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Question about 3 piece wheels...

30 October 2000
Houston, TX
2 part question

1. How hard is it to have a shop reseal one wheel? (18x8) Because my front wheel has a slow leak and the tire is brand new, and valve stem is good. So I'm thinking the wheel needs to be resealed, as they are old school wheels and they have been taken apart before.

2. How hard is it to disassemble the wheels(rear)? I just want to remove the face from the wheel, not removing the tire, so I can thoroughly refinish and polish my rear lips. Do you simply loosen the bolts? Using an Allen wrench?

What I'm working on:

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Z, I had DTM 3 piece wheels on my Vdub. I don't think removing only the face will work. There was a center oring that sealed the two barrels together. Then there was a huge "nicely done" clear silicone bead between the barrels. Looked like a lot of work. Once apart you may need to purchase new orings to reseal the barrels which I have no idea where to buy.
Hey David,

I'm positive the face of the wheels unbolts from the barrel and lip portion, leaving the tire intact, fully inflated. I've seen my front wheels like this when they were getting refinished. I'm just curious how easy/hard they are to unbolt.

The way my lips are, it is hard to reach a portion of the lip. It would make life much easier if I can just unbolt the face and polish the lips. I'm trying to repolish my lips myself, since the shop charged a hefty fee. :redface:
My truck had super lightweight 3 piece High end forged Centerline rims. What was done is...... first scrapped off the old silicone. Then power wire brushed clean the rest of the silicone from the two wheel halves. Then using the best quality silicone you can find ( I choose the best clear silicone available at Lowes/Home Depot) and did a HUGE fat bead all the way around. Used an old plastic card (like credit card) to carefully smear it flat into the gap all the way around. Applied more, again carefully filling in the gap and avoiding air bubbles. I ended up going more than an inch on both halves, so about 3" wide. I've ran the same rims now for about 10 years and numerous tires. Just got to be VERY careful about when they mount new tires so that they don't gouge the silicone.
Hi there,

I've actually disassembled a few sets of the wheels over the past year or so and you should be fine with your plan. On my HRE's I simply removed all of the bolts, laid the wheel upside down on a couple towels, and knocked the center out with a dead blow. On that particular there was no bead of silicone between the wheel disc(face) and the other two portions so no need to reseal, simply bolt it back together. If you have to cut the bead and feel uncomfortable just call any wheel shop. My second set needed this and it cost around $10 to seal them.

On a side note while the wheels are apart i'd inspect the wheel bolts. I found one of mine was overtorqued in the past(they only need like 15 ft/lbs) and I ended up replacing the hardware.