Polished wheels?
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    May 2001
    New Zealand

    Polished wheels?

    I realise this probably isn't supposed to be in this forum- but it didn't really fit into performace mods or general chit chat either!

    You know when people get their wheels polished - is that just chromed or could anyone- with a machine of some kind, (i.e die grinder or abngle grinder with appropriate wheels) polish their alloy wheels? If it depends on the material in the mags aside from a test- is their any way to tell?

    As my champagne tastes won't stretch beyond a beer budget I am looking at ways to improve the 14" mags on the fuego (not the ones with the twin lines- that looks like a tyre 'footprint' on them!!). Is this an option or am I looking at bucks$$$ to get them chromed- which is not really the purpose.


    Cheers Ben

    Cheers Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    No idea on the cost, but AFAIK the alloy wheels are polished by a professional polishing place with big buffers then lacquered. The bgger buffers polish an even mirror sheen all over and it doesn't look ripply and amateurish. I would imagine the same effect could be achieved at home, but care would be needed to avoid the ripply look.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    It should be possible to "polish" an alloy wheel to achieve a shiny finish. Years ago, when racing Datsuns before I started buying up the australian population of Renault 10's, we used to polish up the alloy rocker covers on the L series engines to make them look like they had been chromed. Polish isn't quite the right word as it involves using very fine grade wet and dry and rubbing in a fine circular motion taking care not to stratch too deeply and altering the orientation of the polishing action every now and then. Just keep going up in grade (finer) with each successive pass until you have a chromed look which can be truly polished with an appropriate metal polish.

    If you have the time and inclination it can be done but will take ages to do. Obviously practise on an old wheel (or alloy rocker cover) to get it right before you go tackleing your wheels.

    What you have probably seen is wheels which have been nickel plated. This looks good and lasts well but is quite expensive (for example a set of motorcycle wheels is approx $AUD 1100 per pair for nickel plating)

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Perth, Western Australia
    Ben, there are special metal polishing buffs and polishes depending on the metal. You can get them in all different sizes to fit on bench grinders, and you find them where you find wheels for the grinders. Now, if you got a small one (they go down to about 10cm) you could adapt one for a drill I'm sure. An angle grinder might be a bit fast, though. A drill or other machine with about 1800rpm up might do it. I seem to remember it's critical what polish you use for the metal - they look like different coloured bars of big soap. First step would be finer and finer grits of wet and dry, though. Not a job for the feint hearted.

    BTW I did my Cosmics, which have a brushed finish between black bits, by lifting one front wheel on an axle stand, starting the car, put into second, with choke out a bit and hold a bit of wet or dry on 'em. Worked OK. NOt fast enough for polishing though...


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

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