Rim straighteners are units useful for both tyre bays and car repair companies. Even though road quality is getting better, there is still risk of driving onto some potholes – so, the rim can get damaged quickly. Even though premium rims are more durable than the cheap ones but still there is some chance that the rims get damaged.
What is bad for the wheels?
We’re sure you know that. But – it won’t hurt to read about it once again. This knowledge would be useful, especially if a client asked you why his rims need straightening. And – you would be able to recognize a damaged rim.
The larger the wheel, the lower the profile – it’s a short way to wheel damage. When a large surface of the rim touches the road, it means the wheel is more prone to potential shape losses. See the most common reasons for rim damage:
- shape loss (bent rims)
What is bad for the rims? Any impact that is put on the wheel. For instance, driving onto a curb or a pothole in the asphalt. As a result, the rim is under huge pressure, so there is a risk of shape losses. Other than that, shape losses may happen when you drive into a puddle.
Bad driving conditions are another reason why rims can lose their shape. For instance, driving on roads full of salt might quickly lead to corrosion.
And that’s why the rim straightening services are still that popular. Even though finding new budget wheels or even used ones is no longer a problem, many drivers look to repair the damaged ones.
How to recognize a damaged rim?
We are sure you are going to have loads of clients who ask about it. So, just the most common symptom of damaged rims:
- wobbly wheels
No matter if it is vibration on the steering wheel or other impact you can feel on the car – it’s probably caused by damaged rims. The reasons may vary – from hitting an obstacle at a higher speed to driving into a pothole.
How to recognize wobbly wheels?
The driver can notice it during driving. You can also use a wheel balancer for that. There are models specially fitted with the rim runout recognition system. Like these ones: REDATS W-770 or REDATS W-790. How does the system work?
- Mount the wheel on the balancer.
- Put a special roller on the balancer’s gauge.
- Put the roller inside the rim.
- The wheel starts to spin.
- When the measurement is done, you will hear a sound.
You will see some graphs with data on measurements. So, you can easily check for potential damage of the rim – be it certain spots, be it other rim runout causes.
How to put a rim on the straightener?
It’s a few basic steps:
- Take the rim. Find a centering ring that fits the size of the rim’s central hole.
- Put the ring on the straightener.
- Put the rim on the straightener. You can use wheel lugs or bolts for that. Important – be sure to put it on every hole.
- Find a straightening cap with the right profile and put it into the hydraulic cylinder. Put the overlays on.
- You can start repairing the damaged parts – from the edges to the inside of the rim.
- Start spinning the wheel (manually)
- To mount the rim even more securely, you can use a hydraulic cylinder D50. The frame with the hydraulic cylinder might be installed at a random spot.
- To restore the rim’s spoke, push the damaged spoke to the bridge side and push the side using the nozzle in the D60 or D50 cylinder. You can also push the rim’s arm using the hydraulic cylinder D50, pushing it with the hydraulic cylinder D60.
These are just a few examples. The description is written on the basis of the working principle of our rim straightener – REDATS S-120.
Before you start working, clean the rim.
If there is a need for that, heat the rims’ surface up to 150-250 degrees Celsius. The temperatures vary, according the the material that the rim was made of – be sure to check that before you start the work.
How to repair rims?
What is the rim repair about? Here is a list of the most common rim damages:
- lacking paint,
- rim shape loss,
- cracks in rim structure.
Read more on every type of damage below.
Such damage affects the look of the rim. That’s for sure. However, you can easily replace the damaged paint, by the repainting the surface. First, you have to remove the dirt, then sandblast it to remove the old paint.
Such repairs have no impact over safety. It affects the design only. Consider painting all the rims at one time – so that there is no risk of any color differences.
Rim shape losses
This may happen when the car drives over a curb or a pothole. You can consider repairing damages like that – provided that there is no damage on the rim’s axle.
Is it a good idea to weld rims?
In general, any rim repair means dealing with the wheels’ structure. Does it make sense to do it? That depends on the damage size. Obviously, you can do it in a way that does not affect safety – but the risk is always there. Sometimes, it is better to advise the customer to buy a new rim. This especially pertains to steel ones.
Welding and safety
Is it safe? That depends on the size of the damage. Overall, smaller cracks in case of which welding does not affect the rim’s structure, can be repaired.
Most rim repair specialists recommend the TIG method. This provides the best durability for the repaired rim.
However – we have to emphasize it once again – welding rims always affects the structure.
Larger cracks that affect the construction mean that the rim cannot be used any further Reparing a rim like that is possible but there is always a risk it does not provide the right safety level afterwards.
Rim straightening – is it a good idea?
Wondering about getting a rim straightener for your company? Well, we think – yes. This is just another service at your garage and it may bring you money. But first – go to some course on that.
If you want to do it well, enroll for a course. You will learn:
- how to assess rims’ damage
- how to choose the right repair method
- how to prepare the rim for repair
- rim welding – how to do it?
This is really important for doing the rim repairs in the right way. All the essential information regarding such jobs is there.
Obviously, your experience grows along with every rim you work on. However, courses like that provide you with the basic knowledge.
Want to check our rim straightener? Check it out here: