Hi all, I'm new to the board. I've got a 97 F350 PSD dually with aluminum wheels. The front wheels are starting to bubble up near the center cap. When I flake away the area, I notice there is corrosion. I am guessing that there is a coating on the wheels and the corrosion is getting under the coating. Has anyone else had this problem and what is the best and easiest fix? Thanks for your help.
Are your wheels ALL aluminium or just coated?
get a good metal polish and a powerball or a smaller buffer and spend a couple hours shining it up? If you wire wheel it use a brass wheel, not a steel one. If you go on trying some aluminum brightener product, be careful with it, dont even think about using it if you have polished your wheels, it takes polish very fast.
Post a picture. I can't imagine would could bubble up and flake on an aluminum rim unless it is painted. Is it the center caps themselves? Those are seperate, usually made of steel, and can be replaced cheaply.
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When we owned our '99 taurus wagon the alum. rims had a "clear coat" on them. When I podwercoated a set of Focus rims last yr. I had to remove a clear coat of some nature also. Your rims might have this. It seemed like it was some sort of epoxy based coating for corrosion prevention. Be careful as the "edge" might start "peeling" back
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If the aluminum wheels are factory, then yes they are clear coated. It's the reason our wheels continue to look great for years of no polish.
Chances are that as long as oxygen can penetrate under the clear, the corrosion will continue to creep. You have a couple of options to fix it, clean out all the corrosion and coat the area well with a high temp clear, or take your wheel to a powder coater and have them strip it, polish it and clear it.
I use a product called "orange blast" bought at canadian tire. Removes corrosion, oxidation and stubborn brake dust from my aluminum rims. Works great with no heavy scrubbing required. I'm not sure how bad yours are, but mine were pretty bad when I started and now they sparkle like new. Maybe wont work if your rims are beyond the point of no return, but you can give it a try. Just make sure you dont let the stuff dry on your rims because it is quite potent and will damage the coating if left longer than about 1 min. Spray on, wait a minute, then hose off thoroughly and wipe dry.
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The clear coat is coming off of the wheels...if it's looking bad enough I would remove the clear coat. You will need to give them a quick polish from now on though.
The easiest way of doing this is:
Buy a CHROME wheel cleaner (this will take the clear coat right off of an aluminum wheel)
Buy an aluminum polish. I would also buy a power ball at the same time (polishing pad that you can insert in a drill). This makes quick work of polishing wheels.
Polish the wheel to a chrome like shine!!!!
Thanks for the replies. Yes, they are solid aluminum wheels. The center caps are plastic. The finish is bubbling up near the center caps. I will try to post a picture soon. I've always thought there was a clear coat on the wheels. I know there will be a lot of maintenance once I remove the clear coat.
The aluminum inserts in the running boards on my King Ranch did the same thing, here in the NorthWest the anti-ice products (fluid not salt) they put on the roads tend to attack aluminum, while my wheels still look good, the inserts on the running boards will need to be replaced, I've never had good luck trying to polish diamond plating.
Funny thing is mine didn't show up until spring.