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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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How to clean and polish aluminum rims?

I just picked up 4 tires with aluminum rims that need to be cleaned and polished and I'm looking for some suggestions. I got a steel of a deal and I would like to see if I get the rims to shine or at least look better. Another question is my current tires are 10.5 and the tires in the pictures are 12.5. Would my new rims be 12.5? or will a 10.5 fit on them.
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Last edited by Carnellc; 03-15-2008 at 02:54 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 06:46 PM
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Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish and lots of elbow grease.
It wont get rid of pits though.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 10:45 AM
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I haven't tried one yet, but friend have raved about the Mother's polishing ball. And I agree with the Mother's paste polish too.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 10:50 AM
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Start out using 80 grit sandpaper/emery cloth, etc., and work your way to 2000 grit. It's a tough way to get rid of the pits, but about the only way.. and a lot of work. I've used dishwasher soap, oil, polish, and about everything else you can think of to keep the emery cloth free from clogging up when I do this type of job... but I've yet to find a great alternative to water. So, I do it on a nice warm day when I can plan on getting mighty wet.

Just keep on sanding until the pits are gone, and then start with a level playing surface to progressively go finer and finer in grit. You can get a mirror finish on these if you've got nothing else to do for a while.

The next question is: How can I keep them that way?

That's almost tougher. Aluminum "rusts" and forms a little oxide layer that dulls the surface. It's almost an impossible task.

IMHO... powder coat 'em or have 'em chromed... or better yet, polish and sell them and buy set of stainless-steel rims.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 10:52 AM
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like I have some work on my hands. Now about my other question,
If My current wheels are 31 10.5 r15 and the tires on my new rims are 33 12.5 r15 can I swap them? I'm not going to put a lift on the jeep for a while so the 33 won't fit right? So can just swap my current tires and put them on my new rims????

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 12:39 PM
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Not that much work at all. Do you want them to look light bright new or polished?

If you just want them to look bright and pretty go get some Alum "trailer brite". It's an acid wash that will make all 4 look like new in 10 minutes with a wheel brush. Then just was off. If you can't find it local then hit up a truck stop. They will have it. We use it on our rollback beds to keep them looking new. And I also use them on wheels I clean up for work.
(there are different brands of this alum trailer wash and most work)

Take my word on this......it's worth it to try.

#2.......you want them to look like chrome?

After washing them with the "trailer brite", then use the mothers polish Raduckal posted. Best stuff I have ever used. BUT, be prepared to have tired arms as this will take more time.

Good luck and let us know what you use and how they turned out.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 02:17 PM
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A BIG +1 on the Mothers Ball. I've been using one for a couple of years now and it's amazing. You can find them at almost any auto supply or walmart.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
If My current wheels are 31 10.5 r15 and the tires on my new rims are 33 12.5 r15 can I swap them?
It depends on the width of the rims. The tires should be on rims about 2" narrower - 12.50s on 10" rims, 10.50s on 8" rims.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 04:29 PM
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Lots of folks like 12.50s on 8" rims, but you have to use low pressure on the street to avoid center wear.

Carnellc, those rims look like 10" to me, with lots of offset. They may stick out farther.

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