First time restoring aluminum wheels

Discuss anything after that final masking comes off.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:45 am
Yeah, you probably would have never seen this car.... there were only 450 of these series II cars built from 1982 to1984.
Ok, here's the straight scoop on aluminum wheels (this includes the ones with other alloys as well). Those are an all aluminum American Eagle wheel on that red car. I rub on Rejex polymer polish (goes on just like a liquid wax) once ever 6 months (yes, I drive this car year round through the winter as well) and they stay looking just the way you see them. Takes maybe 1/2 hour to do that.
Clear coats- The problem with getting clear coats to perform well is that fact that you are literally "refining" the metal surface when polishing thus reducing the surface profile that you need for the clear coat to stick to. Clear oven baked polyester powder clear coats will stick the best to aluminum however that begins to chip out at the edges because of tire mounting machines (yes, even with the fancy ones). Once chipping the oxidation just starts working it's way back. You can, of course just use regular high quality polyurethane clear coats, but again you'll get tearing beginning at the edges from the machines.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:19 pm
Darrel
What Trasns axle did you use to Mount a 13B ?
I never heard of Mazda Making a Front wheel drive with a Rotary.
Does that Car have a custom Frame and suspension or is it on a VW Pan?

That would be a Monster with a Turbo charged 3 rotor and OMG a 4 Rotor! Not that 13B aren't a Cool Choice or are not Powerful when Built properly.
Dennis Barnett
American airlines, Line Maintenance Mechanic & MOC Tech specialist
Allegiant airlines, Northern air cargo.
Vision airlines MOC tech specialist.
Fixing & restoring cars longer

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:46 pm
Hey, Dennis.... The Sebring's were set up so that you used a type 1 VW frame (the pans are actually trimmed out to allow for the molded in fiberglass pans to bolt in) but these series II models have a very large rear engine bay that can allow a lot of different motors. I have a highly modified VW type 1 transaxle breathed over by Transform, KCR Transaxles, and Geno Boyd Transaxles. That hooks to the rotary with a Kennedy Engineered Adapter plate and flywheel. We use a Stage II Kennedy pressure plate with a Daiken Super Duty clutch. Being under 2000 pounds (yes, that is with a full tank of gas) it can be pretty scary just the way it is.... I ran a 4.2 0 to 60 in 1st and 2nd the other day. I have 4th gear set up as a .77 so it cruises effortlessly between 80 and 120. I've never had it out to top end as we start getting "lift" in the front (with 100 lbs. of added lead shot bags) at about 142. Defined Autoworks just did a complete performance build and update for me. He specializes in both 3 and 4 rotor builds and we had talked about it a couple of time..... I have the room for a 3 rotor.....I'd be a little afraid of......
:splat:
Sorry, guys, didn't mean to drag things off the subject here....
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:32 pm
DarrelK wrote:Yeah, you probably would have never seen this car.... there were only 450 of these series II cars built from 1982 to1984.
Ok, here's the straight scoop on aluminum wheels (this includes the ones with other alloys as well). Those are an all aluminum American Eagle wheel on that red car. I rub on Rejex polymer polish (goes on just like a liquid wax) once ever 6 months (yes, I drive this car year round through the winter as well) and they stay looking just the way you see them. Takes maybe 1/2 hour to do that.
Clear coats- The problem with getting clear coats to perform well is that fact that you are literally "refining" the metal surface when polishing thus reducing the surface profile that you need for the clear coat to stick to. Clear oven baked polyester powder clear coats will stick the best to aluminum however that begins to chip out at the edges because of tire mounting machines (yes, even with the fancy ones). Once chipping the oxidation just starts working it's way back. You can, of course just use regular high quality polyurethane clear coats, but again you'll get tearing beginning at the edges from the machines.


Good to Know, Darrel. I didnt know this about clear coats. I will go with the polish. Also, I didnt know that my wheel even had a name!! American eagle. Cool. Anyway, that sample wheel is looking real nice so far. I will get back to you when Im done!! Thanks again.

PS: Once my wheels are all done and I mount new tires, I will tackle the entire car's auto body.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:51 pm
Sorry about that.... the American Eagle rims are the ones on my Sebring there.... For the life of me I can't remember what they called those ones you are doing.
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:52 pm
DarrelK wrote:Sorry about that.... the American Eagle rims are the ones on my Sebring there.... For the life of me I can't remember what they called those ones you are doing.


No problem...LOL. No more American Eagle. I think theyre called charcoal slot wheel, like here:

http://www.stockwheels.com/p-61557-pont ... wheel.aspx

Right, Darrel?

I havnt done any sanding for 2 days, sheesh. Coold down here in Florida right now......

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:57 pm
Yep, those are the ones. Looks like they are becoming more collectable now. I can remember a time when guys were going to bigger aftermarket wheels and you could buy those as "take offs" for like a hundred bucks for a set of 4.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:08 pm
Update- seems like I cant get it right no matter what. I start with 320 grit, then 400, 800, 1500, then 2000. Then I dust off all dust, and man, seems like there are scratches no matter what I do.

So I repeat, with fresh/clean/new paper, and religiously sand in one direction, 320, all the way down to 2000. Still scratches!!! Why?

Just a guess- looks like scrathes are at the 400 level, but why doesnt the 800 remove them??! Am I goofing up because I have not yet used air wheels/rouge?

Im about to give up, people. Hey, worst case- they look better then before I started.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:19 pm
[quote="noquacks"]Update- seems like I cant get it right no matter what. I start with 320 grit, then 400, 800, 1500, then 2000. Then I dust off all dust,

Just a guess- looks like scrathes are at the 400 level, but why doesnt the 800 remove them??! ""

Hay there,
do you clean the sanded area
to remove any trace of the 320 sanding
particles? It has to be cleaned for each sanding.
Then the jump from 400 to 800 is way two big. Once again clean before 500 or 600 grit .
Then 1000, 1200, 1500 , 2000, 2500, and 3000. Good luck, I messed this post!



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:33 pm
Thnaks, Ed. Good tip on the residue, I should retry this doing that. Maybe I should also go more gradual on the grit numbers. Do you think had I WET sanded it would have helped?
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