Polishing Wolfrace wheels

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Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by scmarf » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:34 pm

Gentlemen.

I checked the age of my tyres yesterday as I suspected I needed to replace the O/s rear on the basis of age (all tyres have loads of tread). 17 years old :shock: . Checking the rest and working on the basis of a 10 year life - that'll be a complete new set then :shock: :shock: .

Anyway, as it is a good time to smarten up the wheels while the tyres are off, I was looking around for a local polisher but they all seem to talk about renovating rim damage and powder coating. Is there anyone out there who can just do a heavy polish to get rid of some light pitting?

Perhaps this whould be a good topic to collect all our thoughts on Wolfrace care. Winter protection? Laquer or polish? If polish - which and how often? Good contacts for refurbishment?


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by philhoward » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:39 pm

If you want to retain the bare alloy finish, I suspect you need to find someone who does diamond finishing? Even "bare" finish alloys these days are done in clear powder coat - I think. There is also Chrome effect powder coat these days.


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by Roger Pennington » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:19 pm

Diamond cutting - a process where, in effect, the outer surface of the wheel is skimmed in a lathe, is AFAIK how they would have been prepared originally (if they've not been polished or corroded away over the years you should still be able to see the lines). So it should return them to a "factory" finish. However, because it's removing material from the wheel, it's something you can only do a limited number of times.

"Ordinary" polishing is simply using a fine abrasive to polish the wheel (like you would at home, but on an industrial level).

In either case, whether to lacquer or not is up to you, if you don't, you face a lifetime of polishing to keep them looking good, but if you make the effort they will always look good. If you do lacquer , then they'll look good for a few years, but the lacquer always seems to break down eventually.

If you want an "easy-care" result, then powder coating seems the way to go. I get the impression it may be more durable than lacquer, possibly because it's not applied to a shiny surface, but a properly-prepped one?


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by malthouse » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:22 pm

Look up SPIT AND POLISH on the web they are based in Paddock Wood Kent and are one of the best.
They will do what you want at a reasonable price


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by Corky » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:24 pm

You can turn the nastiest looking wheels into concours contenders with varying grades of wet & dry, Brillo pads and autosol. I'm sure there are some photos of the ones I did for GTC 404 in my project thread. It was a lot of work to not end up using them :lol:


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by Roger Pennington » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:34 pm

I'd agree with Steve, it's perfectly possible to DIY and get a very good result - my wheels were rough when I got the car and have never had professional attention. My previous reply was very much in the context of the question, about getting them done by a pro. If you are going to DIY, don't be under any illusions - it is hard work, but the results can be worth it :)


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by philhoward » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:43 pm

Seeing results on here, the best way is manual graft to get the "original" finish. Either you supply the time, or pay someone their hourly rate to do the same. A "pro" might have short cuts for some of the operations, but they'll be priced accordingly!

Alternatives are available - be it diamond finishing or powder coating, but they're exactly that - alternatives, not substitutions.

Personally though - I'm not a fan of highly polished wheels for my own cars; I prefer "low maintenance" options hence I went with powder coating, and didn't take the Chrome effect option either.

Powder coating isn't a fan of highly polished surfaces (nothing for it to "grab" on to) or sharp machined edges - both of which are in abundance on the original finish of the Wolfrace (or Appliance in my case), as Roger says.


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by Coupe Racing » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:19 pm

Find a wheel polisher that has a turntable that the wheel is secured to , then he / she will use a motorised arm which houses a buffing head which is capable of being orientated in various positions to get at all the angles

Saves fingers and takes 20 to 30 mins per wheel
I was lucky enough to gain use of one at my last place of employment and managed to get a mirror finish with very little effort


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by PoshTwit » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:57 pm

Hello chaps,

For the DIY-er have a look at the Britemax Metal Twins. Used by hand or using a drill-mounted polishing head the results really are very good. I find the combination of these two compounds (one light, one heavier) much nicer to finish than Autosol.

If you want to remove heavy pitting then it's time to get the wet & dry out which can be tough given the angles on any wheels let alone Wolfies.

Don't forget to follow up with a good sealant or wax to lock-in the new finish. Just like on your bodywork it makes them far easier to maintain, but with a bare alloy finish look to do a big clean on them every 6-months or so.


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by scmarf » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:43 pm

Wow. Excellent response chaps.
I recall the turntable + arm machine when I had them done at Wolfrace themselves. It is the sort of compromise I was looking for. Money well spent considering the time required to achieve the same finish by hand (if I ever could). In the old days I could get them done every time I changed tyres but - as you read in the first post - I dont get through many tyres these days (250 miles last summer!).

Powder coating is a no-brainer for daily use cars (eg. the SS1) but I rather like the idea that the GTE still has the same finish as the factory specification. Unfortunately that means high maintainance unless there are some new laquers that will actually stick.

Thanks for the contact David. I'll track them down.


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by peter freeman » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:56 pm

When you think you are finished buy yourself some Meguiars NXT - forget autosol etc this ( Dutch ) stuff is far superior - Halfords even sell it but it can be bought cheaper elsewhere.



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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by ScimmyMike » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:33 pm

The Meguiars is good but I find the Belgom Alu to be even better due to its sealing and water shedding properties, another to seriously consider is Peek, that stuff is used on shiny aluminium as well as car parts owned by Cheshire owners :lol: :lol:


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by Nigel Clark » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:16 pm

I used this firm in Melton Mowbray to refurbish the Revolution wheels on my TR6 about 3 years ago.

http://www.alloywheelrepair.co.uk/

The Revolutions had a diamond polished rim with lacquer that had blistered. I had the wheels cleaned and polished but not lacquered - the rims just need a polish once a year to keep smart. This service wasn't cheap, about £50 per corner from memory, but I'm happy with the result.


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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by *JP* » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:14 pm

If your car just has summer use then you can leave the alloy bare.
If used on winter roads then you need lacquer or other protection because the salt will instantly eat into them otherwise.



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Re: Polishing Wolfrace wheels

Post by Roger Pennington » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:28 pm

One thing that I have wondered about is this. Frosts have, on several occasions, sent me e-mails plugging their "spray-on-wrap" coatings. Like This - Elastiwrap. I have wondered how useful it would be as a temporary winter protector, and how easy it would actually be to remove - especially from a wheel with a more complex shape than a Wolfie? (available in all sorts of colours too, if you live in Cheshire! :w :lol: )


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