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Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? #3212480
02/10/24 12:48 PM
02/10/24 12:48 PM
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Diplomat360 Offline OP
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I need a wider rim with an extra 1" off backspace for my Coupe, alas, the current Centerline Auto Drag rims I have are no longer in production so I've been searching for options.

OK, so eBag has a few listings of 8.5" wide rims with the offset/backspacing I am after, but none of these are the same polished aluminum finish that I have right now, instead these are the satin finish.

Therefore...how much elbow grease would it take to convert these satin rims to polished finish?

Is this even doable for a DIY guy with some basic equipment, or is this really the domain of wheel shops???

Thanks!

Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Diplomat360] #3212492
02/10/24 01:21 PM
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A lot of them have a clear coat finish of some sort, I think, so you have to get through that to get at the actual aluminum.
I've done that - more correctly, had a wheel-polishing guy - do that on a couple of sets: Alcoas for my Dually, which had been tarmished, and some 200-S Americans.
That was many years ago, and wheel polishing may be hard to find now.
But the guys who polish big rigs might handle it.

Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Diplomat360] #3212499
02/10/24 01:43 PM
02/10/24 01:43 PM
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i had a set of the old Crager Super Trick rims polished by a boat shop vendor, they ask me to let them do that for advertisement in SO CA back in the late 1970s.
Later on several years later Don Prudhome asked me at the Winternationals who had chromed my wheels, when I told him they were not chrome, they were polish he was surprise.
He had some of his done later by a different shop: up:


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Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Diplomat360] #3212654
02/10/24 10:20 PM
02/10/24 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Diplomat360
I need a wider rim with an extra 1" off backspace for my Coupe, alas, the current Centerline Auto Drag rims I have are no longer in production so I've been searching for options.

OK, so eBag has a few listings of 8.5" wide rims with the offset/backspacing I am after, but none of these are the same polished aluminum finish that I have right now, instead these are the satin finish.

Therefore...how much elbow grease would it take to convert these satin rims to polished finish?

Is this even doable for a DIY guy with some basic equipment, or is this really the domain of wheel shops???

Thanks!

It depends on the finish you start with. The coarser the finish the more effort will be required. if the have a bit of a refeltion to them already +++, If not time and effort or a polishing/ chrome shop will knock them out easily. beer

Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: TJP] #3212659
02/10/24 11:35 PM
02/10/24 11:35 PM
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My old Amican 200S had to be taken down with 80 grit. Spun them on a brake lathe. I've done it spinning them on a wheel balancer as well. Even done some completly by hand. But that's a lot of work.
Doug

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Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: dvw] #3212665
02/11/24 01:20 AM
02/11/24 01:20 AM
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Best advise I can give is Do a test spot and start with the least aggressive grit you can. As with each step you must remove the prior sand scratches. Do a small spot and Look See, to see where to start. Only then will you know if you need finer or more aggressive grit. And make sure each step removes, the prior grits work.
Don't start with #80 of you can get by with something finer.
I have had to grind and sand road rash and casting flash, it is no fun starting that rough.
Also don't start to fine as well try a test spot with 180-220 and see what you need
I have over 45 years of experience polishing at a professional level.
I would not go finer than what black emery can remove. ( do not kill yourself going to fine)
Move to a new buff and gray emery then white rouge.
Finish up with Fine Speedy All Metal or Red Wenol to clean and or hand polish. Use one of these after to clean and maintain.
Remember use a dedicated buff for each step it's contaminated from the rougher steps product used prior.
This is important, only way I would cheat is if the black emery and gray one is shared but must be fully cleaned.
If you do cheat use a freash buff for white rouge this is the color (Depth)


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Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: 340SIX] #3212668
02/11/24 01:23 AM
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73 Dart Sport 340/ 70 challenger vert. That may still get built, If I live long enough
Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: 340SIX] #3212671
02/11/24 01:39 AM
02/11/24 01:39 AM
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Factory Centerline Auto Drags brush and polished did not come clear coated.
Not to say someone has not at a later date.
I bought my 1st car with funds from restoring wheels and polishing.
I have done a countless amount of Slots and Auto Drags .....


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73 Dart Sport 340/ 70 challenger vert. That may still get built, If I live long enough
Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: 340SIX] #3212682
02/11/24 06:32 AM
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As the panther laid out, they can be polished.

Alternatively it might be easier to dull the others. Sand blast them all.


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Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: 340SIX] #3212707
02/11/24 09:19 AM
02/11/24 09:19 AM
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Windsor, ON, Canada
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340SIX, everyone...

Originally Posted by 340SIX
Factory Centerline Auto Drags brush and polished did not come clear coated.
Not to say someone has not at a later date...

Thanks for the great feedback everyone.

So here is where things stand right now:

1) I've attached a pic of my current wheels, where in a side-by-side look you see the DIY clean-up effort of a hazed finish, but that was done with an aluminum polish paste, and yeah, took some elbow grease, but easily doable at home b/c the finish of the wheel was already there and just needed to be brought back

2) The second attachment is the eBay wheel, Satin Brushed and it is the texture of the wheel which has me worried, totally different ballgame which per 340SIX's comment will require a step-wise move from coarser to finer grit

Alright, so having said that all: the seller (who is a wheel shop, see Wheel and Tire Pros) when asked about matching the finish to what I currently have said: "yup, easily done, we can do that for $95 a wheel", which truth be told, seems very rasonable.

But I need a bit of reality check here: those of you who have done this kind of work, is the shop's estimate legit, or is this a "tell the buyer what he wants to hear" kind of a thing???

wheel_polish1.jpgebay_wheel.jpg
Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Diplomat360] #3212756
02/11/24 11:49 AM
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You'll have that much in pads and compounds


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Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: ruderunner] #3212790
02/11/24 02:29 PM
02/11/24 02:29 PM
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$95/wheel seems reasonable. Compare the price of new wheels - polished versus unpolished - and you'll have a better idea. I'll bet they look like crap around the rivets though !

Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Stanton] #3212799
02/11/24 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Stanton
...I'll bet they look like crap around the rivets though !

Yup, that's a bit of my worry as well. In fact, for better or for worse - although I never ran into an issue having done so - when I originally cleaned up my current rims I actually popped out each rivet so I could get to clean face of the rim. Ended up polishing each rivet by hand separately and then just popping them back in. None ever came out, not even started to separate out. boogie

Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Diplomat360] #3212807
02/11/24 03:39 PM
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They'll do it for $95...sign them up. Polishing is an unmitigated pain in the ass. Even if you have all the various grades of paper and compound and power tools to assist, it will be long and exhaustive and you may not be happy with the results.

Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: TC@HP2] #3212817
02/11/24 04:09 PM
02/11/24 04:09 PM
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I've seen mobile service with machines set up just for rim polishing. There's brick and mortar outfits that do the same.

Since these are new, the seller may send them out to be polished by a place with a vibratory tumbler. I think this is was new rims are polished. Not very labor intensive, but expensive machine.

I'm thinking this a somewhat common request for shops that sell a lot of rims.

[Linked Image]




Last edited by autoxcuda; 02/11/24 04:09 PM.
Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Diplomat360] #3212909
02/11/24 10:13 PM
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95.00 a wheel ? let em do it. Every if you have minor touch ups to do, it's money ell spent IMO unless your time is worth less twocents beer

Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: TJP] #3212963
02/12/24 06:54 AM
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vibratory polishing is the cat's rear when done by a pro and HIGHLY recommended. it's usually superior to a job done by hand because it polishes every nook and cranny hand polishing can't reach. the biggest downside is removing texture is difficult this way. it just slightly reduces it and polishes the texture and not completely remove it.

whatever you i would suggest using a sealer on the finished product.
if not sealed polished aluminum will be unpolished in a short time, depending on how picky you are.
google polished aluminum sealer for products, there are a LOT of them on the market.


perception is 90% of reality
Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: Mr T2U] #3213074
02/12/24 04:14 PM
02/12/24 04:14 PM
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There are coatings available but on something like wheels it would end up being removed when cleaning and regular maintenance that a wheel needs. The ease of use to clean, and protection product is Speedy All Metal. The fine one.
Reason is ease of use and ease of buying it.

$95 is a deal.


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Re: Polishing up satin finish wheel, can it be done? [Re: 340SIX] #3213084
02/12/24 05:17 PM
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FWIW, on my Dually's Alcoas - which a polishing many years ago removed the clear coat - I re-polish them with one of the Meguiar's foam balls every few years.
The truck lives a sheltered life, but I find that the polishing is pretty easy to maintain.
Pic is before a recent re-polish, maybe 3 years on what you see.

DuallyLF.jpg






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