Polish Tires

Polishing the entire wheel is very tedious because you first have to sand the casting down on the wheels so that they are smooth, but leaving the cast spokes painted and polishing the edges is quite easy because when the rims are cut it smoothes out the casting on the inside and outer edges of the wheel.

First mask off any part of the wheel you don't want stripped, if any. Now i didnt tape off my tires because I was having new ones installed after I get done so I wasnt worried about them. Then get an industrial grade stripper, I used a spray on stripper called Tal-Strip. Spray it on one side of the rim at a time and turn rim over and leave for about 20 minutes. On my katana rim the stripper didnt seem to take it off really good so i used steel wool and the red scotch pads. On the stock GS front wheel it bubbled and peeled in about 2 mins. After that time check for bubbling and peeling. Use Steel Wool and wipe off paint, re-apply if necessary. Rinse with water. Once you have removed the paint from both sides it's time to sand them glass smooth. I didnt sand them down. I wasnt going to the mirror look. I used the Meguiars Mirror Glaze 2 Fine-Cut Cleaner. I just did this a few times by hand and they looked good to me.

For mirror finish do this. Start with 320 grit till the rim seems evenly smooth. Then repeat the process with 400, 600, 800, 1000, and mirror fine sand paper till they are smooth as possible. Once you are sure that there are no deep scratches and the rim is smooth as glass then you are ready to polish. The sanding should be wet-sanding with plenty of water!

Now get some Mother's Aluminum Polish and start polishing with a fine 100% cotton cloth. Buff each side of rim about 5-6 times wiping clean with a separate cloth each time. Once desired shine is achieved remount wheels. You must remember that once they are polished scratches show easily. Finish by applying a coat of automobile wax, I use Meguiar's. Some people will tell you to have them painted with clear coat but the paint will peel in time as the aluminum is too smooth to hold the paint effectively. You will only need to re-buff once every month or so. I would go over my aluminum real quickly with polish after each wash. If you keep it waxed it will not oxidize, don't believe people who say it will oxidize, just keep it waxed and give it a quick polish every now and then. You'll get the hang of it.

This may seem like a lot of work but it's not as hard as you may think. You can polish both rims in a day if you're committed. It's better than spending hundreds of dollars. It cost me about $25 dollars for one can of stripper and the sandpaper. If you have any questions shoot me a pm on gstwin.com joshr08