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Old 06-03-2011, 02:51 PM   #98
572HP
ACE5 (Atlanta Group)
 
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Drives: "Black Ice"
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Suwanee, GA
Posts: 1,677
Wheel Fiasco

I'll try to make a long story short.

Before the convertible even arrived, I ordered wheels from a camaro5 sponsor (speeddepot). He offered to have them powder coated (matte black) and pinstriped. The wheels did not come in black. Only dark gray. I loved the wheels, and for the price, they seemed to be the hottest things around. TSW Nurburgring. He charged me $460 for the powder coat and pinstripe. A little expensive, but not too bad.

I received the wheels from Fedex. Shipping was included in the price of the wheels. Boxes were in excellent shape. I opened up the boxes and all 4 wheels had polka-dots all over them. They used bubble-wrap to protect the wheels, and then covered them with the nice factory cloth cover. The bubble-wrap polished the wheel (since they were matte black). I called Alex at speeddepot. He talked with his powder coater, and ended up suggesting I use sandpaper to get the dots off. Fine. I'm pretty handy. They came off. I didn't want to ship them back for something I could fix.

The first week, I took the wheels to get installed. They took very good care of them, and didn't scratch them at all.

Then the car went to the body shop for the paint job. I was nervous to give the shop my wheel lock key. They said that they needed to remove the wheels to get the fenders off. They promised to be very careful. I had seen someone else's wheels get scratched by a grease monkey with an impact wrench.

When I picked up the car from the body shop, every wheel was scratched! They must have used an impact wrench. They promised me it would be fixed. I didn't want touch-up paint to my powder-coated wheels. They agreed to have them re-powder-coated.

I took the car back to them to have a few things fixed, including the wheels. They sent the wheels off to the powder coater. Then I get a call. The powder coat was applied right over the top of the clearcoat, and was scratching off with just a fingernail. See below for the video.

Now I contact Alex at speeddepot and explain the situation. He tells me to send him back the wheels, and he would get them fixed and return them. My car is sitting on jack stands at the body shop, and now the wheels are at a very competent powder coater. He wants me to ship him the wheels? It would cost me over $200 to ship them both directions, and the car would be sitting at the body shop for way over a week. He wouldn't offer me a penny to get the wheels fixed locally. I gave him $460 to powder coat the wheels and add a pinstripe, and the wheels were not prepped properly in the first place. All of that work is gone now.

Even though the wheels weren't prepped properly, the body shop was the ones that messed them up. They were on the car without any scratches, and were warned to be very careful. They probably wouldn't have scratched that easily, but nonetheless, they weren't careful.

I now have the wheels back. They are more beautiful than ever. 4RD H8R spent a lot of his own time to make sure they were done right. They are more satin or semi-gloss now. The matte black was just too finicky. I had to be careful with them or they would end up with some polished spots. They should be easy to take care of now.

Moral of the story: don't mail-order wheels!!! If you have any issues, you'll be responsible for unmounting the tires, shipping your wheels, remounting the tires, and balancing them. And your car sits while all of this is getting done. Get the wheels locally, so that if you have any issues, they can resolve them right there.


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