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I always see big 5 pattern  old Mangel  rims at the swap meet with flaking chrome for cheap , they were off a bug .

Is there a way to strip the chrome  so you can repaint or powder coat them ?

I know if you want to re-chrome you need to cut the centers out and chrome the outer rim  and then the center and weld them back together ,

and will 5 1/2 wide Mangels fit under the rear wheelwells on a pan based IM.

Thanks for your ideas

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I had 5.5" Brazilian Mangels (4 bolt) on my '71 VW pan-based IRS pan CMC with 165/80x15 tires and had good clearance.  I don't recall the offset (suspect 4.5"? - but think the wide 5's are 4").  Sold mine off on Craigslist to VW bug guy

My outdoor male cat often got into the garage and sprayed the wheels causing them to rust and chrome flake off.  I looked stipping them.  Hydrochloric acid and sand/glass blasting were alternatives.  White vinegar will remove loose chrome - so maybe try before sandblasting.  A wire brush on drill might also remove all but most stubborn remaining chrome.

I hadn't heard requirement to separate wheel pieces before rechroming.  Doesn't appear that's how Mangel produced them.  That would really add to rechroming cost which is already high.  I'd stick to repainting. I'd also want the Brazillian vs China Mangels.

Last edited by WOLFGANG

Thanks for your reply , I am sure they  grind off the weld to separate the inner from the outer hoop , the company that does them for most of the 356 Porsche restorers is a couple miles from here ,

The plating goes to the closest spot and would not get into the valley where the center and outer meet ,

Also the proper way to remove the chrome is  to reverse the polarity in the bath ( not sure whats in that bath maybe acid )

The local chrome shop closed down  and that was the only one I have  buddies at .

So hopefully there  is a  DIY way to do it  that I do not know about.

Again Thanks


I have powder coated many of these wheels, all were chemically dipped and then sand blasted.  i have not yet re-chromed any of them simply because of how hard they are to cut the centers out, and then replace 100% true.  I've widened and changed the offset of enough wheels to know I like to avoid that when I can...

I cannot comment on the fit of stock wide fives on an older IM pan, but I can tell you that a standard VW IRS rear needs 1" narrowed trailing arms to run 5.5" wide fives.  They have a 25mm offset and stock IRS with 5.5 calls for 50mm offset.  You can run stock 4.5" wide fives in the rear without modification.

Those were the wheels that came originally in my car and for over 16 years I busted my ass protecting them from rust pitting; I cleaned them all the time and kept waxing them. My local chrome guy told me that Windex is what chromed items like the most to clean and protect, FWIW. Anyhow, the wax worked for me; they were 5.5" and they fit fine on my swingaxle car. A friend has a CMC with IRS and the same 5.5's and it fits within the rear wheel wells but they are close. Can't recall what his tire size was but it was bigger than 165-15's.

After 16 years I decided to go with silver powder coated 4.5's so I sold the originals and found a great deal back in 2020 (pre Coof) at $41.00 a rim at LJ Air-Cooled Engines. I am thinking they are Chinese but solidly built with very nice powdercoating and solid hubcap clips.

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