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Thread: Polishing lips, DIY

  1. #1
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    Default Polishing lips, DIY

    Ok so im in the middle of making the how to vid on polishing but i will just write it up and throw some pics up...

    I do a lot of multi pieced wheels so thats what i used for an example.

    You need everything in this list....keep in mind this is the budget version i will make the master polishing list later.

    -Aircraft stripper, Not the spray on stuff!
    -Paint brushes (cheap from walmart is the best cause you can not reuse them)
    -Sand paper, 320,400,600,800,1000,1500,2000 (you can skip steps depending on condition of metal)
    - a bucket of water/spray bottle or hose for wet sanding.
    -jewlers polishing kit from sears,home depot,truck stop
    -Buffs
    -drill
    -microfiber towls
    -mothers mag polish
    -Wax, I like using 3m cleaner wax

    Curbing will require more work but just in the area of damage.

    1. take the harsh sand paper and scuff the area you need to be stripped. I dont mean sand but just scratch it up. one pass is all you need. It will help the aircraft stripper get under the clear. If you have a really tough clear you can cover the pieces in plastic but for most style 5 wheels,bbs,hre,wheels you will be ok with one coat. Use the paint brush to wipe the stripper in one direction around the wheel. you can seriously coat the wheel...you want a uniform coat. Let it sit. DO NOT GET THIS ON YOU. IF you do water will make the burning stop but not right away.
    after it sits you will see the clear start to peel. once most of its peeled take your brush and smear it around. I forgot to say this should be done over something on in a drive way where you can hose it off.

    2. After the stripper has done its job and you have brushed off the stripper to see the clear is gone(you can repeat the stripper with out rinsing) you need to rinse all the clear/stripper off. Water and a hose works great. Get it all off before you start sanding.

    3. No need to dry the lips cause you need to be wet sanding. Look at the wheel and evaluate if the wheel needs to be sanded with rough paper or not. Most wheels have marks from being made to hold the clear. Trying to clear a polished wheel is almost impossible. They do offer clears for this now and i will get in to that later.

    I have found most wheels will need a 400 grit to start. Wet sand it tel almost all of the marks are out. you dont have to take it all the way out because from here you work up and each sanding step will cut a bit more.
    Work from lowest to highest. You may find your not getting all the scratches out so you can go back and resand any step you feel you need to.

    After you have sanded the wheel it almost looks polished you can almost see how it will shine....heres the steps you need to finish it off for a mirror shine. Not some distorted look or a close to perfect look.

    you need your polishing kit from homedepot or sears...Should have some emery cake in it, and a few rouge compounds. The box will tell you how abrasive each is. Start out with the emery cake on a buff attached to the drill and go to town! with the wheel spinning run the bar on the buff. You will see the compound stick. I always let this stuff dry for a few minutes before i hit it on the wheel. The bar will last longer and you will make less of a mess. use light pressure you dont have to push hard cause you will just distort the shine. Remember EVERY step is removing some part of the finished layer. Its like buffing paint.

    use a clean buff for each compound(its not a one time use piece its just so you can work in the steps...Not all the compound comes out of the buff so if you were to coat it with a lighter compound you will still get the previous step mixed in there.)

    once you have worked through the componds and you think your done grab the mothers mag/alu polish in the can and buff it in. you will notice the compound turning black...thats good. you want that. you can do this as long as you want. I do it 1-2 times on the full lip. A powerball or super soft buff will help you out here if your lazy. By this time trust me your lazy and just want it done so stick this step out cause you have one more easy step to finish.

    get all the black off with the micro fiber and then wax the lip let it dry to a haze and buff it off. You can do it a few times if you want. I always do like 2-3 coats with the wax to make te wheel as clean as possible.

    Now some examples of stuff i have done using this or close to this. I use products from a truck wash near me that im sure not everyone can get. I can however get this stuff for people and put together a KIT if they want cost will range depending on how crazy you want to get.










    Steering wheel

    this was a year old with nobody keeping up on it






    If you have questions you may PM me but my inbox fills fast already. The best way is to ask here and i will respond here...if for some reason i dont respond then tell me im needed here either through pm or in a tread..

    I hope this helps and im sorry its not all that great but i raced through it to get more info out to the people that have asked.


    This write up was done by Russell (BoostedCorrados on BF.C)

  2. #2

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    Nice write up! Thanks bro!
    Will def be passing this along

  3. #3
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    Glad you like it....the guy who wrote it is a jerk.

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    Hope you dont mind me bringin it over, glad to see you here!

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    Wow, nice article. Might have to try it out depending on what im doin with the next set of wheels.

  6. #6
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    me and a homie just polished some flat faced wheels last saturday, still needs a 1500 grit pass. we use the blue real strong smelling polish. i forgot the name of it. i'll get pics at the meet this saturday

  7. #7
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    Thanks for taking the time to write this Russell, I referred to it numerous times today while re-polishing some wheels.
    One question though, what wax do you recommend for the final step?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanDub View Post
    Hope you dont mind me bringin it over, glad to see you here!
    Not at all Sean, I would rather have it here then BFC and some of the other forums.


    Quote Originally Posted by boligrafo123 View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to write this Russell, I referred to it numerous times today while re-polishing some wheels.
    One question though, what wax do you recommend for the final step?
    I like 3m cleaner wax. Its white so if you have some imperfections in the polishing work they dont stand out like crazy and it pulls up all the other compounds. Mothers paste with microfiber to put it on and take it off is another good one but its off white so it tends to show more....It also collects more dust right away.

  9. #9
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    Any tips on doing one piece wheels? Like how to keep the sandpaper and polishing pads off the face?

    Please don't say just be careful

  10. #10
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    If being careful is gonna be a problem, maybe dont do it...


    You can use masking tape but even still, if you aren't careful you will sand right through the tape

  11. #11

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    Great write up.
    -Brandon
    E46 No More..
    Her Concise History:
    http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=778655

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    Any tips on doing one piece wheels? Like how to keep the sandpaper and polishing pads off the face?

    Please don't say just be careful
    Duct tape or painters tape...don't leave it on long.

    Painters tape is what i use....

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanDub View Post
    If being careful is gonna be a problem, maybe dont do it...


    You can use masking tape but even still, if you aren't careful you will sand right through the tape
    you can hit the tape a few times just dont sand directly on the tape.

    Quote Originally Posted by southpaw View Post
    Great write up.
    Thanks
    chUD..........Asphalt-sux

    "Success causes envy , jealousy & hatred from the un-successful !!!! "Gregg Valentino

  13. #13
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    I cant believe I missed this thread.


    Great write up and thanks for posting it Sean. I have been polishing aluminum for a long time and this is about the only way to do it. Take your time, and you will get great results. I may add to this later, I am about to polish the 02's valve cover with some of the aircraft polishes I use. I have a few special "compounds" I am about to test that may allow you to skip alot of the sanding.

  14. #14
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    Great thread, probably will use this thread as a reference when I polish my lips. was going to pay ridiculous money for it to get down but guess not anymore.

    Thanks!

  15. #15
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    Posting a few new pics from stuff i have been working on. I have a few more things to debug and then i will have sean add them to the original write up.

    the balls on the end are steal and im still playing with treatments but they havent rusted and the rotors have. It was ment to make a smooth surface and not worry about being perfect cause they will get covered in grease when the truck starts driving.



    shift knob...not finished yet



    RS lip


    wiper before and after(post paint removal)


    enjoy
    Last edited by Russell_G; 10-23-2009 at 02:46 AM.
    chUD..........Asphalt-sux

    "Success causes envy , jealousy & hatred from the un-successful !!!! "Gregg Valentino

  16. #16
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    Good stuff

  17. #17
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    nice work

  18. #18
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    Really pitted but its wall art, I found my other older style valve cover that I am working on now.


  19. #19
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    pits can be sanded out...gotta keep going on that cause it will look sweet!
    chUD..........Asphalt-sux

    "Success causes envy , jealousy & hatred from the un-successful !!!! "Gregg Valentino

  20. #20

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    Oh my lot of work to do..

  21. #21

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    nice write up!

    any special techniques i should know when i polish my bbs rs faces??

  22. #22
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    hmm....
    just wondering, but would this process work on something that was already not an anodized silver or machined or polished surface prior to the process?
    like if i were to do this to an already painted/powder coated wheel. would it work as well?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OMG TSX View Post
    hmm....
    just wondering, but would this process work on something that was already not an anodized silver or machined or polished surface prior to the process?
    like if i were to do this to an already painted/powder coated wheel. would it work as well?
    You'd have to strip the paint or powder-coat. This is the process of polishing metal.

  24. #24
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    so it would work right? thats all i wanted to know lol.
    thanks.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdubwardo View Post
    nice write up!

    any special techniques i should know when i polish my bbs rs faces??

    Get small cone bits and a nice corded drill.....oh and a straight jacket cause you will want it about wheel 2 or 3.



    New tip of the day.

    Wheels are stripped and fairly polished but smooth or for touch up. Wheel cleaner helps to soften the metal for a better shine. Truckers have been doing it for a long time on tanks and wheels.
    chUD..........Asphalt-sux

    "Success causes envy , jealousy & hatred from the un-successful !!!! "Gregg Valentino

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