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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
need help with wheel polishing

im going to polish me rims this week and i know how to do it but im not sure of the stuff i need. can u guys let me know what grit the wheel has to be and what kind of compound? and other stuff i need?


Modified by TDI_Savva at 6:31 AM 5-19-2004
 

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Re: (Valhalla)

Here are some directions for stripping and polishing your teardrops or any other aluminum wheels.
1. Spray on Bix paint stripper on wheel surface. Make sure the whole surface is covered with a thick layer of the stripper. (Bix Paint Stripper=$5.00 at home Depot)
2. Place a plastic garbage bag over the entire surface of the wheel. The plastic bag should come in contact with the surface of the wheel (press the bag down in the grooves to where no air can get in between the wheel surface and the plastic bag). This will prevent any air from drying out the paint stripper, thus making the stripper more effective. Let the wheel sit for no less than 30 minutes.
3. Peel the garbage bag off the wheel. The clear coat should have bubbled up and is ready to come right off. (Clear coat kind of boogers up at this point)
4. Brush the clear-coat off using a brush or a rag. Try not to get the paint stripper on your hands because it burns the skin.
5. You can also use a plastic putty knife to help scrape off some of the stubborn clear coat that tends not to come rite off.
6. Use a pipe-wire brush to strip the paint and clear off of the teardrop indentions. The gray paint and clear coat is very difficult to get out of these indentions. A pipe wire brush can also be found a Home Depot for about $4.00.
7. You might have to do the process more than once as described above on some of your wheels if the entire clear coat does not come off the first time. Re-apply the Bix Paint stripper and garbage bag and wait for 30 more minutes.
8. Wash the wheel using soapy water and make sure all the stripper and clear coat is off the wheel.
9. If the Aluminum has corroded in certain areas, start sanding using 100 grit sand paper where the aluminum has corroded. Try not to sand outside these areas preventing excess scratches on the wheels. Use a circular sanding motion technique (Wax on Wax off )
10. Fill a bucket of water and use 220 Grit sand paper and start wet sanding the aluminum, continuously dipping the sand paper in the bucket of water during the sanding process. This will prevent sanded pieces of aluminum and other gritty material from scratching the aluminum. Make sure to sand over the corroded areas extensively to get rid of deep sanding scratches that may have been left by the 100 grit sandpaper. Wet sand with the 220 Grit until the surface feels smooth and non-porous.
If the aluminum on your wheels is not corroded and seems to be in good shape, Skip step “9” and “10” and start wet sanding with 500 grit sand paper.
11. Next, use 800 Grit sandpaper to wet sand the surface of the wheels. Again using a circular sanding motion. This sanding process should provide a much smoother surface than previous sanding sessions.
12. For final wet sanding, use a 1000 Grit Sandpaper. This will provide a finished surface. Move on to 1200 Grit Sandpaper after finishing with the 1000 grit.
13. To polish them, use a polishing wheel (H&S Hardware) on a drill. I bought a medium grade polishing wheel to do all the polishing
Apply Polishing Putty (usually comes in a stick at Hardware Stores) on the surface to be polished and then buff over it with a buffing wheel. (Attach the buffing wheel to a regular drill.)

The teardrop indentions(Grey Paint) came right off after using a little elbow power and the use of the pipe wire brush shown above. The wire brush will leave scratches on the aluminum but the wet sanding will take the scratches right out, creating a very smooth surface. The wet sanding will take some time if you are doing it by hand.
After the sanding is done. You can mask off the rest of wheel except for the teardrop indentions. Buy some gray Auto Paint or any other color you wish to use and lightly spray the teardrop indentions. I didn't do this to mine. I thought the all around aluminum look was a better look.
After you paint has dried (time to dry???..read directions on paint can), buy some Enamel Clear Coat Spray at AutoZone or Pep boys in the paint section of the store.
Lightly spray the rims with 3 coats in 2-hour intervals to create an even coat. Clear coat tends to run, so only apply light coats. Allow the clear coat to dry for at least 48hrs before mounting tires.
You should take your wheels off the car. However, you don't have to take the tires off the rim if you choose not to. Taking the tire off the rims would be better because you could finish the wheel lips more efficiently. If you choose not to take the tires off the rim, make sure you mask of the tires before spraying the clear-coat.
I didn't apply the clear coat. I'm just leaving the clear coat off. The wheels are shiny enough after the final wet sanding (1000 Grit) process.
If you want a high shine (almost chrome) look. Use a drill or buffer as shown above and apply aluminum polishing putty (H&S hardware) on the buffing wheel and then start lightly buffing the aluminum. NOTE: This process is only for a stripped wheel without the clear coat. You can't polish the wheel unless the clear coat has been stripped off. After the desired shine has been reached. Your ready to go. You don't have to apply any clear coat.
COURTESY OF SHUMMACUMMA
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
sounds kind of complicated but i have one question what are tear drops?


Modified by TDI_Savva at 10:43 AM 5-19-2004
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: (jahciple)

oh ok the ones i have are off or early mkr gti's i have them on my jetta right now and think they would look pretty sweet polished
 
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