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  1. #1
    nj7000
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    Default Stock Aluminum Wheels

    What is the best way to bring back the finish on the stock aluminum wheels on my 78? They're a dull aluminum color now, and I'd like to make them look like new. I've tried scrubbing them with just a cleaner and water, but that doesn' take care of the dull color. Any tips, suggestions, comments??

  2. #2
    paintdaddy's Avatar
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    1968 silver coupe ,1954 packard

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    Alright here it goes.Do you want them shiney or just uniform and not splotchy looking?If you want them uniform and bright(but not shiney),buy some Eagle etching wheel cleaner.Its good stuff and also works wonders on alum. components under the hood.If you want them shiney,do the wheel cleaning/etching step and thenpolish them with some metal polish.

  3. #3
    81kix
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    Default

    I like Mag & Aluminum Polish, made by Mothers.

  4. #4
    nj7000
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    Yeah I'd like the shiney looking finish, but at this point I'd settle for getting rid of those splotches!

  5. #5
    Administrator Yoda's Avatar
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    1981 UL5

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    nj,

    Are those spotches old clear coat? or something else?

    If it is the old clear coat you can remove the clear coat with a number of things, I used acetone, but others use other things, if you try a search you may find more about this. This topic has come up in the past and there are some really good responses

    Best wishes and enjoy the

    Bud

  6. #6
    nj7000
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    Default

    I don't think that the clear coat is on the wheel anymore. It's a dull aluminum color, with some areas being more dull than others. Is there a way to tell if the clear coat is on the wheel yet?

  7. #7
    paintdaddy's Avatar
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    I am not forsure but I didnt think those c3 alum wheels ever got clear coated from the factory,I might be wrong on that

  8. #8
    LittleRedFlatBack's Avatar
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    2002 Torch Red Coupe

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    NJ,

    I'm not a expert on the aluminum polishing, but thought I'd tell you about an experiment that I did on an aluminum window frame. I used the Mother's brand wadding type polish (looks like cotton) and after getting the surface wet I switched to fine steel wool to polish the wet surface. I kept a soft rag nearby to wipe the surface clean. This is a very slow process but the finish of the aluminum turned out very shiney. You might want to try the back side of one of your wheels, but it seemed to work pretty good. Hope this helps. Good luck.

    Dennis

  9. #9
    nj7000
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    Default

    I'll give the back of one of them a try, maybe that will do the trick, no one sees the back anyways, but it seems like it would work. Thanks Dennis

  10. #10
    Administrator Yoda's Avatar
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    1981 UL5

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    nj,

    Check out this past Past Thread and I think you may find some really good suggestions

    Bud

  11. #11
    Member JohnGrawcock's Avatar
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    I'm 99% sure that they were never clear coated and 100% sure that they were not originally polished to the chrome like state you see at most shows.

    I have two cars of this vintage. The wheels on one have been polished. The polished wheels streak, spot, haze, and generally drive me nuts. They have to be re-polished often. The unpolished wheels are easy to mantain and in my openion look better.

    Has anyone tried going the other way. I've considered attacking my polished wheels with either steelwool or 500 grit sandpaper.

    John G.

  12. #12
    Member John Ulrich's Avatar
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    Eagan, MN, usa
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    Corvette(s)
    1981 Two Tone Claret, 2014 CRT Roadster

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    The 78 Pace Cars had the first polished finished on the Aluminum's

    76-78 were the YJ8's with a "spun" type finish. 79-82 were N90's (polished)
    My buddy had a new one in '76 and I remember the sweat he put in with Simichrome keep those wheel presentable.

    Later,
    JU

  13. #13
    DDLS3's Avatar
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    08 Jetstream Blue Z51 coupe

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    Mothers, wadded cotton buff from Eastwood, cordless drill, 1 hour of your time. I have a friend that uses Wenol with the same effect. I do mine once a year and touch them up by hand maybe once more.
    Dale

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