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1/25/07 9:24pm - Original Message: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
jayare
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Joined: 1/4/2007
Posts: 475
My recent addition to the garage (78 SA L82) came with original slotted wheels..I believe they have the original factory clearcoat on them and it is rather dull and grey. Under that grayness are some beautifull wheels ready to leap out at ya.
 
Question...I have been reading posts on how to tackle these babies but i'm wondering about the slots. Has anybody ever cleaned the black paint off the walls of these slots, (mine are chipped) or maybe I shouldn't consider stripping.
 
Also, one wheel has a 2 to 3 inch long curb rash right next to the tire. It's not very deep but too deep i'm afraid to file and polish. I've been thinking (headache time) if some liquid aluminum would "heal" the rash. Has anyone ever successfully made this type of repair?
 
One of these days i'll get a good profile up and going with a pic. of the blue beast !!
 
Jayare
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1/25/07 11:45pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
VNCRUISER
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North Hills, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 T-Top

Joined: 6/12/2003
Posts: 500
         There are shops that do complete wheel repair and refinishing. A lot of dealers use them, also check around tire/wheel  and accessorie shops. One of these places may be able to steer you in the right direction. Places that do metal polishishing quite often do wheel repair as well. Check your yellow pages. I have even seen bent alumonum slots repaired....
                            Good Luck,
                                 Reid  '72 T-topCool


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    Reid    '72 T-top

www.wildbunchcarclub.com

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1/26/07 11:56am - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
chesh
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Edgewood, KY - USA

Vette(s):
1981, Black/Black, Engine bumped to about 400HP.Ext/int mostly stock.

Joined: 10/26/2003
Posts: 339
I spent 30 - 40 hours stripping, sanding and polishing the aluminum wheels on my '81.  If I had known it would be so bad, I would have bought Cragar SSs instead.  They do look good now, though.  Here's what I did:
- Removed tires.
- used a file on the outer edge of the rim to cure the "curb rash"
- stripped them
- sanded with 330 grit paper
- sanded with 600 grit paper
- sanded with 1500 grit
- polishing compound
- Mother's aluminum polish


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'81 Black on Black. Best picture I could get on a gloomy winter day in Northern KY.

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1/27/07 9:37pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
jayare
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Joined: 1/4/2007
Posts: 475
Thanks guys ...for taking the time to reply with the info.
 
Chesh...what method did you use to strip the old clearcoat.
 
Before I tackle this job I think it would be worth my time to rig up a method of mounting the rims on a turntable of sorts. If the wheel is slowly spinning I would think the polishing job would go alot faster.
 
jayare
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1/28/07 6:08am - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
gurtz
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baton rouge, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1981 dark metallic blue, dark doeskin leather interior, mirrored glass T Tops, 330hp/350ci GMPP crate engine, billeted aluminum serpentine system, Dewitts with dual spalls

Joined: 8/12/2006
Posts: 391

jayare

I have used Airplane Stripper to strip paint off of older - 1960's - American Racing Aluminum Rims in the past and alot of metal parts in my resto days.  You NEED to try it.  It will save you alot of time and will get you down to the original metal without sanding into the metal. 
 
It could take several applications, but it will get you down eventually.  Auto Zone or most auto parts houses has it, don't get the spray can version.  Get the quart or gallon size version, reusable china bristle paint brush cheap one, 1- 2" size, from Home Depot, good chemical resistant gloves, a metal pan to put it in and if you keep old brushes, toothbrushes, etc. they work very well also. 
 
You should apply a mixture of baking soda and water when done to neutralize the acid from the surface you are stripping.  The baking soda not be thick, but white in color.  Truthfully, rinsing the part real good does the trick also.  Follow the directions as far as ventilation is concerned also, this sh*t can hurt you.  Also, if you rinse your hands or keep the stuff off your hands you don't need the gloves. 
 
Let me tell you, I stripped the clear coat someone else had professionally apllied to the rims and all the old paint off the rims and they look great now.  I had to stip the clear because it lost it's adhesion - was peeling and was yellowing.  Saved me 1,300 clams from not having to buy new ones.
 
However, if you have rash and you would want to paint the slots back I assume and are not certain of painting the slots, I would have to agree with VNCRUISER.  I never painted my rims back on the 60's unit, I left them polished aluminum.
 
good luck, gurtz 


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1/28/07 8:43am - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
jayare
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Joined: 1/4/2007
Posts: 475
qurtz....thanks for your time replying. Your car is looking great!
 
The walls of my slots are painted black. When I strip the old yellowed clearcoat I will probably end up stripping this black too. Has anyone ever repainted their slot walls or left them raw aluminum or polished the walls? Hmmmmm,  I think I need to attend a few car shows.
 
Regards....Jayare
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1/28/07 6:42pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
Gunslinger
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Frederick, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1969 convertible L71 427/435 4-speed black interior

Joined: 9/8/2003
Posts: 3398
I have a '78 SA and what I do to clean the aluminum slots is buy those chrome and aluminum cleaning pads...they look like a roll of treated cotton you just tear off. They work fine for me. The wheels shine after using them and they're non-abrasive.

I can't think of the brand (it might be Eagle 1 or Mothers), but Pep Boys, Advance Auto and Auto Zone all carry it, or a brand that does the same thing.

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Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, c o c k y and in general a malcontent.

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1/28/07 8:11pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
jayare
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Joined: 1/4/2007
Posts: 475
I just had a thought guys, (headache time)......We all have heard of bead blasting. It's like sand blasting but they use plastic beads instead. Supposed to be just the thing for removing old finishes, even on Corvette bodies. Also supposed to leave a nice smooth surface without any damage.
 
I would think this would be just what us wheel strippers are looking for.
 
Comments?
 
Regards....Jayare
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1/29/07 4:46am - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
gurtz
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baton rouge, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1981 dark metallic blue, dark doeskin leather interior, mirrored glass T Tops, 330hp/350ci GMPP crate engine, billeted aluminum serpentine system, Dewitts with dual spalls

Joined: 8/12/2006
Posts: 391

Jayare

Thanks for the kind words regarding "Double T."  She has been some work. 
 
First off, you should probably keep the black. 
 
I think you initially stated that some of your rims have chips in the black accent.  If they are not large chips you could get by with touching them up.  One thing the stripper will do is if you apply it in light coats is it will strip down one layer at a time meaning you could effectively get the clear coat off without removing the black, dry the unit then apply a new clear coat over the black, just a tought.
 
I am not sure of the bead blasting, but soda blasting would be fine.  Blasting the unit with baking soda.
 
good luck gurtz


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1/30/07 9:42pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
jayare
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Joined: 1/4/2007
Posts: 475
Thanks for all the info people.....
 
gurtz...I don't mind sanding, buffing or polishing my slotted wheels but stripping with that airplane stuffff sounds brutal.  At 64 yrs of age i'm like water....I take the path of least resistance........soda ash?...Hmmmm.
 
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2/2/07 12:10pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
Autom8r
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Old Hickory, TN - USA

Vette(s):
1978 L-82 Silver Anniversary hotrod. /////////////

Joined: 5/26/2003
Posts: 599
Jay,

Once you get the old slot paint stripped and/or polished by whatever means, you can mask off the front of the wheels then repaint them with a good rattlecan paint (I used gloss black engine paint.)from the backside. I'm only a year younger than you and got 'er done myself in a coupla hours.

There is a pic shown in this thread;

http://www.c3vr.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=63080&PN=2

DaveAutom8r2007-02-02 10:13:53

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Nashville, Tennessee, USA
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Hot rods, beer, boats, guns and babes. I love the USA!!!!

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2/2/07 12:35pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
crossfire1982
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Cramerton, NC - USA

Vette(s):
black 1982 coupe slate gray interior, 350 crossfire, 1985 fuel pump, Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 8/22/2006
Posts: 1094
I polished my wheels earler this winter and after the polishing was through, painted my slots.  I put the wheel up on the workbench at a comfortable height then used "wheel paint" from Eastwood which provided the exact semi-flat that  I was looking for.  I used a cheap china bristle brush to paint  from the back then touched up from the front, didnt mask a thing and didnt worry too much about what got on the polished front of the wheels.  After I was through with the painting, while the new paint was not fully cured, used a rag dampened with acetone to carefully wipe away any paint that had oozed onto the polished aluminum, it came off easily and with no damage to the newly polished surface.  I was really surprised at how much difference the new  paint in the slots made, they look great Wink

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2/3/07 5:49am - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
gurtz
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baton rouge, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1981 dark metallic blue, dark doeskin leather interior, mirrored glass T Tops, 330hp/350ci GMPP crate engine, billeted aluminum serpentine system, Dewitts with dual spalls

Joined: 8/12/2006
Posts: 391
I apologize jayare, I have been swamped with work here recently.  Actually, the Airplane Stripper is not bad at all.  It is low odor, but you should do outdoors.  I am stripping the paint off my original motor that has 119,000 brutal miles on it, layered with paint and it is coming off very easy.  I say brutal because I am picky about how my stuff looks and this dude was caked.  The stripper is working through the cake also.  I have hit the block with degreaser 3-4 times now.  That is how neglected this motor was.
 
The can tells you to brush in one direction, let it sit for about 45 minutes and let the stripper do the work.  The easiest way you could do it would be to blast it, I assure you of that.  I blasted my other money pit parts and they came out beautiful.
 
good luck, gurtz


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2/3/07 12:31pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
jayare
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Joined: 1/4/2007
Posts: 475
gurtz...
 
I guess your busy, you posted at 3:49 AM..yikes!
 
No apology needed in email and forums. This stuffff is "whenever ya got the time".
 
(two cents) I here that stripper works far better if you cover it with plastic wrap right after you get it applied to the surface, kinda seals in the vapors. It will also keep a paint brush fresh until your ready to wash the paint out of it. My wife got me my own box.
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2/3/07 12:45pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
jayare
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Joined: 1/4/2007
Posts: 475
Here I am once again....
 
Forgot to mention that I found two great sites for info. and products on polishing and buffing all types of metal surfaces. Terrific info!!
 
 
 
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2/3/07 7:29pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
gurtz
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baton rouge, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1981 dark metallic blue, dark doeskin leather interior, mirrored glass T Tops, 330hp/350ci GMPP crate engine, billeted aluminum serpentine system, Dewitts with dual spalls

Joined: 8/12/2006
Posts: 391
don't forget about Eastwood.  They have great products period for restoring vehicles.  I never heard about the plastic.  The vapors are really not that bad.  It is a low odor product.
 
gurtz


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2/4/07 4:45am - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
PSU 98
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Shenandoah, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Chevrolet Corvette

Joined: 10/18/2006
Posts: 328
I have never used Airplane Stripper but I know several of my "car" friends have mentioned it as a good product when the subject of removing old paint comes up.
As far as polishing aluminum, I applied some Speedy Metal Polish to the wheel and used a Mothers' Mini-Powerball attached to a corded drill to remove it.  Step two was a coat of Mothers' mag and aluminum polish, also removed with the Mini-Powerball.  Step three was a hand shine with some Zaino polish.  Made a big improvement on my negelcted rims  Cool 


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1982 Chevrolet Corvette

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2/4/07 5:24am - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
gurtz
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baton rouge, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1981 dark metallic blue, dark doeskin leather interior, mirrored glass T Tops, 330hp/350ci GMPP crate engine, billeted aluminum serpentine system, Dewitts with dual spalls

Joined: 8/12/2006
Posts: 391
I agree with you, but jayare originally talked about sanding down the peeling clear coat.  I was just trying to give him another option to remove the clear versus sanding and potentially scratching the aluminum. 
 
I have never used the stripper on my Vette rims. I used it on some other American Rims I have on another money pitt and a Shelby I restored.  I use Mothers, the Power Ball, Mini Ball and Buffs if need be to polish my rims.  The stripper works very well to remove caked paint. 
 
heck there is a guy in the local Vette club I am in and he is stripping his entire 65 to the gel coat.  I thought that was a bad thing, but he knows something I don't because he has a 59, 61, the 65 and is buying a 67.
 
good luck gurtz


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2/4/07 1:00pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
PSU 98
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Shenandoah, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Chevrolet Corvette

Joined: 10/18/2006
Posts: 328

Yes gurtz, what I intended to suggest was using the stripper to remove the old clearcoat as you posted, and them following up with some more elbow grease on the bare aluminum for a great shine  Wink  I didn't remove the clearcoat from my rims since they just seemed to need a good polishing after 25 years. 



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1982 Chevrolet Corvette

www.horsepoweralley.com
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2/4/07 3:11pm - Reply: 'Polished aluminum (2)'
Autom8r
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Old Hickory, TN - USA

Vette(s):
1978 L-82 Silver Anniversary hotrod. /////////////

Joined: 5/26/2003
Posts: 599
Funny... My '78 SA did not have clearcoated wheels....

Dave

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Nashville, Tennessee, USA
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Hot rods, beer, boats, guns and babes. I love the USA!!!!

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