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Magnesium Wheels

sandmanmd

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Olympia, WA
Corvette
2000 Light Pewter Metallic Coupe
I have a 2000 Pewter Coupe with the magnesium wheel option. The time has come to paint them, and I was wondering if anyone has had the pleasure of doing this. How'd it turn out? I have also been advised that having them powder coated would be a better option (stronger finish). Anyone done this and what was your experience?

I like the wheels and would prefer to refurbish them than just get a new set.

Thanks for your input
 

falco

Member
Joined
May 20, 2006
Messages
12
Location
chandler,az
Corvette
2007 machine silver Z51 coupe
fyi I know of a tire shop in carlsbad, calif. that has a couple sets of brand new magnesium wheels. He wants about a grand for them but you might be able to talk him down. Let me know and I will get you his #.
 

sandmanmd

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Olympia, WA
Corvette
2000 Light Pewter Metallic Coupe
fyi I know of a tire shop in carlsbad, calif. that has a couple sets of brand new magnesium wheels. He wants about a grand for them but you might be able to talk him down. Let me know and I will get you his #.

Thanks, but I went that route (I purchased a set on eBay). They are nice, but the seller had them shot with paint, and the overspray inside the wheels leaves a rough surface which I'm afraid will collect untold amounts of brake dust. So I'm hoping to have both sets done, with the possibility of selling one set.
 
B

born2saw

Guest
Good luck and let me know if you find a good solution. My 2000 Magnetic Red Convertible has the Mag wheels. Not too many sold & I just love how they look. Mine are in great shape, but have just 2 small scratches. I can see having to refurbish them some time (hopefully a long time) in the future. Have you used the GM touch-up paint for the Mag wheels?

BTW does anyone know how much lighter the magnesium wheels are than the aluminium?
 

sandmanmd

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Olympia, WA
Corvette
2000 Light Pewter Metallic Coupe
Good luck and let me know if you find a good solution. My 2000 Magnetic Red Convertible has the Mag wheels. Not too many sold & I just love how they look. Mine are in great shape, but have just 2 small scratches. I can see having to refurbish them some time (hopefully a long time) in the future. Have you used the GM touch-up paint for the Mag wheels?

BTW does anyone know how much lighter the magnesium wheels are than the aluminium?


I used the touch-up paint when it became available and it did a passable job, just too many boo-boos now to keep touching up. It'll look like the guy who kept shaving with a dull blade (all those bloody toilet paper "band-aids"). Just don't let the stuff get too old...if you buy it now and touch-up in more than a year or so the color goes way off.
 
K

kiwilogan

Guest
Want to warn you !!!

[ I have a 1999 C5 Convertible with 90,000 carefull, gentle miles on the clock. My problem is the GM Magnesium rear rims are cracked(4 on one, 3 on other) in the inner flange, and 1 crack has extended 2-3"" into the centre of the rim allowing the air to escape.
I have tried calling GM customer Service (Canada) and they more or less told me to go-fly-a-kite, the vehicle is 7 years old.
Is this a characteristic of these rims, as I have to replace them, for safety's sake? I don't know !!
 

sandmanmd

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Olympia, WA
Corvette
2000 Light Pewter Metallic Coupe
Thanks

[ I have a 1999 C5 Convertible with 90,000 carefull, gentle miles on the clock. My problem is the GM Magnesium rear rims are cracked(4 on one, 3 on other) in the inner flange, and 1 crack has extended 2-3"" into the centre of the rim allowing the air to escape.
I have tried calling GM customer Service (Canada) and they more or less told me to go-fly-a-kite, the vehicle is 7 years old.
Is this a characteristic of these rims, as I have to replace them, for safety's sake? I don't know !!

Thanks for the warning. I haven't heard of this as a widespread issue, but then I don't know how many Vettes were sold with this option. It sounds like many of these come onto the market after people decide to go with aluminum wheels (for whatever reason). The cost quoted me to do the powder coating is substantially less than new rims of just about any variety, but it would be money down the drain if it led to the problem you described.
 

sandmanmd

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Olympia, WA
Corvette
2000 Light Pewter Metallic Coupe
Hmmm

The local powder coater here said he can't do magnesium wheels because they would get too hot!

The guy I spoke with specifically told me they have experience doing this with magnesium wheels, but I would definitely confirm it with them before jumping in.
 

Pac-man

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
462
Location
Barrington, R.I.
Corvette
1999 triple black vert.
That's a great question, what is the weight diifference?
 

VETTEX2

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2001
Messages
449
Location
USA
Corvette
86 & 99 Z51's
just want to add that I had a spoke crack too
 

gizvette

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Messages
11
Location
NH
Corvette
1998 Fairway Green convertible
Mine are being powder coated this week. One is already done and looks great. I went with a lighter champagne color. There isn't a problem with heat on these, as long as the coater knows they're magnesium.

According to my guy, these wheels were originally painted (from the factory, and why they chip so easily) and they used a clay-type of primer that is quite hard. My coater said it takes about 5-6 hours just to strip one complete rim, so your cost may go up from a "normal" strip and coat scenario. It's costing me $1000 for 4 18" rims, trued, stripped, coated in color and clear coated. Definitely make sure a wheel guy checks the trueness before getting them done. A couple of mine were slightly out, so they corrected that.

Two of my wheels each had a small crack (about an inch long) on the barrels that were welded up just fine prior to truing.
 

sandmanmd

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2003
Messages
15
Location
Olympia, WA
Corvette
2000 Light Pewter Metallic Coupe
Mine are being powder coated this week. One is already done and looks great. I went with a lighter champagne color. There isn't a problem with heat on these, as long as the coater knows they're magnesium.

According to my guy, these wheels were originally painted (from the factory, and why they chip so easily) and they used a clay-type of primer that is quite hard. My coater said it takes about 5-6 hours just to strip one complete rim, so your cost may go up from a "normal" strip and coat scenario. It's costing me $1000 for 4 18" rims, trued, stripped, coated in color and clear coated. Definitely make sure a wheel guy checks the trueness before getting them done. A couple of mine were slightly out, so they corrected that.

Two of my wheels each had a small crack (about an inch long) on the barrels that were welded up just fine prior to truing.

Thanks for the reply. This is one of those issues that I've put on the back burner. I'm glad to know that there's a realistic solution. I haven't considered these other potential complications, so I'm glad to know I need to ask about them. Right now I'm riding on a refurbed set I got on eBay....but of course they've also got some curb rash that I'd like to repair. They look great, but they're a little "cosmetically sensitive".
 

Jistari

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
254
Location
New York
Corvette
2001 Black on Black A4 Coupe
I always thought they were the lightest wheel for the C5 (of the stock or repro group) but it turns out they are about a half a pound heavier than the aluminum thinspokes. (hmmm thought magnesium was lighter then alloy/aluminum? - Page 2 - Corvette Forum ) Magnesium is lighter, but the mag wheels have more material in them by necessity due to the characteristics of the alloy vs. the aluminum alloy.

I was looking for a set for a long time and was thinking about getting them polished :)



as I like the chrome look (car is black).

What changed my mind was that they do tend to crack, what I may wind up doing is having a stock set of thinspokes stripped, trued and chromed whenever I get around to replacing the crappy repor's that were on the car when I got it.

Just wanted to show that polished picture for the guys that want to stay with their Mag wheels as an option.
 

Paul Higg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,195
Location
Georgia
Corvette
2007 Monterey Red
I just bought an 04 and it has the 5 spoke wheels. They look like magnesium, are not chrome, and are in perfect shape—from the outside. I haven’t taken the wheels off yet to look at the inside spokes for cracks. Glad I read this thread.

My question is how do I know for sure if they are magnesium or aluminum?

And, they are not polished.

Did GM send them out with two options? Chrome and magnesium?

And if they are chrome what metal is it?

They look exactly like the photo on the right above.

Thanks.

Paul
 

gizvette

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Messages
11
Location
NH
Corvette
1998 Fairway Green convertible
Paul, the magnesiums will have "Italy" cast into one of the spokes on the back side. Hopefully yours are not uncoated, as in the right side picture, as magnesium will corrode fairly quickly if unprotected. Even if they are polished out like the left side photo, they still need to be clear coated to protect them from the elements. :beer

If they are chrome plated, then they're not magnesium. If they are the stock wheel that came on your '04, then the spokes are thinner than the mags, and are aluminum.
 

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,350
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
Paul, yours, from the pictures I've seen of your car, appear to be the 'thin spokes' the standard wheel (in polished form) for the 2000 and newer C5s. The base wheel was the 'thin spoke' in painted form. I can't remember what the RPO # was for the magnesium wheels, I'll have to look.

OK, I found the RPO code for Magnesium wheels N73 For high polished the code is QF5
Look on your code sheet and look for this number, if there, your car came with the Magnesium wheels.
 

Paul Higg

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,195
Location
Georgia
Corvette
2007 Monterey Red
Wow! Thanks fellas. I never knew this and I appreciate it.

They are clear coated and look to be in perfect condition. They have a nice clear coat.

Tom, where do I find the code sheet?

I appreciate it.

Paul
 

Jistari

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
254
Location
New York
Corvette
2001 Black on Black A4 Coupe
GM didnt put any chrome wheels on the C5. If yours look like chrome, they would have to either be repros or polished aluminum.
The Mag's from GM look more "brown", they are painted. The other oem wheels had a different center cap. Look at the center cap on teh wheels you have (not the logo, just the cap) if it looks like the one above they are mags and someone would have had to strip them before you got them, or if the center cap isnt round (reaches out to partially surround the lugs, so it looks more like a star) they would have to be either painted or polished aluminum.


Edit : well so much for answering a question when you see the post rather than reading the rest of the thread :rotfl
The guys above already answered, and probably more clearly also :upthumbs
 

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,350
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
Paul, the RPO codes should be on the glove box door (inside obviously) or the console lid....I don't remember which.
 

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