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Stripping, refinishing aluminum wheels.

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Old 10-26-2011, 06:26 PM   #1
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Default Stripping, refinishing aluminum wheels.

I got a set of aluminum wheels from a 97 grand Cherokee, but the clear coat is in terrible shape and needs stripped off to refinish.

It seems that there is some very light pitting under the clear in spots but I think it won't be a problem.

I'm gonna get some aircraft stripper and get as mich of the clear and paint off as possible then....???????????

I don't know if I should attempt to lightly sand and polish the wheels or have them powder coated a very close metallic color and paint the inside of the holes black, then clear over everything.

Has anyone had the pleasure of going through this and if so, any advice?
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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citristrip. It's not as deadly as aircraft stripper and it works awesome. Depending on the surface finish you are going for, sanding them will cause them to cease to be shiny. If you are painting them it won't matter.
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
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I stripped, sanded, painted and clear coated mine.

Scuff the clear coat lightly with 240 or higher sandpaper. This will let the stripper cut into the clear easier.
Plan on several applications of stripper to get all the clear and paint off.
Lightly sand, scrub, or polish the wheels to get the finish on the aluminum you want.
If the tires are off, clean up the bead as well.
Paint the wheels if you want/need and let dry completely (a couple of days).
Tape off the wheels and paint the inserts. Carefully remove the tape.
Clearcoat.

Enjoy the new look!
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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I've been thinking about doing mine a matte black and leaving the little bubble cap things silver, I was gonna clean em using a brush cup on a drill and then prime and paint em, does that sound right?

Stripping, refinishing aluminum wheels.-forumrunner_20111026_165553.jpg
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:05 PM   #5
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Definitely leave the center caps silver i made the mistake of painting them. I simply scuffed primed n painted mine gloss black.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Definitely leave the center caps silver i made the mistake of painting them. I simply scuffed primed n painted mine gloss black.
Sweet, how much did it run you?
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notop46 View Post
I stripped, sanded, painted and clear coated mine.

Scuff the clear coat lightly with 240 or higher sandpaper. This will let the stripper cut into the clear easier.
Plan on several applications of stripper to get all the clear and paint off.
Lightly sand, scrub, or polish the wheels to get the finish on the aluminum you want.
If the tires are off, clean up the bead as well.
Paint the wheels if you want/need and let dry completely (a couple of days).
Tape off the wheels and paint the inserts. Carefully remove the tape.
Clearcoat.

Enjoy the new look!

If you get citristrip, you should only need 1 application. Citristrip is a gel and it sticks there. Come back an hour later and wipe it and the paint off.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
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If you get citristrip, you should only need 1 application. Citristrip is a gel and it sticks there. Come back an hour later and wipe it and the paint off.
I tried a spray can of Citri-Strip today and I liked the results much better than the aircraft remover.
It smelled better, and seemed to work just as well.

I got one wheel almost completely stripped and need to break out the sand paper for the stuff that won't come off.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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I need to paint my wheels where do you buy citristrip at?
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr white View Post
If you get citristrip, you should only need 1 application. Citristrip is a gel and it sticks there. Come back an hour later and wipe it and the paint off.
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Originally Posted by jowint View Post
I got one wheel almost completely stripped and need to break out the sand paper for the stuff that won't come off.
If all the stuff did not come off, then you need more than 1 application or you need to sand. Sanding is ok if you plan to paint or sand all of the wheel to match the finish. If you want to retain the original surface finish, hit it with stripper again and let it soak.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:04 AM   #11
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Here are my 10 holes after I did mine. I did it the hard way though. Lol. I wish I had thought about stripper. I used a wire wheel on an electric drill on the flat parts and in the holes I used a wire brush. It took forever but I think it turned out nice. Then I put a semi_gloss clear coat on. I wasn't going for polished, just uniform.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I need to paint my wheels where do you buy citristrip at?
You can get it at walmart. I like the gel because it will stay where ever you put it.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
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ok thanks
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:26 PM   #14
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Got mine at Ace hardware, and it's also at Lowes, and most likely home depot.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:33 PM   #15
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Got mine at Ace hardware, and it's also at Lowes, and most likely home depot.
It's $5 less at walmart though. :P
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