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Old 12-27-2002, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default Care for Alloy Rims

I need some advice

The protective coating on my 15" alloy rims beginning to come off. What is the best measure to restore them?

I have heard sandblasting and then re-coating.....what do you think?
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Old 01-03-2003, 05:40 AM   #2
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I used to CNC machine GM aluminum wheels for a OEM manufacturer, once the clear coat is gone thats it...(hmmm they make them that way so you'll either buy a new car or replace them at a profit) sand blasting is a way, but be careful...it makes them more prone to leaking around the bead........replacements I've found of OEM wheels can be found in the states (Michigan) at
http://www.aaarims.com/
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Old 01-03-2003, 12:48 PM   #3
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A good body shop can strip the wheels for you. They have the right chemicals. They would probably sub the polishing work to a machine shop. Once they got the wheels back they could put a few coats of heavy duty clear coat on them and they should be good as new. Keep in mind there will be some kind of turn-around time on getting all this done, so it would help to have a backup set of rims.

Granted, I have no idea what this would cost. You would have to ask the shop.

I just know it can be done, because (quite) a few years back, I remember buying an aluminum rim restoration kit for doing just that. It came with a stripper that had the biggest skull-and-cross-bones I have ever seen on a label. This stuff was nasty. You needed to be outside and wear rubber gloves, but it worked in one application. It also came with some brass brushes, polishing compound and clear coat. I have never seen this kit since. It was probably banned from sale due to the toxicity of the chemicals.

I tried a few years later to do the same thing on some aluminum center caps by using paint stripper from the hardware store. No good. You need the industrial strength stuff that only body and restoration shops can get.

Good luck,
Jay
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Old 01-03-2003, 01:04 PM   #4
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Thanx Jay, something to keep in mind for sure, I also heard about that kind of product. It was a few years back...almost 5 or so now. My father had a black 86 VW Scirrocco with 16" wire EXIP rims, he scratched them on a curb and purchased something like that solvent that you mentioned.

As far as I remember it worked. I looked for something similar...no luck. A friend of ours has a body shop, thats where I plan on doing my body work/re-paint/clearcoat, maybe he'll do the rims while he'* at it....hmmmm

Might be worth it. I have been testing out some products on the shelves in order to see what dissolves brake dust and road grime etc. I have been using Eage One tire wet for the tires and Eagle One alloy cleaner for the rims. It heavy duty too, its like a orange colour. Its been doing the job for sure. But if I'm going to do a full restoration then getting the professional work done is something to consider
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