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Stripping Clearcoat on Aluminum Rims...


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#1 germ79

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 05:25 PM

I have a '97 WS6 that I just purchased a few months ago. The person that had it before me didn't use the proper products to clean the rims, so the clear coat on them is kind of cloudy, stained, and even chipped off in a few spots.

I am wanting to strip the clear coat off over the winter and polish the aluminum. I've done all kinds of searching and have found that you use the special aircraft stripper to get the clearcoat off, and then you can get the polishing kit online. My question is this:

Can I just strip the clearcoat and polish them and use Aluminum Polish on them every so often or do I have to re-clear them? Is this safe for the aluminum?

I've heard mixed reviews so someone that knows their stuff, please speak up!!

Thanks,
Jeremy

#2 NozeBleedSpeed

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 05:45 PM

The best stuff that I have ever used is Aircraft Paint Stripper. If you dont already have a whole lot of polishing tools at your disposal,it would be cheaper to send them to a pro polisher. Polishing can be the most tedious and dirtiest job known to man.
Depending on the wheel,a lot of polishing step up may be in order. Some cast aluminums can be pretty porous and require a lot of cutting and smoothing just to get to the polishing stage. Even an easy wheel will require a few hours to polish for most guys with lots of tools.

#3 germ79

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 01:31 PM

NozeBleed,

Thanks for your reply. i've heard that the Aircraft Paint Stripper is the best too, and that it should be used with caution!

I expected the job to be a tedious one, but I'm ok with that. I have ALL winter to work on it!

My real question still remains... IS it bad for the aluminum to strip the clearcoat off and not reclear it, but instead just keep it polished?

DOES ANYONE KNOW??? I thought for sure this would be the best place to ask!

Thanks!

Jeremy

#4 disasnguy

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 03:46 PM

i think the aluminum oxidizes if there isn't a protective clear.
Don't question the method... just accept the results.

#5 Magellan498

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 04:02 PM

It's not necessarily bad.

You're just removing a level of protection that would have protected the aluminum from anything that might cause it harm. (oxidation, scratching, etc.)

I'd re-clear them if I could. Good Luck!
~Miguel

#6 Jimmy Buffit

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 04:05 PM

Gosh, they clearcoat 'em for a reason!
If you do all the prep ("I have ALL winter to work on it!"), you might be surprised at how inexpensive the clear might be... and a good investment.

Jim
JB

We Clean Cars.
Not The Planet.

Thank a Veteran. :usa:

#7 NozeBleedSpeed

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 04:42 PM

Most billet wheels on show cars are not clearcoated. Just keep in mind that while an uncoated wheel that is polished can shine like nothing else,it will require constant maintenance. Especially lower grade aluminums that are normally painted. One option could be clear anodized. It doesnt have the same shine but requires very little maintenance. Anodizing wheels can put a dent in your wallet too.

#8 germ79

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 05:26 PM

Originally posted by jimamary
Gosh, they clearcoat 'em for a reason!



Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking too. I've just heard a few people talk about how it isn't REALLY necessary. You guys are probably right though.

I just don't want to invest a TON of money into stock wheels. I'd rather buy new aftermarket wheels if it were going to cost any significant amount of money.

Does anyone know if you can clear coat them yourself? Is it something that you can just buy and spray on and have it turn out fairly nice, or is it like spraypaint that looks like garbage when you're done?

I'll probably just look into some aftermarket wheels for next year.

Thanks!

Jeremy

#9 Ben Z.

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 08:53 PM

Clear coat is just clear paint AFAIK. I'd bet you could get a body shop to shoot them for pretty cheap, if you have them prepared correctly.
'86 Porsche 951 garnet red metallic

#10 germ79

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 04:55 AM

That's what I was hoping....maybe I'll do some calling around today.

J

#11 Gonzo

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Posted 17 December 2003 - 05:41 AM

If you find a body shop to shoot some clear, ask THEM what they would do to prep the wheels. Might just as well both be on the same page .....

Just a thought
If you think you are getting the K-twins on thin enough - IT TOO THICK!

#12 samuellmiles

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 12:34 PM

Since 2003, many advances have been made in alternative, eco-friendly stripping solutions used to strip aluminum wheels. The aircraft strippers and gasket removers are methylene chloride based, a very toxic chemical. Miles Chemical Solutions, LLC has many eco-friendly alternative aluminum wheel stripping solutions, to the Toxic aircraft and gasket removers. For more information on how they work go to: "Aluminum Wheel Paint Stripper,Powder Coating Stripper"

Good Luck with all your future aluminum wheel stripping projects.

#13 rdorman

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 12:11 PM

I have lived with bare aluminum wheels (and other bits) for years. Once polished it really just takes some maintenence. How time consuming that maintenence is depends on the design. Me, I just took some Mother's for maintenence and waxed them so not much effort. Caswell has a wheel kit: Caswell Inc. - Aluminum Wheel Finishing & Polishing Kit Like it says, you can clear coat them, use Shine Seal or just do what I did. Mine last wet where cast centers with polished lips so I just sealed the wheels with a sealent. Not a great picture but you can see what I mean

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#14 forrest

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 08:23 PM

Busch Industries out of North Carolina makes a product called "Clear Coat Remover" to use on rims - paint it on with a brush; let dwell then hose off. It's nasty stuff so remove the rims from the vehicle, wear old clothes and eye protection, and good rubber gloves.

Then, you'll want to polish with an appropriate polish. Polishing Tools like our PowerBall series can help save time and give a more uniform finish.

Yes, they require regular maintenance if not coated. But, nothing looks better than a polished rim.

You need to decide how much time and effort you're willing to devote to their maintenance. That'll tell you whether or not to go for a polished or coated finish.




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