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Yearround Rider
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Are there recos for a good way to remove wheel rim corrosion? I just saw an ad for "Aluminator". From the "A..." site:

". . .
Aluminator cleans and brightens unfinished aluminum* without heavy buffing or polishing. Use it as part of your regular maintenance schedule to prevent the buildup of surface corrosion and keep aluminum parts looking new. Aluminator is a mild surface etching acid solution designed to reduce the need for tedious hand buffing. Spray on an even coat of Aluminator and when the part is clean, simply rinse with clear water to stop the etching process. Used alone, or as a pre-treatment for more detailed polishing, Aluminator is perfect for removing road film, diesel smoke, watermarks, brake dust, and oxidation from any unprotected aluminum surface. Also works great on tires / whitewalls!
. . ..
This product is a buffered "safe" acid based aluminum brightener, designed for clean, unfinished (bare) aluminum. Not all aluminums are the same. Many things are manufactured with different alloys and even coatings mixed into the aluminum which, in effect, can block Aluminator.
. . ..
Aluminator is not a "cleaner", it is formulated for etching aluminum surfaces and removing oxidation, road film, scum, diesel smoke, and water marks. The quick penetration and etching action reduces the need to rub, buff or agitate the surface being brightened."

A web search turned up a few comments and "anodized" as a factor was mentioned. ???

Also "Mothers Aluminum polish."

I'd prefer a no-buffing solution (no power tools available)-- have tried a couple of metal polishes to no avail.

(PS -- this list has been of immense help in the past re thermostat and front pads replacement.)

Bill S. / DC
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
Welcome back schooner. I seems you must spend all your spare time riding the Vulcan, not so much on the computer eh? <G> I`m glad we were able to help with past projects and service.

I don`t know anything about this "Aluminator" brightener, but it sound like it may clean the corrosion off your wheels with a minimum of applied elbow grease. I would be very careful to keep it off any painted surfaces. If I were using this product I would do it when the rear wheel was off for service anyway, to keep splashes away from any other bike parts.

Here is a link to CaptHab and his polished aluminum lower fork sliders, using 400 and 1,000 grit sandpaper along with Mothers polish. Towards the end of the thread in post #15 denny mentions using Krylon Crystal Clear Enamel in a spray can to seal the aluminum after you clean it. It might work for you to stop or slow future corrosion, once you get the wheels cleaned off.
http://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10422

Anodized aluminum has a hard oxidized finish. Here is a short explanation that I found:

Many metals are structurally weakened by the oxidation process, but not aluminum. Aluminum can actually be made stronger and more durable through a process called 'anodizing'. Anodizing involves placing a sheet of aluminum into a chemical acid bath, quite often acetone in laboratory experiments. The sheet of aluminum becomes the positive anode of a chemical battery and the acid bath becomes the negative. An electric current passes through the acid, causing the surface of the aluminum to oxidize (essentially rust). The oxidized aluminum forms a strong coating as it replaces the original aluminum on the surface. The result is an extremely hard substance called anodized aluminum.

Anodized aluminum can be nearly as hard as diamond under the right anodizing process. Many modern buildings use anodized aluminum in places where the metal framework is exposed to the elements.
 

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Yearround Rider
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hello Gordon. Appreciate your thoughts. Bummer the note at the bottom re broken leg. Here's bests for the healing.

Bill S./ DC
 

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MANIC MECHANIC
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943 Posts
our wheels are actually clearcoated aluminum form kawasaki i at one time looked into painting or powdercoating my wheels to match the bike i was told bt several shops i would have to mediablast the coating off the wheels before they could touch them. after finding this out i used a muratic acid based wheel cleaner (professional detail shop only from what i was told) and then flitz poilsh and buffball mounted in a drill (yes the stuff they advertize at 2 in the morning drinking and watching latenight tv is bad) but this stuff actually worked. i buy it by the 2 pound can now it is also amazing on oxidized plastic headlamps on your cage took a bit of rubbing though.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
our wheels are actually clearcoated aluminum form kawasaki i at one time looked into painting or powdercoating my wheels to match the bike i was told bt several shops i would have to mediablast the coating off the wheels before they could touch them. after finding this out i used a muratic acid based wheel cleaner (professional detail shop only from what i was told) and then flitz poilsh and buffball mounted in a drill (yes the stuff they advertize at 2 in the morning drinking and watching latenight tv is bad) but this stuff actually worked. i buy it by the 2 pound can now it is also amazing on oxidized plastic headlamps on your cage took a bit of rubbing though.
Het vj, are you buying the muratic acid or flitz polish by the #2 can?

And I presume it is the flitz, not the acid you use on the oxidized plastic headlight lenses.
 

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MANIC MECHANIC
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943 Posts
flitz on headlights 14:1 muratic acid on coated wheels if you put it on a polished wheel it will start to pit instantly
 

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ExNewbie..Still Learnin'!
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256 Posts
I'd prefer a no-buffing solution (no power tools available)-- have tried a couple of metal polishes to no avail.

(PS -- this list has been of immense help in the past re thermostat and front pads replacement.)

Bill S. / DC
Bill - Not the easiest way (lots of elbow grease) but works very well and inexpensive with no chemicals to worry about. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Takes some time but does not hurt the finish and cleans up the aluminum nicely. Definitely a rainy day project or an multi-evening "watchin' the tube, havin' a beer" project.

Anyone else have an easier, "spray on, rinse off" solution?
 

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Registered
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54 Posts
aluminum cleaner

most truck stops use stuff called alum -brite its a mild acid for the wheels and stuff ! ive used it many times and had good luck with it! but you will have to delute it for different types of aluminum
 

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Registered
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1,750 Posts
This is my favorite product to clean up aluminum:

link

DT
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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Interesting, never heard of aluminum jelly before.
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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825 Posts
I know you won't believe me but, WD-40 (or any other lube like PB Blater) and Steel Wool. I didn't believe it myself until I tried many products available at the local Auto Store to no avail and figured, "What the Hell". Not much elbow grease was needed.
 

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Jack of all trades
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2,863 Posts
I know you won't believe me but, WD-40 (or any other lube like PB Blater) and Steel Wool. I didn't believe it myself until I tried many products available at the local Auto Store to no avail and figured, "What the Hell". Not much elbow grease was needed.
WOAH WOAH! I suggest you cease use of steel wool on your wheels. You can seriously murphy up aluminum if you have any of that steel embed itself in your wheel.:doh:

If you must use a pad try one of those green scouring pads. Or even one of the stiffer red ones. They will do wonders on your projects.:smiley_th

I like to use Armor All triple action wheel cleaner and a green pad to remove any crud/corrosion. Yes it takes a little bit of time, but you don't have to kill your hand/arm doing it.
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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825 Posts

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Jack of all trades
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2,863 Posts
Nope, and for good reason. I know if any of that steel wool gets embedded in the aluminum it will be a big mess. I have no doubt that it will remove the corrosion well enough but I really don't feel like chancing it. You'll have to deal with spotting and reactions between the two dissimilar metals. A fiber scouring pad is just safer IMHO.
 
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