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'72 Schwinn Sports Tourer rebuild ques: rims

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'72 Schwinn Sports Tourer rebuild ques: rims

Old 01-05-19, 01:28 PM
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KCC74
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'72 Schwinn Sports Tourer rebuild ques: rims

I'm cleaning the rims of my garage-sale bike. Weimann, Belguim, I think they're aluminum.

Can I use fine steel wool to clean/polish them or will it scratch them?
Do I finish with regular chrome polish?

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Old 01-05-19, 02:33 PM
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The rims are indeed aluminum. Steel wool will scratch, you'll find excellent tips and tricks for polishing aluminum here: KHatfull's Aluminum Polishing Thread
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Old 01-05-19, 05:24 PM
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I use brass wool. Hard to find. If you do use steel wool, make sure it is 0000 grade, the finest available. Also a good lubricant like WD-40 with it.

There’s many ways to work the rims.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:23 PM
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If you just want to clean them, dish soap and water and good stiff toothbrush will do. Diluted SoftScrub and the same toothbrush, Bon Ami and the same toothbrush, etc. Any of those will get 'er done for a satin-finish alloy rim.

If you also want to polish them, then consult the previously mentioned polishing thread. Some rims aren't made to take a mirror finish polish, though.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:42 PM
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Thanks

Wow! KHatfull's link answers so much more than my question -thanks. Now all I have to follow his advice.

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Old 01-05-19, 09:27 PM
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Often even a very dull aluminum surface is actually well-polished underneath but a very thin layer of easily-dissolved aluminum oxide.

So be careful not to start by scratching the hidden, very fine surface(!), as it takes a ton of work to remove scratches.

Start by testing a small section using a liberal amount of Blue Magic, SimiChrome or similar highly-effective product, and then you will know for sure how to proceed.
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Old 01-06-19, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
I use brass wool. Hard to find. If you do use steel wool, make sure it is 0000 grade, the finest available. Also a good lubricant like WD-40 with it.

There’s many ways to work the rims.
I doubly agree with this, using dry 0000-grade steel wool will do a bit of cleaning, and leave a more dull finish, but when done with WD-40 on the wool, it both removes scratches and polishes nicely, then you can follow-up with a polishing compound or a polishing wax for a mirror-like shine.
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