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Tire & Wheel Care Whether you have hubcaps, clearcoated factory alloy, or custom wheels worth thousands, you'll want them to look their best. Metal polishing is also discussed here.

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Old 01-10-2006
dELfONiK dELfONiK is offline
 
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Default Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

I recently purchased some aluminum factory Honda wheels at a good price. Some look like there is yellowing and fading, kind of like the finish is coming off. I tried researching it, and some people said the clear coat could be turning yellow.

I'd like to restore these wheels to factory condition, if possible. Some people told me to use a paint stripper to remove the clear coat and just polish them instead to make them look better than they currently are. Can you please give me some suggestions to make these wheels look better?

Here's how they are now.. I can take better pictures if needed..


Here's how I'd like them to look.. If I can't get this look, anything better would help..


I also like the way this looks.. I don't know if it's just an up close version of above, but it looks like it has more shine.




Thanks,
Del
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Old 01-10-2006
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Default Re: Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

If that's a machined finish (like an old 33 rpm record), you'll want to chemically strip the clearcoat versus remove it with polishing -- either way, you need to remove the clearcoat (as it's failing anc can't be repaired) and either maintain it regularly with a metal polish and protecting with a wax, or re-shoot it with clear.

There are companies that specialize in wheel refinishing, and a custom tire house should have a hook on the local shop in your area.

We've had a few threads on this very topic... here's a good one that one forum member shared...

http://www.waxforum.com/showthread.php?t=651

You can do a search for "polish wheel" or "polished wheel" and come up with others, but he did a good job of removing the damaged clearcoat.

A PowerBall would make the job of polishing much, much easier.
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Old 01-10-2006
dELfONiK dELfONiK is offline
 
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Default Re: Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

Thanks for the reply. I'd rather do it myself than send out professionally. In the link you gave to the other post, you recommended some products. Would you recommend the same for me?

Quote:
I'd use the PowerBall with Mag & Aluminum polish, then go back over them with the PowerBall and Billet Metal Polish.
Also, would there be any benefit to me bead blasting the wheels? I have access to a bead blaster at my old school.

Thanks,
Del
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Old 01-10-2006
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Default Re: Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

Just remember that heavy polishing will tend to remove any machined look to the finish.

You can try the bead blasting and see how you like it, but most people don't have access to bead blasting so we more often talk about chemical strippers.

A lot of how you want to approach it will depend on if you want a smooth finish or if you want to retain some of the machined finish.

Also, with some clearcoat finishes, you can cut through them pretty quickly with a PowerBall and polish and a good drill. Others may be easier to cut with a bead blaster or a stripper.

Likely the bead blasting will be better to use on what appears to be a rough-cast look on the slots, and if you want to maintain that look.

PowerMetal and Mag & Aluminum Polish are virtually interchangeable... You'll likely get more cutting action with Mag & Aluminum Polish. I like using a little of both, depending on how hot the environment is and how much moisture I need on what I'm polishing.

As for Billet Polish, some metals really pop with this as a final polish; while others you can't see too much difference. If you're going for a mirror finish, you'll want to consider trying this.

P.S. One more thing to consider... how you plan on treating the center caps. If you want them to match exactly, you may want to explore painting your wheels with some of the new wheel-specific finishes available at auto parts stores available in a variety of colors. But certainly you'll still need to remove the clearcoat first, and polish out any surface defects.
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Old 01-10-2006
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Forrest T. Forrest T. is offline
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Default Re: Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

I would suggest you use a proper chemical stripper. The one mentioned in the thread above is the best I know of:

Clear Coat Remover, part number 64016

Busch Enterprises, Inc.
908 Cochran St.
Statesville, NC 28677
704-588-2067
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Old 02-16-2006
dELfONiK dELfONiK is offline
 
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Default Re: Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

Hello. I know I originally made this post a little while back, but I just now got to where I can work on my wheels. After taking the tires off at my school, my classmate said since my wheels have a machine finish, the wheels won't turn out the way I think they will if I polish them. Is that true?

I just want them to look better, specifically the ones that are kind of faded. I figured after I remove the clear, if I polish them, they won't look faded. He said it won't turn out that way since there is a machine finish.

Thanks for the help.

Del

EDIT: I forgot to add that he suggested I have them blasted, and then paint them a silver color. I'd much rather polish, if at all possible. Thanks again.
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Old 02-16-2006
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Default Re: Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

You can strip and polish a machine finish, but it won't be as shiny as a smoothly finished rim.

If the finish bothers you, strip it. You can also get them recleared after stripping - check with a local body shop.

Before I had them blasted, I'd ask what type of media they will use - some of the harder media will dull the finish even more from peening.
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Old 02-16-2006
dELfONiK dELfONiK is offline
 
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Default Re: Clear coat coming off wheels? Help needed..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest T.
You can strip and polish a machine finish, but it won't be as shiny as a smoothly finished rim.

If the finish bothers you, strip it. You can also get them recleared after stripping - check with a local body shop.

Before I had them blasted, I'd ask what type of media they will use - some of the harder media will dull the finish even more from peening.
Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not going to have them blasted. I will strip and polish them this weekend. I'll be sure to post some before and after pics when I get finished.
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