Mike's Fix-it tips.

I'm a handy person in the workshop (ex auto mechanic) so I'm always tinkering and fixing something or trying to make something better.

On this page I'll install some wheel-related Fix-it tips with photo-essay.

Index -

1.  Uneven rim joints that cause braking noise.



Uneven rims joint.

When rims are made at the factory, a die extrudes big long lengths of rim-shaped stock.  These lengths are cut to the correct length for the rim being built and then they are rolled into the circular rim shape that we know, and then joined.  The three methods of joining are pinned, sleeved and welded.  I'm not getting into the benfits of one over another - all I'm concerned about here is the quality of the joint.  I'm sure even the "best" joining method can be done badly.

Welded joints are ground smooth after the welding process.  The sleeved and pinned joints lend themselves to mis-matched joints. 

When the pinned or sleeved joint isn't done correctly, the two ends of the extrusion don't match evenly and this will probably result in a noise when the brakes are applied.  The two rims shown below each had one good brake track and one bad one.  Depending on how bad the joint is, we can make it much better with a few simple tools and a small amount of time - all applied with great amounts of care.

The tools we need for this are -

1.  An electric drill.  A Dremel will be fine too.
2.  A small rotary grinding stone.
3.  Electrical tape or masking tape.
4.  A small wooden block and some silicon-carbide paper.  I used 180-grit but other grits will be fine.

Photos -

1.  The joint.  This will cause a noise when braking.
2.  The joint after grinding and sanding.
3.  The tools.  Tape the rim to prevent scratches where they really shouldn't be any.
4.  Grind the joint.  Go easy and carefully.  Check often.  Grind just the lip that sticks up and feather it back maybe 1/2".  Do not "hollow grind" the joint.
5.  The finished job.  There was no braking noise from this rim afterwards.