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Old 03-17-2012, 12:58 PM   #1
ColonelMustard
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Unhappy Something grew on my wheels?

Any ideas how to get this stuff off?

I had my wheels off, stacked between cardboard and an enclosed garage for a cold season. Got them back out the next spring and I find some hard stuff, or etched, or I can't tell. It looks like a tiny warm left a trail of seashell material on my wheels. These are, I guess you call, machined lips. I've tried ScratchX, metal polish, and also a dremmel tool with a cotton wheel. The stuff doesn't budge, and looks like crap on all the wheels.

I don't think a hard buffing would be right, the machined lip has those micro-lines parallel around the wheel. Any ideas how to clean, or even what this is would be appreciated. Thanks. Here's the pic:

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
BullyWRX
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Did you clean your wheels before you stored them for the winter? If so, what did you use? It looks like the anodizing got f'ed up by a harsh chemical. Only way I know of to get rid of that is to strip off the anodizing and clear coat it or leave it as is and just use metal polish on it regularly.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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If I remember right, I may have used tire cleaner on the tires, not the wheels, and rinsed. Then would have used car wash on the wheels. And before this happened I was actually waxing them sometimes just the same as the car paint. They were clean when put away.

So there is a coating on this part of the wheel? The spoke part is painted, and the rim is machined/polished, and not painted.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColonelMustard
If I remember right, I may have used tire cleaner on the tires, not the wheels, and rinsed. Then would have used car wash on the wheels. And before this happened I was actually waxing them sometimes just the same as the car paint. They were clean when put away.

So there is a coating on this part of the wheel? The spoke part is painted, and the rim is machined/polished, and not painted.
Usually higher end Japanese wheels have a clear anodizing on the lips ti protect them. If you use a tire cleaner or most wheel cleaners, it will cause what you see on your wheels. Which tire cleaner did you use? Blech-White?
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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Yea, the wheels were a pretty penny. I hate to think I ruined them trying to take good care of them. I think it was Eagle One tire cleaner. Same stuff I've used on them time and time again. Never happened until packed away for the winter. I'm sure I wouldn't have left the cleaner sitting on the wheels though.

I'll try to search on the anodized stuff. Not looking forward to having to strip them. Sounds expensive or a lot of work. Any tips are welcome.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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And thanks much for the info.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
Saunders1986
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eagle one will do that to your wheels over time, i had the same thing happen to me in the past, switch to a good non acid base wheel cleaner and this wont happen, i recommend sonax
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
ColonelMustard
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'Preciate the tip Saunders.

poor, poor wheels...
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:33 PM   #9
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I had that happen to my rota subzeros I had to sand them down and re-polish them.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #10
BullyWRX
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To get rid of the anodizing, mask off the faces really well and also the tires. Taking the tires off would be ideal. Spray the lips with oven cleaner, let sit for 10-15 minutes, and hose it off completely. Polish up your lips and cover with a few coats of clear. Then stop using that wheel cleaner, and switch to something non-acid based as already suggested.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:02 PM   #11
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i have this stuff on my centercaps, i tried scraping, wet sanding and nothing works without damage to the wheel for me
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:07 PM   #12
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I'm pondering painting the whole wheel white, or living with it for now.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:07 PM   #13
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I've had the same thing happen on a cheap set of rims long ago on a 'machined lip' which was really some other kind of surface. Had to sand it down to the metal and spray it. It was etched and stained all the way down to the metal.

Masking that is a huge massive PITA.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:08 PM   #14
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What a bunch of crap, I would be contacting Eagle One.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:08 PM   #15
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What a bunch of crap, I would be contacting Eagle One.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:19 PM   #16
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eagle one will not accept responsibility. and will blame it on something else.... been there ....
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:32 PM   #17
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^^ Agree, that is absolutely ridiculous. Don't see how that could happen when it seems like you were thorough in washing them off. If you went through all the trouble of preserving them, I don't understand how some residue could cause that to happen. BULL****, but anyways I would sand and repolish if I were you!
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:50 PM   #18
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Good luck sanding clear anodizing. It is bonded to the aluminum, and is only ousted by diamonds as the hardest surface. It is put on there to prevent scratches! Why do people believe you can "scratch" it off with sandpaper? I told you how to get it off. Use something that has lye in it, also called sodium hydroxide. It will break the bond with the aluminum, allowing you to polish at will. Or don't, it's your choice.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:01 AM   #19
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Its hard to tell whether the machined lip has any coating on it. To me , just from looking at your pics, it looks like it has a clear coat on it. Im saying that because on a few of the places where there appears to be damage, it almost looks like it is separating off the surface of the metal, whereas anodizing wouldnt do that because it is actually part of the surface of the metal. Again, hard to tell from one angle.
The post above me said you cant sand anodizing, but yes you can. Its not just gonna come right off, its gonna be like any other thing you sand, slowly removing material until you get to the substrate. if you sanded something anodized you would eventually get to the raw metal that wasnt anodized. Might take some time and work, but below the anodizing is unanodized aluminum. Anodizing only affects the surface. Regarless of what type of coating is on the lip...

...if this is just on your machined lip, which i gather from your post that is the case, and you would like it to look machined yet get rid of those marks...here is what i would recommend...

Figure out a way to spin the wheel. A wheel/tire balancing machine works perfectly. A lot of mechanics have one of these in their shops. It can be the oldest one in the world, it doesnt need to be one of the spiffy new ones with lasers and computers, but whatever, if it spins wheels this will work. Pop it on the balancer, make sure it is centered, fire up the machine so it is spinning. Take sandpaper, and carefully put the sandpaper against the spinning lip, and hold it steady. The rotation will cause the sandpaper to bite,clean and polish, all while mimicking those concentric grooves that machining does. It wont be perfect machine marks but its pretty good at replicating the look. Careful with the sandpaper as it does get pretty hot, wear some gloves, eye protection, be smart and safe, dont catch your hand in a spoke or you will rip it off.
I used to fix wheels and this is what we did for machined deep lip rims tht had suffered damage. You are gonna want to do this for all 4 as it will change the reflectivity and then they will all be equalized. If you want it shinier you can use some polishing compund after the sanding to make it shine. We used to offer the option of clearcoating, but wouldnt recommend it as it would dull the finish and also had the potential to peel and get ugly fast. The negative of not clearing is that it will oxidize faster and you need to clean and polish more frequently.

Anyways, just a thought. BTW im not responsible if you **** anything up.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:55 AM   #20
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powdercoat that btch and be done with it. I got quoted 200$ today for my 18x9 wheels when i dropped off a valve cover... 50$ a wheel is better than 8 hrs of my time.......thats my .02
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:48 AM   #21
Saunders1986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BullyWRX View Post
Use something that has lye in it, also called sodium hydroxide. It will break the bond with the aluminum, allowing you to polish at will. Or don't, it's your choice.
agreed, sanding sucks, and this makes it so much easier, personally i used aircraft grade paint stripper..

heres a video of it being done

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Old 03-20-2012, 04:10 PM   #22
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It's just the aluminum oxidizing... wherever there's a chip or scratch in the clear you have the potential to oxidize.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:48 PM   #23
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I just bought a set of used wheels that the lip was in super bad shape. The clearcoat that was on them peeled and the polished par corroded. I ended up having to sand them down and reclear. It was a pain to do but the aircraft remover didn't work on them. here's before and after...didn't come out perfect but I'm happy with them.




Last edited by jah8551; 03-28-2012 at 06:09 AM.
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