Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Polishing mag wheels

barmitch

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
2
Location
USA
Corvette
1981 Coupe, Black and Silver
Ok, I have been asked many times how to polish mag wheels. First off, I got this method from polishing motor cycle side plates and forks to a mirror finishes and I have been doing this for years. So go get a buffing wheel for your drill, the rag type that looks like a ball. Next get the four jewelers rouge sticks that have red white grey etc. Start with the coarse one by turning the rag ball in the drill and applying the rouge, then use the ball on the wheel. What you do is just keep changing the grit till you get the mag the way you want it. With this method there is very little hand finishing and it takes a lot of the grunt work out of the polishing. I don't bother painting with clear spray as once polished a wipe over with mothers cleans them up. With a clean rag ball you can polish with mothers also.
 

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,548
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
Well barmitch, Welcome to CAC. :w Thanks for the tip. You might take some pictures and post them up as a step by step to show us your method and results. It would make a great "How to". :thumb
 

catbert

Moderator
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
3,489
Location
Tobacco Road, NC
Warning - do not try this with C5 factory mag wheels.
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,396
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Welcome to the CAC

I also use a Power Ball to polish wheels. It so easy on a large smooth surface like the '81 wheels. Once I removed the factory clear coat years ago they were easy to polish with just Mothers. The Power Ball has shortened that process by a bunch. If you have a wheel that is more weathered then the multi step process is the way to go.

One tip I would like to add is an extremely easy way to clean off all of the polishing residue after you are done buffing. I use a plastic tub like an old Cool Whip or butter tub and put regular baking flower in in from the kitchen. Take a soft cloth like a cotton diaper or microfiber towel and dip it dry into the flower. Wipe down the wheel. All of that black residue will disappear as the flower picks it up and all you have to do is rinse with cold water and dry to remove any left over flower. You'll be surprised how much brighter the finish is and it only takes a minute to do. Just a quick wipe down.

These were last polished at least two years ago but more likely three.

Tom

IMG_0622[1].jpg
 

dap220

Active member
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
44
Location
Chesterland, OH
Corvette
1981 Burgundy Metallic Coupe - 4 Speed
I also use a Power Ball to polish wheels. It so easy on a large smooth surface like the '81 wheels. Once I removed the factory clear coat years ago they were easy to polish with just Mothers. The Power Ball has shortened that process by a bunch. If you have a wheel that is more weathered then the multi step process is the way to go.

One tip I would like to add is an extremely easy way to clean off all of the polishing residue after you are done buffing. I use a plastic tub like an old Cool Whip or butter tub and put regular baking flower in in from the kitchen. Take a soft cloth like a cotton diaper or microfiber towel and dip it dry into the flower. Wipe down the wheel. All of that black residue will disappear as the flower picks it up and all you have to do is rinse with cold water and dry to remove any left over flower. You'll be surprised how much brighter the finish is and it only takes a minute to do. Just a quick wipe down.

These were last polished at least two years ago but more likely three.

Tom

View attachment 21838

Hi Tom,
Is the picture here of the stock wheels on a 1981? Mine has aftermarket wheels and I want to go back to stock. For some reason I thought that rally wheels would be the way to go.
Thanks, Dale
 

Antz81

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2013
Messages
936
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Corvette
1981 4 speed
Hi Tom,
Is the picture here of the stock wheels on a 1981? Mine has aftermarket wheels and I want to go back to stock. For some reason I thought that rally wheels would be the way to go.
Thanks, Dale
Those are the factory aluminium mags. I believe replacements are available.
 

bill81vette

Moderator
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
4,348
Location
Troy,NY
Corvette
1981 dark blue metallic
I'll post a picture of mine when I get home later. I have the aluminum rims
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,396
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Yes those are the original optional alloy wheels. They come with a clear coat that I polished off years ago when they started to look dull. Both the alloy and the steel rally wheels are 15X8 with the same back spacing so it's just a matter of what you like. Both are available repro.

Tom
 

dap220

Active member
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
44
Location
Chesterland, OH
Corvette
1981 Burgundy Metallic Coupe - 4 Speed
Thanks for all the replies. I think I will go with the rally wheels for the time being.
But the subject of wheels, would anyone know the correct tire size. Mine has 245x60x15 that need to be replaced but I don't seen a lot of offerings in that size.

Dale
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,396
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
There isn't a lot of choices in these tire sizes anymore. We just put those Radial T/As on a couple weeks ago. Cooper still makes them in the Cobra series and Mickey Thompson is making a new street radial in these sizes with a period correct type of lettering. They are available from Summit.

Tom
 

Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors

Dealers:

MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom