Sometimes, serendipity has a way of bringing things together without a lot of fuss. A friend representing RimBlades Ltd, an English company that makes wheel edge guards for cars, contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in reviewing their product. The trouble is, I don’t own a vehicle that’s worth putting these on and taking photos of. But another friend of mine does and he’d just ordered new wheels for his ride. The timing was perfect.
My friend Rob Stevens, owner of Bluffs Insurance in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, owns a 1965 Dodge Dart GT Convertible. I had done a review of this awesome red convertible a few years ago at TorqueNews.com (read that here). Rob had purchased some new steel wheels for the Dart and just had them mounted with new tires before storing the car away for winter. We dug it out to install these RimBlades on those new wheels before they’d been driven anywhere that might damage them.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how well these would work or how good they’d look. Rob seemed to think they’d be great. After perusing the RimBlades website to watch videos of the installation process, we did some test fitting and then began installing the product. It’s a relatively easy, straightforward process. The test fit is to see which edge of the RimBlade will work best for your application. There is a “slim” and a “deep” edge to fit inside the lip created between the wheel and the tire. RimBlades has another product called Scuffs which is made to fit flat-surface wheels like those found on many sports cars today. For our purposes the Originals with their deep edge going into the wheel lip were perfect.
Installation begins with the cleaning of the wheel surface onto which the RimBlades will adhere. They use the same adhesive used to stick on lead weights for balancing. So surface cleanliness is key. Luckily, the RimBlades come with surface cleaner and preparation packets. We used clean microfiber rags to get the surface dust and bits of grime off, then used the surface cleaner and preparation wipes on each wheel as we installed the RimBlades. One person can install them alone, but it’s probably a bit easier with two as one can apply the blade and the other can follow on to press the product down and make sure it’s fully tucked in. The backing of the RimBlade peels off as you go, so it’s similar to installing door shields or other rubber-type products.
In all, it took about twenty minutes per wheel, give or take, and there was enough product left over to replace one should it be curbed or to install it on a spare wheel if needed. At least, this was the case with the 1965 Dart’s 14-inch wheels. You specify wheel size when you order the kit. The product is self-adhesive, so once it’s in place, it only takes about an hour for it to be solidly installed. That gives plenty of time for touch-up. This is critical if you install them with the wheels on the car, as we did, as the lower end where the tire is bearing weight will not likely tuck in well until you’ve moved the car a bit to change the weight bearing spot.
The finished look is awesome. Installing them in the garage, I’d been a bit concerned about the look, wondering if the colors matched well enough. Once out in the sunlight, though, those worries faded quickly. The red matches Rob’s Dart nearly perfectly and in the sunlight, it really pops. Rob now thinks he’ll need some red Dodge caps for the wheel center to keep the look going. That red 1965 Dart convertible with its chrome accents, polished stainless steel wheels, and those new red edges really looks stylin. Here’s the installation process courtesy of RimBlades:
RimBlades are a very cool product and one that can save you hundreds in wheel repair or replacement. The RimBlades are designed to take the damage and then almost literally fall off the tire when pulled so that they can be replaced. They are low cost enough that replacement is not going to break anyone’s bank. If you have great wheels, these are definitely a must.