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Aluminum Wheel RESTORATION
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From: 2013 Summer VBOOST

How to restore aluminum wheels

Products required:
3M backing pad for sanding sur¬face consistency:
3M wetordry sandpaper from 240 grit – 1000 grit.

Mothers PowerBall mini used with Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish: Mothers PowerBall mini MD used with Mothers PowerMetal


This tech article is intended for people that wish to restore or pol¬ish out aluminum wheels. In my case, I acquired the above shown Dymag CH3 tri-spoke magnesium aluminum wheels. The person that had them, before me, had them for 13 years and they were very weathered. Slight signs of oxidation were on the surface.
There are various meth¬ods to polish/restore wheels. I first tried Wenol polish, with a cloth, that cleaned them somewhat, as shown above, but they needed more atten¬tion for that “bling” look... so I had to get down and dirty.
This meant extreme measures! By using wet sanding techniques I first filled up a 5 gallon buck with warm water and some dishwasher detergent. This was a lubricant to keep the wheel wet and soapy for the sanding process. Also keep a cotton rag handy to clean the rim to see your progress. You will also need various grits of 3M wet/dry sand paper sheets from, in my case, 240 to 1000 or greater (depending on how detailed you want it) and 3M backing pad to keep a constant pres¬sure along the sanding surface for consistency.
First soak your sandpaper in the warm soappy water to saturate. Once that is done, begin sanding section by section, in the same di¬rection, to assure you are getting full coverage. DO NOT USE A SWIRLING MOTION! Stick with the basic back and forth sanding technique here.
So you start with the 240 grit wet/dry sandpaper and keep mak¬ing sure it’s wet to keep a good lu¬bricant during the sanding process. You can clean the wheel off from the black residue with your wet cot¬ton cloth to see your progress. You want to make sure you cover all over the aluminum area thoroughly. Flip the wheel over and do the other side once the first side has been com¬pleted with the sandpaper grit that you’re using. Once you have finished the same sandpaper grit on all of the aluminum, then it’s time to move up to the next level of sandpaper grit. In my case I started with the 240 grit, and then went on to 320, 400, 600, 800, and the last of the sandpaper pro¬cess was 1000 grit. Now you can go higher in grit to get even more of a shine or fine sanding, but this was sufficient for my process.
The next step is to start using the Mothers PowerBall mini MD (yel¬low) with the Mothers “PowerMetal” polish. This “PowerBall” has an abra¬sive sponge and when used with the “PowerMetal” polish removes small scratches that were missed in the hand sanding stage. Now apply the polish, in small amounts, to the “Pow¬erBall” and start slowly increasing the speed on a variable speed drill.
Keep a consistent speed as you work around the wheel polishing all of the aluminum surfaces. Below is half of the wheel polished up with the “Powerball mini MD” with “Pow¬erMetal” polish.
So once you work the one side of the wheel to your satisfac¬tion, flip the wheel over and do the same for the other side.
The next step, once you have completed this level of polishing, is to use the Mothers PowerBall mini (red) with the “Mothers Mag & Alu¬minum” Polish. This is the last and final stage of the restoration process. Follow the same steps as you did for the other PowerBall.
Now once you have complet¬ed all of the sanding and polishing steps you should have wheels that have a brilliant shine. Below is the finished product.
To finish the restoration I used a high quality automotive wax to coat the wheels and protect them from road grit and grime. The wax also helps to prevent Oxitation.
This project is a huge invest¬ment in time and “elbow greese”. The amount of time depends on the amount of oxidation on your wheels, when you start, and the level of “Shine” you want to atain. The shinier you want them, the more time it will take. These wheels took well over 8 hours but it was worth it!
If you have any questions on my restoration and polishing pro¬cess, please feel free to contact me at lauramike00@yahoo.com.

Mike Moore
VMOA #2116

Posted on: 2013/11/4 12:41
_________________
Be safe out there and enjoy the ride....

Mike Moore
VMOA Webmaster






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