But what about the wheels? We wanted a new look, but like you we’re on a budget. Sure, some big, polished billet aftermarket rims would be sweet, but we A) couldn’t afford them and, B) were pretty sure that the way we use our truck wasn’t compatible with something like this.

We looked at aftermarket wheels in our price range (read that as “inexpensive”) and weren’t impressed. We didn’t recognize any of their names, at least not on the very low end of the market, and we didn’t have confidence in putting them on our truck.

So what to do? Luckily, about six months ago at the March Meet at Auto Club Famoso raceway, we happened to set up our vendor booth next to a company called CalChrome. They had a lot of wheels on display in all types of finishes and colors. Hmm, what’s this, we wondered as we wandered over to their booth.

It turns out that CalChrome specializes in refinishing wheels. They talked about how they take incoming wheels, repair them to like new condition, use a proprietary method to strip off the existing finish without damaging any surfaces (for example bead blasting can round off square edges and ruin a wheel), then they refinish the wheels in just about any finish or color you can dream up.

The best part of the whole deal for us is that we would start with wheels we had already paid for, the OEM rims on our truck. What better way to make sure that our wheels were perfectly suited to our vehicle than to start with the ones that the factory engineers designed? And with CalChrome we could give our truck a whole new look as well.

CalChrome is located in Valencia, California, and we got to tour the facility, meet their staff and engineers and see their process for ourselves. Instead of going with a traditional chrome or black finish, we decided to go with a more custom job and selected their new Evo Grey Fusion Powder Coat, finished with a high gloss clear coat. Let’s be clear here, we’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill, ordinary powder coating process that leaves an underwhelming impression of, meh.

Fusion Coat is a revolutionary advancement in powder coating technology. CalChrome’s proprietary process is a combination of eco-friendly clean pretreatment, enhanced application methods, and Pulse Power Technology. We got to see side-by-side examples of ordinary refinished powder coated wheels and CalChrome Fusion Coat. The difference is night and day.

CalChrome has every finish and color you can desire, as shown on the color wheel on their website. We chose New Evo Grey with a High Gloss Clear Coat.

We dropped our truck off at CalChrome’s facility in Valencia, CA. Beyond their finish work, they have the ability to dismount tires, re-mount, Road Force Balance, and nitrogen fill upon completion of their Fusion Coat process. Here’s how the truck looked before they started. For convenience, they also had the ability to securely store our truck at their facility.

If you don’t live near CalChrome, no worries, you can ship your wheels to them and get the same service and treatment that we did. CalChrome will be glad to assist you with details when ordering.