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Old 09-10-2016, 09:24 PM   #1
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Cleaning aluminum wheels

It has been some time since I last cleaned by Accuride wheels. I normally use a special wheel acid wash followed by Wicked metal polish. I don't have either with me on this trip so I used some stuff I had ordered (a weak prep liquid and a purple polish). The shine OK but I have some pitting and spots that need more attention.

So, wondering what others have used when there is more extensive cleaning needed. I guess I need something more abrasive like rouge.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:14 PM   #2
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I had great luck with White Diamond polish and a Mother's mini ball on mine. They were not pitted, but were very stained and dull.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:20 PM   #3
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watching thread.



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Old 09-10-2016, 10:52 PM   #4
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Somewhere, owners manual or label says to NOT use any harsh cleaners on the Accuride wheels.

Years ago, I had custom wheels on a van owned. About once a year you had to clean the with a real harsh chemical. My RV wheels look like they have some kind of clear coat that the older aluminum wheels didn't have. Be real careful, you could really mess them up.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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Flitz Polish | Car Wax | Gun, Knife and Boat Polish | Metal Polish and a powerball
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:50 PM   #6
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maybe some 000 or 0000 steel wool, solution of baking soda, 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper?

I just cleaned up some rusty chrome caps using aluminum foil and water. But I do not know how that will work with Aluminum.
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Old 09-11-2016, 04:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGBPokes View Post
Somewhere, owners manual or label says to NOT use any harsh cleaners on the Accuride wheels.

Years ago, I had custom wheels on a van owned. About once a year you had to clean the with a real harsh chemical. My RV wheels look like they have some kind of clear coat that the older aluminum wheels didn't have. Be real careful, you could really mess them up.

Accuride makes 2 styles one with a plastic coating only use a soft cloth and the other highly polished bare aluminum.
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Old 09-11-2016, 04:37 PM   #8
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Accubrite, I believe.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:23 PM   #9
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Accubrite, I believe.

Accuride makes the wheels.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:49 PM   #10
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My wheels are the polished aluminum wheels not those with the coating.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:42 PM   #11
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My wheels are the polished aluminum wheels not those with the coating.
Hey SML,
How ya doin'? Well, polishing wheels is kind-a a hobby of mine. I've been doing it for oh, maybe 30-40 years or so. First off, while you don't have it, the "Urethane" coating on either Accurides or, Alcoas is not as delicate as many choose to believe. People think it will simply disintegrate if you get close to it with any form of polish or cleaner. Well, 'aint happening. If that coating was that weak, heck, regular brake dust would eat it and, even Joy dishwashing soap would harm it. Even if a person WANTED to remove it, it would take some pretty strong paint remover, I know, I've done it.

Anyway, as for your wheels, I'd have to see pics of the areas that you think need more aggressive application. In the pics below, what you see is about 10 hours work on each wheel. Now, not all at one time mind you. But over time, I've got at least that much involved. They were not all that bad when we purchased the coach, about 5 years ago.

But, me being me, I wanted them looking as top notch as possible. So, I've used a plethora of rouges, pastes, liquids and more. The rouges not so much, only on a few tough spots. Mostly pastes and liquids. I've probably got about a half dozen different kinds of pastes and liquid Aluminum polishes right now. I used Semi-Chrome for decades on all my Norton motorcycles and anything else aluminum. But, over time, I've progressed to more modern pastes and liquids.

Zepher 40, which was a Costco online product for a couple of years was a great product to use. But, for the last few years, I've simply resorted to Mothers that you can get at any auto parts store. It's pretty much the standard for the general consumer higher quality shine, based on efforts involved. Another important item in the process is the type of cloth. You may have the best polish on earth but, if you're using a cloth that is not forgiving, you're putting in as much scratches as you're attempting to remove.


Costco's yellow micro fiber cloths are my exclusive towels to use. I really liked the earlier version of them but, as usual, Costco changes suppliers so, the later ones is all I can get. The earlier ones were just a tad softer.

Anyway, on yours, again, I'd need to see a closeup of your situation but, as a start for this problem, I'd maybe purchase a new, 3" tightly sewn, buffing wheel and use a drill motor that spins at least 2500 rpm. Then I'd use some Semi-Chrome or maybe some Flitz. The 3" tight sewn buffing wheel will concentrate efforts to a certain area for highlighting and emphasis.

From that point on, a power ball with Mothers will do nicely. Hope some of this helps. Take care.
Scott





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Old 09-12-2016, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Hey SML,

How ya doin'? Well, polishing wheels is kind-a a hobby of mine. I've been doing it for oh, maybe 30-40 years or so. First off, while you don't have it, the "Urethane" coating on either Accurides or, Alcoas is not as delicate as many choose to believe. People think it will simply disintegrate if you get close to it with any form of polish or cleaner. Well, 'aint happening. If that coating was that weak, heck, regular brake dust would eat it and, even Joy dishwashing soap would harm it. Even if a person WANTED to remove it, it would take some pretty strong paint remover, I know, I've done it.



Anyway, as for your wheels, I'd have to see pics of the areas that you think need more aggressive application. In the pics below, what you see is about 10 hours work on each wheel. Now, not all at one time mind you. But over time, I've got at least that much involved. They were not all that bad when we purchased the coach, about 5 years ago.



But, me being me, I wanted them looking as top notch as possible. So, I've used a plethora of rouges, pastes, liquids and more. The rouges not so much, only on a few tough spots. Mostly pastes and liquids. I've probably got about a half dozen different kinds of pastes and liquid Aluminum polishes right now. I used Semi-Chrome for decades on all my Norton motorcycles and anything else aluminum. But, over time, I've progressed to more modern pastes and liquids.



Zepher 40, which was a Costco online product for a couple of years was a great product to use. But, for the last few years, I've simply resorted to Mothers that you can get at any auto parts store. It's pretty much the standard for the general consumer higher quality shine, based on efforts involved. Another important item in the process is the type of cloth. You may have the best polish on earth but, if you're using a cloth that is not forgiving, you're putting in as much scratches as you're attempting to remove.





Costco's yellow micro fiber cloths are my exclusive towels to use. I really liked the earlier version of them but, as usual, Costco changes suppliers so, the later ones is all I can get. The earlier ones were just a tad softer.



Anyway, on yours, again, I'd need to see a closeup of your situation but, as a start for this problem, I'd maybe purchase a new, 3" tightly sewn, buffing wheel and use a drill motor that spins at least 2500 rpm. Then I'd use some Semi-Chrome or maybe some Flitz. The 3" tight sewn buffing wheel will concentrate efforts to a certain area for highlighting and emphasis.



From that point on, a power ball with Mothers will do nicely. Hope some of this helps. Take care.

Scott












I have a front wheel the coating was destroyed because of a blow out can you explain procedure on removing it for my spare wheel.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:14 AM   #13
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Scott, I was hoping you would see my question as I knew you were the guru of wheel polishing.

I will try and post a pic. What I have is what appears to be water spotting and some small pits that are black. On the drive wheels the area where water stands at the bottom of the wheel looks pretty cruddy.


Would I be able to find the cotton buffing wheel and Flitz in any serious hardware store? We will be in Redmond, OR then Eugene soon so I may try and find those items. I also will be looking for a truck stop that sells Wicked Metal Polish since that is what I have used (left my bottle at home) and I had always been pleased with it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:52 PM   #14
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I bought a good one at Lowes. I too use the Mothers polish. My rt angle polisher/grinder was just too fast so I bought a speed controller at Harbor Freight. That does the trick. I would like to find an even smaller polisher because getting next to the lug bolts on the rears is near impossible.

http://www.harborfreight.com/router-...rol-43060.html
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