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Old 07-16-2002, 12:26 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 16
450sl Chrome Wheel Question

I have a 78' 450sl with 14" silver-painted alloy wheels. I am looking to upgrade its appearance with 14" chrome wheels. Want to keep 14's as that way I don't have to buy new tires, just mount & balance.

I can buy 4 new wheels for about $1K ($240 per) from Adsit, but before I invest the $, have a few questions:

Can I have my exisiting alloys "chromed" at a local plating shop? What would expected cost be versus buying new? Anbody know whether this can be done? If so, what are pitfalls?

Anyone know of any suppliers of "used" chromes, regional or local to Las Vegas? Shipping on 4 rims adds up quickly (I have been told shipping is about $100 for the 4 rims).

Thanks for any insight.


78 450sl
72 250
63 220sb
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Old 07-16-2002, 12:38 AM
hill's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northern Calif Sacramento
Posts: 736
There are a few mentioned in this thread.

Need help refinishing factory rims!
Happy Benzing
Darryl, Hill
2005 SL55 AMG Kleemanized
1984 500 SEC
1967 W113 California Coupe
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Old 07-16-2002, 09:33 AM
Posts: n/a
You might want to research chrome wheels a bit more. I've heard some bad stories about them. Like chrome peeling off the bead causing blowouts. And chrome plating actually weakens the wheel. I considered them for my car, but fiqured if Mercedes and the german government don't endorse them, that's good enough for me. I do have a weakness for 15" chrome wires though.

'79 450SL
77,000 miles
" I'm goin' drivin' "
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Old 07-16-2002, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
I too have heard all of the horror stories...but I have yet to experience any of them in the 20+ years I've swapped "chromies".

As far as flaking and peeling...that is indicative of a low-quality chroming job. The proper sequence is to have the wheel electostatically charged and then dumped into an acid bath for cleaning, followed by a nickel bath, and then one or more "chromium bath" stages.

A quality chrome rim can even take some abuse such as curb scrapes and wheel weight damage without peeling.

All three of my MBs have chrome rims...the ML and SL have OEM wheels and are spotless and defect free to date. The 300E was had a set of aftermarket 8-hole chrome wheels purchased by the PO. The chrome quality is as good as the OEM wheels, but they have battle scars from previous tire jockeys that weren't too careful when removing and installing wheel weights...'s much easier to remove brake dust grime too!

$1K is the going rate for a good quality set of chrome rims. You will probably pay as much to get your own chromed as well. There are many places that will do a rim exchange for chrome counterparts, and I found the prices to be nearly $250/rim.

Eat the $100 and get the rims from don't want to scrimp on MB rims. I can guarantee that any cheaper options you may find (short of someone selling some used ones) will be a dismal experience!
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 07-18-2002, 07:57 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Summerville, SC
Posts: 66
I was looking through the back of my Road & Track last night and saw an ad from where they will send you the chromed wheels and you send them back the cores after you receive their wheels.

Might be worth a look.
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