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Gmc 18" Chrome Clad Wheel Issues


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#1 trav_automotive

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:02 PM

Hey Guys,

Do any of your new 18" or 20" Chrome Clad GMC Wheels look like this after the winter??? Here is mine which were kept rinsed off for most all of the winter...they did see some salt.....anyway they are bubbling in all the corners at only 8K Miles...I noticed this yesterday when I polished the wheels!

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#2 pm26

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:07 PM

The wheels are "chrome clad", not "chromed". Therefore, what you perceive as a defect, is in fact NORMAL. The chrome is simply in the process of "uncladding". :shakehead:

Seriously though, this sucks. As much as they charge for these wheels, one would expect some quality, not this Chinese junk.

Edited by pm26, 21 March 2010 - 09:09 PM.


#3 ArkansasHellRaiser

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:05 PM

it almost looks as if it's welding splatter. i have those same rims but im only at 200 miles haha

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#4 BBC71Nova

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 10:29 PM

So I've noticed the wording has changed to "chrome clad aluminum" but how exactly is that different from simply "chromed aluminum"? The change in wording, and very small one at that, for something so simple as chrome is a little suspect.

#5 C. Charles Hahn

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:52 AM

So I've noticed the wording has changed to "chrome clad aluminum" but how exactly is that different from simply "chromed aluminum"? The change in wording, and very small one at that, for something so simple as chrome is a little suspect.


The difference is that the "chrome clad aluminum" are in fact a raw aluminum wheel, with a chrome-clad plastic cover glued to the face of them. The "chromed aluminum" wheels are an aluminum wheel with a properly machined face that was chromed and then clear-coated.

See the 2008-09 Sierra All Terrain wheels compared to the 2010 Sierra All Terrain wheels for the clearest depiction of this difference.

Either way, Travis, that looks like warranty replacement time to me!

Edited by V8GMT Guy, 22 March 2010 - 12:52 AM.

2008 GMC Sierra CC SLT "All Terrain" Z71 4x4
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#6 BBC71Nova

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:30 AM

:shakehead: When will companies focus on building better products instead of just spending R&D money trying to do something cheaper. It would be different if prices were dropping accordingly. Sort of like electronics. However, prices just keep going up on trucks.

This is really a bummer if the wheels are basically like those on an 1:18 scale diecast.

#7 lvlagnum

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:28 AM

Travis, those are some nasty looking blemishes. You say you noticed them AFTER you polished the wheels? Is it possible those blisters were there BEFORE you polished them? And what kind of product and process did you use? I'm wondering if the polishing or cleaning product you used might have had something to do with it? I've heard some wheel and tire cleaners can dammage clearcoated alloy wheels and I'm thinking it might be possible for that to happen to chrome-clad wheels too?

Although, it could be a quality control problem at the parts supplier. I used to work at the factory which made the GMT-400, GMT-800 and GMT-900 Chevy Silverado front bumpers, amongst many others, and now and then we had instances of the chrome peeling right off the bumbers during and after production. Our bumpers consisted of nickel electroplated over the steel to provide corrosion resistance and with a very thin layer of chrome over that to make it look good. I know some electroplating processes use copper as a base for the chrome but ours used nickel. From what I've seen, most chrome plated plastics use copper as the base layer. Good electroplating can be very difficult to do and even with strict attempts at quality control, some bad parts get through.

Cheers, lvlagnum. :shakehead:

Edited by lvlagnum, 22 March 2010 - 11:46 AM.


#8 trav_automotive

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:46 AM

Travis, those are some nasty looking blemishes. You say you noticed them AFTER you polished the wheels? Is it possible those blisters were there BEFORE you polished them? And what kind of product and process did you use? I'm wondering if the polishing or cleaning product you used might have had something to do with it? I've heard some wheel and tire cleaners can dammage clearcoated alloy wheels and I'm thinking it might be possible for that to happen to chrome-clad wheels too?

Cheers, lvlagnum. :shakehead:


Well I guess I should have said I did notice them before polishing, and hoped that maybe it was just some spots that would come off, however after polishing they are still there....they are indeeded bubbled underneath there.....I am really hoping a set of 09 All-Terrain Wheels would be possible since they are at least "real"...so I dunno we will see what the service manager says....

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#9 lvlagnum

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:55 AM

Travis, that deffinately sounds like a quality control problem. Even with normal use on salty winter roads, there is no way they should blister like that. The only thing other than poor quality control I can think of which might cause blisters like those are harsh chemicals or extreem heat changes in the wheels such as in a siezed brake.

Cheers, lvlagnum. :shakehead:

#10 pm26

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:56 PM

Our bumpers consisted of nickel electroplated over the steel to provide corrosion resistance and with a very thin layer of chrome over that to make it look good.


The question is what is "very thin"? As in several micrometers thin? :shakehead:

Edited by pm26, 22 March 2010 - 12:57 PM.


#11 lvlagnum

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:17 PM

Our bumpers consisted of nickel electroplated over the steel to provide corrosion resistance and with a very thin layer of chrome over that to make it look good.


The question is what is "very thin"? As in several micrometers thin? :shakehead:



Pete, you probably don't want to know just how thin, very thin really is. Let's just say the nickel on our bumpers, whether they are front or back and Chevy or GMC or any other brand, is about as thin as a sheet of alluminum foil. The layer of chrome over that is MUCH thinner. And that goes the same for most other chrome plated parts, be they plastic or metal. The layer of nickel, or in some cases copper, provides most of the corrosion resistance and a base for the chrome to be electroplated on while the layer of chrome is mostly just for show. In fact, in the old days, bumpers were sandblasted as one of the final stages of the production process to "crack" the chrome to promote even corrosion and to help prevent the chrome from peeling. You can see evidence of that as a slight haziness in some bumpers that are older.

Cheers, lvlagnum. :nono:

Edited by lvlagnum, 22 March 2010 - 03:19 PM.


#12 C. Charles Hahn

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:40 PM

:nono: When will companies focus on building better products instead of just spending R&D money trying to do something cheaper. It would be different if prices were dropping accordingly. Sort of like electronics. However, prices just keep going up on trucks.

This is really a bummer if the wheels are basically like those on an 1:18 scale diecast.


Welcome to 2010. Might I provide you with a reality check in regards to inflation, the economy, regulation of the automotive industry, and the value of the US Dollar in today's world? :shakehead:

It doesn't matter what manufacturer you look at, this is simply how it goes.
2008 GMC Sierra CC SLT "All Terrain" Z71 4x4
Stealth Gray Metallic | Ebony UltraSoft Leather | 5.3L FlexFuel AFM-Delete V8 | 3.73 Locking Differential (G80)
Airaid MIT | K&N Drop-In | HP Tuners | Line-X Over-the-Rail | Fold-a-Cover G4 Elite | Spencer's 6K HID Conversion Low Beams and Fogs | OEM Navigation | OEM OnStar Bluetooth | Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars

2009 GMC Envoy Denali 4WD
Quicksilver Metallic | Ebony Leather | 5.3L AFM V8 | 3.42 Locking Differential (G80)
"IEATSRT8'S" CAI | Hotchkis Rear Sway Bar | HP Tuners

#13 jro909

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:33 PM

its the damn child labor laws in china, they are making those kids lazy, leading to crap products! even my nikes are wearing faster!

Edited by jro909, 22 March 2010 - 04:33 PM.

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#14 Malurd

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:52 AM

Hello all,

 

I have a 2013 Silverado Sport Edition with 20" chrome clad wheels where the chrome is blistering as well.  The aluminum under the clear coat on rim lip corroding and the cjhrome looks 10 years old now.

 

No rock damage or dings either.  Just failing from under the surface.  The truck was bought new August 2013.  Put most of the 6,800 miles on it during late summer and fall traveling to lake erie.  Mostly spent winter in garage but once in a while used to travel in winter when my wife needed it to drive when snow was a little too deep for our car. 

 

Took it to the dealer I bought it from and first words from service associate when I mentioned it to him was this is normal for the area.  The road salt does this to the chrome.  When I countered that the rest of the chrome looks new including the front bumper, grill, etc. where rocks and salt are thrown up he said it was up to the service manager. 

 

After they changed the oil, the same service tech said they would replace wheels once as this is limited to GM policy. 

 

So now I guess my 3 year 36 k warranty is only good for one time replacement on factory defects and I either have to buy another set of wheels for winter or park the truck. Needless to say, we are very disappointed in the quality of GM.  This is my 5th new purchase from GM and most likely my last. 

 

I plan to call GM customer service next and pending outcome there, may send a letter to Mary Barra.  I know she is busy with all the recalls but worth a shot.

 

On the first picture look for the long blister (3 to 4 inches)

On the second, look for blisters in the rim corner.Attached File  IMG_1287 (1024x768).jpg   519.2KB   12 downloadsAttached File  IMG_1290 (1024x768).jpg   385.28KB   11 downloads

 



#15 NBSGMC

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:51 AM

Good chance you can get them warranted.


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