How Tos / Installations Post or link to your detailed how to / installation articles in here. If you have any questions regarding the how tos, feel free to post them in the Request sub-forum.

DIY Polishing Metal

Old 08-27-2009, 09:08 PM
  #1  
Contributing Member
Thread Starter
 
240smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 1,152
DIY Polishing Metal

I dont know if there is a thread about this already. I figured since so many people ask me the steps, that I would just polish a random wheel that I had and make a thread. Well here you go.



Polishing 101
---------------------------------

This can be applied to any metal. I am polishing an SE rim for an example.

Items needed
---------------------

Die grinder
Roloc Discs (rough and polishing)
Safety glasses and dusk mask
Sandpaper (220-400-800-1K-1500-2K)
Mothers Polish
Cotton Cloth
1 SE rim

Die Grinder
Name:  1007.jpg
Views: 124
Size:  79.3 KB

Roloc discs for die grinder. Rough on the left and polishing disc on right.
Name:  1004.jpg
Views: 64
Size:  108.2 KB

This is a shot of the back side. they just twist on and off quickly
Name:  1006.jpg
Views: 40
Size:  83.2 KB

Mothers polish and cotton cloth. I used a hanes cotton shirt.
Name:  1017.jpg
Views: 53
Size:  84.2 KB

Safety glasses and dusk mask. Eye lashes only work so good.
Name:  1018.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  95.9 KB

And one ugly *** SE rim
Name:  1019.jpg
Views: 265
Size:  66.8 KB


To get started, clean the rim well with some stripper. I actually just left the paint on the rim and used the discs to remove it. These rims are gonna be for drifting so I am not going to be that **** about it.

This is what the wheel should look like after you went over it with the course then the polishing pads. Notice the swirl marks.
Name:  1008.jpg
Views: 67
Size:  64.1 KB

Next step is to start wet sanding. I start with 220 grit. This is working back from the polishing pad but in the end you will have a better product. I didnt take a picture of the 220. Make sure you keep your sandpaper wet. I use a bucket and dip the paper into it every so often. If the sandpaper starts to fall apart, you will feel the grits between the paper and the rim, stop sanding right away and dip your paper into the bucket again. the grits will scratch deep into the metal and will take extra effort to sand them out.

This is 400 grit wet sanded.
Name:  1009.jpg
Views: 95
Size:  57.2 KB

Notice the scratches, this is normal. Dont panic, you didnt ruin your rims.
Name:  1010.jpg
Views: 40
Size:  48.4 KB

This is 800 grit.
Name:  1011.jpg
Views: 54
Size:  59.6 KB

Scratches are getting a little smaller.
Name:  1012.jpg
Views: 57
Size:  42.6 KB

1,000 grit
Name:  1013.jpg
Views: 58
Size:  60.6 KB

1,500 grit
Name:  1014.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  61.4 KB

2,000 grit
Name:  1016.jpg
Views: 48
Size:  52.9 KB

Now clean the rim off really good with some soapy water and dry thoroughly.

Take your polish and cotton cloth and put a little bit on the cloth and start working the polish into the metal. you should have black swirl marks like this.
Name:  1020.jpg
Views: 50
Size:  44.1 KB

The longer you work at it, the better the shine is gonna be.

Wipe the polish off with a clean part of the rag and this should be the result.
Name:  1021.jpg
Views: 47
Size:  31.6 KB

Make sure you do a small section at a time. Dont let the polish fully dry on the rim. This step should take you at least 15 minutes.

This should be your end result. Took me about 3 hours total.
Name:  1022.jpg
Views: 50
Size:  55.3 KB
240smoke is offline  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:27 PM
  #2  
Contributing Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: kennewick wa.
Posts: 2,323
quick question, i've polished aluminum wheels before and used a three step kit. have you ever seen/used such kits, if so how do the results compare to mothers polishing compound?
jramosthe1st! is offline  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:38 PM
  #3  
Contributing Member
Thread Starter
 
240smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 1,152
well with the kits, you dont need to sand to 2K grit. you sand to like 800 then use the different compounds in a certain order to obtain the same result. I just like to do it this way. It takes about the same ammount of time and I think the results are slightly better.
240smoke is offline  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:41 PM
  #4  
Contributing Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: kennewick wa.
Posts: 2,323
i see, thanks.
jramosthe1st! is offline  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:46 PM
  #5  
Contributing Member
Thread Starter
 
240smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 1,152
no prob man. just glad I finally made this. now I will just give people the link if they ask. lol
240smoke is offline  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:15 AM
  #6  
Contributing Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Biggamehit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Misawa, Japan
Posts: 5,091
holy freaking ****.

good stuff brother. man im going to polish some **** for sure... i seriously never looked into it before.
Biggamehit is offline  
Old 08-28-2009, 06:19 AM
  #7  
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Miami
Posts: 13
Awesome diy! Going to do this to my manifold thanks!
dhsil80 is offline  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:16 PM
  #8  
Contributing Member
Thread Starter
 
240smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 1,152
its really not that hard. It is just a tedious job that noone really wants to do. The manifold is quite the job. bout 13 hours for the first one that I did.
240smoke is offline  
Old 08-28-2009, 01:49 PM
  #9  
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Miami
Posts: 13
Which manifold was it?
dhsil80 is offline  
Old 08-28-2009, 04:50 PM
  #10  
Contributing Member
Thread Starter
 
240smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 1,152
Ka24
240smoke is offline  
Old 08-28-2009, 06:11 PM
  #11  
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: nowheresville
Posts: 87
dang, looks like a chrome finish now. good work man, i wish i had something to polish now!
carps13guy is offline  
Old 08-28-2009, 06:14 PM
  #12  
Contributing Member
Thread Starter
 
240smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 1,152
23 hours of polishing i did on this motor, the intake manifold, turbo manifold, front cover, thermostat housing and valve cover.

Name:  1092.jpg
Views: 61
Size:  73.6 KB
240smoke is offline  
Old 08-29-2009, 01:54 PM
  #13  
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Fairmont, West Virginia
Posts: 100
wow 23 hours worth dang man that alot of elbow grease... im just curious i've actually polished up my valve cover and i want it to stay shiny sooo would i be ahead to clear coat it once im done so that way the aluminum doesnt corrode to where i have to polish it up again??? or do u just use that polish and let it go with that?? thanx
Eric
SmokedZenki is offline  
Old 08-29-2009, 05:33 PM
  #14  
Contributing Member
Thread Starter
 
240smoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 1,152
you can clear coat if it you want. I would recommend it if your gonna be daily driving it.
240smoke is offline  
Old 08-29-2009, 09:35 PM
  #15  
Contributing Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: kennewick wa.
Posts: 2,323
i'm skeptical about the clear adhering properly to a polished surface, i've never done it myself though, i'm just not sure how well that will turn out.
jramosthe1st! is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: DIY Polishing Metal


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.