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Old 02-19-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
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Pads for Polishing Aluminum Wheels??

So I've got a set of bare, cast aluminum wheels that need A LOT of TLC. They are in bad shape from the salt and winter crap. These things have been a nightmare to take care of due to no coating of any type. These pictures don't even begin to show the damage/corrosion/stains on them, but more or less to show you what I'm working on.

I have a 3" backing plate that I use in a drill and had one (appropriately sized) wool 'cutting' pad laying around. I tried a spot on the wheel with Mothers Power Metal and it worked great. It really brought that spot back to life with no visible 'damage' from the polish/pad combo.

I just wanted to post up and get opinions though if the wool pad is the way to go? I just don't think any foam pads would cut through on these wheels.

Can I use decreasing coarseness in pads to further enhance the shine as I go? What technique would you use and where can I get more pads that small. I found some on AG, but just looking for suggestions all around. Thanks guys.









Like I said...these pics are older so don't be fooled by how good they look here...they're horrible. I'll get some different/current pics up later.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
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Re: Pads for Polishing Aluminum Wheels??

How about just getting a Powerball Mini from Mothers or Megs newest offering ????
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:42 PM   #3
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Re: Pads for Polishing Aluminum Wheels??

Ha...I used a power cone/ball on my drill at full speed with several products (Mothers Power Metal, and a few various other metal/aluminum polishes)...it literally did not touch it. Did not make a single bit of difference. I can't explain how literally I mean it didn't clean up a single bit. That's how bad the wheels are. The wool pad was the only thing to cut through.

Now that the corrosion/stains/surface defects are gone from the wool pad, a power ball may provide a nice finishing up touch, but it's done nothing to provide the correction I need.

I've thought about trying their Powerball HD, but I think it would be another waste of time still being a foam product until I get the correction part done.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Re: Pads for Polishing Aluminum Wheels??

Updated pics of just how bad things are. Bottom pic is the area I did today with the wool pad and Mothers PowerMetal. Great potential. Wheels are a little pitted up from the corrosion, but will still look pretty good when finished.







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Old 02-19-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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Re: Pads for Polishing Aluminum Wheels??

Im a huge fan of Nuvite C grade for rims like this - its a very aggressive (very gritty) compound..... I can normally use this compound with a micro fiber and do it by hand and it works great.... then go over with either your favorite metal polish or Nuvite A grade.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:47 PM   #6
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Re: Pads for Polishing Aluminum Wheels??

Quote:
Originally Posted by galaxy View Post
Updated pics of just how bad things are. Bottom pic is the area I did today with the wool pad and Mothers PowerMetal. Great potential. Wheels are a little pitted up from the corrosion, but will still look pretty good when finished.





Looks like there's some iron from brake dust embedded in the aluminum, so maybe start with some Iron Cut or Sonax Full effect to chemically remove the bonded (and embedded) iron particles.

Then, you can get specialized cotton buffs used for things like polishing molds etc. They come in tapered cylinders and mushrooms. Search online for "tapered buff" Most of these are pretty aggressive as they are designed for removing tool marks from machined metal, so go easy.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:10 PM   #7
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Re: Pads for Polishing Aluminum Wheels??

Have you looked into using Flitz PreClean and Flitz Metal Polish?

Mike made a video showcasing these two products on a Show Car Garage Episode. Check it out. Flitz wheel polishing
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