NAPA Aluminum brightener for wheels?
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: NAPA Aluminum brightener for wheels?

  1. #1
    Seasoned Member ElBando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    NE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,877
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default NAPA Aluminum brightener for wheels?

    I have a spray bottle of NAPA aluminum brightener which I use on my aluminum canoes. It works like magic and makes the canoe look brand new. Can I use this on the Wing wheels? It says " for use on all machine finished open pore cast aluminum wheels except highly polished aluminum or chrome and clear coated wheels". Are Wing wheels open pore cast??? Thanks.

    2006 GL1800 ( Ours )
    2007 DL650 ABS ( she thinks it's hers, but it's MINE )
    2004 DR200SE ( Hers )
    2001 VLX 600 ( retired )
    1991 250L XR (Hers)
    1983 250R XL ( His )
    1974 CB360 ( retired )
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( Hers)
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( His )
    All from the same people who brought to you
    " Pearl Harbor"

    AMA Member
    Patriot Guard Rider
    Navy Veteran

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GL1800Riders.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    lightley seasoned member jburd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Niles, Mi.
    Posts
    3,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'm not sure about the "open pore" but for as much crap as they suck in I'm thinking they are. Let us know how that stuff works.
    John

    2001 GL1800 base

    IBA # 25535

    "Could you explain that to me as if I we're a particulary gifted child or a golden retriever?"

  4. #3
    Notorious Rocket Scientist The Astute Reader(tm)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    5,288
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Greetings!

    In this context, "open pore" means uncoated, not anodized, etc. The OEM GL wheels fit this description.

    As with any bare metal cleaner, the solution is acidic and you should be sure to rinse it all off thoroughly when you are done. Other than that, nothing to worry about.
    Best Regards,
    Lee E. Brown

    "Greetings from Herkheimer Industries!"

  5. #4
    Seasoned Member ElBando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    NE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,877
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Astute Reader(tm) View Post
    Greetings!

    In this context, "open pore" means uncoated, not anodized, etc. The OEM GL wheels fit this description.

    As with any bare metal cleaner, the solution is acidic and you should be sure to rinse it all off thoroughly when you are done. Other than that, nothing to worry about.
    Thanks, I'll try it out on my rear wheel inside area for a test. Jburd, I'll let you know how it works.
    Last edited by ElBando; 04-08-2011 at 10:18 AM. Reason: correct spelling

    2006 GL1800 ( Ours )
    2007 DL650 ABS ( she thinks it's hers, but it's MINE )
    2004 DR200SE ( Hers )
    2001 VLX 600 ( retired )
    1991 250L XR (Hers)
    1983 250R XL ( His )
    1974 CB360 ( retired )
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( Hers)
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( His )
    All from the same people who brought to you
    " Pearl Harbor"

    AMA Member
    Patriot Guard Rider
    Navy Veteran

  6. #5
    Seasoned Member Bald Eagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Lebanon, PA
    Posts
    2,745
    Post Thanks / Like

    Post Fyi

    Don't have the product you have. I've used Turtle Wax Chrome Cleaner for my plated wheels, and this works great.
    John Garner - 2006 White GL1800
    Fighting Entropy Since 1967
    http://jkgraphics.com

    Proverbs 16:3

  7. #6
    Notorious Rocket Scientist The Astute Reader(tm)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    5,288
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ElBando View Post
    Thanks, I'll try it out on my rear wheel inside area for a test.
    Always a good plan to test an inconspicuous area first.
    Best Regards,
    Lee E. Brown

    "Greetings from Herkheimer Industries!"

  8. #7
    Seasoned Member Wahoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northern Ohio
    Posts
    607
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Buschs' aluminum polish works pretty well too.


    Not all who wander are lost....

    2008 Pearl White Goldwing - Darksider No. 688
    2012 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000
    2008 Escapade Elite

  9. #8
    Seasoned Member ElBando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    NE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,877
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well, I finally tried my NAPA spray. It does make the aluminum shine like new, however didn't get rid of any pitting. I used Mother's polish, steel wool and mainly HARD WORK with my hands to get my wheel looking decent. I used a polishing ball ( Mother's ) on my electric drill and I wasn't impressed. I did a better job by hand, except my arthritis is killing me now.

    2006 GL1800 ( Ours )
    2007 DL650 ABS ( she thinks it's hers, but it's MINE )
    2004 DR200SE ( Hers )
    2001 VLX 600 ( retired )
    1991 250L XR (Hers)
    1983 250R XL ( His )
    1974 CB360 ( retired )
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( Hers)
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( His )
    All from the same people who brought to you
    " Pearl Harbor"

    AMA Member
    Patriot Guard Rider
    Navy Veteran

  10. #9
    Seasoned Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Lovely Marlette,Mi. In the heart of the Thumb.
    Posts
    1,220
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    El Bando,
    Thanks for the info.

  11. #10
    Seasoned Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Springhill,Fl. via So. Indiana...
    Posts
    247
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default wheel polish

    use 600 grit sand paper first w/wet or wd-40...then use 1200 grit w/wd 40 and then polish with lite compound and then seal with wax or polish they will look like chrome...clean and polish every other month to maintain chrome like shine....

  12. #11
    Seasoned Member Jchefboyardee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Texas, New Boston
    Posts
    6,883
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Good info!

  13. #12
    Seasoned Member Hanko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Eatonville, WA.
    Posts
    211
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I agree with Garry, I use a similar process of getting a mirror like shine to the wheels. Wet Sanding with 400-600, then Wet Sanding with 1200+ then another wet sanding with 2,000 and than start with Mothers Mag Polish.

    When you are done it will look like you had them chromed. They won't stay that way unless you either coat them with something (clear coat) or wax them up.

    If you wax them them after a few months just drag out the mothers again and polish, then rewax.

    Henry
    ______________________________
    2004 GL1800A Darksider # 902
    Yes that is ice on the fender!!

  14. #13
    Seasoned Member bluestreek-02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Grabill, Indiana / Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    5,243
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Astute Reader(tm) View Post
    Always a good plan to test an inconspicuous area first.
    +1

  15. #14
    Seasoned Member FIRE UP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lake Havasu City AZ
    Posts
    1,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Elbando,
    Aluminum polishing as you've found out, does not come in a jar, a can, a spray can, a spray bottle or any other magic elixir container. It comes in the human body. It's called LABOR!!! Depending on just how pitted your wheels are, that will determine how you start the process. You'll get lots of comments here but, I've been polishing aluminum since I was a pup.

    Recently I purchased a very high mileage 1500 that the wheels were so badly neglected, they looked like someone rode the bike in salt water and never washed them off. I was very skeptical of being able to bring them back to life. But, I thought what the he.. I'll give the ole' college try.

    Let me first tell you that the Wing wheels are "machined" aluminum and therefore will have very small but, visible machining grooves in them. Corrosion, along with those grooves will make the job harder to get a handle on the correct start. But, here's what I did.

    I washed them with soap and water, a scotch brite pad, and cleanser. That gets all the sticky road grime, grease and anything else that's not permanent off. Then comes the work.
    1. Start with 320 wet-or-dry sand paper. Use lots of water while sanding. That will do 99% of getting your "groove" off and, rid you of the primary corrosion.
    2. When you've done every inch of the machined surface and you're satisfied with the finish, then you move to 600 sand paper. And as usual, us lots of water to carry away all the sanding debris. Do the same, cover every inch. Each step should take you about 1/2 hour per side of wheel. Yep, it's a lot of work. But, in the photos below, you'll see the results of "LABOR".

    3. Once you're satisfied with the 600 step, you move to 800, again all the same procedure.

    4. Move to 1000 grit. By now, you'll see some faint shine coming into play. That's a sign your surface is is becoming finer and finer. You see, it starts off as "mountain peaks". Then it becomes rolling hills, then valleys and finally equal to a glassy lake.

    5. You now move to 1200 and do the same procedure.

    6. It's now finally time for a machine buffer, and compound. There's many compounds on the market but, you need to find specifically for aluminum. I used a clay type bar that you put on the buffing wheel. My drill spins at about 2500 rpm and that's great for this step.
    7. Now, you're ready for the final step, the super fine polishing compound. Using a new buffing wheel, (the old one is contaminated with the other compound) and the same drill or whatever, you buff to a fine finish and that's it.

    From then on, you can coat them with one of many coatings on the market, or simply touch them up about once every other month which, now takes about 10 minutes per side of the wheel. It's all a matter of preference on how much work you want to put into it. The more you do, the better it comes out.
    Scott
    P.S. I just wish I would have saved the pics of them before I started. The first pic is of a 320 finish. The second is of 600 finish. The last two, are the finish buff.



    1/IMG_2550.jpg[/IMG]

    I can fix it, and if I can't fix it, I can fix it so no one can fix it


    Scott & Karla
    Dark Sider 556
    KI6OND 73s
    Ramona, CA
    '08 Level II Caliente Red Metallic
    '02 Level I Stream Silver Metallic GW 1800
    '94 Glacier Pearl White SE GL 1500
    '85 1200 Aspencade
    '84 1200 Interstate
    RETIRED, 29.5 YEARS, SDFD



  16. #15
    Seasoned Member ElBando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    NE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,877
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Fire Up, thanks for the very detailed reply with pics. That is proof of what hard work can do. I think I'll take some Advil now and get right on this project. I'll leave the NAPA spray for my canoes.

    2006 GL1800 ( Ours )
    2007 DL650 ABS ( she thinks it's hers, but it's MINE )
    2004 DR200SE ( Hers )
    2001 VLX 600 ( retired )
    1991 250L XR (Hers)
    1983 250R XL ( His )
    1974 CB360 ( retired )
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( Hers)
    2000 4 X 4 Rancher ( His )
    All from the same people who brought to you
    " Pearl Harbor"

    AMA Member
    Patriot Guard Rider
    Navy Veteran

  17. #16
    Seasoned Member FIRE UP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lake Havasu City AZ
    Posts
    1,716
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Elbando,
    Not many guys will go through the steps/pain to get that kind of results. You see that it's hard work. But, what most guys don't realize is that, even if you neglect them for quite a while after getting them to the point in my pics, they'll stay like that for a fairly long time. The finer the surface is, the better it is for self protection. Now, that's not a good practice though, so, a touch up, like stated, should be about every 2-3 months, depending on operating conditions. Some Mothers or, what ever aluminum polish you can find will do a good touch up, about 10-15 minutes per side of each wheel.

    "Semi-Chrome" aluminum paste/polish is great for that touch up, once their in prime, polished condition.
    Scott
    I can fix it, and if I can't fix it, I can fix it so no one can fix it


    Scott & Karla
    Dark Sider 556
    KI6OND 73s
    Ramona, CA
    '08 Level II Caliente Red Metallic
    '02 Level I Stream Silver Metallic GW 1800
    '94 Glacier Pearl White SE GL 1500
    '85 1200 Aspencade
    '84 1200 Interstate
    RETIRED, 29.5 YEARS, SDFD



+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Posting Permissions

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