It happens the minute you’re not paying attention or someone else drives your car. It doesn’t matter how, but some way or another, your wheels have been damaged. Did the lip get a bend in it? Did you chew your lip up something awful? Before you start shopping for a new set of wheels (ever try buying just ONE aftermarket wheel? Unless it’s currently in production and for sale, it can sometimes be impossible to buy just one of the right kind of wheel in the correct finish to match the other three), you may want to consider calling up a reputable wheel refinisher. Recently we here at ModBargains had the pleasure of calling Onsite Wheel Reconditioning, a reputable mobile repairer out of Westminster, CA. When it comes to your wheels, you want someone who is an artist in his profession to get your wheels looking their best – and Owner/Operator Son Tran is among the best.


Charles from our Web Team had the Yoshihara wheels on his FR-S refinished, getting too close to a curb nicked up the outer lip of his black finish wheels, so the scratch really stood out against the black. Son started cleaning up the wheel and went to work.

wheel-refinishing-004Just a short time later, we came outside and found that like magic, the wheel looked like nothing had even happened. We had to know how Son Tran had basically worked black magic to fix the wheels, so we sat down and watched as Son got to business on Modification Expert Michael’s Volk TE37 wheels on his Evo X. Take a look at the scratched up outer lip.



Next Son got out the grinding wheel and started evening out the chips that created the scuff.



With a few skillful passes of the grinder, the lip smoothed out. If there are really deep nicks in the metal, Son will use an aluminum filler to help correct for any lost material.


Then he switched over to a finer buffer for a paintably smooth surface.



We were pretty impressed already, but then things got even crazier as Son got out the air brush to perfectly match the color of the wheel. Check out the process as he repairs the wheels for Mod Expert Alan’s lady’s very-modded Mini Cooper S.

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As you can see, his airbrush work matches the white of the John Cooper Works wheels. Check out how it looks after Son Tran worked his magic.



Even with a polished lip, Son Tran was able to fix the blemishes and get our wheels collectively looking like new just in time for show season.

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So, what’s out point? Before you shell out a grand, have your damaged or blemished wheels looked at by a reputable local refinisher- be sure to check their Yelp reviews and steer clear of those with less than stellar track records.

You might be surprised just what an artisan refinisher like Son Tran can do for your wheels.

It’s certainly an easier and less expensive alternative to having to track down a single wheel from a style that’s no longer in production.

Story & Photos by Nicholas Gregson