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Discussion Starter #1
My wheels have developed some scaling or something, made more noticeable recently when I had reason to pull the spare and noticed its finish was much smoother. Pics show some comparison -- one of the close-up pics is the spare. I was planning to have the wheels repainted before mounting new tires but now wondering if these wheels are supposed to be chemically treated and sealed w/ something (as opposed to painted), or what's the best plan for refreshing these.
Thanks for any advice.

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Very interesting article. Thanks for sharing.
I acquired a set of 1970's era Momo Vega rims with some very slight oxidation.
I chose to simply leave them as is because its hard to trust some of the local body shops
that they will take the precise steps to get them fresh again.
Plus, from 10 feet, you really don't notice it unless you're looking for it.
They're in pretty good condition, so best to leave well enough alone.

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the helpful article and comments. I think I'll just try to clean them up really well and see where that gets me. Agree it would be a shame to have an uninformed shop mess them up.

Any suggestions for the nuts, some of which are quite surface-rusty.

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On the wheel nuts a quick rub with sandpaper to get the surface rust off, then dunk in a cup of ospho or similar (phosphoric acid) overnight. Then wash/rub down again, another dunk if you need, and hit with some wheel paint (I think some thin plastic over the nut when you use wheel wrench should help save the paint but it wont last forever).

On the wheels, I also agree wheel refinishers are a bit scary as they may suddenly sand blast or get the sander out.... I'd strip remaining paint with a citrus cleaner, really lightly sand any oxidation. Then really wash the wheels with hot water to get the surface clean. Dry really well (in direct sun or near the heater at home). Use an aluminum prep (eastwood has a spray bottle) following their instructions - they may etch the surface for you so you don't need a primer. Then when ready use a rattle can silver wheel spray to finish. I think I had really good experience with the VHT product.

The finish is surprisingly good and will last years in most cases. Those wheels don't have many nooks and cranny's to deal with and that will save heaps of time compared to say a Turbina. I spent less time on the back of the wheels - just clean, get all the flaking paint off (scotch brite pad?), scuff the whole surface (scotch brite pad) and paint (not removing all the old paint if it was solid), if there are big patches with no paint use the aluminum prep again. Ditto the rim facing the tire - nicely painted so that the tire has a good seal.

I've finish magnesium/aluminum blend Ferrari wheels this way minus the aluminum prep but using an aero magnesium prep, and being really light so as not to disturb the Dow7 coating on the magnesium. Recently also refinished a Turbina spare for the alfetta.This all takes some time but really no equipment and the return of effort is worth it (just driving to and from a wheel refinisher takes a few hours in most cases.
 

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1984 GTV6, 1973 Berlina, 1987 Milano
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For the wheel nuts white vinegar will do wonders or Evaporust. Both are much safer than Ospho. They will all work, some just work faster then others.

You'll probably need to paint them afterwards to prevent future rust.
 

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Last year I drilled a core sample from a stock GTV6 Campagnolo and sent it for an x-ray flourescense spectometery. I was surprised by how many different metals were in the bulk material, and also surprised by the lack of any chromium in the passivation layers. I plan on careful cleaning with alkaline solution, washing with demineralised water (from our dehumidifiers we have loads of it). then passivating with Cr(III). Cr(VI) would be a better option, but is banned in europe for all but a few military applications, like helicopter gearboxes.
 

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It is interesting in the auto industry, as well as aviation and marine industries,
how people who work in the industry find it helpful to have some knowledge of chemistry and physics.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All the reasons I love this forum! Thanks for science lessons and helpful suggestions. 6Alfas I have seen the replacement options but they are way shinier than my wheels so hoping for something more matte to blend in with the wheels. I'll get to work and post results.
 
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