How To: Fix Corroded Or Pitted Wheels -

How To: Fix Corroded Or Pitted Wheels

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-01-10, 01:03 AM   #1
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 346
How To: Fix Corroded Or Pitted Wheels

So, you pulled your wheels out of storage for the winter, and find pitting or corrosion on the aluminum surfaces. Don't worry, its actually pretty easy to save them.

They'll probably start by looking something like this:

Step 1: Wash wheels with Warm soapy water

Step 2: Dry wheels off

Step 3: Apply aircraft paint stripper to the damaged surfaces. I used a toothbrush to apply it, you can get it at most auto stores. This will strip the clearcoat off. Be careful not to get it on any painted surfaces. It works almost on contact, but let it sit for a few minutes before going to the next step.

Step 4: Clean the wheel again. The stripper should come off by just blasting the wheel with a hose. It will probably look quite a bit better without the clearcoat, but don't stop here, you can make them look much better!

Step 5. Once the wheel is dry, you can begin sanding. I started with a 400 grit, then went to 1000, then 1500. You could go to 2000 or higher if you wanted. Sand in only one direction, to prevent scratching, until the pits are no longer visible. It would take quite a while to sand by hand. I mounted the wheel up on the brake lathe so I could just hold the paper against the lip as the wheel spun.

Here it is after 400 grit:

Here it is after 1000 grit:

Here it is after 1500 grit:

For hard to reach spaces, you can use a Scotch Brite pad. I used one to get to the little valley on the outside of my lips:

If your lips have been curbed, and you have access to a lathe, this can be fixed as well Whoever drove on these wheels before me was attracted to curbs. I used the cutters on the brake lathe to cut down the lips just enough to get rid of the curbage:

Step 6: Clean the wheels again.

Step 7: Once the wheels are dry, you can polish the surface you just finished sanding. I used Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish, great product. You could polish them by hand, or use a polishing attachment in a drill. Apply the polish by hand to the surface of the wheel, and then begin polishing by rubbing in or using the drill attachemnt. You don't have to rub hard. Keep going until the polish turns black. Use a clean rag to get most of the polish off of the surface.

Step 8: Clean the wheels for one last time, stand back and admire your work!

chwkrx7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-10, 08:15 PM   #2
200+ RWBBQ
10 Year Member
ColinShark's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 259
ColinShark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-10, 02:50 AM   #3
Turbo power, activate!
10 Year Member
iTrader: (7)
Black Knight RX7 FC3S's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,691
yours came out great

sucks doing it on meshes though haha...too much work : /
Black Knight RX7 FC3S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-10, 01:12 PM   #4
Full Member
5 Year Member
iTrader: (3)
usma_2006's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Killeen, TX
Posts: 190
Originally Posted by Black Knight RX7 FC3S View Post
yours came out great

sucks doing it on meshes though haha...too much work : /
Yes... I'm trying to do my HP Design meshes and it's a huge pain!

The wheels look great though. One extra step that I did was use brown rouge with a buffing wheel and then white rouge, then rubbing compound to take of the extra rouge before using the mother's mag.

Just out of curiosity, are you planning on clear coating them again or just going to keep them polished up?
usma_2006 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-10, 04:52 PM   #5
Rotary Freak
5 Year Member
iTrader: (8)

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: dayton,ohio
Posts: 2,594
to get a much better finish wetsand all the way up to 2k it will look like a mirror yours looks a little hazy it might be the pics though...also if you don't repolish the wheels like every week it will get dull quick. clearcoating them would be the best solution.
turboIIrotary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-10, 05:08 PM   #6
Rotary Enthusiast
5 Year Member
iTrader: (2)
Rx72Heaven's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,350
Good write up. i didnt have acess to any of those wheel spins and stuff... But heres my Results. I also used 400 grit and went up from there, just took way more elbow grease, haha.

DIY ms-01 Refinishing
Rx72Heaven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-10, 01:29 AM   #7
Senior Member
5 Year Member
Thread Starter

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: BC
Posts: 346
An alternative to using something to spin your wheels up is put them on the rear, jack the back of your car up, block it, and let it run in first gear
chwkrx7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-10, 02:08 AM   #8
No phonebook but OG calls
5 Year Member
iTrader: (30)
BurntOrangeT2's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 965
can we Archive this?
BurntOrangeT2 is offline   Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RX7 draw through turbo back on the road Th0m4s Build Threads 12 07-04-16 05:41 PM
Guy is selling my old 83 gsl but is full of crap! thecody59 1st Generation Specific (1979-1985) 14 01-23-16 12:52 PM
[For Sale] 1993 Mazda RX-7 R1 Competition Yellow Mica With 62K Original Miles! Excellent! supraturbo1987 3rd Generation RX-7 (1993-2002) Vehicles 17 09-16-15 10:02 PM
[For Sale/For Trade] S4 TII factory aero and parts. GreyBush 2nd Generation RX-7 (1986-1992) Parts 12 09-10-15 09:41 PM
Side markers tsmith94FD 3rd Generation Specific (1993-2002) 4 08-16-15 06:41 PM

clean, clear, coat, corroded, fix, fixing, lips, mag, pitted, repair, repairing, repolish, sand, wheel, wheels

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:38 PM.

All content Copyright 2007 by Internet Brands, Inc.