I have an old van (Toyota HIace 1990) and the rims are getting rather rusty. With regard to safety, how careful should I be with regard to rust? Can I assume that it takes a quite lot for rust to actually damage the rim so that it is no longer safe to drive?
there are several things to ***how long has it been since you have removed the rims from the van???? are the lug nuts free to turn when loosened..you can remove them.. tires can stay.. be sure that there are valve stem caps on the stems, wash them with soap and water with a strong brush on front and back... getting rid of any crud... then if you have a quarter car wash.. pressure wash them.. when dry.. you can coat them with some por15 spray... this should stop the rust.. leaving them black.. you can then paint them silver when the por15 dries.. http://www.por15.com/
the por15 spray and several other brands of similar products are available in an amazing number of auto parts and auto paint stores..you might want to when you are reinstalling the wheels on the van...use some spark plug antiseize packets from the parts store to lube the wheel stud threads.. and also the centering hole of the wheel.. to stop it from rusting the center of the wheel to the hub making it really hard to get off next time..where i live here in so cal... i have run into a bunch of cars with rust problems.. caused by car washes rusting the center of the wheel to the hub.. and the rotor to the hub.. i have taken to keeping a spray can of high heat exhaust header paint.. and giving the hub a light coating.. the inside of the rotor center a spray.... the outside of the rotor where the studs stick through... it may be a moot point for your car.. but i thought i would share the knowledge.. .