Wheel Dilemma

Wheel Dilemma

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with the Holidays with much visiting with the family, so the Ferrari has taken a back seat to all the activities. That does not mean however, I haven’t been working on getting work done on it. Here’s what has been happening on the wheels for the past two weeks:

After my visit at �The Panel Shop,� I stopped by the shop that was balancing my tires. I was concerned about the news the owner of the shop told me about how my wheels were a little out of true. I was worried that the shop that had mounted my new tires might have bent the wheels in the process. In our discussions with the second shop, he told me he didn’t use my hub adapter. �WAIT A MINUTE. You DIDN’T use the adapter?!?� I asked the owner. Trying my best not to loose my cool, I asked him why. His ignorance in the correct balancing of wire wheels was obvious even though he worked on British cars, so I tried my best to enlighten him. Once he saw the error in his ways, he admitted that he would have to do all four wheels again. Since it was 4:30 on Friday, I decided to pick them up another day.

Now most of you out there are wondering why I’m even bothering with this shop, but I’m determined to prove that with the right guidance, any competent shop can do some of the work on a Ferrari. Unfortunately, there are some strategies in getting some of this work done. Well see if these concepts work with my wire wheels.

When I first stopped by this shop, I understood that I am perceived as just another customer coming through their door. Work that is overly complicated and needing special care can cause a shop to loose money by taking mechanics off of jobs that are easier to make money for the shop without much difficulty. I have to make the shop feel that this is not a hard job to do, but at the same time, make them realize I need them to pay attention to a few of my special needs. I wanted to stay and wait for my wheels, but most shops will not drop everything they are doing to do your job, especially since they don’t know you, and they aren’t going to make any more money doing your job over the one they are currently working on.

I reluctantly left my wheels at this shop because I felt they had the ability to do the work. This trust was based on a gut instinct, and doesn’t always work, but there really isn’t any other way to go unless you can go to a shop that has been recommended. I left specific instructions about what I needed, hoping he would follow them, but on my return, I found he didn’t!

Luckily, he admitted his mistake, and was willing to do this work again. I tried my best to hide my disappointment because I know getting pissed off at the guy while the work still needed to be done was counter productive. Let’s just hope next time I stop by, the wheels will be done, and done correctly. I’m also hoping that the wobble he noticed in my wheels is from mis-mounting them on his balancing machine, and not from bent rims. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

I returned about a week later to pick up the wheels, and the proprietor said they balanced up fine with my hub adapter. He claimed that there was still a slight wobble in a couple of the wheels, but I would have to see how bad it was when I mounted them on the car.

The new tires are slightly smaller than the ones I first bought, so there is a little more clearance in the wheel wells. I could immediately feel a difference when I turned the wheels and they didn’t rub the inner fender wells. My house is on a gravel/dirt road, so it was perfect for testing the clearances on the ruts, and undulations while moving along. With two people in the car, there was no sign of rubbing. Once on a paved road, I paid close attention to any vibration that might be caused by the newly balanced wheels, and I could not feel anything amiss. Even at 80 miles an hour, everything was smooth. I sure was relieved that everything was O.K.!

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