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Polished my factory TBSS wheels


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This was a little project I began last fall when I pulled these wheels off in order to swap my winter set on...for the winter we never really had here in Northern Indiana.

 

It ended up being a pretty tedious process and overall, I spent about 10-12 hours total to get them from the factory finish to the polished finish that you'll see in the pictures.

 

The process I used was as follows:

 

I began with aircraft stripper applied with a paint brush. The first coat of stripper was blasted off with the fire hose nozzle opened all the way up. That was enough to get the majority of the clear coat off.

 

I then used a different kind of sprayable stripper and applied another full coat of that. Agitated with a VRT block sponge, then sprayed off with the hose. That got 99% of the clear off, and I just spot treated any left-over stubborn areas with the sprayable stripper and some #0000 steel wool.

 

Once all the clear was gone, it was time to polish. I used an un-named red ball on a cordless drill with MP #1 for the majority of the heavy lifting. I did 1 wheel with MP #1 by hand and it nearly killed me, so that's why I switched to the ball. ;)

 

After everything has been hit with MP #1, I started with MP #2 and a blue MF applicator. This step made a HUGE difference! They looked nice after MP #1, but they really popped after #2 did it's work!

 

After the MP combo was done, I did a quick IPA wipe down to remove and left over polishing residue, then applied two coats of QS with an Americana applicator. I also put one coat of QS on the barrels of the wheels, but didn't do any polishing on them. Followed that with a coat of Americana and some VRT on the tires. On to the pictures....

 

Before:

 

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In progress:

 

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Bottom two spokes are polished here:

 

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Here's a pretty good illustration of what the Adam's Metal Polish combo is capable of. Bottom three spokes are finished and you can see the half-finished, half-not line at the 9 o'clock position:

 

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Finished!

 

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Sounds like a weekend project in the making for me, only because I don't have a 2nd set of wheels. So it will go on the lift at work, all rims off, and ill break the tires down as well, so I can address a rim leak issue I'm having.

 

I'll be curious to see how often these need re-polishing being bare aluminum, only because in my experience they are a PAIN. but if I can similar results I will have them cleared.

 

Slick write up thanks!!

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Sounds like a weekend project in the making for me, only because I don't have a 2nd set of wheels. So it will go on the lift at work, all rims off, and ill break the tires down as well, so I can address a rim leak issue I'm having.

 

I'll be curious to see how often these need re-polishing being bare aluminum, only because in my experience they are a PAIN. but if I can similar results I will have them cleared.

 

Slick write up thanks!!

 

In theory, they should last as long as the Americana/QS lasts, given that I got them completely sealed and didn't miss and nooks/crannies.

 

Even if they do need routine polishing, it will only be with MP #2. The hard work is already done. :cheers:

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 8 years later...

Bringing up a thread from the way back....

 

My wheels are in not as good of condition as these, but I wanted to get everyone’s opinion on what I can do with them. 
 

Since the clear coat has been compromised, I realize the first step will be stripping the clear coat off. Think polishing is still an option, or will these need to be refinished? I want to make them look better, but these are also going to end up being my “winter wheels”. And don’t mind the brakes, those have already been addressed...
 

Any input is appreciated!

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I have removed the clear coat from wheels twice.  The first time was using a chemical stripper and I can say it was a learning experience.  Since I only used a chemical once and I was not familiar with the chemical, I have no way of knowing if it was the expected outcome, if I messed up or the chemical wasn't up to the task.  The end result is that the wheels did not come out very good.  I just can't say exactly why, but talking to others I was told it takes practice to get it right.

 

The second try was using sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as the sand blasting media.  This worked very well and did not damage the wheels themselves and I was able make them look very good again. I did have the wheels clear coated by a person that painted cars, so they were done right.   Overall, the sand blasting and being clear coated made the wheels more than acceptable for a daily driver.

 

Good luck with your efforts.

Edited by RayS
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Thanks Ray. I have the same feelings about chemical stripping. Sure, I’ve seen plenty of videos of people making it look easy, but reality is different. I’m hesitant to use chemicals because I don’t want to damage the wheel, and also don’t want to create more work. 
 

As far as blasting, my plan is to not dismount the tires at this time. I’ll re-evaluate once I’m due for new tires. I don’t drive it much, and have other vehicles so I’m just doing 1 wheel at a time. I’m hoping to sand the clear coat off, but I also realize this is a very involved process going through several different grits of sandpaper before switching to polish. If anyone has sanded wheels before, what series of grits did you use? 
 

The benefit of these wheels is they are flat and straight, so access for sanding is not an issue for even finishing. 
 

Thanks!

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