A few hours, a few beers and some elbow grease will do wonders for a set of wheels that are pitted, faded and generally sad. If you’ve got a basic inventory of polish, wax and some sand paper, it’s not hard to get a really good result.
The Neale Wheels on my AE95 needed some love and had seen some years outside in direct sun light with very little care it would seem. The first thing was to give them a really good scrub to remove any loose grime, and see exactly what I was up for. As you can see, the faces have seen better days…
I started out with a good wet sand, using multiple grades of paper to get the surface as smooth as possible. This is where all of the time is spent, making sure to wash the wheels at each grit change.
This was a process I repeated on a couple of the wheels as they were extra bad, paying the most attention to outer parts of the faces and working my way in towards the centres. Once They were all cleaned down and reasonably tidy, I got the metal polish out and started to buff the shoes into the next stratosphere. Hand buffing was the start of the process and a high speed machine buff to finish it all off. This is a super repetitive task due to the polish picking up any left over muck on the surface, so cleaning and buffing goes hand in hand.
I use California Purple – Available here: California Purple Metal Polish
Once the little buggers were really gleaming, I washed them down with some Meguairs Ultimate Wheel Cleaner. This stuff is really quite good, changing colour when it reacts to anything it gets stuck into on the wheel and doesn’t do a bad job of removing surface dirt and brake dust – Available Here: Meguairs Ultimate Wheel Cleaner
With a good wipe down and a dry, a wax seal was on the cards to keep things looking nice between washes. Because this car doesn’t see much time outside the garage when parked up, I just put a basic blast of Meguairs Quick Wax on to seal them up and it worked a treat. Available here: Meguairs Quik Wax
This makes a massive difference to the car, and the wheels themselves. I was really happy with the outcome when I bolted them back up and stood back.
I reckon this was about 4 to 5 hours all up, it was just a super quick, easy and cheap way to get some depth and protection into a set of tired wheels. I reckon they will get a full restoration one day, but until then I can wash them down and give them a top up of wax here and there to keep them going. I did this quite a while ago and the feature image at the top was taken about 6 weeks after I did the initial work to clean the shoes up.
Plenty more to come very shortly!