Getting some new polished aluminum wheels. I know that the major manufacturers clearcoat their wheels. Has anyone had experience with this process and can you recommend a good product?
Thanks, Mooso.
Original Post
Mike,
My buddy that has the paint shop is looking into it for you. The clear coats out there are not very good for this application. They tend to yellow with heat and are not hard enough and will chip off.
The manufacturers use an epoxy type clear to cause the drying process thus making it much harder. Anything that comes in a can that is dried by air contact that you spray on is not going to work.
He is checking into they kind the manufacturers use and I will let you know if someone else doesn't first.
anodizing is another option, they could anodize the alum in clear. Good process with protection of the base material.

Most honest powder coaters will not powder coat alum wheels. The baking process heats the metal to about 500F where it could change the strength of the material. It could be done, but the coaters I have spoken with are concerned about the liability and will not touch aftermarket wheels.
There is a product that will provide extended protection for polished aluminum. It works! My polishing vendor, who does a lot of bike work, showed me the results of using this on one of his 9 motorcycles. The polished heads on one of his bikes after 6 months looked like they had just been polished by him. He had nothing to gain from telling me this other than to save me money by having him plate some of my polished aluminum parts.

Once I get the time, I will be taking some of my engine components to him for us to use the product on them.

The product is Zoop Seal. It is not cheap but as far as I am concerned is well worth the money. Better than sealing, plating, or continually polishing aluminum components.

Information on the product can be seen at:
http://www.zoops.com/zoopseal.asp

redcatman74
Coz: I recall talking with someone on this BB about Zoops on a polished ZF. He followed directions to the "T" and the finished blistered. I believe he was using their Glisten product. I have the kit but haven't used it yet. You might want to make some further inquiries before investing the time and money in this.
I thought the recomended ZF polish was some stuff is called Rub n' Buff
It is sold at stores like Micheal's or AC Moore.
If you rub it with the palm of your hand until it gets hot,It will shine like polished aluminum.The more friction heat you make the better it will shine.
See this BB page for more info:
http://pantera.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7650045562/m/8330034703/r/8330034703#8330034703
I have some experience with clear coating wheels. I probably have the only set of original Campagnolo factory rims on my 1973 Pantera which are actually polished Magnesium, and they were immediately clear coated. Two years later, there are some small cracks in the clear coating finish. The wheel stresses under sideways loading (turns) and flexes a little. It causes cracks in the clear coat. Pantera's also sometimes have the same type of stress fracture marks in the paint. Look close around the windshield posts, etc. This due to two factors: the Pantera body also stresses under sideways loading, and also because there are sometimes several coats of paint on Pantera's. So, the more coats of paint on a car body or a new set of wheels, the quicker it will crack, thicker cracks quicker. A potential problem with clear coating new wheels is also the risk that the clear coat you decide to use can 'fish-eye' when applied. Some types of coatings are incompatable with each other. Would you know what type coating the manufacturer applied? Heck, if you can get that info from him, I'd ask if he could apply a little extra clear coat for you. He's probably going to say here's the instructions for maintaining the luster of the product and not tell you all the reasons. I'm getting new wheels too, and the instructions for polished wheels is basically keep them clean, don't let dirt accumulate. Use a really soft applicator, etc. This is also usually a good way to treat your paint job. That's all I'm going to do, and why, since you asked. Plus that's the easiest thing to do, a reason I always like;-)
I am always looking for a better way to keep things polished, but not at the sake of creating more work down the road.

Probably won't even try it. I followed the thread about Rub & Buff. One thing that I didn't like about it was it continued to keep coming off, as others reported. Which means it never really dries and probably is an oil base product. Oil based products do nothing but collect dirt and grime.

Unfortunately, the only way it seems to keep aluminum polished is by a polish and elbow grease. I have applied wax after polishing and that seems to help keep the look longer without the side effects.

Thanks for the heads up Husker.



quote:
Originally posted by Husker:
Coz: I recall talking with someone on this BB about Zoops on a polished ZF. He followed directions to the "T" and the finished blistered. I believe he was using their Glisten product. I have the kit but haven't used it yet. You might want to make some further inquiries before investing the time and money in this.
I had polished 5 spoke Cobra R replica rims on my car and got so tired of polishing them for the shows I finally bought chrome! Now all I have to do is clean them and wipe them down. Anyone looking for a set of Cobra R rims in polished aluminum? 350 plus shipping, no centercaps though. It got to the point where I was spending 2 hours per wheel, three hours removing and polishing valve covers and another 2 hours buffing my air cleaner. Since they are all done in chrome now, I actually have time to drive the car.

Gary #06984
quote:
Originally posted by fordgt:
I had polished 5 spoke Cobra R replica rims on my car and got so tired of polishing them for the shows I finally bought chrome! Now all I have to do is clean them and wipe them down. Anyone looking for a set of Cobra R rims in polished aluminum? 350 plus shipping, no centercaps though. It got to the point where I was spending 2 hours per wheel, three hours removing and polishing valve covers and another 2 hours buffing my air cleaner. Since they are all done in chrome now, I actually have time to drive the car.

Gary #06984


Gary...Please contact me of line about your Cobra R wheels, Brand, Size, Back Spacing?
Thanks...Curt (cuvee@sbcglobal.net)
Clear anodize can be performed by most plating house. Grab the yellow pages and look up metal plating. Shop around and look for a respectable firm, someone doing mil-spec work can be a good sign.

This is a conversion process that changes the top coat of metal to a hard oxide. Try to avoid the lure of dyed anodize, the pigments will fade over time. Since this process is at the base metal, it does not suffer from the need to prep the materal via sandblasting like for powder coating.
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