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Aluminium Rims want to shine...

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by fitchik, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. fitchik

    fitchik

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    I would like to polish up my rims. How much elbow grease is needed, and what is a good product to use?

    Petra
     
  2. GetsUThere

    GetsUThere

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    What kind of wheels do you have, how bad are they, and do they have a clear coat or not? If they're cleared, you shouldn't use any of the regular aluminum wheel cleaners on them. And are you talking brake dust and dirt or have they actually corroded?
     
  3. scottm

    scottm

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    The original, aluminum wheels on my wife's 80 are pitting in the painted areas between the spokes, and it's beginning to spread into the polished area. I got one response on this in the 80 section, it sounds like about $125 to have them refinished at some place near Chicago. I see decent alloy wheels at Tire Rack for $135, they're about an hour south of me. eBay has OEM wheels sometimes, but I question the quality, and shipping is $$$.

    Another option is to strip, polish, and paint them locally. I like the CNC lathe finish, I have a lathe available but not CNC and I don't have the 3D data to follow the surface anyway. Spinning them on the truck while polishing is possible. I'm considering sandblasting then polishing with a wheel, then clear-coat, then painting between the webs. Sounds like a lot of work and some expense. At work I send a lot of aluminum to black anodize, sometimes color anodize or Teflon anodize, but not clear anodize. I'll look into clear anodize this week, it'd be the toughest possible coating, but may be fairly dull due to the etching process and crystaline surface. I'm not sure what the original clear coat is, have to look into that as well.
     
  4. fitchik

    fitchik

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    I am not certain if they are a clear coat as I only had a quick glance. At the expense of purchasing new rims, I was thinking that giving them a polish would be fine for now. Will get more info regarding the coat.
     
  5. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    i have a powder coating place that will strip and clear coat the aluminum rims for $60 CND each...
    i am thinking of giving a set i have here a try and see how they turn out..
    cheers
     
  6. 74fj40

    74fj40

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    chip foose says to use his mothers aluminum polishing kit with drill attachment!!
     
  7. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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    I know Charla went through this with the BJ42 she and Bruce rebuilt last year for a friend. I thought there was a thread on this, as she posted the same question and there was a long discussion. Can't find it now though. Maybe send her a PM and see what she says...

    About 1/2 way down the page on this link are the pictures of the before and after with her wheels. http://www.rmlca.ab.ca/charla/joe/index.html

    gb
     
  8. fitchik

    fitchik

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    Thanks gb, will do... :cool:
     
  9. GetsUThere

    GetsUThere

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    In general if they have clearcoat on them, dont put anything stronger on it than you would on a painted body panel. If it has no clearcoat, any decent wheel cleaner/polish will probably work.
     
  10. scottm

    scottm

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    I get a lot of machine parts powdercoated, will consider that too. So powdercoat doesn't need primer? Usually I get aluminum primed, with a green, etching primer. I'll strip them myself, since I need to polish out the pits.
     
  11. brownbear

    brownbear Mod in Hibernation Moderator

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    theres a product called alumaprep(acid etch) it will clean the aluminum spottless. this is needed before painting, or it wont stick. Plus you need to put on alodine(clear kind) after to preven corrosion. after that you are able to clear coat. polish or buffing will only last a short while.

    I suggest, remove the clear coat with an aluminum paint stripper(rubber off first) then use a wire brush(brass only) with alumaprep to clean. also fine scotch brite works, wash till water sheets off, no beads. use alodine to conversion coat it. Then dry and spray with an automotive clear coat. voila another 10 plus years of shinny rims.

    the way I describe is for refinishing them to factory. for ultra polished aluminum that will take mucho work. skip the clear coat and buff and wax them till they are a mirror. but you will have to do this at least once a month. at least clear coat the back for corrosion resistance.
     
  12. crushers

    crushers post ho

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    these guys do all the work, i just drop them off and pick them back up... now i have had tons of powder coating done but never alloy rims so this will be a test run...
    cheers
     
  13. scottm

    scottm

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    Let me know how it turns out. And happy 2000!
     
  14. lone gunman

    lone gunman

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    most aluminum wheels have a clear coat applied at the factory, to remove it find a product made by mar-hyde its called tal-strip aircraft coating remover. it designed to strip anything aluminum, works great. spray on wait 10 to 15 minutes and hose off, use a tooth brush in the nooks and crannies then just use a little mothers aluminum polish and they will shine nice and if you want a mirror finish get out the buffer and have at it. i did my wheels about a year ago this way. they look just like the modulars in your pic. a buddy of mine at les swhab told me about it, he charges about $25.00 a wheel to strip and buff them out.
     
  15. expat

    expat

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    Hey Petra,

    You know that those are factory rims right? Mine are just like it. I halfheartedly tried a bit of polish and couldn't make 'em shine. Although they're really shiney when wet. I think they're clearcoated. Let me know what works for you.
     
  16. fitchik

    fitchik

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  17. fitchik

    fitchik

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    Just did a search on Mar-hyde and apparently it can be found at a Lordco in BC... Cool - will have to go by and see what they have. :bounce: :bounce2:

    Thanks for the ideas and suggestions
     
  18. GetsUThere

    GetsUThere

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    Take a small dab of metal polish and a white cloth. Rub the metal polish on the wheel, and see if it leaves a black residue.

    Yes it does leave a black residue = NOT clearcoated

    No it doesn't leave a black residue = Clearcoated

    This is from Autopia, a web site for detailing. There's loads of information there if you do a search their forums.
     
  19. fitchik

    fitchik

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    Thank you GetUThere....

    I will certainly try that...
     
  20. brownbear

    brownbear Mod in Hibernation Moderator

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