Alloy Rim Repair

Lorch welder

Lorch welder

We started welding aluminium around 2001 by adapting one of our MIG machines. It was continuously troublesome, to the point that we had to either discontinue this service or invest in top class equipment. We bought a LORCH MIG. What a joy to use after the previous struggles! About this time we started to see an occasional alloy car rim. We soon developed a successful repair technique.

Typical rim crack

First we clean the area, then opened the crack out to about 3mm gap. We then weld it from both sides. Finally, with some special grinding equipment, we flush the welds back down and paint it lightly, leaving a near invisible, strong repair. We have subsequently repaired rims with multiple cracks, redone other peoples failed repairs, repaired a truck rim, and even repaired the centre section of a BMW Z4 rim that had been smashed in by a tyre bead breaker machine. Apparently this is common as the BMW rims are very light.

Good as new

If you are thinking of taking a damaged alloy rim to a “mate who welds aluminium” be wary. Unless he knows what he is doing it will re-crack within months. We haven’t revealed all the secrets of our technique here!