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How to remove clear from aluminum rims and start over???


Ian6
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I recently tackled a project like this. I bought a used set of rims are off a 84 Grand National. I started with 320 grit, then 600, then 1000. You could even go 1500 grit if needed. Finally I used Adams Metal polish. It was actually pretty easy. I cleaned another set of similiar rims with just the metal polish. It worked but took forever. The sandpaper gets rid of the oxidation pretty quick.

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I media blast my self. If you already have an air compressor you can get the whole set up for about 100 dollars, I do not imagine it would cost much more then that too have four 15 inch wheels blasted either. There is no way you would spend 500 to 1500 to have four wheels media blasted.

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those came out awesome, did you wet or dry sand?

 

Thanks. I dry sanded them with 3M wet or dry sandpaper. This is the first time I've done a project like this. I was going to get them blasted and figured I would give it a try. It was much easier than I thought. Only sanding expertise I had was with woodworking. BTW when I was researching the pricing I found was anywhere from $25-$50 per wheel to get them soda blasted.

Edited by butchman
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Guys on the TBSSOwners site have used aircraft stripper to remove their factory clear without issue. You'll end up doing a lot of polishing once you get the clear off, but it will be worth it. You also might want to look into having the wheels re-cleared after you have them polished the way you want, otherwise you should plan on polishing all the time as that bare aluminum will constantly require attention and especially if you live in a part of the country where salt or sodium chloride are used during the winter months on the roads.

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Guys on the TBSSOwners site have used aircraft stripper to remove their factory clear without issue. You'll end up doing a lot of polishing once you get the clear off, but it will be worth it. You also might want to look into having the wheels re-cleared after you have them polished the way you want, otherwise you should plan on polishing all the time as that bare aluminum will constantly require attention and especially if you live in a part of the country where salt or sodium chloride are used during the winter months on the roads.

 

I've heard that all chemical strippers are basically the same only some are stronger like the aircraft stripper and I have two gallons of jasco stripper which I read has almost the same chemical ingredients as the aircraft stripper and I've read some people have used jasco so I'll give that a try. Yeah I might re-clear them at school next year but I dont have to worry about them getting messed up in the winter, I live in Texas so there is no such thing as salt on the road maybe a little sprinkle of sand on the one day during winter that we might see some ice but on that day I dont even leave the house unless someone picks me up lol not worth the risk of accident

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I media blast my self. If you already have an air compressor you can get the whole set up for about 100 dollars, I do not imagine it would cost much more then that too have four 15 inch wheels blasted either. There is no way you would spend 500 to 1500 to have four wheels media blasted.

 

I misread what he typed. I thought he asked how much new rims would cost.

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Guys on the TBSSOwners site have used aircraft stripper to remove their factory clear without issue. You'll end up doing a lot of polishing once you get the clear off, but it will be worth it. You also might want to look into having the wheels re-cleared after you have them polished the way you want, otherwise you should plan on polishing all the time as that bare aluminum will constantly require attention and especially if you live in a part of the country where salt or sodium chloride are used during the winter months on the roads.

 

I was originally going to leave mine raw like in the pictures. My friends said the same thing you did. I painted the black part with Duplicolor wheel paint satin black, then I painted the entire rim with Duplicolor wheel paint clear. It only took a can and a half for all 4 rims. Now I just have to see how it holds up. Its a summer car so should be too bad.

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i think you should dry sand them starting with 320, 600, then 1000

then wet sand them with 2000, 2500, then 3000 grit

then fine steel wool

then SSR or SHR apply by hand for a brushed look, or with a focal pad and powerball for a mirrored look.

then MP by hand, focal pad, or powerball just like you did with the SSR or SHR

then your choice of wax by hand

 

and you will have some brand spankin' new looking wheels!

 

estimated time and cost: 1 hour per wheel, $50 in materials.

 

some tips: stop dry sanding once you know you've gotten through the clear coat. with each step after that, the scratches/swirls should get finer and finer. once you get to the polishes, don't stop until you cannot see anymore scratches or swirls, unless your going for that brushed look. a couple coats of wax should seal them up nice!

Edited by 2010TexasEdition
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I decided to use the stripper because the wheels are brushed aluminum and I thought that I'd end up messing up the metal if I sanded it because getting the clear out of the tiny grooves would require sanding down to that level [i guess its called brushed aluminum, makes a record scratch sound like a DJ when I rub my nail on it lol]

Used Jasco sealant and adhesive stripper/remover, applied with trim paintbrush so as to not get it on the tires, waited for the clear to start bubbling then scraped it off with a plastic scraper and blasted the rest of the softened clear off with the hose pressure nozzle. cleaned up my DRL's/indicator lights while I was at it too :D

 

Before

011_8.jpg

After

012.jpg

 

Before

wheels_before.jpg

013.jpg

 

After the clear was stripped off

017.jpg

 

After metal polish

019.jpg

Still need to hit some spots with a more aggressive polish, what would you guys recommend, wish adams made one [but I do understand that a product like that wouldnt sell well since most adams customers wouldnt need it] SO what metal polish, product, or method would you guys recommend on the more stubborn spots, Thanks

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