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Discussion Starter #1
I've got some new tires coming (I hope some of you saw Bike Bandit's sale yesterday -- base prices were cheaper than SWMoto to begin with, then another 20% off, free shipping, and a bonus $30 set of tire tools!) and since I'll have the wheels off it's a good time to strip and paint in some color other than black. Or maybe just clearcoat the alloy, if it looks good enough.

So what's the best way to strip that stuff? If it's just paint and not powder coat I suppose the usual method will do (chemical stripper). But then what kind of paint to use?

Advice from those who have done this, please.
 

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Chemical stripper is the way to go. Short of a bead blasting cabinet it is about the only practical way to get the job done.
You would have to be very careful to not mark up the bare aluminum if you are considering just clearcoating it. Make SURE you wash it with copious amounts of soap and water to clean off stripping crap. If you like the natural silver look, consider buying a can of "wheel paint" at your local automotive store. This can look like bare aluminum ( usually not the most durable ) to a color like the car OEMs use on the factory wheels. Some of these have some metallic in them and look sharp. Painting the wheel with this kind of paint is MUCH more durable than just clearcoating the bare aluminum. I have had very good service with Krylon paint out of a spray can and if you don't have automotive painting equipment I recommend it. Of course automotive primer/basecoat/clearcoat cannot be beat for durability/cost. I have found that powdercoating is not much if any more resistant to chipping than properly applied paint coating. The paint always looks better if you want a shiny finish!
 

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That's what I used on mine. 1 qt. has done 3 sets of wheels with some left over. Just did the rim area, not the spokes or center band. Takes 1 to 1 1/2 hr. per wheel. Didn't clear coat them, just polish 2 to 3 time per year.


This is a photo from 06 when I first did them.

Another from 6 months later.
 

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If you're stripping near the hubs, mask & seal the bearings so no chemical gets into the ball bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all.

nvr2old, did you buff those rims on a wheel or did they come out that shiny after stripping? I have buffed out forks and engine cases, but it looks like the angles on these wheels might make it difficult to use a buffing wheel.
 

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So what's the best way to strip that stuff? If it's just paint and not powder coat I suppose the usual method will do (chemical stripper). But then what kind of paint to use?

Advice from those who have done this, please.
Don't do it!
Removing the paint might compromise the structural integrity of the wheel ;)
nvr2old: great looking wheels!
 

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No buffing involved. Stripper, extra fine steel wool and an aluminum polish on a rag. It took 3 coats of stripping to remove it all.
 

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No buffing involved. Stripper, extra fine steel wool and an aluminum polish on a rag. It took 3 coats of stripping to remove it all.
The use of steel wool on an aluminum surface is a bad, "no no". Small bits of steel get embedded into the aluminum and causes corrosion issues down the road, (which lead to structural issues.).

Use 3M's Scotchbrite instead.
 

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The use of steel wool on an aluminum surface is a bad, "no no". Small bits of steel get embedded into the aluminum and causes corrosion issues down the road, (which lead to structural issues.).

Use 3M's Scotchbrite instead.
The use of aluminum wool is perfectly acceptable though. I generally like 4 ot as it is finer and the scratches are easier to buff out.
 

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No buffing involved. Stripper, extra fine steel wool and an aluminum polish on a rag. It took 3 coats of stripping to remove it all.
Those wheels look amazing, great job, good winter project! :thumbup:
 
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