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Polishing aluminum motorcycle wheels

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  • Polishing aluminum motorcycle wheels

    I started about 2 weeks ago polishing everything that I could on my motorcycle,first few days I used sandpaper 100 grit all the way to 2000 grit then onto 10,000 grit wool,finishing with a polishing kit from dremel which came with felt bobs,wheels and rouge,to do 1 side of the wheel it took me about 20 hours,had to be a better way so I found this site ,bought 8 sisal wheels,6 spiral,4 loose cotton,120 grit greaseless, black compound,brown compound,white compound,assorted bobs,finally get my shipment and start with coating a sisal wheel with 120 greaseless,let it dry as per instructions, and go to work, its taking longer to remove casting pits and marks with wheels then if I were to do it by hand,am I doing something wrong I am using 6" Wheels on a 19.2 volt cordless 1/2" porter cable drill,I do own a 1 H.P. variable speed grinder but it would be difficult to hold the wheel up to it for so long.any assistance would be greatly appreciated Thank U

  • #2
    Also tried using spiral wheel on a 10,000 rpm hand held die grinder,seems to work better than Sisal wheel with greaseless,but with having to frequently re-apply greaseless and wait for it to dry,its still faster by hand

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    • #3
      Take your wheels to a polishing shop.

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      • #4
        For me, no matter how much frustration and learning it takes to do something myself, it's always worth it in the end. Also, I don't have the money to pay someone to do everything for me. Plus once I've got it down, I hope to make some money doing it for others.

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        • #5
          I believe emery is the equivelent of about 650 grit wetsand, so it would not be practical to take deep pits out with it. The greaseless should work better on a spiral sewn wheel than it will on the sisal. Just line up several coated wheels at a time so you don't have to continually stop to recoat. I prefer to skip emory and just wetsand with 600 grit. I find it to be less messy than the emery compounds.

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          • #6
            Thanks Marsfrogie for the info,guess I will have to go back to sand paper till i get to brown compound,Was looking for a quick alternative but I guess anyway you do it its going to take a while.
            As for your reply DanMan there are 2 factors as to why I dont take it to a shop #1 being that the average price per wheel where I live is 650 dollars.#2 while waiting for supplies to arrive from Caswell I polished my forks,triple tree,brake calipers,foot peg brackets,bar ends,sub frame,exhaust slip on,and swing arm to a better shine that any shop here will turn out,the quality of shop work looks great at night and normal light but put a bright light to it and it looks horrible.
            Also if anyone knows what grit white compound is I would be much appreciative,kinda pointless to sand all the way to 10,000 grit if compound is say 2000.
            Thanks in Advance.

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            • #7
              Pretty much pointless to wetsand past 600. Just use the brown after 600 and then the white.

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              • #8
                I used 2 inch hookit discs from 3m on a drill with 320 grit. Worked great to smooth out the surface to prep for polishing. Stupid question....Did you strip the paint first? Good luck!

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