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restore alloy wheels

337 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Al 260Z
I have a 1970 Z with a set of those alloys that I see many of these cars with. Anybody have a good way to clean/polish them? should I have them painted? I tried all sorts of aluminum cleaners but I think I have to take them off and really restore them somehow.

are they supposed to be polished?

rainy weekend in south dakota, good weather for a project like this.

Peter Schmid
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I get good results using wire wheels chucked into my drill and angle grinder. Start with a steel wire wheel, then use a brass wire one. from there, you can use a wheel made with plastic abrasive,(all available at Home depot) then finally a cloth buffing bonnet charged with coarse rubbing compound. This is quick and leaves a nice matte finish. If you want mirror polish, you have to charge another cloth bonnet with rouge. And it takes a whole lot longer.
use red scotch brite then switch to steel wool fine then use mothers
aluminum polish you can get it online from mothers i do it every year
you only have to take them off the car once then every year they come back great with just the mothers polish

if you can find somebody to bead blast them or something, that should work well. It would take alot of elbow-grease out of the situation.
I have always heard that you should never use steel wool since tiny steel fibers get imbedded in the aulinum and cause future corrosion problems.
Probably the same as yours. Got the crisscross pattern webbing sort of like spoke wheels. I think they are "Applied" . These came in two different sizes, both 14" dia. The 14x7s are prefered and fit perfect just inside the wheelwell lip even on a lowered car. I think the other version is 14x5.5 or 14x6 and is more like the stock rim size. I wouldn't sink much money into this style.

Had mine worked over a few years ago. Installation of steel inserts for tapered lug nuts really helped center the wheels and get rid of high speed shaking. Then they got basted and powder coated. Total cost was about $900. Should have got the new set of rims for $350.

Powder coat is not as hard as I hoped. It scratches and dings pretty easily. But they still look OK.

Later, Al
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