I have continual trouble with air leaks on my aluminum wheels. The shop always tells me that it's due to corrosion between the wheel and tire bead.
Is there any way to recondition the wheel to stop this?
Has the shop tried bead sealant? It gooey black stuff, you put it on the bead when installing the tire. Should normally seal stuff like that unless the leak is really bad.
-- Stephan 2001 Yamaha YZF-R6
Some 80's to early 90's Ford Aluminum wheels had a porosity problem. Ford has a TSB on it and a fix that used epoxy paint to seal the inside of the wheel.
I had a set of centerline aluminum wheels from the late 70's that had a leak between the 2 halves. I had the tire shop dismount the tire for me, took it home and removed the 25 year old silicone bead from the center of the wheel and applied new silicone. I brought it back to the tire shop and had them remount the tire and it has worked without a leak ever since, 2 years.
Dave Wick wrote:
Many tire shops will use a bead sealer on aluminums rims... it essentially glues the tire to the rim. Dismount the rubber, tidy up the rim with sandpaper or a wire brush to remove any loose corrosion and have them re-mounted using bead sealer. you can do it yourself if you like, just chalk line the tire to the rim so you don't lose the balance. You can do it without dismounting the tires but it's a pain in the ass to clean the rim while trying to hold the bead down - not to mention the crap will stay inside your tire.
Spray on bead sealer (never tried, can't vouch for it) http://www.rockcrawler.com/features/newsshorts/02september/safetyseal.asp
Brush on bead sealer (this is what the shops use) http://www.annco.com/products/pro_2.cfm?ItemNumber=G10106
Take off tire and clean up bead area either with a fine wire wheel on a drill, or fine sandpaper, to polish up that area while taking off the corrosion. I have heard of different sealers like Form A Gasket #2 (IIRC an old racer's trick), bead sealer, etc. I have heard of people painting the bead area to stop further corrosion using clear or POR-15 or ??? This makes sense to me. ;-)
I think I only did the fine wire wheel to clean up the Canyon alum wheels now on my 88 XJ about 3-4 years ago. I did not paint nor use a sealer, but I think I applied a little ATF to get the Duellers on the wheels though.
later, dave AKA vwdoc1
They can brush it with a wire brush in a drill bit, kind of like a Dremel tool.
Do Not use those Seal-A-Leak cans of goo. I had a bead leak several years ago and used some of that shit and it rusted the inside of my rim.
You might want to post this in a welding or mechanical engineering newsgroup or go to a good machine shop. I'm thinking - clean it up real good and spray weld it, but I'm talking out of my field.
not wheels expert here but since when does aluminum rust? - or is there something else there besides aluminum?
Just the terminology.. iron oxidizes = rust, aluminum oxidizes = dunno whut its called. As with all metals, some grades are more porous than others and when they oxidize or corrode the pores get bigger quicker. Salt promotes corrosion, which is the main reason us Northerners remove the aluminum rims in the winter.... an lemme tell ya.. its a real bitch getting traction with just the rotors.
Corundum. The main ingredient in sapphire and other rather hard and clear gemstones. Or watch crystals.
Rusting/corrosion is an oxidizing process. Hence aluminum can oxidize and the "rusting" is aluminum oxide. Iron/steel rusting would produce ferrous oxide. The colors are different - iron -red/brown and aluminum white/gray.
Aluminum oxide in the absence of other substances is extremely clear. Most aluminum corrosion is due to acetates, oxylates, chlorides/ates, etc.
Aluminum rust as such is sapphire. However aluminum corrodes quite nicely in a variety of ways.
For the OP, have the rims polished and you might think about also having the inside [where the air goes] heavily painted. Been a long time since I ran into stories of such, but some of the early cast style aluminum wheels were rather porous. Thus the famous slogan "Stop Casting Porosity"
Peter D. proclaimed: