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Discussion Starter #1

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Linkmeister Supreme
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A small brass brush maybe?

EDIT: The wheels are painted, just like the engine I believe.
After cleaning, if needed, they could be painted again with an aluminum colored paint.
 

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Crap, I WAS in 5th gear.
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I don't know if the wheels are painted with aluminum color, but they are definitely clear-coated. As a last resort, I would use rubbing or polishing compound. I suppose they could be sand-blasted and clear coated.
 

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I've considered using a small brush attachment with my dremel, but I think they're wire brushes and I'm not sure if that will make the problem worse.
 

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Howdy Byorec,

I bought my bike last year and the rims looked very much like yours, I mistakenly thought it would be a breeze to spiff 'em up nice and purty like.

I am not under the delusion that my 18 year old bike will or should win any awards for shinyness but if there is a way that doesn't involve a whole lot of screwin' around I'd be interested in knowing what it is.

Thanks,

Matt
 

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Howdy Byorec,

I bought my bike last year and the rims looked very much like yours, I mistakenly thought it would be a breeze to spiff 'em up nice and purty like.

I am not under the delusion that my 18 year old bike will or should win any awards for shinyness but if there is a way that doesn't involve a whole lot of screwin' around I'd be interested in knowing what it is.

Thanks,

Matt
If I find something that works Matt, I'll let you know, I hope you'll do likewise.
 

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Patriot Guard Rider
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WD-40 and 0000 Steel Wool. I know it sounds crazy but it works.
 

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Will do. I am intrigued by TheDeuce's reply, WD-40...is there anything it can't do? As soon as it stops raining I'm giving it a shot
 

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...mehhh....just paint em !, lol.... ;)

Btw, once aluminum is polished up, there is a coating you can put on it to slow down oxydation and such. I think Mother's has it.
 

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I would think WD40 would work...but the reason I said brake cleaner is because if leaves no residue. WD 40 is an oil. So besides getting it on your tire, you have to make sure you wash it all off if you plan on painting the wheel...(paint does not stick to oil well.)

Contact cleaner works well too. If the spots are in fact not dirt or grease but tiny flecks of the aluminum itself that have been discolored, I'd go with just a mild detergent to remove any grease and paint over them.

KM
 

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Has anyone tried using 0000 steel wool and a paste made out of water and Bar Keeper's Friend? One of the mechanical engineers I work with suggested this method, and painting also. He thinks that with that much "crap" on the wheels, there's probably no coating left anyway, and just paint the wheels.
 

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Pete505
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I have a 94 Vulcan and the wheels were pitted really bad. I tried everything to clean them,including wet and dry sandpaper (real Fine grit) steel wool , with all kinds of chemicals with not to much luck. Steel wool worked the best but it took forever and you need to get the clear coat off before dealing with the Pitts. Finally I went to an auto paint distributor and they recommend Klean-Strip Aircraft Peeler base coat & clear coat remover.You spray this on and let it bubble up and use steel wool to remove clear coat (don't get it on you burns like hell) may need to do a few times. I used this on the front wheel and then took both wheels and had them Blasted with Glass beads and they came out like new wheels.(wish I did that first) Next because nothing will adhere to the metal with out a product that you spray on first U-Pol Grip#4 and then U-Pol Clear #1 about 4 light coats. I don't know what the cost would be to powder coat them would be.
 

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I don't know what the cost would be to powder coat them would be.
Here in the Hudson Valley, its about $50 per depending on the color ya want. Black/flat black is the cheapest. They have a Naval Jelly for aluminum too, bet that'd work nice. For fine polishing aluminum, I have a small brass wire wheel attachment for my Dremel. Makes it look almost like chrome ! Brass and aluminum or copper and aluminum are fairly close in hardnerss, so ya donts get gouges. Ive seen "copper wool" too. Use that with vinegar, and will take all the oxydation off.
And WD-40 isnt that dangerous. Isnt it made from a refined veggie oil ? as compared to say 5-56 which is petroleum.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, so here is the same wheel, one week later. What I did was:

*Make up a paste (thin) with a can of Bar Keepers Friend and water.

*Use 0000 steel wool, and a brass brush.

*Rinse the aluminum with water. Cleaners should be applied to a wet surface.

*Dip the steel wool or brass brush into the mixed cleanser and apply to the wheel.

*Scrub gently to remove oxidation, dirt and brake dust, etc.

*Rinse well, Do not let the cleansers dry on the surface, it will be more difficult to remove.

*Wash the wheel with a dish detergent.

I'm letting the wheel dry overnight; tomorrow during the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, I'll be sitting on my living room floor polishing it with Blue Magic Metal Polish Cream.
 

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You can quicken the wheel dry time btw by using rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle. The alcohol will displace the water, and dry within a minute.
Note : there are grades of rubbing alcohol out there. I use 95%...the most common is 80% and contains some water (95% CAN be found though and is dirt cheap). I also use it to clean a painted surface after sanding, for a recoat.
 

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You can quicken the wheel dry time btw by using rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle. The alcohol will displace the water, and dry within a minute.
Thanks for the suggestion, but the main reason I'm letting the wheel to dry overnight is to give my arms a rest. It took some elbow grease and time to get this done.
 

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That looks fantastic! I can't wait to resolve my other issues so I can finally spiff up my wheels, they have been bugging me since I got the bike last year but having tranny or rear end problems that keep me from riding the bike annoy me even more!
 
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