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Old 12-09-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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Cleaning Accuride aluminum wheels

I am cleaning my Accuride aluminum wheels with an aluminum polish I bought at the Freightliner Factory Service Center in Gaffney made by Busch. It seems to work pretty well, but it is hard to get around the lug nut covers and the hub cap in the middle of wheel.

When cleaning, do any of you remove the lug nut covers and hub caps? I appears that it would make cleaning easier. But I do not want to have the covers get loose and fall off down the road.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:36 PM   #2
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I found that if I attach a 6" polishing wheel to my drill, I can just about get around the caps if I am careful. I paid just under $7 for this wheel at Lowes.

This wheel also works well on the bigger and more accessible surfaces.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:18 PM   #3
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I remove the caps, makes it a lot easier. Mine seem ok but I have heard of the front covers becoming loose.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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remove the lug nut covers, even if you lose one they are pretty cheap at any truck stop. Also if you look on them there is a dimple or two that hold them on the lug nuts, a old screwdriver with the head cut off (so its just a round rod).... put it on the dimple and tap it with a hammer or rubber mallet, this can make them tighter if they seem loose
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
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I simply wash mine with soap and water. They don't require polishing as it takes off the protective coating.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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Black electrical tape around the lugnut before reinstalling the cap works too.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:11 PM   #7
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Foose Power Ball with the v shaped head...under $20 and works on a cordless drill...use it all the time on my Harley Billet Wheels
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:24 PM   #8
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I use AutoSol and a air buffer wheel. I take the wheels right off the unit to do a perfect job. You can take the caps and covers off but its still hard to get around the nuts.

These are original wheels on a 1996 Monaco Signature Series after I work on them. I have to chase them yearly or they start to look dull.

joe
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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nice set of wheels..
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldChief7155 View Post
I simply wash mine with soap and water. They don't require polishing as it takes off the protective coating.
Hmm... I don't think that helps the OP at all.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #11
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wlf00,
While not many guys here are willing to do what I do (with the exception of one poster so far), which is completely remove the wheels to do the polishing, I do it for more than just polishing the wheels. I do a brake inspection, inspect the drums ( I have drums, some have discs) and generally check what I can out while the wheel is off.

Now, polishing the wheel is CONSIDERABLY easier when no lug nuts, caps, axle ends, hub etc. is in the way. I use a 3" buffing cotton, tightly stiched buffing wheel attached to a 2500 rpm drill (good spinning speed for that kind of polishing) and use a "rouge" that's brown in color. Then, when all th preliminary polishing is done, I have many brands and types of paste and liquid aluminum polishes for fine tuning the sheen.

When it's all done, I use my tire/wheel dolly to replace the wheel onto the hub and torque it all down. Incredibly easier that way but, you do have to remove the wheel and, as stated, not many will go through the hassel. It all depends on what kind of job you want to do and the results you want. Good luck. Below is a result of about an hour and a half of work, which, includes removal and repacement of the wheel/tire.
Scott
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:46 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. I purchased a tool to remove the lug nut covers and removed both the lug nut covers and the hub cap during the cleaning. It is still hard to get real close to the lug nuts, but the covers do hide a little bit around the nuts. Without removing the covers, I found that the cloth would get stuck between the cover and the wheel and it was hard to get out.

Here are some pictures of one wheel prior to being cleaned and another after cleaning.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlf00 View Post
Thanks for the replies. I purchased a tool to remove the lug nut covers and removed both the lug nut covers and the hub cap during the cleaning. It is still hard to get real close to the lug nuts, but the covers do hide a little bit around the nuts. Without removing the covers, I found that the cloth would get stuck between the cover and the wheel and it was hard to get out.

Here are some pictures of one wheel prior to being cleaned and another after cleaning.

LOOKS GREAT!!

joe
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:16 AM   #14
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autosol polish with a mothers powerball on a drill.do the right side front back first(that side is noticed more and you will be tired by the time you do the drivers side).if you get your coach washed at a truck stop dont get the acid wash on your rims,the rims will turn white over time.oh and dont forget a 12 pack of your favorite beer.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:24 AM   #15
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WOW Bill, that looks great, want to come back North and do mine

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #16
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wlf00,
Outstanding job bud. As you can see AND FEEL, it's a pain in the a.. to do a good job on those wheels. The effort is well worth it in my opinion. Now, what you'll find out is, when you get them to the point you have them in now, it will take considerably longer to oxidise them. And that's all that's happening with aluminum basically, is Oxidation, like rust on steel, only aluminum.

And, when you get them to that point of gleam and shine, it's considerably easier to keep them that way with minimal effort. When the coach is not being used, it's under a driver-under cover and, the tires and wheels have covers on them. So, they're exposed to the elements ZERO percent of the time. So, I like to re-do them about once every, say, 3-4 months or so, depending on how I feel that day. Nice job.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trampsrv View Post
autosol polish with a mothers powerball on a drill.do the right side front back first(that side is noticed more and you will be tired by the time you do the drivers side).if you get your coach washed at a truck stop dont get the acid wash on your rims,the rims will turn white over time.oh and dont forget a 12 pack of your favorite beer.

You should see my collection of buffing equipment. I did a lot of trial and error to get the right process,,, LOL
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:14 PM   #18
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I have the Mothers large and small balls, the wedge lookin foam polish thing, and Flitz large and small felt balls for finishing. I just need to learn to go easy on the polish cuz it's a bugger to get off when it cakes up :(

Not real sure what I think of the Flitz polish though
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I have the Mothers large and small balls, the wedge lookin foam polish thing, and Flitz large and small felt balls for finishing. I just need to learn to go easy on the polish cuz it's a bugger to get off when it cakes up :(

Not real sure what I think of the Flitz polish though
Jeff,
I use Flitz polish all the time and have had great results with it. You just need to use it sparingly. More is not necessarly better. Also from my old Car Crazy days when polished mags were the hot setup, I have learned a secret for the removal of the black residue which is such a pain to remove when trying to wipe your wheels clean.Go to the market and buy a box of corn starch powder. Sprinkle it on the surface of your wheel on top of the black residue and wipe clean with a soft T shirt. You will find that it will remove all the black residue easily. You then will need to rinse your wheels one more time with a light soap and water to remove the cornstarch dust

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Old 01-09-2013, 09:31 AM   #20
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I remove my lug nut caps with a special tool. They are hard to get off so I actually add a bit of grease to the inside when reinstalling.

The mothers polish with the cone shaped head and the round ball work very well. If the wheels get a little extra grimy I use Brasso. I think most GI's will know what that is.
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