Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims? - Page 2 - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 04:52 AM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

Those aren't hupcaps.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 08:29 PM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

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Originally Posted by nutcrunch View Post
Those aren't hupcaps.
you are right...if you consider that the glue makes the cover part of the wheel.

other than that, they are hubcaps held by glue instead of clips or plastic bolt covers.

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-21-2012, 09:42 PM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

But they aren't hubcaps. They are called chrome clad wheels.


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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 03:59 AM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

Yeah they aren't hub caps. They aren't replaceable. They are part of the wheel.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-22-2012, 03:18 PM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

OK, ok.

They're chrome-plated plastic "covers" that are glued to the steel rims. Chrome Clad or whatever term GM wants to call it, the recipe is the same: take a plastic cover, chrome "plate" it, then cover the wheel beneath it to add beauty at a lower price than chrome plating a metal wheel.

Still pretty, but easy to damage, hard/impossible to service if/when damaged, less expensive.


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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 03:59 AM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

They are actually glued to aluminum wheels! And while they damage easy if people don't know how to drive, they are much more durable then chrome. They will also never pit like chrome. It is much more expensive to re-chrome pitted wheels then it is to replace a clad one. People come into my shop all the time with Cadillacs and Buick's that are only 2-3 years old and their wheels are peeling like crazy. Then they tell me they think they GM is going to replace them for free under their warranty lol. Nope not going to happen.


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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 05:33 AM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

Even better that they're on aluminum instead of steel to keep the unsprung weight down. Didn't know that - appreciate the improved understanding.

Anyone with chromed metal wheels who gets pits in them does so because they didn't do any maintenance on them. Even in the days of chromed steel bumpers, if you didn't wash or maintain them they'd start to get pits and rust showing, so if they don't do the same to their wheels it ain't GM's fault. And it takes so little time nowadays - a simple spray and walk away - that everyone who wants chrome can keep it looking good for a long time.

So to choose between plastic covers and chromed metal seems to me to be a choice between low maintenance (plastic) and more durable (metal). Not all will choose the same. I tend toward durable choices.


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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 05:43 AM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

Was there a choice of chrome clad wheels or real chromed wheels when you guys bought your Malibus?


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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 03:59 PM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

Question: my wife hit a curb and ruined one on our 2011 LT2 Malibu. Another was apparently damaged by a service department. I bought the car with 19,000 miles on it and didn't notice the back one until I got home. If you may buy the plastic hubcaps, who do you have to go to, to have the old ones taken off and the new ones installed?
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:21 PM
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Re: Refinishing 17" Chrome Clad rims?

Haw1936, You will need to be more spcific on which wheels you have. A picture would be best. If they are actual hubcaps, you can remove them by yourself with a 19mm socket (if they have black lug nut covers). If they are the Chrome clad wheels, they are NOT replaceable by themselves (if they have chrome lug nuts). You will have to replace the whole wheel.


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Last edited by 09LT2; 06-24-2012 at 09:31 PM.
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