How-to: Polish heavily oxidized and pitted aluminum wheels - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-31-2010
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How-to: Polish heavily oxidized and pitted aluminum wheels

Original thread: http://www.ranger-forums.com/f59/how...-wheels-68442/


Let the modding Begin!!

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How-to: Polish heavily oxidized and pitted aluminum wheels

In this how-to I will be showing you one method on bringing back the shine of a heavily pitted and oxidized aluminum wheel.

Materials needed:
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Rags
  • Alum Polish
  • 800 grit wet sand paper
  • 1500 grit wet sand paper
  • 2000 grit wet sand paper
  • Spray Bottle


Procedure:

First clean your wheels, I like to use Simple Green because it does not hurt the alum wheel

here is the pitted and oxidized wheel(sadly thats even washed):





Next put some water in your bucket and spray bottle you can add a couple drops of dish soap for lubrication if desired

now keeping your wheel wet constantly, wet sand your wheel starting with 800 then 1500 then 2000. how **** you are about getting a good surface the better the wheel will look when its done...

here is the paper i used...






here is the wheel finished wet sanded after the final 2000 grit.





here is pitted oxidized, wet sanded, polished (in that order)





now your ready to polish the wheel with alum polish. you can use little buffer wheels or by hand. how much time you spend here will determine how "chrome" like your finish will be..

here is the polish i used




now enjoy your NOT pitted and very well polished wheel....






Time per wheel can range from 1 hour-12 hours depending on how bad the wheel is or how picky you are..

Last edited by 98liftedranger; 11-27-2011 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013
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Nice job.....there's no sustitute for elbow grease and patience.
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Old 12-17-2013
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This would work for polished aluminum wheels correct? I have a bunch of free time this week and this looks like a great project.
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Old 12-17-2013
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If they aren't totally pitted or heavily oxidized, use steel wool. Start coarse and go to fine, then buff with the hot rims.
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Old 01-13-2014
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after sanding would you be able to paint the wheels or would that require more than just sanding
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Old 01-15-2014
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You could. Prime them with etching primer first. Then sand smooth. Then paint.
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Old 01-15-2014
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gave this a try on my seriously in need rims. there are some minor swirls but this was only with 4 hrs work total on two rims...i will post some pics in my gallery
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Old 02-12-2014
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Nice post deff gona do this soon! quest tho, what kind of preventative maintenance can I (someone) do to keep alum wheels looking great like that??

polishing and wet sanding them every now and again???
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Old 02-13-2014
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Haha, they're still pitted

Quote:
Originally Posted by powerranger262 View Post
If they aren't totally pitted or heavily oxidized, use steel wool. Start coarse and go to fine, then buff with the hot rims.
You shouldn't use steel wool on aluminum
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Old 02-18-2014
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Curious as to why? Mine looked just like Stone's wheels when I started. They came out better, and without any pitting on them with the steel wool.

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Old 08-06-2016
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If you use steel wool on aluminum you will get micro splinters embedded in the rim. It will look great until the steel splinters rust. If you are going to paint the rims, using steel wool would work just fine.
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