So Im in the process right now of sanding and polishing a fellow members rims on here, and figured it would be a perfect chance to make a quick "how-to" on the subject since a few of the guys in the crew have rims with polished lips/ dishes etc. I do not take responsibility for any damage to your rims or person due to the use of this guide.The polishing compound I used WILL STAIN CLOTHES and is to be used in a VENTILATED AREA. Also, when cleaning the polishing attachment the polishing by product left on the polisher WILL STAIN BLACK if left to sit on surfaces. So take proper precautions to avoid such from happening.
Now all thats said and done, lets begin.THE SUBJECT:
Rims I'll be polishing are 2 piece 17x7.5 +43 Professors. The faces have been removed which makes this process a lot easier. I'd give the overall condition of these rims a 7 out of 10 rating. Your rims might be worse and therefore require more work and/ or steps to complete. Please adjust this guide to fit your needs.http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2582.jpg[/img]]MATERIALS I'LL BE USING:
- 1200rpm corded drill (prefer this as its a constant power source and not likely to die on you)
- 220grit autobody sandpaper
- 500grit autobody sandpaper
- 1500grit wet/ dry autobody sandpaper
- coarse, medium and fine steel wool
- 2 microfiber cloths (1 to wipe away sanding dust and 1 to wipe away excess polish residue)
- Meguiars all-metal polish compound (you can use any metal polishing compound you like)
- Meguiars metal rim polisher cone attachment (you can use any type of polisher attachment you like)
- Mechanics gloves (you will be using the steel wool at some point)
- Respirator of some sort (you will be sanding and it does kick up dust, especially the steel wool)http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2587.jpg[/img]]http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2591.jpg[/img]]http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2589.jpg[/img]]
All suited up, lets begin (yes I know a bandana doesnt offer much as a respirator, dont know where my good one is)http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2627-1.jpg[/img]]STEP 1:
- Clean the rims using soap and water. Remove as much grime, dirt, brake dust, etc as possible as it will make the process much easier and you'll see exactly the work needed to sand/ prep your rims.
- The rims Im working on are not to bad in the areas of having no curb rash or huge gouges taken out of them. They do have a couple pits and good sized dings in the lips, but most can be sanded out with a lot of time put in where as the bigger ones will have to actually be filled in, but we are not doing that for these rims.STEP 2:
Now that you've cleaned up the rims and have let them dry, lets move onto the sanding process.
- I began sanding the lips using the 220grit sandpaper
. Take your time and work in ONE FOOT SECTIONS making to over lap each section so you dont make a ridge. I started from the inner lip and worked my way to the outside edge.
- Be prepared to do a lot of work here as your trying to smooth out a lot of the rough edges and any damage on the rim. Take your time and dont rush as the prepping will make the final outcome look the best. This process took me about an hour on each rim.STEP 3:
Now that we've taken care of all the major rough spots, its time to move onto the first stage of smoothing it all out.
- Im now moving onto sanding the rims with the coarse steel wool
. Your basically looking to smooth everything out from step 2. Make sure to get into all the grooves as those will be harder to sand in the next steps as well as show up as dull spots when you begin polishing.
- Again, work evenly over the rim making sure to not miss any spots and take your time. Theres no rush and the end outcome will look much better because you took your time now.
- Wipe the rim clean of any debris as you dont wanna work that into the rim and further damage it
- After you've sanded with the coarse steel wool and the 220grit sandpaper, your rims should look something like this:http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2592.jpg[/img]]STEP 4:
The hard parts are all done now. Lets get to smoothing things out much more on those lips.
- Begin by sanding with 500grit sandpaper
- Making sure to work evenly over the rim and to get into the grooves.
- At this time your rim should feel somewhat smooth to the touch and resemble the look of hazy brushed aluminum.STEP 5:
So you've made it this far and your almost done.
- I began smoothing everything out with the medium steel wool
just to make sure everything was nice and even and cleaned up. STEP 6:
The home stretch of the sanding process.
- Finished off the steel wool sanding stages with the fine steel wool
- Make sure to wipe away any debris from the previous sanding stages. After this your rim should look something like this:STEP 7:
The final stage of sanding.
- To finish off the rims and make them easier to polish I began wet sanding the rims with 1500grit sandpaper
. You'll want to soak the sandpaper in warm water for a minute or two, then begin sanding. Making sure to keep the sandpaper wet as you go along, do not let it become dry at this point or it will show up on the rim when you begin polishing.
- Your rims should start looking pretty shiny at this point.STEP 8:
Lets begin polishing.
- Using your cloth from before, wipe away any and all debris from the rims and make sure they are dry from the wet sanding process, now disregard this cloth and use the other one from this time on for the polishing steps only.
- Take your metal polish and dab a pea size drop in a one foot section of the rim, about 3 inches apart from each other.
- Using the polishing attachment mounted onto the corded drill, begin spreading the polishing compound onto the rim in each area and begin polishing.
- Making sure to keep a constant speed (my drill has a locking feature where I can set it for certain rpm's, at this point I was using 850rpms).
- Keep polishing the rim in one foot sections, making sure to dab a pea size drop of polishing compound every 3 inches till you've made one complete rotation (use the valve stem as a reference point).
- Polish the rim in each one foot section till you can see that its no longer hazy, then move onto the next section and so forth.
LET THE MACHINE DO THE WORK, DO NOT FORCE THE POLISHER INTO THE RIM. YOU WILL PUT UNDUE STRESS ON THE TRANSMISSION OF THE DRILL AND BURN OUT THE POLISHER AS WELL AS "BURN" THE RIM.STEP 9:
- Once you've completed your first rotation of polishing, wipe away any excess left over. DO NOT LET THIS MEGUIARS COMPOUND DRY ONTO THE RIM OR LEAVE IT ON THERE FOR THE NEXT ROTATION
- Once its all cleaned off, begin polishing again following the first set of instructions in step 8.
- Polish the rim with a higher rpm this time (I used a setting of 1000rpms for this step).STEP 10:
Now you should be seeing some progress of all your hard work.
- Wipe away any excess like I mentioned before. By this time the polishing tool should have become dirty or blackened. The polishing attachment Im using can be cleaned and if yours can be, do so for a better outcome. Otherwise your just pushing dirt around on the rim.
- Now that you've cleaned or replaced the polishing attachment. Begin polishing the rim by following steps I mentioned before in step 8. This time use a higher rpm setting, I set mine to the maximum of 1200rpm and lightly went over the rim letting the drill do the work for me.
- Continue polishing the rim till your happy with the final product. Heres a comparison of one finished rim to the old rim and some close ups of a finished one:http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2596.jpg[/img]]http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2593.jpg[/img]]http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj619/slidewayzbentley/IMG_2594.jpg[/img]]
And thats it for this how-to guide. I hope you've found it useful for your current or future applicaiton.Just some helpful reminders:
- This guide is for rims in moderate shape. I.E: No heavy curb rash and damage etc. So be prepared if yours are a little more beat up as they will require a few more steps for sanding using a few different grits of sandpaper than I have used for this application.
- Your final outcome with the polishing of the rims will not last forever with use. Proper maintenance of the rims with polishing every other day and or week will keep them in great shape and continue to make them look much nicer as you work away at them.
- You can use any type of metal polish you feel comfortable using on your rims. BUT PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS AND MAKE SURE YOU CAN USE IT FOR YOUR APPLICATION
Total time for each rim was roughly 7 hours labour for sanding and polishing.
If you find you dont have the patience for sanding and polishing your own rims, then feel free to private message me or post a reply on here if youd like me to do the work for you. We can figure out a price dependant on the condition of the rims and work needed etc. I charged pretty cheap to do these rims.NOTE:
I WILL LINK A FEW MORE PICTURES I HAVE TOMORROW OF THE PROCESS ONCE I HAVE THEM UPLOADED TO PHOTOBUCKET.
I WILL UPLOAD A BETTER PICTURE OF THE FINAL PRODUCT ONCE I CAN HAVE A PICTURE TAKEN OF THE RIMS WITH A BETTER CAMERA. WILL BE DONE LATER THIS MONTH WHEN I GIVE THE RIMS BACK TO THE OWNER.