How We Produce Stunning Wheels
The Lepsons full factory ‘back to bare metal’ refurbishment involves a six stage process:
Stage One: Pre-refurbishment inspection and preparation
- If tyres are fitted they are inspected for wear or damage prior to being marked up with the customer identification (and positioning on car if present).
- The tyre is then removed from the wheel together with weights and valve.
Stage Two: Stripping the wheel back to bare metal
- The alloy wheel is placed in a chemical solution (unlike some refurbishers we do not use acid which is more aggressive and less environmentally friendly) for several hours to remove all the old paint, lacquer and any accumulated deposits. We do this to provide an excellent key for the subsequent paint and lacquer processes.
- It is then thoroughly washed to remove all chemical deposits and dirt.
- Any repairs requiring welding to restore the surface of the rim, repair a crack in the alloy or straightening of buckled wheel is undertaken at this stage having received customer authorisation.
- The wheel is then low pressure bead or acqua blasted to create the best possible surface condition in preparation for the painting process.
Stage Three: Priming the wheel
- The wheel is placed on a conveyor system that passes through an oven to remove any trapped air before moving into a spray booth for an application of powder coating primer.
- It then goes through a second oven to be baked to ensure curing has been completed.
- A quality check is performed before proceeding any further with the refurbishment process.
Stage Four: Applying the paint and lacquer
- The wheel is again pre-heated to an optimum temperature before entering a sealed booth via a conveyor system.
- The wheel is then professionally spray painted.
- Immediately after being painted a lacquer is applied to the face and inside (powder lacquers are highly durable) to protect the wheel from salt, brake dust and the elements generally
- The wheel then returns to the oven and once it has cooled a final inspection is performed.
Stage Five: Quality Control
- Each wheel is carefully inspected to ensure that the finish is as close as possible to the original factory finish of a new wheel (assuming no underlying flaws in the quality of the wheel we started with) and matches the best industry standards set by Lepsons.
- We don’t let a wheel leave the factory unless we feel that it is 100% ready to go back to the customer.
Stage Six: Refitting and balancing (wheels with tyres only)
- The wheel is matched up to the customer’s tyre
- A new rubber valve is inserted, except where there is a sensor or metal valve which is re-used (where possible) and the tyre is put back on.
- The wheel and tyre is balanced, using stick-on weights to the inside of the wheel.
- For those customers using our ‘leave your car onsite’ facility the refurbished alloy wheel(s) is put back onto the car and the wheel nuts torqued.
We assess every wheel that we receive at the factory and use our 20+ years trading experience to determine the most appropriate process that each wheel will go through to achieve the best finish we can for our customers, depending on the wheel’s age, condition, type of alloy, and the degree of any damage that may be present.