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Old 05-31-2011, 11:58 AM   #1
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OK, who polishes their own wheels?

Ladies and Gents,
New owner of an '04 full body paint, Itasca Horizon here. It's a beautiful coach. As usual, it came with Accuride, aluminum wheels which, were in pretty darn good shape. I've been polishing aluminum since I was a pup and have used quite a few chemicals, abrasives, compounds, pads, cloths, etc over the years. I started using "Semi-Chrome" way back when I had my '70 Norton Commando M/C.

It's still around and does a pretty good job. I've also used "Wenol" on all the fire truck wheels when I was at work. It's very similar to Semi-Chrome in that it's a paste from a tube, or a can. But, my favorite is a 8oz bottle of "Haze to Amaze Metal Cleaner and Polish" liquid made by Hot Flash Auto and Motorcycle care products. But, since I was getting low, I thought I'd order up another bottle.

Well, as usual, a product I really like and does well simply up and disappears. It's no longer in production. So, here's my question: for those of you that have labored intensely on your alloy wheels on your coach, which product has rendered you the best results, brightest, finest, scratch free shine?????? This product I've been using is by far, leaves the finest surface of all. And, the finer the surface, the more it's like a mirror.

For those of you that do it, or have done it in the past, you know how labor intensive it is do a bang-up job. And it shows it, even from a great distance. Let me know please, what products you've used and or are using now. Thanks.


2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:01 PM   #2
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The wheels look great. So did you polish off the clear coat finish?

Mike Canter
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:06 PM   #3
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I've done mine using Mother's Billet Aluminum Polish and had outstanding results. I use the Mothers Power Ball in my 3/8" electric drill and finish the job with a clean terry cloth towel
2001.5 Fleetwood Discovery 37U 330HP Cat
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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I have Alcoa 22.5 wheels on my old beaver and i use a Mother's Mini Powerball and Mequires allum polish to clean... then Mequires carnuba wax & cleaner to seal. 20 year old wheels still look great.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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Those look pretty nice
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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I have used Blue Diamond in the past with good results on my Kenworth and trailer(10 wheels and 2 225 gal. fuel tanks) and it was a job but worth it. I've had 4 American Coaches now with the polished wheels. I have swapped over to White Diamond and am impressed with the luster that is achieved. I love a polished wheel, and when taken care of properly shows the pride in ownership!
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Flitz Polish is an excellent German product that is also great on plastic lenses to get the oxidation out.

Takes a little elbow grease, but the results are good.

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Old 05-31-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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Those look great Scott!! Can you show me how you did that? (I'll let you show me on my wheels )
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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Had our coach detailed in Florida this winter. Guy used a buffing wheel (7") and jewelers rouge. Took about 5 minutes per wheel then applied a coat of Mequires wax. Look as good as the wheels pictured above and still do 5 months later with only washing.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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mothers and a wheel i get from the OTR store

plus i put the LONG lug nut covers on the front wheels, i can just see them in my mirrors so i know right where the tires are
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:00 PM   #11
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Mike Canter,
No sir, I did not polish the clear coat off. Of all of the wheels I've ever owned, which include several motorcycles, off road toys, jeeps, buggies, cars, trucks, etc. I think I've only had one set that had a clear coat on them. That doesn't mean they don't come with it, it just means I've not owned many with it.

I've seen "Mothers" for sale all over the place and tried it a long time ago and cannot remember what the results were. If you look up metal polishing on the net, you'll find lots of sites that sell lots of products. Different, compounds, chemicals, pastes, creams, liquids etc. have different results. Sometimes not very different but, different none the less. As long as you're happy with the results from your work and or individual compound you're using, that's all that counts.

Again, those that have done it, know it's not an easy task, especially if they were in bad shape to begin with. But, once it's done, and in the shape of mine and the other pics here, it's very, very easy to keep them up. It's even easier if you use one of many "clear-coats" that are available today. I don't mine touching mine up every couple of months. Some people don't like doing it, that's understandable, it's WORK! Below is a set of wheels off my Honda Goldwing I purchased with 145,000 miles on it. The wheels were so bad, they looked like they'd been driven in salt water for all of those 145K miles without ever being cleaned and protected.

Long story short, it took an hour on each wheel, with a scotchbrite pad and soap and cleanser. Then, I started with #320 wet-or-dry sand paper using lots of water. That was an hour on each side of each wheel. Then, moved to #600 sand paper and the same amount of time etc. Then onto $800 sand paper for the same time etc. Then #1000, and finally #1200 sand paper.

At that time, I then used two different bars or "clays" if you prefer. The first was a Brown one used for cutting and the final one, a green bar used on a small, 3" buffing wheel on a drill that spins at 2500 rpm. The end result is what you see. But, basically almost no matter how bad an aluminum wheel is,(or anything aluminum) it can be brought back to life. Thanks again for your input and experience. It's what I was looking for.

2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:08 PM   #12
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All six of my accurides are clear coated aluminum. You can't polish the aluminum unless you remove the clear coat.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:23 PM   #13
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I agree with Perry. Any of those aluminum polishishes listed will take the clear coat off an Accuride or I believe if it is coated it is called an Accu-shield. Once that clear coat is gone then you have to polish them forever. I have had several discussions on the phone with Accuride on this subject. Accuride says you can use a fine cleaner like Meguires Swirl remove and then an automotive polish that is safe for clear coat. Simi-Chrome or Mother's aluminum polish is a heavy abrasive polish for doing bare aluminum.

If the are made by Accuride they will have a decal on the rim saying so and if it has the name Accu-Shield on that decal then they are clear coated and can and will have the clear coat damaged by those listed metal polishes. Read this and their stated Do Nots
Accuride Corporation: All Around Leader in Wheels

I do not know about Alcoa wheels.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:23 PM   #14
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If you ever have to drive in inclement weather and end up with water spots on your wheels try the final buffing procedure with just plain water it gets the surface hard enough that rain drops will not stick to the surface and it will last thru a long UP salty winter.

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