And about clearcoating them. I have clearcoated polished aluminum before (many years ago
) , and it looks great in the short haul, but over time .... it's better to just polish the aluminum once in a while I think. I hate it when the clearcoat chips and flakes in spots. I've always had an old british motorcycle (1974 Triumph Trident
) around with polished cases and there are other projects I have tried clearcoating on. Everytime I have ever yielded to temptation and clearcoated some bare aluminum that was polished, I soon swore never again.
The surface is now polished and isn't so "grippy" for paints, and most paints will chip in places after a short while requiring re coating.
I did these 10 hole wheels ...
... on my other T-bird in the summer of 1997 basically the same way I just finished the 7 spokers (stripping finish, sanding, more sanding, cleaning, more sanding with 320, 400, 600, 1000 and then finally use the paste. To get the rim edge or lip, I spin them. Use care.
... and maybe once every other year (or three
), I'll go sit in the drive way for maybe an hour with the radio on ... on a cool afternoon and polish them with some "Semi Chrome"
polish. Once the aluminum is polished smooth, it's really easy to bring to a high gloss with the right stuff. "Semi Chrome" comes in small tubes, I've been using it for over 30 years now and it polishes and protects.
They have held up very well, these pics taken August 2006. I usually just wash them and do not use any special wheel cleaners as brake dust simply does not
adhear to them. Since 1997
, I have almost worn out two sets of 225/60-15 Lemans HR tires off of these wheels.
Now, the Lacey Spokes on my 2001 Mercury GM are factory painted a silver metalic clear coat, and the dust does stick to them, they can be a PITA to keep looking clean.
But these polished 10 hole aluminum wheels .... never. I hope the 7 spoke 16X7s do likewise. I'll give them a chance anyway.