Just a note on wheel posishing. If you have the Eastwood kit, you may
want to consider a drill extension. I found a 3' extension at Harbor
Freight (retail store just opened near me) for $20, and it makes using the
kit much easier. No need to remove the wheels, just set the drill on the
ground and rest a foot on it, lock the switch on, and start polishing. I
found it much easier on the back. Still not getting perfect results
though.... any secrets to getting that mirror finish at home?
86.5, 81 euro 5spd
Most professional polishers chemically strip the hard anodized finish before
polishing.......then remove a lot of metal with very large powerful buffers
I have the dish wheels for winter driving and use MOTHERS Aluminum
Polish. Works like a charm- easy and no power tools. Just a lot of
or towel. That is the trick, always use a fresh towel. Mine always
like mirrors. A tip is to wash the rims down after polishing, dry
immediately, and then wax them. No kidding, the grime from then on will
wipe off with easy and the shine lasts longer.
86.5 blkblk 5spd
I agree with Jim on the chemical stripping....
But if that is not readily available you can use a 2000 grade sand paper and VERY CAREFULLY wet sand the wheel first. This will also remove the small imperfections that you never will get out just buffing.
Make sure to use lots of water....minimal pressure and let the paper do the work.
Very good advice Ken,
To which I'll add..........
In the past _most_ anodizing was done using chromic acid (_very nasty_) although it is also done using hydrochloric, sulfuric, and most recently (and becoming more popular in that it is less offensive than most of the others listed) phosphoric. It is important to determine weather or not the wheels are in fact anodized to begin with. A small area can be tested with paint stripper ("Aircraft Stripper" brand is very good). If this get you to the "raw" aluminum, then chances are they're not anodized. If they are anodized, this can be removed by sanding (labor intensive), or chemically. Usually and acid. Phosphoric is the least offensive (PPG DX-533 or DuPont 255S have worked well for me for this purpose). If painted, then it's a question of simply removing the paint (if any) and grinding (if required for deep gouges/scratches) and buffing. If any grinding is done I'd strongly recommend using "cartridge rolls" (sandpaper tubes of varying grits) on a small die grinder with "grinders grease". The grinders grease helps prevent the sand paper from loading up, and leaves a _much_ better finish (easier to sand in the next step). WD-40 can be used, but it is much messier as, being a liquid, it slings all over the place... including/especially you.
Polishing large areas such as wheels (especially the 928 "flats") is best done on a buffing motor with as wide a wheel as the buffer will handle. This leaves less chance of a "wavy" and/or gouged finish. Also, it is very important (especially for "beginners") to do as much polishing by hand (using wet/dry sand paper, 600-1200 or 2000 grit) before putting the part on the wheel. This reduces the chance of spending too much time on the wheel, as it is _very_ easy to "tear" or gouge the aluminum and ruin an expensive piece. For best results, use a loose section cotton wheel and a no-cut white rouge. Use _LOTS_ of compound and rake the wheel often to remove the aluminum laden compound. Work below the centerline of the wheel, and use a downward stroke of the part on the wheel as this is less aggressive than an upward stroke. It is a _VERY_ good idea to place foam padding around the pedestal of the buffer and the surrounding area. If the part should get loose (as they do from time to time) you won't bounce it off the concrete. I really recommend if you've never done this before to get some scrap aluminum (of varying size/shape and composition cast, billet, forged) and practice.
It is _very_ easy to ruin a piece until you get a feel for things. As always, this info is based on my experience. Good luck.