Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Well, I got gypped and it's taken me over a year to realize it.  Yeah, yeah.  You will remember that I picked up a set of four factory aluminum wheels off of Ebay right before I purchased the TA?  Well, the 16x8 wheels used from 1984 to 1992 require specific off-sets, that is, you have front wheels and rear wheels and they aren't interchangeable.  I knew this.  When I purchased the wheels, I knew this, but part of me assumed that I had bought / been sent a full set of wheels so I only gave them a cursory glance to make sure they weren't dented / dinged up then I threw them into storage and forgot about them for over a year.  When I was getting ready to have the wheels I bought on Ebay stripped and powder coated, I had a dark little thought go through my mind ... I saw that the inside was stamped "REAR" and I said to myself ... "do I have two front and two rear wheels or a mixture?"  I turned the wheels over and ... sigh ... CRAP.  Each wheel had "REAR" stamped into the backside of the wheel flange.  I had purchased four rear wheels which meant that somewhere, out there, someone had also purchased four front wheels (and were probably thinking CRAP as well when they discovered their predicament).  Maybe the seller had two sets and got them mixed up, maybe the seller was sold these wheels and didn't know that they were a mismatched set.  Or maybe the seller did know...  let the buyer beware.

Luckily, I had made an Internet contact with a man who had a complete set (two front, two rear) wheels, 16x8, in the correct year pattern and the wheels were also already the way that I wanted them (aluminum finish with black paint in the vents).  Richard was kind enough to ship them to me and problem is solved.  Maybe I'll get a thick piece of glass and use the four rear wheels to make some art deco coffee table...  Important note to all newbies upgrading from 15x7 to 16x8 (or larger) and using the factory wheels to do so.  Make sure you get a complete set (2 will be marked "FRONT" and two will be marked "REAR", stamped in the aluminum on the back of the rim).  It's my fault, really.  I got the wheels in and I assumed (uh-oh) that the seller knew what he was shipping me.  I don't know if it was malicious or accidental but the end result is the same; I have two too many rear wheels and two too few front wheels.  No problem, it happened and like always, I landed on my feet and got what I wanted to begin with.  All in all, even given the mistake with the first set of wheels and the cost / shipping of the second set, I still managed to get a complete set of near mint wheels in the correct color for less than the cost of a single replacement or refurbished wheel from some companies or even the cost to powdercoat the beige colored wheels to the more natural aluminum finish with black painted vents.  Lesson learned.  Lesson passed on.  Recovery complete (with flying colors).

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