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Bad wheel finish #5413439 04/26/20 08:49 AM
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Jarlaxle Offline OP
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Whoever signed off on whatever half-baked process Chrysler uses for their wheels should be shot. On my Challenger, the finish-on all four wheels-is flaking off. The car is 7 years old, 80K miles, has never seen snow or salt (South Carolina car)...and all 4 wheels are peeling.

The guy at the wheel repair shop confirmed that no, he can't fix them, yes, if I find anyone who can, they'll probably peel again, and yes, this is common on modern "chrome" alloy wheels.


1979 Coupe de Ville, 542 stroker, Delo 15W-40, Delco filter
2013 Challenger SRT8 Core, Mobil 1 0W-40, Mopar
2011 Sportster 883, parked for winter SYN3 20W-50, HD black
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413446 04/26/20 08:58 AM
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ABN_CBT_ENGR Online Content
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just curious

what type of finish and what type of base metal?

Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413453 04/26/20 09:07 AM
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Have you had the car since new? If not, I’ve seen people use engine degreaser to clean their wheels believe it or not. Not gonna throw FCA under the bus on this one.


1993 Porsche 964, 2001 Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, 2018 Toyota Tundra and a few others
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413457 04/26/20 09:12 AM
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Aluminium is hard to plate and make durable, end of story.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413462 04/26/20 09:15 AM
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Have you been using a chemical-based chrome cleaner? Every car that I’ve had with chrome wheels always says to avoid using chrome cleaners and to only use car wash soap.

My current car has the following listed for caring for chrome wheels:
• If wheels are hot, wait for them to cool before washing.
• Use a soft sponge or cotton cloth to apply the same mild car-wash soap as used for the vehicle body. Quickly rinse off with water. Use a soft cloth to apply the same car wax as used for the vehicle body.
• DO NOT USE: Any kind of chemical- based cleaners, alcohol, solvents, gasoline, steam cleaners, scouring pads, wire brushes or coarse abrasives to clean your wheels.


2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited Hybrid 5,000 miles
Super Tech 0W-16|Fram Ultra
2012 Subaru Impreza Sport Limited 137,000 miles
Pennzoil Platinum HM 0W-20|Fram Ultra
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413473 04/26/20 09:25 AM
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Zaedock Online Content
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Modern alloy wheel finishes just don't last. Salty roads just compound the issue.

In our case, GM wheels were the worst. Noticed corrosion after only a few years. I did notice last year that my daughter's wheels on her 200 were getting little "spider" lines. I mount her snow tires every season as well with my own machines, so I know it's not related to a tire shop.
The beads on my '12 F150 have seeped a bit since last year, but they haven't looked good in years. I'm probably going to ebay a set from down south.


2019 Escape EB AWD/2016 KIA Optima SXL 2.0L Turbo/2012 F150 Ex-cab 5.0L
1992 YJ "The Heep"/2015 Chrysler 200 Limited
1975 Ford Bronco/1959 Willys CJ5/Tube Rock crawler
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413486 04/26/20 09:38 AM
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Let me offer this as a possibility as I do a fair amount of plating/coating projects and failure analysis and have seen lots of things happen to coatings and am constantly tasked with protecting things from wear, corrosion, reactions etc.

( there are literally thousands of coating techniques and methods depending on the composition of the various parts so cant address them all)

If we assume the process is done correctly and valid for the base metal in question......

In general terms, to plate aluminum with chrome you need a boundary metal like copper and sometimes brass/bronze and even zinc

What often happens is a "working separation" based on metal fatigue because the coefficients of friction and stress properties of the metals is often radically different.

They "breathe" and stress at different relationships and eventually separate ( just like a tire tread) then you get the telltale 'spider cracking".

Then moisture with whatever contaminates it contains leeches in and the rest is history.

Without doing an analysis, I would almost bet this is close to the root cause of what you have experienced.

Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413490 04/26/20 09:43 AM
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Zaedock Online Content
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I know you mentioned chrome specifically - I was just looking through some GM forums and this is a problem with newer Chevy and GMC chrome truck wheels on both the backside and the face of the wheel.


2019 Escape EB AWD/2016 KIA Optima SXL 2.0L Turbo/2012 F150 Ex-cab 5.0L
1992 YJ "The Heep"/2015 Chrysler 200 Limited
1975 Ford Bronco/1959 Willys CJ5/Tube Rock crawler
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413502 04/26/20 10:03 AM
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Kira Online Content
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There's an old "car adage" which goes, "Any wheel you can see yourself in is a bad wheel".

I didn't make that up so don't blame me.

Also, life has to have taught you by now that no car company is really concerned with anyone's "lasting value".

Thanks to ABN_CBT_ENGR for the detailed explanation.

Pick a quality paint and refinish them.

Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413527 04/26/20 10:32 AM
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Jarlaxle Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ABN_CBT_ENGR
just curious

what type of finish and what type of base metal?


Pseudo-chrome on forged aluminum.

Originally Posted by PowerSurge
Have you had the car since new? If not, I’ve seen people use engine degreaser to clean their wheels believe it or not. Not gonna throw FCA under the bus on this one.


This is a very common problem, not related to anything but poor quality finish.

Originally Posted by Zaedock
Modern alloy wheel finishes just don't last. Salty roads just compound the issue.

In our case, GM wheels were the worst. Noticed corrosion after only a few years. I did notice last year that my daughter's wheels on her 200 were getting little "spider" lines. I mount her snow tires every season as well with my own machines, so I know it's not related to a tire shop.
The beads on my '12 F150 have seeped a bit since last year, but they haven't looked good in years. I'm probably going to ebay a set from down south.


Don't bother...this is a SOuth Carolina car that has probably never seen salt.

Originally Posted by ABN_CBT_ENGR
Let me offer this as a possibility as I do a fair amount of plating/coating projects and failure analysis and have seen lots of things happen to coatings and am constantly tasked with protecting things from wear, corrosion, reactions etc.

( there are literally thousands of coating techniques and methods depending on the composition of the various parts so cant address them all)

If we assume the process is done correctly and valid for the base metal in question......

In general terms, to plate aluminum with chrome you need a boundary metal like copper and sometimes brass/bronze and even zinc


Doesn't seem to be one. The wheel repair guy even noted that-it's NOT a traditional plating process.

Quote
What often happens is a "working separation" based on metal fatigue because the coefficients of friction and stress properties of the metals is often radically different.

They "breathe" and stress at different relationships and eventually separate ( just like a tire tread) then you get the telltale 'spider cracking".

Then moisture with whatever contaminates it contains leeches in and the rest is history.

Without doing an analysis, I would almost bet this is close to the root cause of what you have experienced.


The finish is flaking off like paint in spots. No cracking, just flaking off.


1979 Coupe de Ville, 542 stroker, Delo 15W-40, Delco filter
2013 Challenger SRT8 Core, Mobil 1 0W-40, Mopar
2011 Sportster 883, parked for winter SYN3 20W-50, HD black
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413535 04/26/20 10:43 AM
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OVERKILL Online Content
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Are these the OE wheels and not replicas? I ask, because my wife's 2006 Charger R/T wheels still looked amazing, despite it being owned and operated up here in the GWN, but then again, I think these were just clear coated aluminum and pained, not "chromed" shrug
[Linked Image]

Got any pics of the offending issue?


2019 RAM 1500 Sport - Mobil 1 EP 0w-20, FRAM Ultra
2020 Grand Cherokee SRT - Ravenol SSL 0w-40, FRAM Ultra
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413554 04/26/20 10:59 AM
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Jarlaxle Offline OP
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OE 20" forged SRT wheels. (One dismounted had the Chrysler PN on it.) As I said, VERY common problem.

I had the ones pictured on my Magnum, and they corroded horribly. First set was bad enough they were replaced at <12 months, second set was corroding badly after 2 years.


1979 Coupe de Ville, 542 stroker, Delo 15W-40, Delco filter
2013 Challenger SRT8 Core, Mobil 1 0W-40, Mopar
2011 Sportster 883, parked for winter SYN3 20W-50, HD black
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413556 04/26/20 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarlaxle


Doesn't seem to be one. The wheel repair guy even noted that-it's NOT a traditional plating process.


The finish is flaking off like paint in spots. No cracking, just flaking off.


I don't know what your guy is looking at or if he is qualified to evaluate plating from a technical perspective but I suspected there might be a problem with the actual process thus my qualifier about my working assumption of it being properly done.

If we assume the chrome plate is proper for the application then comes the process. Not entirely different than hot tank bluing and cold bluing.

You have acid plating and electroless plating. ( one green the other not)

That alone could be the alpha and omega right there because it is the weaker of the two by orders of magnitude and they usually peel like a snake shedding skin.

What leads me to believe that may not be the entire thing in your case is the lifespan they already have unless this problem has been there a while and just not got to the point you were fed up with it. Usually the weaker plating fail quicker but that's subjective. Its the 'spotting" that makes me believe that stressors and separation might be the most likely failure mechanism at the moment.

Just a guess and I'm sorry its happening.

Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: Jarlaxle] #5413591 04/26/20 11:41 AM
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OVERKILL Online Content
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Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
OE 20" forged SRT wheels. (One dismounted had the Chrysler PN on it.) As I said, VERY common problem.

I had the ones pictured on my Magnum, and they corroded horribly. First set was bad enough they were replaced at <12 months, second set was corroding badly after 2 years.


What were you washing them with?!!!! crzy The above wheels were at least 10 years old when that pic was taken.

Only alloy wheels I ever had corrosion problems on were the OE ones on our 2002 Expedition, there was some slight flaking of the clear coat in spots, but this was a vehicle driven year-round in plenty of road salt and those wheels still look pretty decent (they are on my dad's 2000 Expedition now).

Sucks to hear about the SRT wheels, any chance you could find a set of non-chromed ones that you like the look of that you could swap in their stead? I had the super shiny (I assume similar process) ones on my 2014, but didn't own the car long enough to gauge the durability of the coating.


2019 RAM 1500 Sport - Mobil 1 EP 0w-20, FRAM Ultra
2020 Grand Cherokee SRT - Ravenol SSL 0w-40, FRAM Ultra
Re: Bad wheel finish [Re: OVERKILL] #5413663 04/26/20 12:24 PM
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Lolvoguy Online Shocked
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Originally Posted by OVERKILL

What were you washing them with?!!!! crzy The above wheels were at least 10 years old when that pic was taken.

I agree, OP still hasn't answered us yet on that question.
My guess is some sort of high-strength wheel cleaner/abrasive brush/high pressure washer (or a combination of those).

For comparison sake, I purchased a new set of Lexus F sport wheels two years ago.
When washing, I only use a constant stream of warm car wash soapy solution dispensed from a spray bottle, and a soft brush.
As a result, they still look like new.


06 Lexus IS350- Wife
88 BMW 325is- Mistress
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