CNC Alloy Wheel Customisation / Machining
Here at Rimstyle not only do we have cutting edge tyre fitting equipment, we also have the facility to alter wheel fitments in-house on our Haas CNC machinery. We have always invested heavily in the best equipment as this gives the best possible level of quality for our customers.
Having the capability to CNC machine wheels in-house gives us the flexibility to offer wheel fitments not achievable from off-the-shelf items and also hold a wider array of stock ultimately giving you more choice.
What is CNC Wheel Customisation?
CNC (Computerised Numerical Control) is a term used to describe machines that are essentially a drill or lathe but controlled by computer code rather than manual movements. This allows for an automated process that is far more accurate than any human could ever create, machining alunimium to exact specifications. Essentially all wheels will undergo this process at some stage, normally at the factory as part of the manufacturing stage. But it has become the norm for high-end Alloy Wheel Retailers / Distributors to offer this facility after the manufacturing stage.
There are 3 main attributes on a wheel that will be CNC machined:
Wheel Bolt Holes (PCD)
Generally this will be machined on wheels called "Blanks" that have no bolts holes machined into them at the manufacturing stage. Then the bolt holes can be machined to the correct specification for a desired vehicle application. This allows greater flexibility of stock holding, as 1 blank wheel fitment could cater for thousands of vehicles. Whereas a pre-machined wheel from the factory will have it's limitations of which vehicles it will fit.
Also there is the option to "Repitch" wheels, which is where we alter the pre-drilled bolt holes from one fitment to another. The maximum that this can be altered by is 1.5mm per bolt hole, otherwise there can be complications. So a wheel with a 5x112 PCD can be repitched to 5x110, 5x114.3 or 5x115 easily enough.
Wheel Offset (ET)
The offset controls how a wheel sits within the arch, the lower the value then the wider they sit whereas the higher the value the further into the arch they will sit. An offset can be machined to increase the offset value, but the only way to lower the offset is to fit wheel spacers. A lot of blank wheels come in a low offset and then we can machine the offset up then drill the bolt holes. Some wheels that already have bolt holes can have the offset increased, but by a maximum of 5mm (when possible). For wheels where we can alter the offset there is the facility on the wheel product page to select the offset (within the possible range for the wheel and your vehicle).
Wheel Centre Bore (CB)
The centre bore is a large hole in the back of the wheel on the back-pad (which is the section of the wheel that meets the vehicle hub). This centres the wheel onto the hub but needs to be the correct diameter and depth for this to function correctly. Here at Rimstyle we have the ability to increase the wheel centre bore diameter and depth, but working within the tolerances on the wheel.
In additon, we also have control over the bolt hole depth, bolt hole diameter, back-pad diameter and engraving.
How safe is it?
The process is completely safe and very common. We work within very strict tolerances to ensure the absolute pinnacle of safety so there is no margin for error.
Bear in mind this is the exact process that is carried out to every wheel at the manufacturing stage to some degree, so we are simply changing the stage at which the process happens. It has no detrimental affect on the structure / strength of the wheel and all work is carried out by our fully trained professionals.
How much extra does it cost?
Generally it is £20.00 additional per wheel for us to undertake any machining work. This is to cover the time involved in the process and tool wear and tear. Each wheel needs to be unboxed, machined, cleaned and then reboxed - which can be time consuming on a set of 4 wheels taking longer than tyre fitting. There are certain wheel brands where this is already factored into the pricing and we are upfront with the pricing on our website to there are no nasty surprises!
Do you offer this as a standalone service?
NO - We will only ever CNC machine wheels that we have supplied before they are fitted onto a vehicle. This is a safety policy and a clause in our insurance, so we will never machine wheels after they have been used or we haven't supplied them.