Cleaning aluminum oem rims


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jimduffenais
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Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by jimduffenais » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:43 am



Hi everyone. Can someone give me some advice on the easiest way to get years of corrosion/oxidation and gunk off the oem aluminum rims on a 1990 gl 1500. I have used some aluminum polish in a few spots using my fingers and an electric rotary buffing tool. Just a small 6 " area took 20 mins..and it wasnt the worst area.

Is there something I can do to help break down the heavily oxidized areas before I start buffing and polishing? Otherwise...Im going to go through a boat load of buffing pads and polish just to break down the oxidation and corrosion.

Thanks..Jim



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MikeB
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:58 am

I have used California Customs Deoxidizer and Purple Polish with great results.



Available through Ebay or Amazon if it is difficult to find in your local area.
MikeB
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spiralout
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by spiralout » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:41 am

Sandpaper.
(20 characters)

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mikelens
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by mikelens » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:04 pm

It's been a few years since I did the rim on my '90 which were a total disaster. Nothing seemed to even make a dent in the uglies. Don't remember where I read it but I sprayed it down with oven cleaner & scrubbed it with a scotchbrite pad. I rinsed it well then used a cotton buffing wheel with rouge sticks. Went from coarse to fine on the sticks & came up with a nice sheen. Wiped it down with lacquer thinner to get it spotless. Finally coated them in metallic clear wheel paint. Never had to touch it again.

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spiralout
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by spiralout » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:22 pm

Sandpaper, really.


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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by OldZX11Rider » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:08 pm

Tried cleaning mine with nearly everything in the shop. Nothing really worked like I was hoping it would.
I didn't try sandpaper. Next time I get motivated to get down there again, I'll try that. ;)
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minimac
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by minimac » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:02 am

I scrubbed mine well using Simple Green and some Scotch Brite pads, going from course to fine. Be sure to rinse it off thoroughly. Then aluminum polish to shine them up. When I was satisfied with the finish, I sprayed some clear rattle can paint to seal them. It will take time, but the results are worth it. Now the road grime/brake dust washes off with soap and water.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by OldZX11Rider » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:42 am

The video with the wet/dry sandpaper was very convincing! I have a lot of nasty stick on wheel weight residue that is a real pain, does the sandpaper work well on that stuff?
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:

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MikeB
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by MikeB » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:33 pm

The really tough stick on wheel weight residue can be removed with a little Lacquer Thinner.
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landisr
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by landisr » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:58 pm

I have had good luck using 0000 steel wool.

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OldZX11Rider
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by OldZX11Rider » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:13 pm

Okay. Next time I get by Lowe's, I'll try to remember lacquer thinner and 4 aught steel wool. Thanks.
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Big Blue UK
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by Big Blue UK » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:21 pm

Do you not have Autosol in the US, I have been using it to polish alloy since I left school. Solvol is outstanding for alloy polishing, I have tried a few products over the decades, some good, but nothing touches Solvol


Polishing buffs used with a power rotary drill will have your wheels looking like chrome.


A coarse sisal buff for cutting out the tarnish etc, and a soft cotton or Calico buff for polishing. 0000 wire wool works well for cleaning as said with soapy water, like a soft Brillo pad, before getting to work polishing. You need the wheel off and the rotor masked off.

My 20 year old Aspencade, wheels taken off and polished during winter, one has to keep on top of them if they are not lacquered, which I preferred not to do. After washing, dry the wheels and wax them. I use Solvol on the cylinder head covers too.


If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

jimduffenais
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by jimduffenais » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:51 pm

Thanks everyone for the tips n tricks on cleaning up the rims. I do use autosol....it works great once the metal is somewhat exposed through the grime. I did a small test area on the rear wheel..using fine grit sand paper and autosol ...i can see they will come clean. I can also see that i will have to remove the rear tire to do it!! The front tire i can work around. Its not that bad anyway.

I have a few different projects on the go with the bike right now. I realize that with spring fast approaching...the wheels will be next winters project.

All in strides

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MikeB
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by MikeB » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:32 pm

I change my own tires so I have spare wheels for each of the bikes. I had one set powder coated for each of them and the other sets I polished. As I said earlier, the purple polish seemed to work the easiest. I used a polishing ball.
I tried the Flitz polish and its polishing ball too. All the different polishes I have used in the past from Capt Richard's Bombs Away to Flitz to to Never Dull to Purple Polish to Semichrome seem to all give about the same result.

The powder coating is really the easiest option but I have not done the extra set for the GL1500 yet or the extra front wheel for the GL1800. I'm waiting until they need new bearings. Replacing bearings and seals just because I am lazy and do not want to polish is an expense I can do without. It costs as much for bearings and seals as it does to have them powder coated.
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Big Blue UK
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Re: Cleaning aluminum oem rims

Post by Big Blue UK » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:35 pm

If you have Solvol then get a sisal buffer and a high speed drill to work. I bought an Aspencade with real grotty oxidised wheels, it took one and a half tubes of Solvol. Hand polishing is a waste of time. If you do not have to wear eye protection and a cheap paper face mask, you are not doing it right.


If at first you don't succeed, hide the evidence.

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