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Oxidized Rims

 
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:43 AM
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Oxidized Rims

Has anyone here ever sand blasted oxidized alloy rims when they get corroded and ugly? There must be a good way to make these eye sores pretty again without a huge amount of elbow grease. I don't mind buying new rims, but I'd rather not. Thx
 
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:48 AM
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Go to a professional detail shop. There is a low grade acid you can spray on tire rim oxidation (and brake dust) that rips that stuff right off, but it's not for the faint of heart. This is money well spent. They can spray the stuff on and wash it off while they are still on your truck and do it all in a few hours.

If you are willing to sand blast the things, then give this a shot. It may not work, but if it does it will save you a metric a$$load of money, time and bother.

...edit...
Depending on how bad the oxidation is, they may take your rims off in order to buff them out. As I mentioned, if you are willing to sand blast the things then you should be more than willing to visit a professional detail shop and get their opinion. I used to part time at a professional detail shop back a very large number of years ago. There are a ton of things a good detail shop can do that would surprise you...
...edit...
 
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:10 PM
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I know it may not seem like it works but look into Gord's cleaner and polish. I had 15 years of oxidation and brake dust on my rims. I took all of it off with just some scrubbing with the polish and steel wool.
 
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:18 PM
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If you have the factory alloy wheels they are clear coated not bare aluminum. I have used furniture stripper to remove the coating. Then I polished them up. After that cleaned and prepped them really good and re clear coated them. There is clearcoat in a spray can specifically for wheels. I did a set of fox body wheels thus way and 10 years later they still washed up like new. It takes a little work but just be patient.
 
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:59 PM
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I would not use sand or any heavy grit on aluminum wheels. Better use walnut shells or soda blasting powder. Sand will eat soft aluminum up and you will have more problems than just surface issues!
 
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:15 PM
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If these are stock aluminum rims that still have the clear coat on them-use rubbing compound on them. Try the rubbing compound for clear coat two stage paint first.

The clear coat on the factory rims can become cloudy over time. If cloudy-rubbing compound can help remove the cloudiness . It will not improve the corrosion.

I saw about a 40 percent improvement on appearance when I used 3M rubbing compound on my factory wheels.Get this 3m rubbing compound in a small black bottle-it is in liquid form from Walmart. This 3M is also good for polishing the rear taillight lens. Most excellent .
 
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasGuy001 View Post
If you have the factory alloy wheels they are clear coated not bare aluminum. I have used furniture stripper to remove the coating. Then I polished them up.
Hey Texas,
did you do this with the tires still on the wheels? I just had new tires put on but need to clean my wheels up too & don't feel like breaking them down! Need to strip the clear as they are "spider webbing".
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Fungus232 View Post
Hey Texas,
did you do this with the tires still on the wheels? I just had new tires put on but need to clean my wheels up too & don't feel like breaking them down! Need to strip the clear as they are "spider webbing".
It can be done with tires mounted, but is much easier without tires in the way. Mask them off really good.

The rubbing compound will help bring decent wheels back to life depending on how bad they are.
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Flivver250 View Post
Has anyone here ever sand blasted oxidized alloy rims when they get corroded and ugly? There must be a good way to make these eye sores pretty again without a huge amount of elbow grease. I don't mind buying new rims, but I'd rather not. Thx
My personal suggestion is go to the nearest good sized truck stop that has a truck wash and find out who does the wheel polishing in the area. Most truck washes will do them for $15 to $20 or less per wheel ... some "independent " polishers will do them for as little as $5 a wheel. I prefer the truck wash guys. They will "acid" wash and pre-clean ... then polish them up ... all I can say is be picky on there work either way !!!! Good luck ... Dave
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:44 AM
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Clear coat throws a different thing into the mix. I did not realize they clear coated the original rims. The acid wash is not a good thing to do if there is some clear coat nonsense going on.

We did acid wash painted rims though, it cuts that brake dust nonsense right out. You simply have to time it very, very closely or you are going to have a real big mess on your hands.
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:44 AM
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Anybody that has said take it to a detail shop and have them sprayed in acid is spot on. I detailed at a ford dealership and thats the way we did it when you couldnt get at it with elbow grease. I wouldnt call it low grade acid though, it eats through shoes and jeans and burns your lungs if you breathe it in.
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:54 AM
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Elbow grease? You have enough of that nonsense running wax on the car itself, lol! Cleaning the rims was all chemical. It made short work of that nonsense and did a bang up job. Give the detail shop a shot. If they are worth their salt they'll give you 90% to 99% of what you really want on your rims with no muss and no fuss.
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by fordbozo View Post
Clear coat throws a different thing into the mix. I did not realize they clear coated the original rims. The acid wash is not a good thing to do if there is some clear coat nonsense going on.
After I got my NEW Eagle alloys for my F250 about 5 yrs ago I didn't want to "ruin" the finish on them so I just washed and waxed them at least once a month ... they still looked like "$#!t" because I got busy and didn't keep after them!!! After about a year + I decided they needed to "shine" again ... so on a trip to Ca I stopped in Barstow Ca (4 or 5 big truckstops) to have my truck washed and to have the wheels polished up. The clear coat was all but gone so they sprayed some (citric) acid, same stuff they use on aluminum fuel tanks and trailers to eliminate the oxidation and brake dust before they had the 4 guys attack it with the buffers ... the whole thing took about 45 min. and cost $40 plus a $10 tip. They looked better than new That was over 1 1/2 ago and they are due again soon and will get it too!!! Oh yes I did check with a detail shop in Vegas before the trip to CA and the quoted $35 per wheel + $5 each to remove & replace them on the truck... never looked back and went to Barstow CA. .... After 40+ yrs of driving semi's I think I know how to keep my ride nice !!! Dave
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:37 AM
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Polishing compound is out. His wheels are exactly like the wheels on my '86. They're pitted w/ oxidation and the clear coat looks like a yellow haze, even when cleaned. They look like they need to be blasted with something or perhaps an acid treatment would work. I'd assume whatever treatment necessary to remove the damaged clear coat and oxidation, then re-clear coat them. Have any of you done this?
 
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:57 AM
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All good advice. I'll try the detail shop. I like twisting wrenches, I don't like detailing.
 

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