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aluminum wheel polishing ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rob-redm, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Here is my problem, just bought a car that had fully polished aluminum wheels. The car sat outside , and the wheels polish is really dull now. I used a little rubbing compound and Blue Magic polish. I tried one small spot. Need something that will cut the oxidation first, then can polish. Ideas ?
     
  2. hotflint
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 310

    hotflint
    Member

    Get a die grinder and a buffing cloth. Also get some green bar compuond and buzz away
     
  3. Give the Mothers brand foam ball a try.

    My pal brought some clean, but oxidized slot mags back to fairly good with one.

    Doesn't work for all of them, but it's worth a shot.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here's a couple I cleaned up for temporary use.
    After and before pic.
    [​IMG]

    3M pad - medium grit - and the Mothers ball.



    Found a pic of the car.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  4. captmullette
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,929

    captmullette
    Member

    i used a mothers foam ball and some flitz polish
     

  5. dullchrome
    Joined: Jan 15, 2009
    Posts: 987

    dullchrome
    Member
    from SoCal

    That foam ball is the shit. they are also making a larger yellow one for getting through oxidation on paint that might work if your wheels are real bad.
     
  6. Is it just bigger or more aggressive?
     
  7. lowpunk
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 350

    lowpunk
    Member
    from berwyn, il

    I really like Wenol(sp?), a buffing pad and a corded drill. Polished bare non polished AL to a mirror finish.
     
  8. J&JHotrods
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 549

    J&JHotrods
    Member

    Never-dull and lots of elbow grease.
     
  9. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    Steves32
    Member
    from So Cal

    What kind of wheels? Traditional or for a OT car? You didn't say.
    Better find out if they are clear coated 1st if a newer wheel.
    Take a rag w/ your finger & some compound & rub a spot. If it turns the rag black, polish away. If it comes up just dirty, the clearcoat will have to be stripped 1st.
     
  10. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    On my OT daily driver I just used a Mother's "Power Cone" and Mother's chrome polish. Wheels are chromed aluminum alloy, were on a car I bought for a parts car and getting pretty grimey.
    Unlike polishing aluminum, where you just keep polishing till it shines, polishing chrome means you gotta use some judgement on when to STOP, cause you can easily go too far and break thru the chrome.
    I believe one of these Power cones or the Power Ball, depending on the shape you need, plus a good aluminum wheel polish, will do the job.
    Can't really recommend one brand polish over another, but the Mother's chrome polish worked well for me.
    Dave
     
  11. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,667

    Larry T
    Member

    I've had good luck with SemiChrome and a soft cloth. American Racing sells a polish that is pretty impressive too. The SemiChrome is a little abrasive, like a finer polishing compound and the American Racing stuff isn't, more like NeverDull.
    Larry T
     
  12. Anybody have some experience to prevent the aluminum from tarnishing all over again (or at least help the problem). I've heard of Zoop Seal and other stuff - was wondering what you all have done.

    How about clear powder coating (is that what the OEM manufacturers do with new cars today?). I must say, my Dodge Ram is over 6 years old and the clear coat and wheels look great! That is with snow, ice, salt, etc . . . I'm impressed. I have some new RealRoddersWheels (like original Halibrands) - was thinking about coating them . . . but don't want to screw them up either!

    Any thoughts on coatings?
     
  13. dullchrome
    Joined: Jan 15, 2009
    Posts: 987

    dullchrome
    Member
    from SoCal

    from reading the package it sounds like it is more aggressive
     
  14. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,079

    pitman

    Two issues of concern, how to prepare the surface, so the coating will adhere best, and know that the temp effects of the specific powder coat process are OK.
     
  15. Tried a little 3M rubbing compound and the Blue Magic, worked some what ok. Need to get a little more grit , to cut the oxidation.
     
  16. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,301

    mj40's
    Member

    I sanded mine with 600 wet and dry paper then moved up to 1000 grit. Then polished away. Came out looking like chrome.
     
  17. ModelEh1931
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 90

    ModelEh1931
    Member

    You can try Autosol...see if that gets rid of the oxidation & dullness. It's a great product. If that doesn't work...wet sand with WD-40...start with a 600 grit and work your way up to a 1500-2000...then use a rubbing compound or polish to bring up the shine.
     
  18. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Took these old Ansen's from...
    [​IMG]

    To this...
    [​IMG]

    I did it by starting at 600 grit and working my way through 2000 while keeping it wet with WD-40. Made sure my final stokes of each set were even and parallel to the rim. I did that by rotating the wheel on a roll around stool that spun. That way I could concentrate on keeping my hand in the correct position and spinning the wheel until I feathered my hand off.

    I finished with mothers compound and a buff ball. It was my first attempt at polishing and I think they turned out awesome. The wheels were pretty beat when I first took them in. 1/4" chips on the rim and dings and neglect from many years of sitting and abuse.
     
  19. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,612

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Took these old Ansen's from...
    [​IMG]

    To this...
    [​IMG]

    I did it by starting at 600 grit and working my way through 2000 while keeping it wet with WD-40. Made sure my final stokes of each set were even and parallel to the rim. I did that by rotating the wheel on a roll around stool that spun. That way I could concentrate on keeping my hand in the correct position and spinning the wheel until I feathered my hand off.

    I finished with mothers compound and a buff ball. It was my first attempt at polishing and I think they turned out awesome. The wheels were pretty beat when I first took them in. 1/4" chips on the rim and dings and neglect from many years of sitting and abuse.
     
  20. damm he was so proud of the results he posted twice!
     
  21. Bull
    Joined: Mar 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,286

    Bull
    Member

    You could give our products a whirl too. As others have said, you may have to start by wet sanding.

    We make our metal polish in two forms. As an impregnated cotton that you just tear off a piece and go to town or a standard polish that you apply with a cloth or with one of our Metal Buffs chocked up in your drill.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One of my customers sent me these before and after pics using the Metal Polish.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  22. mojomax
    Joined: May 28, 2010
    Posts: 10

    mojomax
    Member

    you could try acidizing the rims--gets rid of of all the embedded crud--they look like crap after until you polish them--then they will gleam like a jewel---crush up some jewlers rouge and mix it with with naptha or kerosene--antthing like that--makes a great cutting polish---just a little truck driver tip----have to do it every spring after driving on the nasty salt covered roads
     
  23. 29ron
    Joined: Feb 18, 2009
    Posts: 228

    29ron
    Member

    Just did a set of ansen mags. Started with 120 grit ang worked my way up to 1500 using wd40 as lube. Then polished looks sweet
     
  24. I also use the wet/dry sandpaper and lubricate with WD40. Then I move on to polishing compound and a corded drill. Can't say that I've ever started out with 120 though...WOW
     
  25. BobbyD
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 581

    BobbyD
    Member
    from Belmont NC

    Thats how I do it as well and then use the blue magic you already got, that stuff works great if you rub it! Another good tip, go in the kitchen and get some baking flour and sprinkle some on after polishing, it will get the remaining residue off and make 'em shine even more............
     
  26. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,403

    chevy57dude
    Member

    I've used Mothers' polish on an old set of Torq Thrusts; Left 'em on the car, jacked up and chocked real good. Put it in gear and used the rotation of the wheel to save a lot of elbow grease! Be careful!!
     
  27. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,169

    flynbrian48
    Member

    3M Super duty rubbing compound and a wool bonnet on a 7" pad, then Nuvite (or Mothers) by hand with a cotton towel. But, I don't know anything about polishing aluminum...
     

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  28. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,667

    Larry T
    Member

    Is that a Spartan?
    Larry T
     
  29. wow !
     
  30. 88 gtu
    Joined: Dec 5, 2009
    Posts: 52

    88 gtu
    Member

    Aluminum wheels? Use 600 to 2000 with water.Once u finish the 2000 use a regular car buffer with a 9 inch wool pad (just like your buffing a car).Buff the shit out of it with Mothers Mag and aluminum polish,(use a fair amount but don't waste it).Some of the polish will turn black and be stuck to the wheel, Carb and choke cleaner takes it right off DO NOT USE BRAKE CLEAN.Wipe with clean rag and u have a mirror Much like this Ford Racing driveshaft i did for my MUSTANG.YES I SAID THE WORD MUSTANG. MUSTANG MUSTANG MUSTANG! We'll see if anybody bitches that this is a Late model driveshaft! But seriously any aluminum can look like this doing just what i said.These pics do no justice,I can see my eyelashes in that thing and they're blonde!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010

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