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Author Topic: Aluminum Wheels and acid bath  (Read 443 times)
800qjet
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« on: October 12, 2013, 11:17:48 AM »

I was watching a Wheeler Dealer's episode and the short guy took a set of wheels to a resto shop where a guy in a chem suit and breather went into a closed "room" and put them in a tank that I thought he said was acid. Seemed like at least a half hour, then they powder coated them. Much of what I've read so far says that acid is not good for the wheels, or at least no more than 10 seconds. A few guys said to use oven cleaner! Much of what I've seen on the net is from Z car guys. They're fanatical about original wheels. Seems like some of the pros use acid to some degree. Anyone use it?
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oldskoolubr
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2013, 11:27:59 AM »

I used a Citric acid based aircraft stripper but that was on Steel Rally IIs
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Black Sheep
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 11:42:23 AM »

Wheeler Dealers is in Britain, totally different deal than here in the States.  I used to work for a wheel refinisher (factory aluminum) and for our really bad wheels, we would send them to a guy that would sandblast and powder coat them.

buckeyerimandwheel.com is the company I worked for.  Best is to call, ask for Jay, and tell him Gregg sent you. Wink
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455 Olds/Th350,3.90
11.05
121 mph
1.46 60'
3125lbs.
800qjet
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 01:27:50 PM »

I thought that I had found a good cleaner from Alcoa (AlClean) that they showed being used on their alum. truck wheels (not coated) but it was in the UK and I couldn't find it offered anywhere here.
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You can tell a lot about a woman's mood just by her hands. For instance - if she's holding a gun, she's probably angry.
LeighP
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 04:28:35 PM »

A good metal prep for alluminium is either Alumiprep 33 or Metal Prep 79.
If you're painting the wheels, you can also then use Alodine 1201 as a passivating/etching treatment.
No point in using the Alodine if you want a natural finish, or are polishing, as it leaves the alloy with a gold-ish surface finish.

The above are what we used to use for preparing an aircraft for repainting. The Alumiprep (or Metal Prep) removes oxidation (it can be diluted for light oxidation, or used full strength), then we use Alodine 1201 for the surface treatment prior to paint. Note - you must follow the application directions on time you leave Alodine applied before rinsing.

Swab or brush the material on....if you spray it, use a respirator.

You can buy this stuff on line or at aircraft parts supply companies.
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

800qjet
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 08:26:50 PM »

Thanks  appreciate the info. I hadn't looked at products for aircraft, but did see a lot for boats. Some of them looked scary - one reviewer said that the product he used worked fine on his boat, but now it leaks some at the rivets. I don't think I'd call that working fine.
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You can tell a lot about a woman's mood just by her hands. For instance - if she's holding a gun, she's probably angry.
800qjet
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2013, 09:16:04 AM »

 Leigh - I found the Alumiprep 33 at a co. called Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. $36.80 + 13.44 shipping for a gallon. Do you think I need a gallon for 4 wheels or will a quart or 2 do? Is clear coat a good idea on a "rough" surface?
It was an interesting search. I got to read about Alodine and it's use on carburetor finishes. Saw a picture of a restored early Hemi with 6 twos that were refinished. I don't think I could use that product as a corrosion inhibitor because they said that it was easily scratched etc.
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You can tell a lot about a woman's mood just by her hands. For instance - if she's holding a gun, she's probably angry.
LeighP
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2013, 01:33:40 PM »

Yes, the Alodine is designed to go under some other surface finish such as paint etc...it scratches or wears off easily and not designed as a finished surface treatment.

If the wheels are not heavily corroded, you can cut the Alumiprep with some water to extend it....probably a couple of quarts would be enough.

You can paint rough cast surface on wheels and it helps with protecting and cleaning, so I can't see any reason you couldn't clear coat over the rough cast sections.
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

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