By way of a quick recap – my 2018 K20 Atom 3.5 is slowly being upgraded to 3.5R spec. The current project is getting it rolling on a staggered set of Dymags. A suitable set were sourced from a forum member who was selling a few bits (including his tidy 3.5 245) to make way for his incoming 4). As Dymags are cast magnesium and these wheels would see action on track, I was keen to have them thoroughly checked out and refurbished, so off they went to TPCS and the expert ministrations of ‘Dymag’ Steve Turner.
Here’s why I wanted to take the wheels to a magnesium specialist, rather than a standard alloy wheel refurbishment house:
As you’ll know if you have read the rest of this series, Dymags made after 2009 tend to have thicker applications of paint on them. This means that it is a pain in the bum to get them stripped back to bare metal and some folks are tempted to leave the wheels in caustic baths over night to get rid of the paint. The problem being that the paint tends to be thicker on the spokes and thinner on the rim. so thing like this can happen.
If left for even longer the metal is quickly eaten away. Not a good place to be, especially as finding replacement Dymags in the esoteric stud pattern used by Atom can be a challenge these days. These images are from a tale of woe that saw an unlucky Atom owner send his wheels to his local refurb shop. They bathed the rears in a caustic bath, creating the dimpled affect in the first picture. An ebay search found a replacement set of rears , being offered by the owner of another wheel refurb shop who had had to buy a brand new set to replace the fronts that his team had ruined by, you guessed it, leaving them in a stripper bath over night.
Back to Steve, who recommends heating the the wheels before applying the paint to ensure any gas trapped at the surface of the metal is expelled. Also as the wheel cools and contracts, it draws the paint in, providing a stronger key. Steve is also pretty particular about the masking of the wheels, ensuring that the wheel nuts can sit true to the wheel, rather than ‘floating’ on the painted and lacquered surface.
In that context the bill (738GBP) that Steve presented me with seemed like good value, given the care and attention the wheels had received. Plus the finish of the paint and clear lacquer is amazing. But some may feel that I have ‘ruined’ the wheels in other ways. Head over to the forum here and let me know what you think by voting in the poll.
Thanks Ian and Mark for images of the ‘distressed’ wheels