Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: DIY Rusty Aluminum Rim Restoration

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Alberta
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 10 Times in 4 Posts

    DIY Rusty Aluminum Rim Restoration

    I just bought a set of old Civic Aluminum 14x5.5J rims and they have a lot of oxidation and even some biological growth on the surface. Here is a picture of a rim before the restoration.

    Name:  20190829_161945.jpg
Views: 73
Size:  97.4 KB

    I took up the challenge of restoring them.

    Here is my plan of attack:
    1. using wire brush and coarse sand paper, get rid of the heavy rust.
    2. sand down using 200, 400, 800 grit sand papers gradually.
    3. polish them using 3m abrasive compound.
    4. paint using anti-rust aluminum paint.
    5. (optional) sand and clear coat (if I have time).

    I will update and post pictures here as I progress.

    Any suggestions or experience in restoring aluminum rims in the past would be also greatly appreciated.



  2. The Following User Says Thank You to grevster For This Useful Post:

    dspace9 (08-31-2019)

  3. #2
    Still Plays With Cars Loren's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Florida
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    723
    Thanks
    159
    Thanked 533 Times in 313 Posts
    Aluminum is soft. Be careful to not remove more material than you need to.

    I'd first go after it with soap and water and Scotchbrite. Especially the inside. If you HAVE to go at it with a wire brush, then do that, but you don't need to get fancy with 5 steps of finer abrasives in there. Nobody sees the inside of your wheels. They just need a little protection. Get them clean, remove the surface corrosion, look them over for signs of cracking, and throw some paint in there.

    The outside you can get fancier with, but if you're PAINTING them, you don't need to go any finer than 300 grit. You don't need to go down to 400/800 and finer unless you're planning on POLISHING them and clearcoating them. For paint... 300 will do it. We just painted my Miata under the guidance of a pro painter, and we sanded the whole car body with 300.

    FWIW, I did a set of Miata wheels a few years ago, and all I did was scuff up the paint with some steel wool and spray over it. I used Krylon hammered finish paint. It's naturally "lumpy" and sprays on quite thick, and a clear layer floats to the top. I used the "hammered copper" color, and they came out great!

    Oh, and before you even start, have someone spin those wheels on a balancer, make sure they're not bent, out of round, or otherwise not usable. A LOT of used wheels have bends in them.
    Simplify and add lightness.

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Loren For This Useful Post:

    Daox (08-30-2019),grevster (08-30-2019),Marklovski (08-30-2019)

  5. #3
    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio ☼
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    6,090
    Thanks
    3,165
    Thanked 1,605 Times in 1,215 Posts
    Before starting, make sure they are round, straight and true.


    Edit: Ha - Loren beat me to it.

    Also, I learned this lesson the hard way on another project.
    Last edited by Eggman; 08-30-2019 at 01:22 PM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.9 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.9 mpg (Imp)


  6. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Eggman For This Useful Post:

    Daox (08-30-2019),grevster (08-30-2019),Loren (08-30-2019),Top_Fuel (08-30-2019)

  7. #4
    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Ohio
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    1,877
    Thanks
    1,049
    Thanked 1,188 Times in 659 Posts
    I don't know what the hub bore is on a Honda Civic...but make sure these wheels will actually bolt on to your Mirage first if that's how you intend to use them.|

    Edit - A mirage hub is 56 mm.
    Last edited by Top_Fuel; 08-30-2019 at 06:32 PM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.6 mpg (US) ... 21.9 km/L ... 4.6 L/100 km ... 62.0 mpg (Imp)


  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Top_Fuel For This Useful Post:

    Eggman (08-30-2019),grevster (08-30-2019),Loren (08-30-2019)

  9. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Alberta
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    15
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 10 Times in 4 Posts
    I decided to go first with finishing up the inside of rims since inside looked like garbage and could ruin/contaminate the front side if done later.

    I started cleaning insides using soapy woader and a brush to loosen up main bulk of the dirt and then rinse. Then I sanded the whole inside using 200 grit applying very light pressure. For hard to reach crevices behind the spokes of the rim, I used the smallest wire brush tool and a drill, which brought back rim markings to surface. There were some chip dents on the inside but I decided not to do anything about them because I found them relatively small and not worthy of spending too much time. When done, cleaned the rims using compressed air and alcohol with shop towels. Here is what they look like after these operations:

    Name:  20190830_115812.jpg
Views: 53
Size:  96.4 KB

    After wiping down the whole surface with alcohol and making sure that the towel is not catching any dirt, it is ready to paint. I used fast dry anti-rust paint directly on the surface and applied two light coats with 20 minute intervals between them. Here is the final result inside the rim (I did not mask the tire as the tires are garbage and not going to be used):

    Name:  20190830_115839.jpg
Views: 51
Size:  97.5 KB

    @Loren:
    Thank you for nice tips, I actually followed your suggestions and did not spend too much time on the inside of the rim. Just got rid of the surface rust with sanding using 200 grit, dust and alcohol wipe before paint.

    @Loren and Eggman:
    I agree, used rims can have a lot damage and can be off to be used again. I did not get them to be checked by a tire professional honestly and it was a mistake. I think it is a very useful and valid tip to keep always in mind. I did only a visual inspection and they looked pretty straight too me. I will just hope that they are okay after this point.

    @Top_Fuel:
    These are from an Civic 2003 and the centre bore is 56.1 mm and on Mirage 14' it is 56.1mm too. I also tried them on the hub before purchasing and they did sit nice and tight just like the original rims I have. I checked this website to make sure.
    Last edited by grevster; 08-30-2019 at 06:47 PM.

  10. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to grevster For This Useful Post:

    Daox (08-30-2019),dspace9 (08-31-2019),Eggman (08-30-2019),Loren (08-30-2019),Marklovski (08-30-2019)

  11. #6
    Senior Member Top_Fuel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Ohio
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    1,877
    Thanks
    1,049
    Thanked 1,188 Times in 659 Posts
    Looks good so far!

    If these wheels are really old, be sure to check the tire bead area of the wheel when you dismount those tires. Corrosion can build up where the tire meets the wheel...which can cause a slow (and hard-to-detect) air leak. Some tire shops will alert you to this fact or they will clean them up with an abrasive wheel. Other shops will just throw on your new tires and not tell you about the crusty bead area of the wheel.

    If there is a compatible clear coat available for that paint, I would use it. Wheels take a beating (especially where you are) and need all the help they can get!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.6 mpg (US) ... 21.9 km/L ... 4.6 L/100 km ... 62.0 mpg (Imp)


  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Top_Fuel For This Useful Post:

    grevster (08-30-2019)

  13. #7
    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio ☼
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    6,090
    Thanks
    3,165
    Thanked 1,605 Times in 1,215 Posts
    Hey grevster I think those wheels are gonna turn out great. Keep those pictures coming.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 49.9 mpg (US) ... 21.2 km/L ... 4.7 L/100 km ... 59.9 mpg (Imp)


  14. #8
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Germantown, WI
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    4,760
    Thanks
    2,656
    Thanked 1,573 Times in 912 Posts
    I agree. That's quite a huge transformation so far.
    Custom Mirage products: Cruise control kit, Glove box light, MAF sensor housing, Rear sway bar, Upper grill block

    Current project: DIY Nitrous oxide setup for ~$100

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.5 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.8 mpg (Imp)


  15. #9
    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Canada
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    817
    Thanks
    510
    Thanked 108 Times in 89 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by grevster View Post
    I decided to go first with finishing up the inside of rims since inside looked like garbage and could ruin/contaminate the front side if done later.

    I started cleaning insides using soapy woader and a brush to loosen up main bulk of the dirt and then rinse. Then I sanded the whole inside using 200 grit applying very light pressure. For hard to reach crevices behind the spokes of the rim, I used the smallest wire brush tool and a drill, which brought back rim markings to surface. There were some chip dents on the inside but I decided not to do anything about them because I found them relatively small and not worthy of spending too much time. When done, cleaned the rims using compressed air and alcohol with shop towels. Here is what they look like after these operations:
    Well done. Your refurbished rims look good, how's the other side of the rims?

    I have my own used set of 4 alloys used from another Mirage a 2016 or 17. No questioned asked internet find sort of deal. Some of the plastic on the Mitsubishi oval in the centre of my rims is kind of plastic-worn, and the rims have some minor, but decent dents.

    I might try to get the surface just right like you have accomplished, then flat paint them black matte. One day that is my plan. Then I can cover up the expired blackberry plastic look on my 2 rims. Hardly spinners but they are in good shape for the price


    Last edited by dspace9; 08-31-2019 at 04:04 AM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 214 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 39.8 mpg (US) ... 16.9 km/L ... 5.9 L/100 km ... 47.8 mpg (Imp)


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •