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Old 01-23-2021, 07:03 PM   #1
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Polishing Wheels

I went to work on our aluminum wheels and went to my old trusty Flitz polish. Everything worked great even though I had a bit of "pitting", not sure what to call it, but the Flitz really took care of it.

What I'm wondering is I have a lot more of the "pitting" close to the fake lug nut covers. My next step is to remove those and have at it. If the Flitz doesn't work does anyone have another suggestion. I would even like to know if anyone has a technique that works. I am using a semi firm foam cone to polish with but not sure it will get close enough.

Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:20 PM   #2
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Following, have same issue.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:47 PM   #3
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I have been using White Diamond polish for while now and it has been working really well, import and to apply a coat of good wax after you polish as it helps protect the shine. For around the lugs I have found that a microfiber rag wrapped around an old toothbrush works good and easy to reach in there.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:55 AM   #4
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For stubborn pitting, I used to keep a collection of fine sandpapers ...maybe 2000, 4000, 5000 grit, etc. in order to wet sand and also kept around some jewelers rouge ...maybe some white rouge and red rouge, etc.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:09 AM   #5
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I use the same method Theroc does.

Wet sand with about 1500, though I have stepped down to 1000 for scrathes, stains and light pitting,
and then go over that with about 2000 grit....by hand is what I find works best.

After that, I use Mothers Metal Polish, not the Aluminum Polish....the Metal Polish works better and using my cordless angle drill with the Mothers Polishing Ball, I apply the polish on the ball and go to town.

To complete the process, I then use the "Never Dull" in the can to go over the rim one more time before buffing it off with paper towels or a rag first...then a micro fiber cloth.

Be following this procedure for 8 years and it shows.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:58 PM   #6
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Well Gang,
I've been polishing aluminum since Christ was a pup. Started on my first motorcycle, a 1970 Norton 750 Commando. I made things shine that bike that people didn't even know was aluminum. Polishing ANY metal is an art. AND, it's also LABOR, and nothing but LABOR! Yes, there are many, many compounds, rouges, powders, pastes, liquids and other witch's elixirs.

The first thing one needs to realize is, what kind of condition the aluminum is in when you start the process. If it's rough, then drastic measures must be taken to *tear down* the surface. You can polish an orange all day, but in the end, you'll have shiny orange but with an orange peel surface. So, depending on how rough the surface is when you start, that determines just what level of prep you need.

I won't go into all the prep needed but, suffice to say, there are STEPS that must be taken in order to achieve the finest results. If a wheel or any aluminum surface is severely pitted, then a start with some fairly course wet-or-dry sand paper of around 220 or 320 grit may be needed. You'll need LOTS of water in that process. Then, the pits are gone but, you now have scratches in place of the pits. So, you have to eliminate the scratches. And that means moving up in the grit scale.

400, 600, 800 and potentially 1000 grit are the needed steps BEFORE you start with the rouges, pastes and liquids. And the first of those are the rouges. There's multiple colors of rouges and all have different characteristics of *CUT* vs *POLISH*. And of course, there's different types of pads and wheels too.

There's a bit more to it but, you get the point. Now, if your wheels are in fair to good shape, with zero pits but just dull, then all the prep is not needed. You may need a rouge to get it ready for the finer paste(s) or liquid. Yes, you can just dive in with a popular paste of liquid and, it will give you FAIR to GOOD results. But, if you want the MIRROR finish, then it's simply using what's needed to get to that point. About 98% of the owners are lazy and really won't go through the process. That's ok, it's their coach and wheels.

Below you see LABOR, lots of LABOR. Sanding, LOTS of sanding and then the rouge(s) and finally, blends of rouges and cutting compounds in a mixture. What you're looking at is 6 days straight of labor, tools and equipment. But, it was all worth it.
Scott

P.S. There's a couple of our M/H wheels too. A fair amount of work but, not too bad.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:35 PM   #7
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Nice work Fire Up. But you didn't mention how black the job is! After a long day of polishing, the guys that did customers wheels looked like they had just come out of an old coal mine!

They earned their money.
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:49 PM   #8
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Fire up, I totally forgot about your knowledge and what you did on the toon. You are now for certain the resident expert. Please feel free to post your phone number for personal calls, lol.

In all seriousness, my wheels are in good enough shape for the rouge and the polish except close to the lug nut covers. I plan to pull those next week when we are south and the weather is a bit better. Do you mind sharing your favorite rouge (I don't even know what that is other than it must be a pre polish step, haha) and polish. If it's good enough for you it's good enough for me.

Thanks for taking the time to add your comments. I have a feeling it will help many of us and probably cause even more to not even start the process. I am a bit anal so this is not work to me, it's fun getting to the end result.

Now, if you have experience with touch up paint for simple chips to filler and paint for two small deep scratches, I'm listening.
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Old 01-24-2021, 05:16 PM   #9
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Check out zephyr polishes. They make kits with all the wheels and polishes you need to turn aluminum into a mirror
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unplanned Tourist View Post
Nice work Fire Up. But you didn't mention how black the job is! After a long day of polishing, the guys that did customers wheels looked like they had just come out of an old coal mine!

They earned their money.
Ooooooh yeah,
Without a doubt, anyone who does metal polishing, especially on a large scale, like truck wheels, Tanker trucks, Air Stream trailers, Pontoons, etc. without a doubt, gets SERIOUSLY BLACK from the metal being removed. It is a phenomenally dirty chore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brandss View Post
Fire up, I totally forgot about your knowledge and what you did on the toon. You are now for certain the resident expert. Please feel free to post your phone number for personal calls, lol.

In all seriousness, my wheels are in good enough shape for the rouge and the polish except close to the lug nut covers. I plan to pull those next week when we are south and the weather is a bit better. Do you mind sharing your favorite rouge (I don't even know what that is other than it must be a pre polish step, haha) and polish. If it's good enough for you it's good enough for me.

Thanks for taking the time to add your comments. I have a feeling it will help many of us and probably cause even more to not even start the process. I am a bit anal so this is not work to me, it's fun getting to the end result.

Now, if you have experience with touch up paint for simple chips to filler and paint for two small deep scratches, I'm listening.
brandss,
A *rouge*, commonly known as *Jewelers rouge* is basically a clay bar. But, in rouges for metal polishing, there's all kinds of chemical makeups of these "clay bars". The site I'm linking does a great job of explaining and differentiating between the different rouges, their specific purposes etc.

https://blog.esslinger.com/guide-to-...e%20like%20new.

I too do the polishing for the basic love of it and, the end result. It's the old cliché " Labor of love" type thing. There are many on here that won't do it because they think that, if you do it, then it needs to be done EVERY WEEK in order to keep it like that. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! Once a metal is finely polished, to the surface appearance you see in my photos, the surface is way less *Open* or, susceptible to corrosion. And therefore, the frequency for *touch-up* is way less. Another words, they last way longer than one would think.

But, there's other influences too. If your coach is stored IN DOORS like ours, the shine will last eons longer than if it was stored outdoors. If your coach is stored or parked near or, you live next to the ocean and salt air, the corrosion factor is increased phenomenally.

As for paint chip matching, you and I are in the same boat Pal. I have a series of chips on the rear of our coach, caused by my ding-a-ling 35" Jeep tires throwing rocks FORWARD at the back of the coach, while towing. I need to find exact paint to patch up the chips.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbrownski View Post
Check out zephyr polishes. They make kits with all the wheels and polishes you need to turn aluminum into a mirror
Yes Sir, I have used Zephyr products for years and they do make a great finishing product. But, as I stated in my earlier response, metal must be prepped or, in a very good state of condition, before any final finishing, with any compound or product is to be used or, your polishing an orange.
Scott
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:53 AM   #11
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I try to wash my rig at least once a year and that includes a cursory wipe of the wheels with the same brush.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:00 AM   #12
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My wheels were 27 years old, I doubt if after the first couple of years they had much more than a wash. A lot of work with a buffer is the only way to get them shiny again.

I used sewn 6" wheels, if I had to do it again I'd go for loose 8 or 10" wheels. Sewn wheels cut faster and I had a lot to remove, but all the holes made the sewn wheels not the best choice, edges tend to peel the rouge off the pad.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:35 AM   #13
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Look up California Custom Purple Polish. Two bottles. One deoxidizer. One polish. Simple and amazing results.
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:03 AM   #14
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So, being a new owner of a 2014 Itasca 36m, I need to know if the Accuride wheels are clear coated. Then, I'll know how much work I am in for! LOL
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