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Old 11-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Polished wheels

In the process of polishing my stock 18's. Taking my time and doing two wheels at a time, mostly because I purchased two 18's to be test pieces. I bought a kit from coswell for polishing and got a pretty decent result on my first attempt. Would still like to get the really fine scratches out, but haven't been able to tackle that yet. Still working on the rest of the wheel, and the second wheel is a good ways behind. Here are my results so far.





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Old 11-05-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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So what products/process?
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:40 PM   #3
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How much time in just the one wheel? Those minor scratches don't look bad - should be able to get those out. Looks good so far.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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That is fun, by the time you get one looking great, you think about the 3 others you need to do and get that "WTF have I got myself into" feeling (or at least I do). Looks good though.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Looks good so far. Looks like you need to wet sand some more before polishing. Wet sand 600 grit to 800 to 1000 to 1500 to 2000 and finish with 3000 grit (if you can find it) before polishing.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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They look great so-far. Those micro scratches are very hard to get out unless you have a commercial grade polishing machine and red rouge.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:11 PM   #7
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I bought a kit from coswell plating for a die grinder. Says to wet sand to 600 then begin with the buffing wheels/compound. I have more time into this wheel than I care to calculate. Probably about an hour per lug, then the rest of the wheel. Start with a sisal wheel and black compound, then a sewn wheel with black, then brown. Followed by two loose wheels with white compound. Initial two passes of sanding are the difficult part. After that everything is pretty easy.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commissar...View Post
I bought a kit from coswell plating for a die grinder. Says to wet sand to 600 then begin with the buffing wheels/compound. I have more time into this wheel than I care to calculate. Probably about an hour per lug, then the rest of the wheel. Start with a sisal wheel and black compound, then a sewn wheel with black, then brown. Followed by two loose wheels with white compound. Initial two passes of sanding are the difficult part. After that everything is pretty easy.

Need to continue wet sand through the finer grits. Will make the scratches disappear and save hours of polishing. After wet sanding to 600 grit you should be able to go through the finer grits in half hour and 15 min high speed polishing then your finished.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #9
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Looking good so far. I need to get started on mine soon.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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check into a metel finishing shop around you. there is one near me and they do an awsome job and are alot cheaper than you would think. i had a set of valve covers coil brackets and a catch can done this spring for $100 and they looked like mirrors when they returned. i have two wheels there now should be done next week.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:19 PM   #11
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I so want my 18s polished. Perfect winter project.... for a shop.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockingoat...View Post
check into a metel finishing shop around you. there is one near me and they do an awsome job and are alot cheaper than you would think. i had a set of valve covers coil brackets and a catch can done this spring for $100 and they looked like mirrors when they returned. i have two wheels there now should be done next week.

Yeah that would be nice, but I am a DIYer. Like learning new techniques and processes. Once done with the wheels I will probably polish the catch can and throttle body. I have enough compound to do just about anything I want. Process isn't difficult, just time consuming.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:36 AM   #13
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Good luck the end result is awesome! I have about eight hours in each wheel.

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:53 AM   #14
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I'm also a DIYer but that's a very time consuming dirty job. I stripped and polished a snowmobile tunnel a couple years ago had around 28 hours invested it turned out amazing but I took a lot of time. I have a lot of projects so I farm out polishing now and I can say I don't miss it at all now. Let me know how your TB turns out I put mine on the wheel and couldn't get it to polish up.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:01 AM   #15
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That's a lot of work, but it will definitely be worth it in the end! Polished wheels look great, especially our stock 18s.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:17 AM   #16
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Very nice. Just takes time. I could not believe how long it took me to do 2 fuel rails.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:56 AM   #17
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keep on polishing
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockingoat...View Post
I'm also a DIYer but that's a very time consuming dirty job. I stripped and polished a snowmobile tunnel a couple years ago had around 28 hours invested it turned out amazing but I took a lot of time. I have a lot of projects so I farm out polishing now and I can say I don't miss it at all now. Let me know how your TB turns out I put mine on the wheel and couldn't get it to polish up.

I did a bunch of under hood polishing last winter(there is a thread ). The TB was pretty easy and turned out great.
OP... Looks great. Just a little more sanding/polishing and you got it.

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Old 11-07-2012, 05:05 AM   #19
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Wow. I bet they will look great...don't curb them once you are done.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #20
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Bump, any more progress?
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:41 AM   #21
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Clear coating when done?
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsz28...View Post
How much time in just the one wheel? Those minor scratches don't look bad - should be able to get those out. Looks good so far.

When polishing something like this, those "minor" scratches are no where near minor. OP is still on his way to a great job!

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Clear coating when done?

After polishing something there are two reasons why clearcoating usually isn't a good idea

1) to paint a clearcoat onto a polished surface, there is nothing for the clear to bite into, so it will chip off real easy

2)powdercoating a polished surface will take a lot of the luster out of the finish, so it will look a lot more dull, or even semi-gloss (lack of a better word) the finish.

The comparison isn't even close between a raw and cleared surface.

One important thing about polishing though, is the smoother the finish you start with, the easier it is to keep the finish clean and shiney
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:54 AM   #23
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Carnuba wax will help preserve the finish, fwiw.

With polishing, the more you do it and the more you acquire the things used for it, the quicker and better your work will go and being creative helps...

I like to do most of my work by hand, but there are times I like to set up things for consistency...For instance, on something with such a relatively flat surface like the oem 18's, I'd set it up so that the wheel spins (not too fast) and I could sand from a flat-to-spoke plane (picture lapping in a way) and polish in the same fashion.

If I ever did the wheels, I'd like to first p/c everything say gunmetal gray but the flat front sides of the spokes, then go to town on the polish...not interested in doing the whole wheel, but just the flats...IMO, that would look really nice!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:00 AM   #24
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i used flitz and wetsanding on my snowmobile tunnel it looked like a mirror, i also did my vette wheels once cpl hrs into first wheel i was like WTF, then a few weeks later they looked like shit again. but good luck.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:29 AM   #25
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That's what I was wondering, how long will this hold up to the elements.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:51 PM   #26
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Changed up my technique a little bit, and redid the main spokes of the 1st wheel. Still saw some minor marks on a couple spokes so took it back down. It is finished now, just needs polished up with Adams Metal Polish 1 & 2.

DA Sand with 80, 120, 220, 320, 400, wet sand 600, then use a sewn wheel and black compound to remove all swirls from the DA sanding, if any deeper scratches are present the black compound stick in the scratches and highlights them. I then go back and wet sand with 600. After the Sewn wheel and black compound is done, I hand wet sand 1000, 1500, 2000, and finish with DA sanding using a 3000 grit disc. Then the Adams metal polish.

For the lug holes and surrounding area I use flap wheels up to 320, then hand sand up to 2000.

Here are the pics of the 1st wheel, 2nd time. Final time will look the same only the other couple spokes will look this good. I am currently working on the final touches of the 2nd wheel prior to wet sanding with 1000.





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Old 11-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #27
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I plan on powder coating the wheel behind the spokes. Probably mirror black, I have some on order and going to do some under hood items and brake calipers first.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:47 PM   #28
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They look real nice.
The dog doesn't seem to impressed though.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #29
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Looks good but it should look like chrome when done. Use flitz it is not cheap but has beeswax in it to protect the shine for up to 6mo

Last edited by sam5828; 11-21-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:38 PM   #30
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Looks good, it's a shame it's a shit ton of work and maintenance.
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