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polishing aluminum rims by yellow peril
Started on: 02-12-2017 11:36 AM
Replies: 11 (483 views)
Last post by: 1984whitesc on 02-19-2017 01:11 AM
yellow peril
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Report this Post02-12-2017 11:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for yellow perilClick Here to Email yellow perilSend a Private Message to yellow perilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
my car has the factory original 14" aluminum rims. they are in a pretty sorry state. I like the wheels and would like to clean them up. I don't want to take the tires off. I've seen you tubers use wire wheels on angle grinders and then polish them and others say don't use the wire wheels they will leave wire stuck in the rim and it will rust. some use clear coat after, others don't. whats the best way to spiff these up?
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f85gtron
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Report this Post02-12-2017 12:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for f85gtronSend a Private Message to f85gtronEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm watching because I'm in the same boat.
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IMSA GT
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Report this Post02-12-2017 12:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you just want to get the wheels back to a nice clean aluminum state, use 3M Scotchbrite pads. The part number is 7447 and they are available on Ebay. It just takes some time and labor and you will be back down to raw aluminum that has a nice satin finish. If you want to clearcoat them afterwards for protection, that is up to you so that they don't oxidize in the future.

The nice thing about the 3M pads is that they were designed not to scratch due to their weave pattern. They simple clean off whatever is on the surface. They are washable and reusable and resist most cleaning agents.

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David Hambleton
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Report this Post02-12-2017 09:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've used this method for the 14" wheels as well to do the entire machined face.
First gear at idle speed. The valves obviously have to be out or avoided (risky).
I didn't put clear coat on so they can be cleaned and/or polished as desired.

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yellow peril
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Report this Post02-13-2017 02:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for yellow perilClick Here to Email yellow perilSend a Private Message to yellow perilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
haha wow, don't think I'll give that a try. I have the " hi tech turbo aluminium wheel" too many holes for my fingers to get caught on.
I like the 3m pads. in the service we called those sugee pads (sp?) I have many hours on those cleaning hulls.

[This message has been edited by yellow peril (edited 02-13-2017).]

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rogergarrison
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Report this Post02-13-2017 04:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
FIRST !!!! are they bare aluminium or clearcoated ? If theyre clearcoated you HAVE to remove the clear first. I use Aircraft Paint Stripper. DONT get it on the black painted part or it will take that off too. I mask them carefully with 'aluminum (metal) duct tape because stripper will not soak thru it. You can buy a roll at a hardware store. Overlap it slightly onto the aluminum part of the wheel so your sure it wont get on the black painted part. Use BRUSH on stripper...NOT spray. You can use one of those wire 'toothbrushes' by hand to work the stripper in. DONT use a power wire wheel. Wipe down thoughly with rags and a bucket of soapy water and lots of power rinsing.

Use maroon 3M scotchbrites. Other brands that look the same are worthless. Use them back and forth parallel to the edges...DONT go across the rim...they will scratch. If theyre not bad, you can also use heavy duty rubbing compound followed by aluminum polish. Really bad wheels I leave them mounted on a drive wheel with the car on jack stands and spin them in gear. I start with #80 grit paper and work it down to #220 or #180. Then I use the scotchbrite and polish. If you want the more 'machined' look stop at the scotchbrite and dont polish. Like mentioned above, I never reclear them after going to all the trouble to fix them. You just clean them more often. If you clear them, you have to strip them again to redo them.
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lorennerol
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Report this Post02-13-2017 05:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I sent my GT wheels to an alloy wheel shop. After talking to several people that spent hours and hours per wheel polishing them, $65 per seemed cheap. I think they came out great.

[This message has been edited by lorennerol (edited 02-13-2017).]

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David Hambleton
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Report this Post02-13-2017 08:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by yellow peril:

haha wow, don't think I'll give that a try. I have the " hi tech turbo aluminium wheel" too many holes for my fingers to get caught on.





Another 92 HP engine lathe set-up; sold the wheels for $200. No fingers were harmed during the operation.





[This message has been edited by David Hambleton (edited 02-13-2017).]

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yellow peril
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Report this Post02-14-2017 02:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for yellow perilClick Here to Email yellow perilSend a Private Message to yellow perilEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
the dirty one is very close to what I have to deal with. maybe I should reconsider the lathe treatment

those wheels are gorgeous by the way. nice job

[This message has been edited by yellow peril (edited 02-14-2017).]

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David Hambleton
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Report this Post02-14-2017 06:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks! They were all corroded like that under the clear coat. I also turned the clear coat off 20+(?) years ago from my '84 SE and never re-coated them.

[This message has been edited by David Hambleton (edited 02-14-2017).]

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lou_dias
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Report this Post02-14-2017 08:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lou_diasClick Here to Email lou_diasSend a Private Message to lou_diasEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by David Hambleton:

I've used this method for the 14" wheels as well to do the entire machined face.
First gear at idle speed. The valves obviously have to be out or avoided (risky).
I didn't put clear coat on so they can be cleaned and/or polished as desired.


Freakin genius! I <3 it!
I will try this then hit it with some plasti-dip paint!

[This message has been edited by lou_dias (edited 02-14-2017).]

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1984whitesc
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Report this Post02-19-2017 01:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1984whitescClick Here to visit 1984whitesc's HomePageClick Here to Email 1984whitescSend a Private Message to 1984whitescEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
What I had done with mine was use some air craft paint stripper to remove the old paint/clear coat. Then I had to file down the curb rash. With that all done I used a orbital sander with progressing counts of sand paper. The last was 2000 grit sand paper and mothers mag aluminum polish. I tapped off the fins and painted them with charcoal metalic paint. They turned out beautifully.

It isnt by any means an easy job, but results speak for themselves. They are now wrapped with white lettered P215/60/R14 BF Goodrich Raidal T/As

[This message has been edited by 1984whitesc (edited 02-19-2017).]

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