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Old 09-15-2005, 08:42 PM
Ricky Rocket's Avatar
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Clear Coat Wheels

I have seen many factory aluminum wheels with the clear coat coming off and looking terrible. I have heard rumors that you can strip off the clear coat and clean or polish the aluminum. Has anybody tried this or is it just a waste of time?

Rick

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Old 09-15-2005, 09:25 PM
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Pretty easy to do actually. Use good chemical stripper on the coating and it will bubble right off like any paint. That is clear powder coating but comes off easily with stripper. I stripped a set of metallic gold coated Pontiac Trans Am honey-comb wheels and it worked great. Stripper won't bother the aluminum. Once stripped, you have a standard set of aluminum wheels that get polished the usual way.
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Old 09-16-2005, 04:00 PM
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clear coat

If there are stains under the clear coat do you think they will come off with regular mag wheel cleaner? Did the gold coloring come off the TA rims?

Thanks for the input,
Rick
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Old 09-16-2005, 08:45 PM
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The stripper takes off ALL the coating down to bare aluminum. Yes, my wheels were bare - zero coating left. In this condition, stains polish out like any other blemish on the metal.
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Old 09-18-2005, 10:31 PM
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I have a set of American Racing Outlaw 2 wheels. How can you tell if it is clear or clear anodize? Continutiy tester? If it is anodize, do you need the anodize stripper (pain), or does air craft stripper work?
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Old 09-25-2005, 01:48 PM
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i have a set of alum sport wheels on a 99 Kia Sportage 4X4 that the clear coat is coming off (they look terrible IMO) I was gona strip as willys suggested, and repaint alum silver color and clear coat with urethane clear, or if the alum finish looked good after the chemical striper, i would just clear coat with urethane clear, but the machine / welding shop here made a oven a does power coating, he will strip my wheels, power coat them silver or chrome and then power coat clear on my wheels. said he would do it for $30ea


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Old 09-29-2005, 12:39 PM
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After you get the Clear Coat off, and have them polished up like you want..........Powder Coat them Clear......then you never have to worry about them again
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Old 06-08-2007, 02:39 AM
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:36 AM
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Some aluminium rims are powdercoated. There are no stuff who strip that off without ruining the aluminium too.
I have a set of Borbet rims (German made I think) It was impossible to strip them with any paint remover. I spoked to lots of experts. Paint shops, metal surface treatment shops etc and the all said the same: There are no chemicals who can remove that kind of coat without ruining the aluminium too. I also tried "the usual" stuff, brake fluid and thinner. Didn't help at all.

I'm sure different rim producers use different coats on their rims, but I had to "go the hard way" with grinding,wet sanding & polishing on my rims.

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Old 06-08-2007, 04:50 AM
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nice job on those rims they look awesome
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:30 AM
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Lots of hours with boring work before it even started to show results.

And when the first rim was done, all I had to look forward to was to do the same job three more times!
It was because of budget purposes only.

But they turned out quite nice, yes. The new centre cover is garage made too.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:08 PM
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Sounds like your rims were annodized, not powder coated. The plastic resin powder coating Detroit uses on their rims comes off very easily with quality paint remover from Home Depot. All the frames engines etc. I have powder coated occasionally has the coating in bores or threads. I just glop in some paint stripper and it cleans the holes right out.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:08 PM
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I've done the same thing on a set of American Racing wheels I had. The clearcoar only had a 1 year warranty. The centers were more of a machined look and outer was polished. After I stripped off the clearcoat-I used paint stripper in a can than pressure washed them off- I started wetsanding with 400 than worked up to 1500. I got a cloth buffing wheel on my drill and started with jewelers rough than worked up to the polishing compound for the buffing wheels.
I've had good success with just the polishing on another set of weld wheels I got with that process less the sanding.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:23 PM
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One thing to remember, is that if you are going to polish the bare aluminum to a chrome-like appearance, you NEED to keep after them a lot with the cleaner and polishing. They will oxidize quickly. I've polished the lips on motorcycle wheels and some Saab Aero wheels I have, and they look excellent when clean, but it seems like they're never 100% clean again. Clear them again and be done with it.
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