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I have a set of Iroc wheels off an 86 Camaro, I was wondering if anyone out there is familiar with turning a dull finished rim into a polished finish. I would like to know what is the best way to go about doing it, and what tools to use. Another thing is after they are polished how do i keep the shine? with a clear coat or just cleaning them? :eek:
 

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Polishing is a long monotenus job. Go to Por-15.com they have a kit that has everything you will need to polish your wheels including a clearcote for afterwards. Have fun!

HK
 

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As an alternative to a polished aluminum finish why not try this;
  • -Remove all traces of clear coat on the rim, oven cleaner works pretty good, paint remover too.
  • -Using a pump bottle and a good toilet brush use a 50/50 mixture of CLR or other phosphoric acid based cleaner, scrub the rim clean, clean, clean. Essentially your etching the rim in this step.
  • -Get a good pair of goggles or face mask and rubber gloves for the next step.
  • -Mix a solution of Muriatic acid and water 50/50 to start (remember science class? Always mix acid to water not vise-versa). Fill a pump bottle with the solution and spray the rim and scrub with the toilet brush at the same time, slowly the rim will start to turn grey. Keep spraying and scrubbing until the entire rim is a flat greyish hue, pay attention to spots still shiny and concentrate on them.
  • -After securing a uniform grey film on the rim rinse it thoroughly with water and use some baking soda as a paste to scrub the rim with the brush.
  • -Let dry, baking is preferable (hydrogen embrittlement has occurred so a day in the sun usually works fine for a surface treatment).

Voila your rim is now coated with a conversion coating of aluminum oxide, not unlike one created when anodizing. The difference is you do not need to coat the rim to seal the coating although it doesn't hurt.

I have done this to numerous pitted aluminum rims and it looks good, kinda old school with the flat grey look. If you like you can sand and polish high spots to get a different look. Try it on a aluminum fan spacer to see if you like the colour, it's kinda like a battleship grey. Best part of the whole thing is you don't have to remove the tire to do this!

Chuckies cheap rim trick for the day. ;)
 

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I've used aircraft stripper to remove clear sanded out the imperfections with a DA sander starting with 180 grit working my way to 500 or 600 grit.Then doing by hand what I couldn't get with the DA.Once I got a fairly even surface I used a arbor with small buffing pads I got from Eastwood you can get different shapes and sizes. I used 3M heavy duty compoundto buff then used mothers aluminum polish on a clean pad to polish.The wheels looked good but were not shop quality.It seems the sanding is the most important buffing was easy.
 

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I've sandblasted my rims before with a fine grit sand, then polished with a wheel and rosen, then clear coated. Turned out just like chrome. Worked for me!

Good luck!

[ January 22, 2003: Message edited by: Racenuts ]</p>
 
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