Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Renovating the Revolutions

When I restored 't Kreng in the mid nineties I fitted a set of brand new Revolution 7Jx15 Modern Line wheels to the car. At that time I fitted them with Michelin Pilot SX-GT 195/50 tyres. But that turned out to be a rather problematic combination. Over the next few years I had loads of problems to get them balanced properly. I even went as far as removing all tyres so I could check the rims' tolerances. The measurements did show some flaws, both axial and radial, but not enough to justify the problems. To cut a long story short, I got fed up with it all and I removed the wheels and replaced them with a set of Compomotive ML 7Jx15 rims with the original offset. But they didn't look right ...

But despite that the Revo's were dully put away for future use. But when I bought the DHC (JL-GX-37) from a friend in 2006 I put the Revo's on that car as a stop gap solution so I could fit some larger front brakes.

To my surprise there were no vibrations at all, even with the by then rather old Michelin tyres. As these tyres really were far to old now I replaced them with Dunlop Sport SP01 (195/55 R15) tyres in the summer of 2007. But during the final reconnaissance for last year's Nachtrit it became clear that, despite the tyres having a fair amount of thread left, they really were starting to deteriorate. Even in the dry their grip had become rather ... euhh ... challenging (read no grip at all).
And with the new valuation for 't Kreng scheduled for the end of June, early July, I decided to replace the "Flintstone" Dunlops with fresh rubber and at the same time use the opportunity to have the wheels renovated. Time to remove the wheels from 't Kreng for renovation and a new set of tyres. It was clear that use, time and lots of road grime had taken their toll. And especially the outside rims, which were corroded or (lightly) damaged, as can be seen in the pictures below ...

But when I was at a local tyre shop to remove the old tyres, and told them I was on my way to a company I used earlier to renovate the Wolfrace wheels on the DHC, I was told that due to an accident they were no longer in business. Luckily he could provide me with an alternative, Piet Dam's Velgenreparatie in the rather small village of Cillaarshoek. So I dully made an appointment and drove across half of the Netherlands to drop the wheels of at his workshop, to get them powder coated and have the rims repaired and polished. But when I told him about the problems I had in the past I was met with some scepticism. And taking some measurements made things worse. As they were, it would not be possible to get the outer rims machined in their lathe to get rid of the corrosion. Unless the rims could be straightened. We agreed that he'd try straightening one of the rims and give me a call to inform be of his findings. If it would not be possible to straighten them it would still be possible to get rid of the corrosion and have them coated. But my chosen colour wouldn't work there. That really needed a polished rim. In that case I'd have to choose another colour.
I needn't have worried. Earlier this month I received a phone call, the wheels were ready. Straightening the rims hadn't been a problem so he had finished them in the colour scheme I had chosen. And he was rather pleased with the result. Sadly I wasn't able to pick them up immediately, but more on that later. This gave me a few extra days to look into the tyre choice. In the end I decided on a set of Yokohama AS01. Being a fairly soft road tyre these should be a good mix of the Dunlops fitted earlier, and the Yokohama semi slicks extensively used on this car over the years. But today I was able to pick up the wheels and have the chosen tyres fitted ...

And in real life they look even better than in the pictures. The coating and machining is top quality. This also applies to the straightening that has been done to the rims. There were hardly any balance weight necessary to get the wheels balanced. Hopefully I will be able to fit them soon and see how the tyres behave.

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