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Aluminum wheel cleaning

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Aluminum wheel cleaning
#1
  This topic is about my 1976 MG Midget 1500
Cooper101 Avatar
Cooper101 John Williams
Wilton, NY, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget 1500 "007"
On the ‘72 doner car I picked up came a nice looking set of American racing spoke wheels, they’re very weathered and oxide. In need of a good cleaning,
The only thing I found on some old threads was using oven cleaner or simply green.
These are the best out there?
Some recommendations would be a great help,
Thanks

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76lucas Avatar
76lucas Gold Member Josh L
Floyd, VA, USA   USA
1978 MG Midget 1500
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Blue "parts" Car"
1999 Subaru Legacy "Daily Driver"
There are numerous aluminum and mag wheel cleaners available at most parts stores.



If you never try to do it You will never be able to do it

1974MGMidget Avatar
1974MGMidget Silver Member Jack Orkin
Grayson, GA, USA   USA
If the wheels are rough cast/textured, soda blasting will clean them really well. But, any polished portions need to be protected. Cleaners, as mentioned, along with a stiff brush will clean up most smooth alloys. Do you know what model wheels they are?

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GeorgeOhr Nonya Business
Yes, confused, USA   USA
Oven cleaner should discolor the metal.

Eagle one etching is what I use and it works grear

tomshobby Avatar
tomshobby Tom Smith
Windsor, WI, USA   USA
Just make sure they are not magnesium.



Tom Smith
1974 Midget
1976 TR6

Speedracer Avatar
Speedracer Platinum Member Hap Waldrop
Greenville, SC, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB Racecar "The Biscuit"
In reply to # 3877927 by tomshobby Just make sure they are not magnesium.

And if they are magnesium, then best to keep them retired.



Hap Waldrop
Acme Speed Shop
864-370-3000
Website: www.acmespeedshop.com
hapwaldrop@acmespeedshop.com


Member Services:
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pigpen Tom Springer
Federal Way, WA, USA   USA
Pics? I have a hankering for American Racing wheels...

Richard D Avatar
Knoxville, TN, USA   USA
A friend of mine that was in the car wash business used to make his own aluminum cleaner. He would use a bar of the White jewelers rouge, grated fine with a garlic or cheese grater, Ronsonol Lighter fluid, and Rain-ex wind shield liquid.
He would put the entire grated bar of rouge along with (iirc) roughly 2 parts rain-ex to 1 part lighter fluid into one of those old style refillable plastic ketchup type squeeze bottles.

Drop a 3/8 or 1/2 stainless nut into the bottle to act as an agitator like a spray paint can has. Shake it up until the rouge dissolves into a smooth enough consistency to squeeze out the bottle. I like mine a bit on the thinner side. It is a bit of trial and error until you find what works best for you.
The rouge and naphtha cleanse extremely well, and the rain ex seals the aluminum surface somewhat to resist further oxidation. I have been using it on aluminum for years. You will go through a lot of rags as it will blacken them up fairly quickly.

I would suggest that if anyone decides to try it, make up a small amount and play with the mixing ratios a bit on non critical parts to see if you think it will work for your needs. As it thickens or starts to dry out over time, which it does, just add more liquid to the mix and shake it up again.

Richard

Speedracer Avatar
Speedracer Platinum Member Hap Waldrop
Greenville, SC, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB Racecar "The Biscuit"
In reply to # 3878220 by pigpen Pics? I have a hankering for American Racing wheels...

We have the Retro 4 ( AR Libre style ) for the Spridgets



Hap Waldrop
Acme Speed Shop
864-370-3000
Website: www.acmespeedshop.com
hapwaldrop@acmespeedshop.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-05 09:35 AM by Speedracer.


Member Services:
MG/ Triumph Performance Street/Race Engines - Cylinder Head Porting - Modified SU HS Carbs - DIY Engine Rebuild Kits With Free Tech Advice - VTO alloy wheels for British Sport Cars, and others

Attachments:
VTO-slider-max-wheels.jpg    68.3 KB
VTO-slider-max-wheels.jpg

Sprite1956 Roger Parry-Jones
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Guys,

A lot of aluminium polishing products contain hydrofluoric acid (in small amounts). This is very effective as it removes aluminium oxide as it polishes to the bare metal on heavily weathered alloy wheels. Car detailers swear by the stuff. However, even in concentrations as low as 5% it may be absorbed through skin and eyes and particles can be ingested if you use power tools to assist. Hydrofluoric acid binds with calcium and is a systemic poison to the central nervous system. I attended an investigation where a small 70% solution spilled on a lab. workers arm, leading to an emergency amputation. Don't forget to wear all appropriate safety gear! Alternatively, soda blasting at a local workshop could be easier and safer. Oh, you'll need to clear-coat or paint the wheels afterwards.

Sorry to be 'anal' but I've seen bad things happen to nice people over 20 years. Don't let it be you.

Roger

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