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Old 08-25-2015, 09:35 PM   #1
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Alcoa Dura-bright rim is dull -- how to shine?

As the Alcoa Dura-Bright website indicates it only takes soap and water to clean. I believe when I stopped at a Blue Beacon Truck Wash in Kansas that they used some kind of cleaner in their spray that splash on several of my rear rims. Now you can see where that spray is on the wheels and you can't wash it off. Really dull where you can see the over spray. In my research it appears you will ruin the rims if you use polish so perhaps I just have to live with the dull areas. Has anyone found a way to clean these rims that is a little stronger than soap and water and brings back their luster?
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:42 PM   #2
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Yep, Blue Beacon uses a caustic solution to wash the vehicles with. It is not good for the paint nor the coated wheels. There was a story some years ago that warned of the problem.
If the rim is duller than the rest of the wheel then the coating has been eaten off in that area.
The coated wheels never do quite look as shiny as the uncoated but well polished wheels. I made the mistake of spraying a wheel cleaner on ours and now they have some dull spots too.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:42 PM   #3
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Thanks Mr D ... I thought I had read some info on the Blue Beacon washes and thought most were happy, so didn't think twice about getting mine done. After driving in the rain the day before, it was pretty dirty. I've since waxed my exterior and didn't notice any damage (fingers crossed). I won't use the Blue Beacons again! Wonder if you can lightly sand the rim with some real fine sand paper, and spray on new clear coat? Probably just have to live with the dullness ...
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:43 PM   #4
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Yep, the coating has been removed and now you are stuck. The only solution I know of is to remove all the coating, re-buff them, and re-coat to preserve the new shine. Or just keep on re-polishing them every so often.

It's probably too late to make a damage claim against Blue Beacon now that you have left their premises, the they did physically damage your wheels. Sounds like they used the truck trailer wash rather than the RV/motorhome wash process.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:40 PM   #5
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Whenever I use a Blue Beacon I ask them not to use the caustic solution, just regular soap.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milehghcty View Post
As the Alcoa Dura-Bright website indicates it only takes soap and water to clean. I believe when I stopped at a Blue Beacon Truck Wash in Kansas that they used some kind of cleaner in their spray that splash on several of my rear rims. Now you can see where that spray is on the wheels and you can't wash it off. Really dull where you can see the over spray. In my research it appears you will ruin the rims if you use polish so perhaps I just have to live with the dull areas. Has anyone found a way to clean these rims that is a little stronger than soap and water and brings back their luster?
Milehghcty,
Well Sir, without seeing pictures of the damage, I'm suspecting that whatever kind of soap they used, it sounds as if they shouldn't be using it, did some semi-permanent damage to your coating on those wheels. Now, just guessing here, I'd say you got basically one choice in this matter.

And that would be to find an air craft quality, aluminum safe, paint stripper. And that would remove all of what's left on the wheel(s). Once that's done, and, based on the condition they're in, under the coating that was there, you should not have to work very hard to bring them to a mirror finish. Don't get me wrong here, it's going to be labor, that's for sure. I'v been polishing aluminum, for decades. Motorcycles, cars, Wheels, frames, and a whole lot more and, it's PURE LABOR that achieves good results.

But, if you take on this project, as has been stated, they will look quite a percentage better than the coated ones. I'm not saying the coated ones look "bad", just not as good in my opinion.

One more thing. Some folks think that, once you polish them, it's a weekly process forever. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I can do mine and, I won't have to touch them for almost a year. Aluminum does oxidize, no doubt about that. And, it does it as we speak. But, the nicer the finish, the longer it takes to do that process.

I've never had the desire and or, opportunity to coat a wheel that's been polished. I'm too worried about it being chipped and then, I'm screwed. So, I just leave them un-coated and, enjoy an evening inside my RV garage, NCIS on the tube, and, relaxing doing a touch-up on them about every 9-10 months or so. Good luck in what line you choose to take.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the info. Looks like I'll have to live with it unless I go eith Scott suggestion.

Scott -- yr rims do look great. Let me know where yr located and I'll bring mine over for the initial polishing. I can keep them up after that!
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:19 PM   #8
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Alcoa made a polish for alum wheels. I bought some and used it on my Dutch Star uncoated wheels. Over a year later they were getting to the point I was thinking about doing them again. It was great stuff. Not sure they sell it any more.
At one FMCA rally there was an outfit selling chrome plated alum wheels, 9.0 X 22.5's for $500 exchange. The were beautiful. Have never seen them since!
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:08 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the info. Looks like I'll have to live with it unless I go eith Scott suggestion.

Scott -- yr rims do look great. Let me know where yr located and I'll bring mine over for the initial polishing. I can keep them up after that!
Milehghcty,
I surely thank you for the nice comments. Mine are not, and never were coated. They weren't too bad when we purchased the coach. So I didn't have to work all that hard to get them the way you see them. I've probable got about, 3-4 hours invested in each wheel. That's from the time we purchased the coach 'till now.

I've used and have, multiple kinds of polish, pastes, liquids etc. Each will produce a result that's very close to each other. Mothers is what I'm presently using.
Scott
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:41 PM   #10
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Alcoa Dura-bright rim is dull -- how to shine?

Sounds like Blue Beacon wrecked your wheels. I would contact them and see if you can finagle new wheels from them.

Blue Beacon washes trucks with Dura-brite wheels all the time with no problems. The guy that washed your m/h screwed up.

I have accushield coated Accuride wheels on my 2005 and they still look brand new.

I think they should make good on the wheels they screwed up.

If you don't get Blue Beacon to help you, I would definitely call Alcoa before you do anything to them. They'll advise you what to do.
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