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Can I fill the fake rivet holes of my wheels?

Old 4/20/19, 11:16 AM
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Can I fill the fake rivet holes of my wheels?

Hey, I just bought a set of used silver wheels for my 2012 V6.

I am going to paint them graphite, since they need some refinish and I think they will look better in that color. The problem is that they come with those fake rivets that I've always hated, and also, some of them are already missing.

Since I'm going through all the process of stripping and sanding the wheels, I was wondering if I could remove all the fake rivets and fill the holes with metal epoxy putty. Has anybody done it? I've searched through a lot of forum posts and a lot of people suggest filling the holes when they don't like them, but haven't found examples of anybody actually doing it.

Any comments or suggestions?
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Old 4/20/19, 12:57 PM
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Filling them in with anything risks the material letting go of the hole it's in. So it's imperative you get it right or it's not worth the effort.

You can ostensibly just 'shove' some compatible material in there. Something that will hold and expand/contract like the metal so it 'moves as one'. Metal epoxy putty may work, I don't know. But if it's made to fill large holes and have the same/similar expansion... sure?

You could also weld some material in there... But probably that might be a bit much. You can also maybe use JBWeld in them holes, but you'll have way fun making it smooth...

The only problem with doing this stuff, however you do it, is the stresses on the filler in the hole. The wheel will bend, stretch, contract, flex, and all sorts of things. Think of it as a champagne cork. It's tight, and it won't necessarily come out, but if you shake the bottle, or you start to twist on it, shove on it, or even knock it on a table, or with a sword(!), what's happening is that the stresses being induced by the forces/circumstances is going to cause the bottle is going to eject that cork, and it's going flying. Essentially, this is what you've gotta be concerned with, to a certain extent, when you're filling in holes like this. Scratches in paint, dents in metal, holes in whatever... stresses of temperature and mechanical flex is going to be the issue, not the filling itself. You can fill it with toothpaste and it'd 'work', just it'd also fail pretty quick.

Which is why I point back to the welding. That won't fail. Unless you mess up the wheel itself and IT fails, but...

So, with all that caveat stuff outta the way... fill it with the metal epoxy and send it, full pull. It'll be fine, but now you know things(tm).
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