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Old 06-04-07, 08:18 PM   #1
GOT WANKEL?
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(WHEELS) How To: Clean your oxidized aluminum wheels

I know all of us are always looking for some new wheels to put on the 7, but the bolt pattern is tough to get around. From day 1, i have been trying my best to get my wheels to look somewhat back to their original glory. I have tried about 20-30 of the off-the-shelf cleaners and remedies, steel wool, other abrasives, you name it and i have probably tried it. Finally, i saw an idea for aluminum canoes on a TV show while I was at the Hospital. I listened closely and decided to give it a shot. So, what is this magical substance? Oven cleaner! I tried it out today and was amazed, so i thought it was my duty to share.

Materials:
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Oven cleaner (with Sodium Hydroxide)
Large Towel for wiping
Small detailing rag
Various wire brushes
Masking tape
A Hose
Some sort of polishing compound

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Small wire brushes like this work great!
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Next, Mask off the center cap (oven cleaner is nasty stuff)
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Now that the cap is safe, apply several thin, even coats of oven cleaner to the wheel and allow 10 or so minutes for it to work.
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Wipe off overspray on the tires.
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You will begin to see bubbles forming, and it is now about time to clean it off.
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With a wire brush, start scrubbing the wheel.
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In this picture, the lower half of the wheel has been scrubbed with a wire brush and wiped off.
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Keep scrubbing until the oxidation is gone (maybe 10 minutes at the most)
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Rinse the wheel off and make sure that all of the cleaner is washed away
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Apply a thin coat of polish (wax, Mother's Mag Polish, Eagle-One Wadding polish, etc.)
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Allow wax to dry and buff out
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Finished Product! I was amazed of the difference it made. My camera still can't due the reflection justice.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:19 PM   #2
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I should have named this thread "How To: Remove 28 years of oxidation with a kitchen cleaner. With this method, posssibilities are endless. You could mask off all except the lip and polish it, use a wire brush that goes in a drill, any polish, paint center after, use a bench buffer, anything.

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Old 06-04-07, 08:29 PM   #3
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I am one of the very few that actually like the wheels that came on my SA and dont plan to change them, and I have tried a few wheels cleaners as well with no results. I will give this a try, thanks for the tip.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:29 PM   #4
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+1, Voted for archive!
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Old 06-04-07, 08:32 PM   #5
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ok What wheels are those I have a set of X wheels I might try this on.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:39 PM   #6
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Those came out good, great job. Has anyone removed the clear coat off their rims, and polished them up like chrome?
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Old 06-04-07, 08:40 PM   #7
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My wheels are Almex made by Yokohama. I used the same technique on the inner side of the wheels to get the caked on brake dust off and it, too worked well. Next time I have the wheels off, i should take a pic of the inside where it says "Made in Japan" and "The Yokohama Tire Co."
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Old 06-04-07, 08:43 PM   #8
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'84-12A-GSL, that could be done with the same technique. Masking, paint thinne, sandpaper (from coarse to very fine), then polish. I know someone had their SE wheels chromed, but that sure doesn't cost the $3 that this costed me. For polish, i just used some old Car wax, but i have also used the Mother's stuff with good results, but it isn't free!
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Old 06-04-07, 10:09 PM   #9
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if you just have caked on brake dust i find that a 50-50 mix of mothers wheel cleaner and quick detailer works well followed by another squirt of the quick detailer than a polish with autosol or similar (or any metal polish) and you can get stuff that's been blac for years to come up as new.
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Old 06-04-07, 10:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing .. now i want to get an old set and try it out
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Old 06-05-07, 01:52 AM   #11
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Archive???
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Old 06-05-07, 08:09 AM   #12
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very very great writeup!!!!! nice looking wheels as well. it appears that what you did removed the corrosion caused by balancing weights. did that oven cleaner remove the clear off of the wheels?
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Old 06-05-07, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 876portturbo View Post
I am one of the very few that actually like the wheels that came on my SA and dont plan to change them, and I have tried a few wheels cleaners as well with no results. I will give this a try, thanks for the tip.
Those were available at the dealer and are very hard to find now. There is a thread in the archive about out the SA wheels.



Great job on the clean up.
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Old 06-05-07, 08:46 AM   #14
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Old 06-05-07, 10:09 AM   #15
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do you think this will work on fb wheels with a lot of corrision?
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Old 06-05-07, 10:30 AM   #16
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as long as they are aluminum then yes are you talking about the + wheels
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Old 06-05-07, 01:26 PM   #17
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thanks for the writeup! i was just looking at my wheels last weekend, wondering wtf to do.
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Old 06-05-07, 03:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
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as long as they are aluminum then yes are you talking about the + wheels
yes
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Old 06-05-07, 04:20 PM   #19
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Wwwooowww!!!
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Old 06-05-07, 07:47 PM   #20
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Nice job Kevin. One short warning. Since the alumimum is now clean and exposed, it will corrode faster than before. The sooner it's sealed and protected, the longer the work will last. This would be a good time to paint the rest of the wheel, then shoot an automotive clearcoat over the entire wheel.
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Old 06-06-07, 01:08 AM   #21
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loooks much better, i never would have thought to use oven cleaner
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Old 06-06-07, 07:22 AM   #22
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Old 06-06-07, 02:56 PM   #23
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Just FYI: you should be able to pop of the cap instead of masking it.
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Old 06-06-07, 02:56 PM
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