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Old 05-12-2014, 05:46 PM
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iron man iron man is offline
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Default GMC Wheel corrosion

A few days ago, I spent $350 on 4 Futura Scramblers that were practically brand new that were mounted on stock 16'' GMC Yukon wheels. Problem is, these style wheels, "polished" alloy wheels like to start corroding from road salt, car wash soap, car wash water, dirt, mud you name it they start corroding. The pics are on my phone, but there are also a few rust spots where the weights once were to balance the wheel. I really want to take all of this corrosion and rust off and make them "shine" as best as I can. My dad said brillo pad that sucker up until it shines but that takes hours to do. Anybody know of any tricks to get the corrosion off as well as the rust which kinda is corrosion anyway before I take a brillo pad to them?
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:18 PM
MikeinSlagle MikeinSlagle is offline
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I wouldn't take a brillo pad to em. Brillo pads are pretty coarse and may scratch the wheel more than it helps. They were made for cast iron skillets. They work wonders for tires though. And using carbon steel on aluminum is never really a good idea. It may actually speed up the corrosion. Carbon and aluminum go hand in hand like hemorrhoids and horseback riding.

A fine stainless steel, brass or even stiff nylon brush will work. It will be slow going. The kind for a Dremel would be best and save on elbow grease (you'll need that later to polish em). Spray the area with a solvent first, preferably an aluminum/mag wheel cleaner for starters since they are formulated for that sort of thing. Mothers makes some good products. Their wheel polish, its like a cream, will probably work in leau of the cleaner/solvent, but it's hard to say without knowing the extent of the corrosion. Stainless steel wool will work too, but it has to be fine and it will be much slower.

If you use too coarse a brush or wool it will look blemished or dull where the corrosion was, and you will have a new monster to tackle. Try the Mothers polish to see if it will shine up to your liking. Unless you used a grill brush or 80 grit sandpaper, odds are it will shine on up. Otherwise you will have to go to progressively finer with the material (brush, wool, sandpaper) until it is nice and shiny. Maybe even a rubbing compound.

When you get the corrosion out use the polish and elbow grease and get to polishing. A simple terry towel or wash rag will work, probably take several actually, but Mothers makes a sponge type thingy that goes in a drill that helps. Good ole polished wheels are a pain to keep em shiny. When you wash your ride, polish them wheels.

Don't have a Dremel? Harbor freight has a small rotary tool kit that comes with brushes and polishing discs for less than 20 bucks. It won't hold up for bigger jobs but should work just fine for brushing a little rust.

My GMC stock wheels got some sort of corrosion while in storage. Actually looked like a bug chewed around on it or some sort of acid etched it. Don't know for sure, I never tried getting it out because I don't use the wheels.

A more extreme alternative I have used in the past on polished aluminum is air conditioner coil cleaner. You can buy it at an HVAC shop. I am not recommending it mind ya, use it only for extreme cases. It is an acid and needs to be diluted. Too much will "whiten" your wheels. It is best to have your wheel laying flat on the ground if you decide to go that route or you will get black streaks trickling down from the lug nuts that is really hard to remove. I say again, I am not recommending this.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

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Old 05-13-2014, 11:03 PM
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marshrunner757 marshrunner757 is offline
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0000 steel wool. Keep it wet

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Old 05-18-2014, 03:31 PM
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keakar keakar is offline
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yep steel wool a lot of beer and a radio is all you need.

plan to do one wheel a day or even a weekend because your hand will be cramping up and numb by the time you finish one wheel.

I suggest you use wd40 or regular motor oil in the beginning to remove the rust and it wont dry like water so its less messy if you can believe it.

when you think your finished then wash it off with soap and water and give it a final polish with car wax and a fresh new steel wool pad then do a final shine with rubbing compound and a buffer ball.

after all that hard work, I suggest you clean it very well, wipe it down with either and tack clothe before you give it a clear coat paint so you don't have to repolish them every few weeks. its a whole lot of work but they will look new when you are done.

also its best to cut off the valve stem because you will never get it clean and polished around it with it still there and if you try, it wont be in great shape after anyway.
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