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Old 02-12-2011, 06:49 PM
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Protecting Polished Rims

I have a set of split rims on my daily driver

The centres are painted, with the outer lips being polished

The rims have oxidized and corroded on the surface

Before I spend hours polishing them all up again.....is it worth it?

What protection can I put on them to stop this happening again, or should I just clear coat or powder coat them and be done with it?

The only problem I found with that is that the clear cost obviously won't adhere to the polished surface

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Old 02-12-2011, 06:52 PM
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If you wet sand them very lightly with high grit paper the cleap coat will work. Wont ruin the finish either as long as you go very lightly and very high grit
paper.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:01 PM
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Last time I sanded them up to 2500 grit, them metal polished to a mirror(ish) finish........they looked great, for 5 minutes

The wheels were originally clear coated, but it failed and they looked like ****e with brake dust getting underneath the clear coat.....hence the reason for me polishing them in the first place

As they're split rims I'm worried about the perimeter bolts cracking the clear coat, and it then failing all over again
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:04 PM
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Sounds like its not worth it now. Get em painted or powdercoated.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:20 PM
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What would be the best way to make sure the perimeter bolts don't crack the finish?

Obviously, no finish would solve this - but has resulted in the corrosion I now have
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:24 PM
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Got any pictures?
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:36 PM
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:51 PM
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If you powder coated them with the bolts out, powdercoated the bolts, the put it all back together it should be. Powdercoating is stronger that paint.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:03 PM
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Cool

I've got new stainless torx bolts for the wheels, so I guess I could just coat the rims themselves
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:07 PM
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Thats what i would do. Wait fo someone else to respond tho, it always good to hae a second opinion.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:20 AM
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Bringing this back to life
It's time to refurbish my wheels again

Since I'm a fool I decided I'd remove the paint from the centres and polish them up too - just wanted to know what it'd look like

Well, I kind of like the look, but can't handle the maintenance, or constant need to polish them any longer

So, I need some help with my options......

I can't leave them bare polished - I can't maintain them

I could anodize them - but the centres are cast not forged and I'd heard cast alloy could look patchy - also anodizing could stain if chemicals are used during cleaning

I've been told by someone recently that he polishes his wheels and then clear coats them with TSC clear
He says once its hardened it won't ever fail, even on a mirror polished finish

So, if that's true I'd quite like to polish the centres and outer rims and coat them with TSC clear

If that's not quite correct I've been thinking about powder coating the centres again and then replacing the outer rims with stainless steel items

Has anyone got any experiences with TSC on a polished finish, or using stainless steel rims?

I like the idea that the rims won't oxidise like the alloy ones, but I'm unsure about brake dusts sticking to them - guess ill just need to keep applying wax to them


Anybody got some good advice for me?
Thanks again everyone
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:00 AM
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You have a couple options:

Powdercoat is some very tough stuff. Find a powdercoater that specializes in automotive/motorcycle not someone who does a lot of heavy equipment/tractors. The finish seems to look better; now the industrial type coating may last longer, I don't know

2nd option is a clear epoxy paint. These are very tough and can be reapplied as necessary. Sharkhyde is a brand that has a wipe on clear epoxy (a lot of big-rig and pontoon boat guys use this stuff. It can be reapplied in small spots with an aresol can; however it doesn't last forever. I think it lacks a hardener, so it allows you to re-coat, but its not incredibly durable.

Option 2b would be a 2 part clear epoxy and then buff smooth.

Anodizing can appear splotchy on some cast parts. I would check with your plating shop and see. Some places specialize in that type of low volume hand-work.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:31 AM
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Something I didn't notice mentioned but I'll ask.

What do you think is the root cause of the majority of the damage? Perhaps this isn't a 1 step approach. If most of the damage is say abrasion from road debris and disassembly/reassembly thats one thing. If, however the damage is caused by an overly caustic mix of wheel acid and brake dust; perhaps re-evaluating your post race prep procedure will help bring back some longevity.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:50 AM
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I don't think your problem is due to normal corrosion. What I see is electrolysis happening from the steel bolts and nuts corroding and the dismilar metals reacting. As long as you keep cleaning them up, they'll never stop corroding until you clean them and change all the bolts to the new SS bolts you have.
Once they're really cleaned and neutralized, and the new SS bolts installed, then it should stop the corrosion from returning. Make sure you change the nuts and any washers to SS also, or it will still return.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:23 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys

I've rebuilt the wheels with stainless bolts, but so far I can only find plated mild steel nuts

The fixings are M7 in size, so they're pretty awkward to come by
The guys I got the bolts from are the biggest suppliers in Europe (that I know of) and they don't do stainless nuts in M7

Anyone got any leads?

Also, the main issue I'm having wit the wheels is brake dust and road dirt

I'm in England, and the weather isn't great for polished rims
Lots of dirt and salt around all through the year

If I don't keep on top of the wheels all the time (which I don't because I use the car daily) they become pitted again

I really can't keep the wheels bare polished

I've got a good powder coater that I've just started using, but I haven't shown him these wheels yet

Im worried it won't be possible to powder coat a polished surface and get good adhesion, so I'm at a loss right now

I've recently seen some guys say they restore wheels...... But you wouldn't believe the amount of money they wanted from me

They say their process is as follows....

Strip and shotblast inner and outer rims and centres
Anodize all three components
Polish the anodizing on all three components
Powder coat inner rims and centres in silver
Powder coat outer rims in clear


It sounds like they're pretty thorough
But - would you really blast the wheels? - wouldn't that give too much of a textured finish?

And then after anodizing the pieces they polish them? Wouldn't that just remove the anodize?
Can you really mirror polish anodizing?

I really don't know what to do for the best


My ideal end result is a fully polished wheel with a durable protective coating
If that's not possible, I think my next best option might be to buy stainless outer rims and have the centres powder coated in silver (instead of clear, as they wouldn't match the steel rims would they?)

BTW - stainless rims will cost me $1,650
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