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Old 05-28-2012, 02:08 PM
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How to get aluminum rims clean and polished?

I have a nice set of Weld aluminum polished rims. They are in great shape except that I can't get a good shine. I gave them a good wax with some Royal Blue and it brought the shine out a little bit but they still have quite a bit of stains and what looks like water marks.

Anyone have some advice on how or what products to use to get rid of the stains and tarnish so I can make these things look good as new?

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Old 05-28-2012, 04:02 PM
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You can use a small 3" buffer and rubbing compound but if they have a clear coat on them it will take it off and from here on you will be buffing them every week or two. Puts a nice shine on them though. We use to do it on trade in semi trucks where I use to work.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:20 AM
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I have Weld Prostars. Is use Wenol polish. Just bought the Mother's Power Ball. Didn't like the shine with Mother's Wheel Polish, so put some Wenol on my Power Ball an polished away. Doesn't take long, about a 3rd the time by hand.

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:13 AM
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I had a set of Weld 96's that were so corroded I had to start by sanding them with 180 grit just to remove the pits. After repeated sandings with finer grits (up to 2000) and a polish with Mother's, they looked pretty darned good!

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Old 05-30-2012, 07:05 AM
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On my 87 TA; I had the factory TA/GTA rims with the polished lip. The factory clearcoat had failed and was yellowing and peeling. I decided to strip the clearcoat off the rims, polish out some roadrash, buff the wheels and then apply a protectant.

After going nuts with 600 grit wet paper and bleeding fingertips; I'd had enough. There had to be a better way than watching the clearcoat gum up the paper in a few swipes so I started rethinking this.

My Dad handed me a piece of fine drywall mesh; approx 600grit I believe. use it DRY and with very little pressure. You'll be able to polish out the scratches using 800 and then 1000 grit (or their equivalent in scotchbrite pads.

Make sure you have all your strokes go in the same direction to make it easier to polish out later.

I also used 'Sharkhyde' to protect the surface, but only because a friend of mine works for the fire dept and they use it on the brightwork on the firetrucks. Normally Id use a good polymer wax applied twice a year.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:52 AM
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I can tell anyone who wants to know, how NOT to do it: I once used Happich Semi-Chrome polish to remove the factory clear coat(?) Harley used on the aluminum alloy outer primary casting on my '72 Super Glide, by hand. Talk about bleeding/sore fingers!!! Not to mention expensive- that little tube was like $5.00/each back then, and I went through three of them.
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