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Discussion Starter #1
In an effort to keep my two UK Insights looking their best, I have just had all 8 wheels refurbished by a firm in the UK called Pristine Alloy Wheel Refurbishers near Milton Keynes.

http://www.pristinealloywheels.co.uk/index.php

I knew they had a good reputation from posts on the Pistonheads UK Motoring Forum. I spoke with their engineer, sent a photo, and he agreed to look at them, they had not done any Insight Wheels before. No surprise really with only 270 or so in the country.

We suffer badly here in the UK with salt on the roads, and the subsequent corrosion. My wheels also had kerb damage, but were not buckled or bent.

I duly sent off the first four wheels minus tyres by courier, which Pristine arranged, they collected them from my house.

The Insight wheels are a very light aluminium alloy diamond cut design.
This means they were originally painted all over the same colour as the cut outs, then the face was machined off to leave the circular cut Aluminium finish. They were then lacquered to prevent corrosion.

They have been refurbished in exactly the same way as they were originally made, blasted, painted (very slightly darker than original, but hardly noticeable, in fact not at all if all four wheels are done.) diamond cut (removing kerb damage) and lacquered.

The result is spectacular, and gives the wheels a new lease of life. :D Pristine has now stored the Insight wheel profile on their computer diamond cutting system, and I did mention that they might get some more business if they did a good job. The price was excellent in my view as well.

£176 inc vat and delivery/collection for all four wheels to return like new!

New Insight wheels cost about £200 each here in the UK :(

Judge for yourself in the pictures below. I am well pleased.

I did buy all new centre caps for the wheels from Honda UK as they were bad as well, they cost almost as much as the wheel refurbishment :(

Before
(These pics were taken after they had been pressure washed, and they look awful!)

http://www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheelbefore1.jpg
http://www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheelbefore2.jpg

After

http://www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheelafter1.jpg
http://www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheelafter2.jpg
http://www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheelafter3.jpg

I am looking at the wheel centre caps with a sneaky idea to refurbish them, I'll keep you posted.

Peter
 

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What a great improvement!

I know Mark Elvin in the past had corroded wheels replaced under warranty, but somehow I like your refurbished wheels better.
 

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Peter,
They look very nice. I wonder how they would look with matching paint color of the car instead of the grey highlights.
robert
 

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yup

flat black spray paint.

I don't like cleaning!
 

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They look excellent, I'll look into getting mine done after the winter.

Does the laqure appear to be any thicker?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Just an update on this.

My wheels started looking tatty again recently (lasted about three years) so I sent four back to Pristine who sadly said they could not diamond cut them again. Partly my fault they did not last longer, with more tlc and more regular washing waxing they could last 5 years IMO without curbing.

So back to plan B. I took them to my local refurbisher Romax of Stockton. Very well known in North East of UK.

They blasted and powder coated them in a light grey. They also did the wheel centre caps after we removed the corroded thin aluminium covers. £160 for four all in. They are pretty good, not as good as the oem style I grant you, but a very acceptable alternative for nearly 10 year old alloys.

I did get some of the Honda H logos copied by my local vinyl sign place, but they can't be centered correctly at the moment due to the dimple in the centre caps so I need to revisit that design. I thought about filling the dimple with body filler and then flatting it off before getting them sprayed, then the vinyl logo would go on no problem. I'll try that for the second batch.

Anyway here are a few of HQ pics.

www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheels002.jpg

www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheels004.jpg

OEM for comparison

www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheels003.jpg
 

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looks very clean and nice, but to me, they look sort of like plain hub caps because they dont have that shiny alloy look anymore.

Do you think adding a clear coat on them would make them look more alloyish or shiny/glossy?

have you thought about moon covers?
 

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A little late to be saying this but lacquer has it's bad points and good points. The bad as you well know is it's not very strong. Need to keep wax on it. The good is you can go to the store and get a spray can of clear lacquer and re-paint them. No matter how old lacquer is it will dissolve when re-sprayed and as long as you get the old wax off with wax remover it will come out looking great again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The problem with the OEM wheels is that once water gets under the lacquer especially when salty it attacks the aluminium very quickly. I also don't like the look of the moon covers but would consider them if they made any + difference to mpg.

The ones I have had sprayed look fine and are a good compromise which should be stronger than lacquered oem ones. They can also be refurbished in the same style many times.

I need to sort out the center caps now and get the H logo on them.
 

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Lacquer is one of the weaker furniture coatings. I can see where there would be a problem with salt water. If the chance ever comes up again you could try refinishing OEM wheels every couple of years. Lacquer thinner should remove the old lacquer easily. Polish and re-spray.
 

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I would like to get my powdercoated black. I have also thought about chrome. there are companies in the states as im sure about anywhere that can do chrome powder coating.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I'll be getting another four wheels silver powder coated shortly but i have been working on the centers in preparation and to save some money.

I have now removed the old rotted silver cover on 8 old wheels trims and filled the centre dimple with filler and primed them. They will be powder coated at the same time as the wheels and i have a scanned vinyl cut honda 'H' logo to go back on in the middle when finished. So although not stock not bad for 10 year old alloys.

In the pic we have a corroded stock wheel trim, then to the right we have the plastic core of the wheel trim with old aluminium cover removed. I have then filled the centre dimple and primed the trim ready for coating.

www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/respray008.jpg

You can see the dimple in this pic of my MK1 effort, filling the dimple is much better as you can then stick a vinyl logo back on giving a more stock look.

www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/wheels002.jpg

Just got my citrus phev car back from bodyshop as it has had a full respray to bring it back to as new condition.

www.solarvan.co.uk/insight/respray006.jpg

All the panels now match and I have some spare paint :)
 

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you car looks really good now.

But picture shows the green a little different from what I recall a Citrus would look like. It seems more bright or something. Maybe its just your camera settings. Still looks excellent though
 

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I have e-maild Pristine about a price on my 4 wheels as I'd like to keep it looking OEM if possible.

Failing that I may go the moon disc route.
 

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Just had a quote from Pristine of £220 for a full set including carriage. That's a very keen price & if I can do a decent job of refurbing the centre caps myself I think I'll go for it.

For the centre caps I'm going to strip the laquer & see if I can Scotchbrite out the corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pristine will look great for 18 months. I doubt you can refurb the trims they are paper thin aluminium over plastic and corrode from the back :( They are about £35 each!
 

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Possibly OT, but can these wheels be anodised? I's think that would be better than letting them passivate on their own...
 
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