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Old 06-22-2004, 06:02 PM
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ALUMINUM mag cleaning

I have a set of old aluninum mags on my 67 camaro. I like the mags and want to keep them on the car but they need cleaning. I tried orange blast mag cleaner and muthers cleaner, still not good enough. Got any ideas how to clean them?? Thanks

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Old 06-22-2004, 06:47 PM
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The best way to restore polished aluminum is to actually sand them with fine paper and then buff them with compound. It's a lot of work but worth it.
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Old 06-22-2004, 06:51 PM
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Thanks for the info poncho62. What grit paper (600)? Do I need to clear coat them afterwards?? Thanks
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Old 06-22-2004, 07:05 PM
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Depending on how pitted they are, you can start with 600 and work up to 1000 to 1500. Then use a buffing compound.

I don't clear coat mine, some people do. I just use a good aluminum wax, like "Flitz"
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Old 06-22-2004, 09:57 PM
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another thing you can try is to first etch the wheels with oven cleener and then buff shiny with aluminum polish.
I would be weary of using sandpaper on something you want to make shiny
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Old 06-25-2004, 02:51 PM
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I started with this:
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Old 06-25-2004, 02:51 PM
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and made them look like this:

its all about handsanding, I'm not aiming for the high gloss look the satin shine is just what I wanted.
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Old 06-25-2004, 02:57 PM
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Finishing aluminum wheels is no different than polishing a paint job. Start with the coarseness of paper/compound that takes out the worst blemishes then work your way down to the final mirror polish. May require 320 or 400 grit on really corroded aluminum working down thru 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, then white coloring polish compound.
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Old 06-29-2004, 08:13 PM
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I had a set of aluminum mags that i gave my son for his 75 nova,
He cleaned them with some kind of mag cleaner with an acid in it,
He sprayed the cleaner on then hosed it off right away he did this
two or three times depending on how they looked. He said not to
leave it on to long or it will take the clear coat off as well, try it on
the back of the rim to see how it works before you do all work of
sanding and polishing.
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Old 07-25-2004, 10:59 AM
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Have you tried Green Dragon or Rod & Custom? I have a '69 Z28 Camaro and that is what I use.
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Old 07-25-2004, 05:33 PM
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When polishing old aluminum I start with a med course steel wool to cut any old oxidation, for the gradually work to a finer and finer steel wool. From the to a 1500 wet dry paper, clean well with clean water, allow to dry. Then comes the polishing, I start with Jewelers Rouge, I use the brown, green, and tan. Then for final polish I use Zephyr Pro Polish, after words a good coat of Flitz or Zoop seal. No need to clearcoat..
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Old 07-26-2004, 12:13 AM
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I don't have to do all that work. I just wipe on Green Dragon and all the stuff comes right off my wheels. Then to seal it with a clear coat I put Rod & Custom on my wheels. I get a great shine that lasts for a long time.
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