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Chrome wheel reconditioning

I have a set of chrome wheels whose chrome plating is decontaminating and flaking. It is not terrible and mostly on the back side. Any recommendations on how to best recondition them?

Should I be concerned with the flaking where the tire seals. Will the rubber sealant be adequate to take care of any air leak concerns.?

Once the chrome starts peeling off a steel wheel, the wheel is done.

I have a 95 Nissan pickup with chrome wheels, and the chrome is starting to peel off. All you can do is watch the chrome peel off, or replace the wheels.

I prefere to watch the chrome peel off.


Agreed, and don’t even consider having them rechromed. That process has always been a bit pricy but even more so nowadays; not to mention that many rechroming jobs are somewhat shaky at best.

Chrome plating is a VERY nasty process. Chromic acid, the plating solution, is about as toxic and dangerous as industrial chemicals get. EPA rules, for good reason, have all but eliminated chrome plating, and metal plating in general.

If you are IN LOVE with the wheels, they CAN be re-plated but it will be a high-cost operation. To do the job properly, they must be triple plated, copper, nickle, chrome. Done this way, chrome plated parts will last almost forever.

About how much would it cost to just strip them? The wheels are in good shape otherwise. I would just paint with wheel paint.

Are they alloy (cast) or steel?

They are cast alloy. Gen 3 Ford SHO wheels.

No thoughts from anyone on how well they will seal if the chrome delaminates at the sealing surface?

I bet they’ll leak. You might call a nearby plating shop, see what they think about dechroming them, but I wouldn’t. If they were steel it’d be more straightforward, I think (they do it to bumpers all the time).

There’s a backyard method for chrome stripping but it’s a bit of a PITA and I don’t know if I should even tell this or not.
I’ll cough it up if you won’t hold me liable for anything. :slight_smile:

A friend of mine sent me the link. I am not going there. I am inclined to paint the back with wheel paint and just polish the front. Pretty much leave as is. If I use them for non winter driving they should hold up much better.

I am going to mount them myself as I have access to Hunter mounting and balancing machines. Should I sand down the tire sealing surface to remove any delamination and flaking? Should I use an adhesive?
I don’t want to deal with leaking tires. I may be over concened…