot that just a bent lip. Usually from a bad pot hole when tire pressure is too low I think.

Have you tried straightening one of these?

Yes the wheel shown had a smaller version of that bend.
Basically you can direct the force by how the block is held and the direction of the hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazychopstick View Post
Is there any specific direction to hit the wheel?

Just on lip?
I started with the block evenly across the bead and edge until it was almost flat then worked the edge a bit at a greater angle to round the barrel,then finished flattening it.

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Originally Posted by buzz View Post
I'd be more comfortable with 400º on alloys. Much above 425º starts to jazz with the moly-cues and can weaken the area.
I don't think it was at 400º as the paint didn't blister,but the alloy was moving.
Pretty civilized really, not scary at all like the baseball bat and 10 lb sledge technique.

Last edited by Redwood Chair; 03-08-2011 at 01:39 AM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:48 AM   #9
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Nicely done. This will come in handy.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redwood Chair View Post

I don't think it was at 400º as the paint didn't blister,but the alloy was moving.
Pretty civilized really, not scary at all like the baseball bat and 10 lb sledge technique.
I don't know what temp the paint needs to burn off but when burning powdercoat off of alloys, at about 375º the powdercoat starts to blister and if you ease them up to 400ish the powdercoat turns into a nice black polyester ash. A bit of blow with the air hose and they're clean.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzz View Post
I don't know what temp the paint needs to burn off but when burning powdercoat off of alloys, at about 375º the powdercoat starts to blister and if you ease them up to 400ish the powdercoat turns into a nice black polyester ash. A bit of blow with the air hose and they're clean.
I've torched a bit of paint in my time,so I know that drill.
I kept checking the back side with nitrile gloves on and it wasn't burning hot for sure.
250º - 300º at most and it was quite malleable.
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:11 AM   #12
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Any reason to not heat the entire wheel to 300 in an oven before attempting this?
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Old 10-03-2014, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkaplan View Post
Any reason to not heat the entire wheel to 300 in an oven before attempting this?
Perhaps it could lead to bending the entire wheel instead of just the area you're striking? Idk.. just a thought..
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:34 PM   #14
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Got any more pics of before and after? I tried this and the heat gun is not enough. You need a torch. I dropped a wheel at the yard right on the front lip and dented a virgo. I tried what you said and it helped but it also took 30 hits, multiple different tools and it dinged the aluminum lip a bit. I had to straighten the very edge but in your picture it looks like you are generically trying to straighten the back which is ok for the inside. I have another wheel on my car I will one day try to straighten and I had another that I should have tried it on but instead threw it away.
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