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Aluminum wheel restore.

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Old 09-25-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
boltnut
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Default Aluminum wheel restore.

I am try to bring some slots back to life. One has a little more pitting than the rest. Is there a product that works on pitting ? Do,I just need to buff it more ? Help me avoid snake oil...
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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Don't know of any product that works on pitting other than elbow grease.
I just did a set of factory rims a month or so ago, spun them slowly on a manual lathe and used a die-grinder with a scotch-brite disk to blend out some light pitting where bubba installed lead weights.
Then went and buffed everything with flitz.
The same company that that makes flitz also sells an aluminum pre-cleaner that seems to be designed to remove the oxidization layer prior to buffing, must be a weak acid. Haven't tried it, looks/sounds like it might be handy, might just be weasel squeezings though.
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I am try to bring some slots back to life. One has a little more pitting than the rest. Is there a product that works on pitting ? Do,I just need to buff it more ? Help me avoid snake oil...
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:45 PM   #3
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I agree with Mooser about the elbow grease. If the pitting is not too deep, you might try wet sanding with 1000 and then 1500 and 2000 grit followed up by machine rubbing compound and then a good grade of polishing compound.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooser View Post
Don't know of any product that works on pitting other than elbow grease.
I just did a set of factory rims a month or so ago, spun them slowly on a manual lathe and used a die-grinder with a scotch-brite disk to blend out some light pitting where bubba installed lead weights.
Then went and buffed everything with flitz.
The same company that that makes flitz also sells an aluminum pre-cleaner that seems to be designed to remove the oxidization layer prior to buffing, must be a weak acid. Haven't tried it, looks/sounds like it might be handy, might just be weasel squeezings though.
Mooser
as well! In fact on one set I did, there was curb rash on the outer edge so I started with a file before moving on to sandpaper and worked my way to some Semi-chrome to get a chrome like finish...

Good luck... GUSTO
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:31 PM   #5
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Ok. So tHere is no substitite for plain old elbow grease"..?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:45 PM   #6
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You can usually throw cash at it

I've never come across a process that will remove pitting without washing away everything around it. Electro-polishing would be the closest and it's still just eating away all of the material in the pit and beside the pit, eventually it will blend everything together but it's not something I'd recommend for the average user, especially on aluminum.
There are usually a few company's around that re-surface wheels, normally about $100 a piece.
For shear entertainment, check utube for wheel polishing videos', there's some death defying diy polishing machines being built in bubbaville.
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Ok. So tHere is no substitite for plain old elbow grease"..?
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUSTO14 View Post
as well! In fact on one set I did, there was curb rash on the outer edge so I started with a file before moving on to sandpaper and worked my way to some Semi-chrome to get a chrome like finish...

Good luck... GUSTO
Yep, pretty much what I had to do with the wheels on my 73....

-Filed the curb rash
-Used 120 grit up to 1000 sandpaper everywhere
-Then hit them with a small buffing wheels on my die grinder using cutting and then polishing compounds.
-Masked off the slots and painted semi-flat

Even with all that, I couldn't get every single little pit out of the surface...the wheels were just in really bad shape. But unless you bend down and look very closely, you can't see them.

Cost very little to do. Took a while, but they came out ok...pretty satisfying in the end.

Before:
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After:
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:58 AM   #8
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Eagle1 mag cleaner. The one that has the warning Not For Use With Clearcoats. I stopped in a truck stop chrome shop and they had some good stuff for aluminum! Can't remember the name but tell them what your doing and they'll steer you in the right direction
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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Mother's aluminum polish with a powerball. My wheels were way worse than that and mine came out like mirrors.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:23 PM   #10
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White Diamond - bought it at Advance Auto Parts in the care care section. Good stuff to clean off oxidation. Mine sat for seven years under a shed exposed to the weather. The wheels were almost white with oxidation. This stuff cleaned them up nicely.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:43 PM   #11
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Nice ! I hope mine will look that good....



Quote:
Originally Posted by FLA-C3 View Post
Yep, pretty much what I had to do with the wheels on my 73....

-Filed the curb rash
-Used 120 grit up to 1000 sandpaper everywhere
-Then hit them with a small buffing wheels on my die grinder using cutting and then polishing compounds.
-Masked off the slots and painted semi-flat

Even with all that, I couldn't get every single little pit out of the surface...the wheels were just in really bad shape. But unless you bend down and look very closely, you can't see them.

Cost very little to do. Took a while, but they came out ok...pretty satisfying in the end.

Before:
Click the image to open in full size.

After:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:39 PM   #12
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Here is a great write up and results:

http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/...-makeover.html
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