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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 04-13-2005
2001SL2 2001SL2 is offline
 
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Default Help stripping clear coat/polishing

Hi again, im posting now to ask about a solution to my rims. I got these rims from a friend in exchange for the bent steelies that i had on my car, but he had them sitting outside for a real long time.

They are clear coated aluminum but as you can see, the clear coat is all stained and even running your fingernail on it makes a scratch. So since the clear coat is "bubblegum soft" i have decided to strip the clear coat off them and polish them.

I am gently scrapping the clear coat, then i used 1200 grit sand paper, then 2000 grit sand paper and then i tried the scratch remover. But of course instead of the scratch remover i want ( and i know i have to) use another product specific for that.

Now my question is: What order of products should i use to get the most shine out of them? (Mag/Alum, Billet, Power Metal,etc....and in what order?)

In the first two pictures you can see a little of the stains i am talking about.

In the last picture, there is a small section i have already stripped and polished a little with scratch remover.
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Old 04-13-2005
Forrest T.'s Avatar
Forrest T. Forrest T. is offline
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

First you need to completely strip the old clear coat off the rims. Busch Enterprises of North Carolina makes a product called "Clear Coat Remover" made for this task.

Then, you'll want to remove any scratches or curb rash with finer and finer grades of sandpaper. Wetsanding will likely be the way to go.

Finally, after using 3,000 or so wet, you'll be ready to polish.

I'd use the PowerBall with Mag & Aluminum polish, then go back over them with the PowerBall and Billet Metal Polish.

An alternative will be to send them out to be professionally polished - it may be $200 or so, but you'll get them back looking like chrome and you won't even break a sweat. Check your yellow pages for a local metal polisher.
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Old 04-13-2005
2001SL2 2001SL2 is offline
 
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

Wow! That was a fast LONG post!! Thanks!

Well te professional finisher is out of my reach because lately i have to do other mechanical work on my car and financially I dont really have that availability and i also need the car daily. Besides, i want this to be my hobby/project for summer...hehe

Where can i get 3000 grit sp? I forgot to say that i am indeed wet sanding, but i havent been able to find such a grit....ill try to get the Power Ball, does anyone know of a retailer in Southern Maryland who sells it? I havent been able to find it in the web pages of Advance Auto, Auto Zone or Pep Boys.......

Thanks in advance for your replies!

*EDIT* I didnt want to use paint remover because im afraid it will strip the metallic color that is in the "teardrop" holes....How can i do that?
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Old 04-13-2005
Forrest T.'s Avatar
Forrest T. Forrest T. is offline
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

You can have a local auto parts store order the 3000 grit paper. 3M and others make it.

We have a distributor in Philly named Rober Elgart. Any local auto parts store can order from them and have it in 2 days. The part # is 05140.

Hope this helps.

BTW, the Busch product is not a paint stripper - it's made just for clear coated aluminum rims. The part # is 64016 I think. I'm on the road and don't have access to my files, but try a google search for Busch in North Carolina.

Found it:

Busch Enterprises, Inc.
908 Cochran St.
Statesville, NC 28677
704-588-2067
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Old 04-13-2005
2001SL2 2001SL2 is offline
 
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

Found it on google, thanks! Im wondering if paint thinner or acetone would work on that too?

Now im thinking that if i use the clear coat remover im also going to strip the clear coat off the metallic paint, which i wouldnt want to do, and i dont want to clear coat the wheels again. Any other suggestion? Sorry if im bothering too much....
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Old 04-13-2005
Forrest T.'s Avatar
Forrest T. Forrest T. is offline
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

I would not use a paint stripper. Some auto parts stores sell an "aluminum stripper" (seems like I saw it in an AutoZone not too long ago). That would be a better choice.

I'm a firm believer in using the proper product for the job - it helps prevent problems which take twice the effort to correct.
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Old 04-13-2005
2001SL2 2001SL2 is offline
 
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

Thanks for all your prompt replies Forrest. Right now im very busy in college but ill try to do some work on those rims and post pictures of my work as soon as i can. I really appreciate all your help!
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Old 04-16-2005
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Talking Rims are READY!!

First, special thanks to Forrest for all his help and to Mothers for their amazing products

I ended up stripping the whole clearcoat and paint off (for now only 2) my alum rims and then wetsanded them finer and finer and then used Mothers Mag and Alum polish and then Billet polish, which i highly recommend too.

The rims were like this before: (stained, scratched and chipped)







Now they are like this (paint in the holes was stripped too):








What do you guys think?

Mothers = AMAZING polishes!
  #9  
Old 04-16-2005
Forrest T.'s Avatar
Forrest T. Forrest T. is offline
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Default Re: Rims are READY!!

Nice job - congrats on all the hard work.
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Old 04-17-2005
2001SL2 2001SL2 is offline
 
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

Thank you, i still plan to polish them again, but its so easy it doesnt even scare me to do it again. Mother's polishes are a marvel, thanks again for all your help.
  #11  
Old 04-17-2005
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Jim D. Jim D. is offline
 
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

Very nice!
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Old 04-17-2005
2001SL2 2001SL2 is offline
 
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Default Re: Help stripping clear coat/polishing

Thanks! I cant wait to get the other two done! My neighbour (red truck) might do the same thing to his wheels, he was amazed and couldnt believe the shine from the Billet Polish, he bought some for his project too!
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