need to polish my clear coated wheels

Messages
553
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
I just can't find any! I put some used 20" Harley Davidson's on my F250 Superduty and the clear coated wheels need some attention. I have researched hours on how to strip the clear coat and polish the bare metal, but I'd like to see if I could fix up the existing clear coat. I know not to use products for regular paint such as polishing compound. Maybe Mother's Plastic Polish? I just can't find something labeled "Clear coat wheel polish" Rob
 
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1,565
Location
Elkridge, MD
I've cleaned up clear coated (painted, that is) wheels using medium cut and fine cut rubbing compound, and then applied a coat of wax. Looks great. It's just paint.
 
Messages
406
Location
Northern California
If they are clear-coated, treat it like paint, since that's what it is. You *most likely* won't ever find anything labeled like that. I for sure wouldn't go with the Turtle Wax Polishing Compound. Depending how bad they are, will determine the products needed. Any pictures?
 

FiremarshalRob

Thread starter
Messages
553
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
Not a good close up, but at least these are the wheels I'm talking about. I'll get a close up of where the clear coat is coming off. I'm thinking about stripping it off.
 
Messages
2,759
Location
CarMax
Mothers used to make a Clear Coat Wheel Polish (I have a bottle) but discontinued it. They suggest their Plastic Polish as a replacement. Wheel clearcoat is not exactly the same as paint clearcoat but they're close. Many wheel clearcoats are urethane-based and are designed to hold up to high temps and caustic chemicals more than paint clearcoat. Still, many of the same products will work when polishing & protecting.
 
Messages
357
Location
NC
I have used Plastic Polish (as recommended by Mothers) and it seemed to work ok. My wheels were not bad.
 
Messages
406
Location
Northern California
Do you use cleaners on them? If so, what kind? Also, what paint cleaners/polishes do you have now? Doesn't look too bad actually, just looks like it needs a little TLC. Though, to me, they almost look like they are polished aluminum...
 

FiremarshalRob

Thread starter
Messages
553
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
I just bought them from a fellow firefighter. They weren't taken care of that well. Apparently some corrosive got on one of the wheels and its missing some clear coat. I wish it was just polished aluminum, but its definitely coated. I tried on the wheel and it won't polish, but on the area where the clear coat is missing, it gets black as night and polishes to a nice bright shine. That is what makes me want to strip the clear. I normally use the same soap and water I wash my truck with to clean the wheels. After I wash the entire truck that is. I use a silicone based soap called "Hawaiian Shine." But if I use a cleaner, I will probably reach for my bottle of simple green cleaner diluted 50/50. I will probably try Mother's Plastic polish with the mini powerball, and maybe some cheap stuff in a yellow bottle made by KIT called clear coat scratch remover. Any other ideas??? Attempt to restore what I have now? Strip the clear coat with aircraft paint stripper and polish the bare aluminum?
 
Messages
406
Location
Northern California
Thanks for the background info. Makes it a bit easier to go from here. First off though, I wouldn't use Simple Green diluted 50/50 if you need a cleaner. Actually, I wouldn't use an APC at all on wheels unless you plan on cleaning/polishing/waxing them constantly. Any cleaner really will tend to dull the finish after some time, but Simple Green is actually quite powerful and needs to be diluted accordingly. For example, a medium strength dilution of Simple Green is 1 oz. Simple Green to 32 oz. of water. The wrong dilution can be harsh on aluminum and some plastics as well. As for what to do, your call. To restore, I would pick up a bottle of Meguiar's ScratchX 2.0 or SwirlX and give it a shot. Apply it to an applicator pad, focus on smaller sections, and rub it with some elbow grease. I'd say if that doesn't do it, based on what it sounds like what you want to do with them, you could strip them and polish them.
 

FiremarshalRob

Thread starter
Messages
553
Location
Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks for the advice. I tried both the Mothers Plastic Polish and the Kit Clear coat scratch remover today with the Powerball Mini. Neither did much at all. I'll give the Meg's ScratchX 2.0 a shot. If no luck, I'll probably strip them, polish, then maybe clear powder coat. RL
 
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