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Old 08-29-2004, 08:25 PM   #1
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Refinishing Aluminum Mag Wheels

I just bought a '79 Avion equipped with aluminum mag wheels. Three of the wheels were painted white by a prior owner and the other two have the original aluminum finish (which look tired and dull).

Are there any suggestions on how I should remove the paint, and how I should polish and finish the wheels?
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Old 08-29-2004, 11:25 PM   #2
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Refinish Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zettervall
I just bought a '79 Avion equipped with aluminum mag wheels. Three of the wheels were painted white by a prior owner and the other two have the original aluminum finish (which look tired and dull).

Are there any suggestions on how I should remove the paint, and how I should polish and finish the wheels?
POR 15 has a nifty refinishing/polishing kit in their catalog.
It includes everything you need to strip, clean and polish the alloys.
Stripper, cleaner, polish, even the buffs that go on a drill motor.
http://www.por15.com/product.asp?productid=333
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:07 AM   #3
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Also I used Klean Strip from my local hardware store, to strip aluminum panels. It worked well. I used the finer steel wool to scrub, and then washed down with mineral spirits, and then soapy water. Sealed with a good sealant, and it was an easy, although ,messy job.
You for sure want to remove the tires, or tape them off with thick papaer and be careful not to let any stray stripper sit on the rubber. Also eye and hand protection is a must.
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Old 08-30-2004, 07:56 AM   #4
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Hi Gang,

Removal of the paint is your choice.

For polishing, look at the Flitz product and the associated polishing ball. The ball fits your power drill and works well with the shape of the older alloy wheels. Flitz itself works well on aluminum.

Thought you ought to know!

Take care,
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Old 08-30-2004, 11:57 AM   #5
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I recently refurbished 6 original cast alum wheels. Mine did not have paint but, bad clear coat.

Tires off, used 600 grit wet-dry cloth, 1000 grit wet-dry followed by good alum mag polish. Dirty job.......

Good Luck,
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
POR 15 has a nifty refinishing/polishing kit in their catalog.
It includes everything you need to strip, clean and polish the alloys.
Stripper, cleaner, polish, even the buffs that go on a drill motor.
http://www.por15.com/product.asp?productid=333

The kit sounded like a very good idea. I went to the POR site and learned that the cost of the kit is $139. Thus, I think I'll try a lower cost procedure first.

JZ
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
Also I used Klean Strip from my local hardware store, to strip aluminum panels. It worked well. I used the finer steel wool to scrub, and then washed down with mineral spirits, and then soapy water. Sealed with a good sealant, and it was an easy, although ,messy job.
You for sure want to remove the tires, or tape them off with thick papaer and be careful not to let any stray stripper sit on the rubber. Also eye and hand protection is a must.
And how did your wheels turn out?
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Old 01-18-2005, 07:50 PM   #8
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Wink The Wheels Are Refinished

I finally refinished the aluminum mag wheels. First, I used a household paint stripper to remove the paint from the 3 painted wheels. It turned out that the unpainted wheel had clearcoat--so, I had to strip that wheel too.

My wheels had some pitted arears which I cleaned up with a drill mounted wire wheel. Next, I used a course steel wool to start the polishing task, and I rubbed in a circular motion which followed the lines of the mag wheel (to eliminate a scratchy appearance). Then, I used a medium steel wool, and finally a fine steel wool to polish--again, in a circular motion following the lines of the mag wheel. The wheels turned out very nice. However, the pitting marks were still evident upon close inspection.

Lastly, I sprayed clearcoat from a spray can to finish the wheels, about four coats. I waited a week for the clearcoat to set up before I remounted the tires on the rims.

It was a job worth doing. My old wheels now look almost new!
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:40 AM   #9
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The 6 mags on my AS were dull and stained. I got some aluminum core cleaner (used to clean air conditioner coils) and it got the majority of stain off. I will still need to do some polishing but the worst of it was done with the cleaner and some tire brush work.
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Old 01-20-2005, 11:52 AM   #10
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Airstream sell a series of products made by Alcoa for Alcoa Mag wheels. I've used and the system works very well. Go to the Airstream web site and look under the store. The last time I looked it was still there.

Mark
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