Best wheel protectant for bare aluminum

Messages
553
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
I went ahead and stripped the nasty clear coat off of my 20" Harley Davidson wheels. I'm halfway through the polishing process and I must say bare aluminum really shines when nicely polished. Now my dilemma. Do I protect them with the Collinite 476 that I already have, or give Poorboys Wheel Sealant a try? OR, do I go ahead and have them: 1. Re-clear powdercoated (baked) which will diminish the luster 2. Have them clear urethaned (sprayed) at a nearby custom chopper shop. This is supposed to retain the luster 3. Have them powdercoated flat or semi-gloss black with maybe some remaining showing aluminum to have a custom look.
 
Messages
489
Location
your house
I would probably use the Calinite for a while, at least till the novelty wore off, and I realize what a pita it is to constantly polish, unless I was into that. I had bare mag wheels in the 70's and its a pita. I would go with professional clear coating instead of powder coating, mainly because its easier to touch up a nick with paint. I don't know about the luster vs powder coating. :2cents:
 
Messages
682
Location
ontario canada
I've used Duplicolor wheel paint, it makes a really nice "anodized" type finish. U start with a basecoat silver, and then spray with various colors they have in that style. It looks really nice and sparkly - I'm actually amazed at how nice they turned out - it looks like a really lustrous anodized aluminum. It is extremely pretty, like I said, I was literally amazed at what I got out of a rattle can. If U get tired of it, then just get a can of a different color. If you chip the paint, no problem either, just touch it up. Plus it's cheap. My rims were small enough to get into my kitchen oven, so I actually baked the paint on at 325 degrees for half an hour.
 
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Messages
2,759
Location
CarMax
I'd definitely have them re-clearcoated. Those wheels look great clean and polished so protect their original look. As for now, Collinite will be fine. No need for a wheel sealant or special product. A top-up coat of wax will take you 15 mins to apply whenever you need to.
 

FiremarshalRob

Thread starter
Messages
553
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks for the replies. I have them un-mounted at present, so I need to make up my mind fairly soon. Once my tires are mounted on them, I don't want to be paying for unmounting and re-mounting. Very costly on 20" wheels. I can't say I'm the type that wants to spend hours on end polishing up wheels, so I think I will probably end up getting them re-clear coated. I may give the guy at the custom chopper shop a few miles down the road a shot. I've seen some of his paint work at the bike shop.
 
Messages
2,759
Location
CarMax
Good idea. Ask him about what types of clearcoat is available. I know the product applied to wheels is different that what's applied to paint. Wheel clearcoat is more like polyurethane, in that it's more resistant to chemicals, dirt, brake dust, etc. I can find out a little more about it if you want.
 

FiremarshalRob

Thread starter
Messages
553
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
That would be fine. He is out of town until next Thursday. He is in North Carolina at an Airbrush convention or something along those lines. I'll have to wait until then to bring him one of my wheels and have him look at it and give me an estimate. I just wonder if what can be sprayed on the wheel will stick as well as baked on powder coating.
 
Messages
2,759
Location
CarMax
My sources tell me that OEM clearcoated wheels are comprised of plasticized urethane-based products. These are softer and more flexible than typical OEM clear, which help reduce chipping. The downside is this coating mars easier and can be permanently dulled when harsh cleaners are used.
 
Messages
38
Location
Northern Il
That OEM clear you stripped off is far more durable than anything you can find at a local paint shop. Once he sprays them, rocks and debris WILL chip the finish (too close to the road) and then water will seep under his finish, causing the white oxidation "bloom". in 2-3 years you will be back at square one. I've been there. A clear powder coat is the toughest choice, but it kills that nice polished look, to me... Try Rejex, works great on paint, dunno about AL...
 
Messages
14
Location
Stillwater, OK
Anybody ever use Zoops seal? Its made for this exact thing however I think you would need to re-apply every few years. I have American Racing Torque Thrusts on my Chevelle and I know what a pain it is to keep them polished (mothers powerball is your friend) but they look good when they are polished. Edit: Another option to consider would be having your wheels chromed. Personally I like the luster of polished wheels better but chrome will hold up much better.
 
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Messages
1,007
Location
Dallas, TX
I vote for powdercoating. It's the most durable finish you can put on them and even though it may dull the shine a little, it'll be worth it when you don't find yourself doing this all over again in the not-so-distant future.
 

cpg

Messages
12
Location
il
I just did my cobra wheels and love that fresh look. Is zoop seal good stuff? Only takes me 15min a wheel to polish. So if I have to do it once a year its no big deal. Car never see's rain.
 
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