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Aluminum Wheel Repair - JDM Wheel Heaven

RB Motorsports Shows How An Old Set Of Wheels Can Be Brought Back To Life.

Jay Chen
Mar 24, 2010

Wheel Repair

Either out of stubbornness or cheapness, I've lived with all the idiosyncrasies of my 240SX for more than a decade now. One problem I've never been able to fix on my own was the slight bend and steering shimmy in my long-time favorite wheels, the Super Advan SA3Rs. The set was first purchased second hand from a Japanese friend who had personally shipped the set to the U.S. when the wheels were just becoming the craze. That made them the hot JDM item here when most Civic owners were still rolling on Antera wheels. And because only a few sets had come to the U.S. at that point, that meant they cost an arm and a leg.

Even with diligent care, the years of use have taken a toll; worse yet, these first-gen status symbols had long been discontinued by Enkei. Rather than casting off this set of nostalgic wheels, I've been aching to get them restored.

But there was a problem. The welded two-piece wheels were nearly impossible to repair; they've been prone to welding errors from the get go and they don't like to stay very round because of the dual three-spoke design.

Most high-end wheel repair shops cringed at the idea of restoring classic but not so functional wheels. This was because the cast face was welded to the rolling forged and spun-finished hoop and then finished in a clearcoat. Cutting the wheels apart was out of the question because no one could weld it back in place dead in the center with any semblance of its original strength. Without disassembly, all the bends, chips, oxidized clearcoat and curb rashes hidden behind the curved spokes and deep hoop were essentially inaccessible.

I finally took a chance on RB Motorsports when some guys at the shop saw the wheels and were willing to put their satisfaction guarantee on the line and accept the challenge. When it comes to dealing with high-end, hard-to-find JDM wheels, RB is one of the most knowledgeable companies out there. RB has been importing wheels for as long as I can remember and knows the ins and outs of importing, restoring and selling affordable used JDM wheels. In RB's City of Industry, CA, warehouse, there are thousands of hard-to-find and long-discontinued wheel sets ranging from BBS, Work, SSR, Mugen, Blitz, E-wing and many other OG rollers that predate me. If it's not wheels you're looking for, RB also stocks much of the impossible-to-buy hardware like separate faces, hoops, center caps and, most importantly, nuts and bolts someone might be looking for to restore their long, lost JDM love.

There are plenty of skilled wheel repair shops around, but the reason I finally chose to go with RB Motorsports was because of its vast experience level. RB does nothing but repair and deal with popular JDM wheels. The back-up sets of Super Advan SA3R in the warehouse didn't hurt, either.

After a nail-biting week, I returned to RB to pick up my wheels. They hardly look like the worn set of shoes I had dropped off. RB had even managed to get rid of the imbalance and shimmy I've lived with for the past decade. Not bad for an affordable alternative to purchasing new wheels. Even if you aren't looking to repair your old wheels, look up the RB website for its massive listing of already restored, used JDM wheels at bargain prices. I'm willing to bet you'll find what you're looking for-if not, they can get it straight from Japan.

By Jay Chen
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