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My '89 S3 has god-awful plastic wheel covers on it.

The story I was given by the PO was that the original owner (old lady in PA) hated the factory steel phone dials and "sombreros". She ditched the sombreros and got hub caps.

Needless to say after a quarter century with hub caps the phone dials are rusty. (See Pic)

I checked with the lug nuts and they are indeed the kind that have a gap for the sombreros! (See Pic) Yea!

Now I just need to figure out 1. how to get the phone dials looking new again and 2. acquire some proper sombreros.

Anyone have any experience in renovating these steel wheels? I think they may need more than just a good painting.

Anyone know where I can acquire 4 sombreros?

M5
 

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These are the only Phonedial wheels that I know of that would have been on your '89

135_3543.jpg

I don't recall seeing "sombreros" on the S3 model.

Vin
 

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Hi Jeff,

I stand somewhat corrected!

I just looked at the dealer brochure.

The Graduate came with the rims you show and sombreros.

The Veloce came with "Star" rims.

The Quadrifoglio came with the Phonedial I show above.

If keeping those rims, I would also get them powder coated as mentioned.

There are a few threads on the BB talking about refinishing rims.

Good luck,

Vin
 

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Vin is correct. You have Graduate steel wheels. Any place which sand blasts or media blasts can get your wheels ready for repaint. Best if you dismounted the tires but not absolutely necessary. You can make a thin plywood mask about 1/3 of wheel diameter with circular cut which will fit up against the outside of the rim - to protect the tires during the blasting. The person doing the blasting will have to move the mask around the wheel as he does the blasting. Photos below show referbishment of a Graduate wheel I bought to use as a spare on my 88 Quad. The Quad came with true 15 inch Phonedial wheels which I sold off because they were not that attractive and very heavy. Wheels and tires are unsprung weight and the more unsprung weight you have the worse the ride over uneven road surfaces. I replaced the phone dials with 14 inch Superlites, but only bought 4, so I needed a 14 inch Alfa spare and the Graduate wheel fit the need.

Photos below show the referbished Graduate wheel after sand blasting and repainting with primer and "chrome" paint. Also the Superlite wheels which replaced Phonedials.

Robert
 

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HubCaps

In 1988/89 maybe other years the Graduate models came with full size hub caps. They sort of looked like phone dials, painted chrome which came off if you washed them. You see them on ebay once in a while. Earlier Grad models 1986/? had the sombreros and sometimes trim rings.
 

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