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Old 03-18-2014, 06:44 PM
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Rim Roller for Cleaning/Polishing Wheels

I got a set of new rims for my truck. American Racing Billet Rallyes. That's what they call them even though they are cast... I'm not real impressed with the quality of the polishing so I am going to give them a once over to see if I can improve on the factory work...
ANYWAY, I had a set of cheap rollers I got at HF so I made an impromptu rim roller to make it easier to work on them.
Here are the parts involved. The rollers and a couple of pieces of 1" square tubing.

Bolted the rollers to the tubing and use a couple of c-clamps to hold them on the work table.

The tire spins real nice on these and should make the work ahead a bit easier.

This is some of the stuff I will be dealing with on these wheels. Most of the outer edges of the slots have this sort of roughness going on.

And I found a few nicks and scratches where there should be none...

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Old 03-18-2014, 06:48 PM
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Nice wheel cleaning setup.

Keith
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:37 PM
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made in china, best quality..
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:21 AM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
 
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Originally Posted by gearheadslife View Post
made in china, best quality..
Yea, you got that right... For the price I really shouldn't complain but I think their quality control needs some help. Over all (and from a distance) they look nice. This kind of stuff just bugs me though. I will get it fixed. I did post this on the American Racing facebook page but haven't gotten any response. Didn't expect to but at least it is out there.
Mark
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Old 03-27-2014, 10:11 PM
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I like how they include "billet" in the name of the rim but not what its manufactured from.

Nice setup btw.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:59 PM
STUPID is as STUPID does...
 
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I looked the new rims over when I picked them up. One was pretty rough but I couldn't see sending it back and waiting another 4 to 6 weeks for a new one to be made with no guarantee it would be any better then this one...
This is the wheel.

Here are some of the issues. This is nicked up with a nice gouge.

The edges of all of the slots were ugly. To heavy handed with the polisher. ate right into the edges of the slots.





In order to fix the slots I made a template to mark the radius needed to remove the rough stuff.

laying it in and lining it up with the existing slot made marking the trim lines easy.

Lined up and ready to mark.


I used a black Sharpie to mark the "new" edge of the slot.

Then I busted out the high tech alloy displacement device....
Mainly a big half-round file... Took about a half hour to get all of the edges cleaned up. Some were worse then others but they all need to be cleaned up.



This is the surface finish left by the file.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:01 PM
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I broke out a sanding drum on a drill motor with 180 grit emery paper to start cleaning up the file cuts on the new openings.

after a few minutes of work this is how they turned out.

I ran the drum on the openings going from the 180 to 400 then 600, 1000 and finished up with 1200. Smoothed the edges good enough that some heavy polishing will bring the shine back.

Once I had that done I got busy taking out the scratches and gouges. I started with 400 grit on a rubber Dura-Block and started feathering them out.

Once I started sanding I ended up going over the whole face of the wheel. There were so many heavy cut lines and deep grooves from the half-assed factory polishing this was the only way to get a smooth surface... You can see the waves in the pic to the right of where I started sanding.

here is another pic after I had most of the scratches and gouge worked out. This also shows the waves better.

I used WD40 as a lube to "wet sand" all of the waviness out. I spent about an hour and a half doing this. Cleaning and re-sanding until all of the low spots were gone.

The hard part was getting the surface flat again. Once that was done it only took a couple of hours to step up through the grits. Going to 600, 1000, 1200 and then 1500. You can see the shine is already starting to develop at 1500.

I stopped a O'Rielly's tonight on my way home and picked up one pack each of 2000 and 3000 grit. I'll work at getting this ready for final polishing this week.
I ordered a nice polishing kit from Eastwood so I'll get all of the rims sanded out to 3000 grit before I use that.
The wheel looks a ton better with all of the openings repaired!

These will be beautiful once they are polished correctly.


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