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split rims

Everything you need to know about damaged split rim alloy wheels and how to repair them

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Everything you need to know about damaged split rim alloy wheels and how to repair them

First thing’s first - what on earth is a ‘split rim’? It’s a common misconception that a split rim is a type of alloy wheel damage - i.e. ‘Oh my God, I’ve split my rims!’.

What it actually is a type of alloy wheel design that became popular in the 1970s, particularly on industrial vehicles and performance cars which, at the time, had huge fat tyres.

In order to be able to fit those massive, inflexible tyres, the wheel rim design would be split in two to allow for easier manipulation without causing damage to the rubber.

Once fitted, the locking ring on the outer bead will then hold the tyre in place (as opposed to having the fixed bead found on regular alloy wheels).

Having a split rim also means that if the rim itself does get damaged, it can be removed from the rest of the wheel to be repaired or replaced.

To be fair, split rims are a bit ‘Marmite’ - people either love them on hate them. Some like the look, others find split rims to be an unnecessary faff.

One thing’s for sure - you need to look after them and the maintenance is not without its challenges.

Because of the multi-part construction, they are susceptible to corrosion more than regular alloy wheels. They can also be dangerous if not handled correctly - mismatched components are a problem but - more importantly - attempting to remove the tyre from a split rim without following the correct procedure can result in nasty injury from flying projectiles!

So when we repair a split rim alloy wheel, here’s the quite specific procedure we have to follow:-

  • We come to your chosen destination and remove the wheels from your vehicle.
  • The vehicle is then placed on axle stands for the duration that we have your wheels. If you are having just the one wheel done we will fit the spare for you if you have one. If you do not have space to leave your vehicle on axle stands we will bring your car to our depot and store it in our secure compound. We also have trade plates in order to transport untaxed vehicles from dealerships etc.
  • If the work is being carried out on the mobile service the bead is broken - this means that the tyre is moved about an inch off the rim to enable us to repair all damage. If the repair is taking place at our depot the tyres are removed completely.
  • The bolts are removed and the wheels are split.
  • Any damage on the outer rim is repaired.
  • We then polish or paint it depending on the finish you desire (there are a great many options to choose from - we are more than happy to finish the wheel to a custom spec).
  • If the work is being carried out by our mobile service the centres are repaired and then painted. If the repair is being carried out at our depot we would acid strip and powder coat the centres to a colour of your choice.
  • The wheels are then put back together; all the bolts are refitted and torqued to the manufacturer's specification.
  • We then inflate the tyres and balance them if they have been removed completely.
  • The wheels are then fitted back to your vehicle.

Hopefully that sheds some light on what a split rim actually is, and why they need a bit more TLC than your average alloy wheel.

If you’d like to find out more about our split rim alloy wheel repairs and the other services that we offer, simply browse around our website, or contact myself, Simon Trayler, on 07956 530 949 /

Hope to hear from you soon,

Simon Trayler,
Master Technician

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