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· Registered
947 Posts
you probably shouldn't be trying it if you don't even know what aircraft stripper will do. cause it's a little bit more complicated than sanding something down and using some store bought metal polish lol

or better yet, you can get started and let us know how long it takes you to do it properly :rockon

· Registered
131 Posts
Polishing Your Rims

Items Needed:
1. Safety glasses
2. Latex gloves
3. Old coffee can or glass jar
4. Paintbrush
5. Nylon brush
6. Masking tape
7. Shop rags
8. Steel wool #1 (medium) and #0000 (super fine)
9. Paint stripper (ethylene chloride)
10. Lacquer thinner
11. Clean terry cloths (for polishing)
12. Mother's Mag & Aluminum polish

Time: 36 to 96 hours

Cost: Just the cost of stripper, sandpaper, and steel wool

These instructions are assuming that the wheels have been removed from the motorcycle and that the tires have been taken off. When using the paint stripper, be in a well ventilated area. It is also a good idea to work on a large piece of cardboard to keep rims from being scratched by the ground and to keep any chemicals off the ground as well.

Step 1 Tape up the rim.
You'll want to tape up any places that you don't want to remove paint. You'll also want to tape up the center hub to prevent chemicals and shit from getting in there.

Step 2 Brush it on.
You should take the paint stripper and pour some into the container that you set aside for it. Then, using the paint brush, begin brushing it on. Cover the entire area you want paint to be removed from. wear your safety goggles and gloves until you finish the entire process.

Step 3 Wait
You'll need to wait the time specified on the paint stripper container, usually between one and two hours.

Step 4 Remove the paint stripper and loose paint.
First, take the nylon brush and remove all the loose and flaking paint
Second, take a clean rag and wipe off remaining paint stripper and loose paint. Make sure ALL stripper is gone!
Third, apply lacquer thinner to a new clean rag and wipe residue off the rims left by the paint stripper.

Step 5 Clean up the rims
First, take the medium (#1) steel wool and buff the rim to remove any left over paint and any defects on the rim.
Second, take the super fine (#0000) steel wool to smooth out any marks left by the previous steel wool buffing.

Step 6 Polish by hand.
Just buff the rims now by hand using the Mother's polish.

Now you have a nice set of polished rims.
You have the option of now clear coating the rims, which may take away some of the luster or shine.
If you don't clear coat them, you just have to spend a bit more time wiping them down. It's a good idea to buff them up about every one or two months using the Mother's polish.

look at Latest Pics pictures by stu494 - Photobucket

· Registered
77 Posts
After stripping and prepping the paint, you need to use a high speed buffer with different grades of polish. You have to first cut into the aluminum, then polish to a mirror finish. For my Jeep wheels, Alcoa aluminum wheels, and all diamond plating and aluminum tanks on 18 wheelers, we use this technique. If you want to do it yourself, the over the counter stuff like mothers is only for stuff that already has a shine. To truly polish aluminum that has never been polished, you have to use professional high speed buffers with different cutting wheels, and different grades of polish, or jeweler's rouge.

Do It Yourself

Check out Nuvite Metal and Paint Polish - Aircraft,Trucks,RV's,Automotive Polish, Cleaner and Degreaser - Nuvite Aluminum Polish - Leather Cleaner Treatment

Professional Job

Visit any truckstop. There are always guys polishing tanks, battery boxes, and wheels, especially at commercial truck washes. They would probably do it for $10 a wheel, AFTER you have stripped the paint off.

Good luck.

· Registered
947 Posts
Visit any truckstop. There are always guys polishing tanks, battery boxes, and wheels, especially at commercial truck washes. They would probably do it for $10 a wheel, AFTER you have stripped the paint off.

Good luck.
they wouldn't do that for $10/wheel, the thing still has casting marks all over it. it takes between 6-10 hours per wheel depending on your experience and what equipment you have AFTER you do the easy part of throwing some aircraft stripper on it ;)

· Member (Large)
2,533 Posts
I really hope you don't ride very much! You'll spend just as much time cleaning! Keeping polished aluminum looking good is an absolute pain in the ass, unless you get it clearcoated. I would just take the guy up on his offer to swap for the chrome ones. After dealing with the polished aluminum wheels that came on my truck, I'll never buy anything that is polished aluminum, ever.

Have you thought of just polishing the lips? I've seen a few done and they turned out very nice. I hope that your bike is black too, because polished wheels or lips only look good on black bikes IMO.
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