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Guys,

I have a question about refinishing rims. I am working on one of the swiss cheese rims on my GLH.

I believe I have most if not all of the clear coat sanded off the wheel I am working on. I used aircraft remover initially and then went to a more aggressive approach with 800 grit sandpaper on an orbital sander.

Is this the correct approach, so far? I do see some scratches in the wheel. Is wet sanding the next step?

Should I try to sand out any "curb rash" or deep scratches on the edges? Is it worth the trouble?

Next, I plan to polish the wheel, remove the polish and then and re-clear coat it and re-mount my tire.

Is THIS also the correct approach? If so, I have 3 to go.

If right or wrong - the wheels do SEEM to "look" a bit better.

Mike
 

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A lot of work to be sure, but there are plenty of things to make it easier. I polish aluminum all the time, and while my pieces are nowhere near show polished, they look pretty damn nice. By far the easiest approach to rims I've found is as follows:

Step 1: use a rolox abrasive pad (medium) to remove clear coat and smooth the machine marks and scratches
2: The Eastwood Company sells greaseless grinding compound in many different grits. It basically turns a buffer into a flexible sander. I use four grits from 80 thru 320 on a 2" mushroom buff in a high speed drill (seperate buff for each grit)
3: Use emery buffing compound on a 4" loose sewn cotton buff in drill
4: Use Autosol polish on a 4" cotton buff
5: clean and use to shave in lol

All the stuff I use is from Eastwood. They sell on Ebay also, and the money you spend on it is well worth the wear and tear on your hands from sanding. plus you can do four rims in a day versus one a day by hand
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Guys thanks for responding.

I did sand the edges and inner lip of the rim by hand, but I haven't been sanding the center (face) of the rim by hand as it is easier to use an air sander. This is specifically what I hope I'm doing correct as I don't want to mar or damage the rims.

If I continue the process I started - my next steps are to sand with a mid level grit like a 400 or a 600 - and then finish with a 800 grit wet sand to remove some of the scratches of the 130 grit.
***Is this correct?
I bought an aluminum polishing kit from Eastwood that came with a few buffing pads that I planning to use, after the sanding is completed. I have polish from the kit along with Brasso and Mother's Hot Rims and Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish. (Mother's for a real Mutha of a job.) LOL
***How should I clean and sand the inside of the holes on my Swiss cheese wheels? ***Would you suggest using a rotary tool (Dremel) in the holes.
***Should i try to remove all the dings on the rims? This would take additional sanding as some of fairly deep scratches or gashes (curb rash).

Using the 5 inch power sander does make sanding fairly easy. So far tis job seems more time consuming than difficult.

Mike
 

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there is a much easier way if you have a few bucks to invest in the wheels - find a find a shop that refinishes rims
there was one here back in the 90's it cost 50 bucks a wheel to have them lathed - the same way they were finished when new
 

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Here is the valve cover on my 86 I recently finished using my method. I did not touch the thing with wet sand paper

A dremel tool is definitely the easiest way to get in the holes. I would guess the kit you got has the grinders grease? Use that and sanding drums on the dremel
 

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Autosol from Eastwood. Supposedly it'll keep it nice and you just apply it once a year or so. This is my first time using it so we'll see. Does a real nice job polishing though! I dare say better than mothers even
 

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The Best Aluminun polish I've found is Ragman's Metal Polish 419-668-4288 Norwalk,Oh. The other was Semichrome that is found at Motorcycle shops. It does what it says if you don't mind the work!
 

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I refinished a set of wheels using nothing but sandpaper. Just start with a coarse paper and work your way up to 2000 grit. I agree with everyone. Its a cheap way to get your wheels to look nice, but alot of work. Use the way that works best for you and good luck!
:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's a link to the polishing kit that I bought from Eastwood -
Aluminum Polishing Kit 13 pc set. There are no grinding tools in the kit. I'll check out the Autosol stuff. That valve cover really looks great!

I decided on doing this myself after pricing a few shops. It seemed the going rate was about $125 per rim. One guy hinted that it might cost more depending on the condition of the rim and how the process was going.
I have come to realize that most automotive shops do not like getting involved with resto work. If they do decide to do the work - they have to "like" your car. An "Omni" doesn't inspire a "Chevy guy" to do his best work. So, for that kind of money and "bs", I decided to experiment and do it myself - win or lose.

After the polish is applied - I assume I am removing the polish and then applying a clear coat? Is this "sealing" step?
Mike
 

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Sorry I never saw your question. This site sometimes doesn't notify me for some reason. Anyway, I used the tube of autosol cream polish. I have been eyeballing that aerosol though so if you get it let me know how it wirks
 

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I used Jasco paint stripper from Lowes (in the paint isle for removing varish off furniture), then used on my DA 180 grit, 320 grit, 600 grit, 1000 grit and 1500 grit. Sanded off the machined lines and then polished it with microfinishing compound and some Coral Blue to shine em up more. Then wax n grease remover and recleared.
 

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For swiss cheese rims the easiest way to refinish them is to wet sand them from 180 grit and work your way up to 2000 grit.

The real secret to doing it is jacking one wheel up on your car and putting it in gear. Then to let the wheel spin while you wet sand the wheel. It is dangerous, especially if you get your finger caught in the hole in the rim, but it'll take less than an hour to do four wheels. It'll look something like this:

www.allpar.com/gallery3/var/resizes...991-Dodge-Daytona-C-S/Wheels/aftersanding.jpg

Then the real work begins. Polishing. I used whatever cheap aluminum polish I could get at Walmart. After a few hours you can get a mirror finish:

www.allpar.com/gallery3/var/resizes/Daytona/2nd-Gen/My-1991-Dodge-Daytona-C-S/Wheels/afterpolish.jpg
 
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