How do you polish steel wheel lips to shine like chrome?

Tires and Wheels (Mopar Hubcaps Too)

  1. 68dartfan

    68dartfan FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I’ve seen several sets of these Cragar GT wheels with the steel outer lip and aluminum center that have the lip polished to a chrome like shine. Can this be done at home and if so what tools and equipment are needed? Picture is wheel type I want to polish. Thanks for the help.

    EED33456-9770-4DC6-A524-F563213EE893.jpeg
     
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    • 65 Dartman

      65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      @65dartcharger has done quite a few of the 13 inch Cragars. They might be the same/similar to yours. Perhaps he’ll chime in
       
    • 68dartfan

      68dartfan FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      Thanks, I’ll be watching for him.
       
    • shittyslant6

      shittyslant6 Well-Known Member

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      My favorite polish for doing this is called Extreme Pink. It is meant to polish any type of metal but I found out that it works great on stainless steel trim. (sadly it is not made anymore) but, turtle wax chrome polish works pretty good as well. It takes a lot of time because I found out that hand polishing works best. but the results are undeniable.
       
    • clementine

      clementine Flight risk FABO Gold Member

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      Nice lookin wheel there. :thumbsup:
       
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      • 68dartfan

        68dartfan FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Thanks for the tip and the compliment I appreciate both.
         
      • 67Dart273

        67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        I've never cared for the bright very bright "all chrome" Cragars. I kind of like those..............
         
      • 65dartcharger

        65dartcharger Dart Charger 273 Historian FABO Gold Member

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        I have restored two sets of the early style Cragar S/S wheels. They had steel rims with an aluminium center piece. That centerpiece has steel plates casted in the center piece and was spot welded to the rim.

        I have grind of the welds on the backsode of the wheels and ptressed the center piece outwards.
        Then I have started with 300, 600, 800 and 1200 grit wer sand paper to get them in shape. Tjen I just use a polish fpr the fonal touch.
        After I got the rims back from the chrome shop I ptess the center piece back on, align it and welds it in place again.
        Re your wheel it looks like they are full aluminum wheels. On that cade use the meyhod I used for the center piece.
         
      • 68dartfan

        68dartfan FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Thank you I will try that.
         
      • diymirage

        diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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        A%2F%2Fi.dailymail.co.uk%2Fi%2Fpix%2F2015%2F03%2F08%2F26744E2700000578-0-image-a-3_1425858451399.jpg
         
      • George Jets

        George Jets 1967 Dart 2 Door FABO Gold Member

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        Some different ways to go about it.

        If it is bare aluminum on a used wheel, very minor oxidation. You can sand with the grain, straight around the circle like sanding wood. Not in circles.

        Sand with WD-40 and 320 wet dry, use lots of WD-40 to keep the wet dry paper clean.

        Then follow up with WD-40 and Red Scotch Brite pad to reduce the sand scratches.

        Now you can buff it up here with a terry cloth towel if you like more of a brushed finished look.

        Or you can continue on with WD-40 and 00-Steel Wool for a little more shine.

        Or move on to Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish for a more chrome like finish. This looks nice but is fussy to keep clean and shows water spots if you don't wipe them down after washing.

        Here is WD-40 and Red Scotch Brite finish, the Brushed look on my Dodge Truck.

        20200409_205016.jpg


        Here is WD-40 and Steel Wool finish on the '67 Dart.

        I like the looks of this on these wheels cause that is how they came back in the day, and they shine nice without that chrome look. Easy to maintain too.
        Screenshot_20200712-020702_Gallery.jpg

        Can use Mothers for that chrome look if you so choose, Elbow Grease required.

        20210717_212355.jpg
         
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        • 71340

          71340 Active Member

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          old favorite, used it on my motorcycle aluminum in the day. Works great.

          71JWiFbKMmL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
           
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