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Anyone paint their aluminum wheels?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Pookster, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    A set of my american racing wheels look... well, simply terrible. THeir oxidized, have absolutely no trace of any clear coat left, and they look a little pitted.

    I'd like to scuff them, clean them up, and spray it with some nice color. Any ideas? Someone said that the paint will come off with heat from the rotors.
     
  2. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    i painted mine with a rattle can wheel paint it made them look brand new
     
  3. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Painting aluminum wheels?!? /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/shame.gif... /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Why paint them? Sand them down with 320 grit paper on a DA, this will remove all the oxidation and take the alum down just enough to remove any small pits. Then have them (or yourself if you own a good powerfull buffer) buffed out after the sanding and you will need sun glasses to look at them on a sunny day. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    If you ever wonder how the semi truck guys keep their alcoas so mirror shiny is by doing just what I said once a year or so. I have done a few rims myself for our semis, taken nasty grease covered inside wheel rims to shiny like my Welds. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Sandpaper?

    I have aluminum wheels on my daily driver, and I'd never take sandpaper to them. Maybe some medium grit polish, but sandpaper is far too coarse and you will scratch the snot out of the aluminum.
     
  5. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Using sandpaper is a beginning step to polishing aluminum.
     
  6. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Do you want it to stick???

    Sandblast them...spray some zinc chromate primer...
    then paint.. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Sandpaper?

    I have aluminum wheels on my daily driver, and I'd never take sandpaper to them. Maybe some medium grit polish, but sandpaper is far too coarse and you will scratch the snot out of the aluminum.

    [/ QUOTE ] /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif Sounds like you don't have much experience with aluminum wheels. The first stage to restoring an aluminum wheel is to sand down past the pits.

    Here is what I said above again if you missed it the first time...
    [ QUOTE ]
    Sand them down with 320 grit paper on a DA,

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Do you know how fine 320 grit is? 320 is the grit usually used last right before a vehicle would recieve a coat of paint. A good buffer will remove the extremely small scratches from 320 and leave an eye blinding smooth finish.

    Like I said, I have done this procedure many times on 22.5" alcoas that are on our semis and we even do it to the alum fuel tanks and anything else that that is alum and is dull. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I have even taken 120 grit to extremely pitted dull wheels first, then over again with 320, and finally a good buffing job. IF you ever wonder how the fancy over the road semis stay so shiny is be repeating this process once a year or so. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  8. ntaj*ep

    ntaj*ep 1/2 ton status

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    Just powder coated a set, they look awesome!!!
     
  9. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    Isnt there a clear coat on aluminum wheels?? How would you polish them if the clear coat is on there??
    -Chris
     
  10. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    You would sand them down to the bare finish. Then once you have the pits out and finish the polishing process... Have them clear coated again.....
     
  11. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Cool, thanks guys! I will do that. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif BLING, here I come!
     
  12. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Cool, thanks guys! I will do that. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif BLING, here I come!

    [/ QUOTE ] You are learning the way of the bling Grasshopper. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    can you go buy a few cans of that clear coat stuff they got in a spray paint cans???
    -chris
     
  14. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    can you go buy a few cans of that clear coat stuff they got in a spray paint cans???
    -chris

    [/ QUOTE ]I've never messed with clear coat. I don't think our Alcoas or my Welds even have clear coat. I've found the best way to keep them from oxidizing is to keep them clean, I wash mine once a week.
     
  15. 85mudblazin

    85mudblazin 1/2 ton status

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    good that will make things easier. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Once you get a good finish after sanding, the best stuff I have found to bring out the shine quick and easy is:

    http://www.valco-cp.com/Magic%20Mix.htm

    I have seen this bring dull/unfinished aluminum tube to a bright and polished shine with just a terry cloth towel and a little bit of rubbing.
     

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