Tech Tips
Lazy Man's Wheel Polishing

Trans Am Wheels Only


This is only for smooth rimmed wheels. Do not try this with spoked or mag style wheels, or any wheel that your fingers can get into. Remove any jewelry, loose clothing, bracelets etc. If this catapults you across your garage, or any of your limbs....consider yourself warned.

The Castrol Warning Should be in GIANT LETTERS....
One day at a car wash I sprayed some Castrol Super Clean on my wheels....BIG totally perpetrated the clear coat and clouded it.....and it would NOT clean or polish after that.

Do not forget this important step.
IMPORTANT: Since your car will be running in gear put blocks in front and back of BOTH front tires. REAL IMPORTANT: Before you jack up the car, put it in neutral and let it roll back against the blocks to take out slack.

I'm using my 85 Firebird to polish my 86 T/A wheels, they happen to be the same pattern........I know, I know, those are Camaro wheels on my Firebird........I didn't do it.

Don't call me if your car zooms through your garage door.....
Jack the car up in rear and use jack stands securely....I also lowered the jack enough to rest car on stands and left it in place as a's a bad way to meet the neighbors....plowing your car through their living room.

Keep the wheel wet........the water is gonna' fly
I read about this guy that used his car to polish his wheels...I distinctly remember thinking he was nuts to jack up his car and spin his wheels to strip the clear coat and polish them.....but after trying 3 different commercial strippers and not a one of them even "phased" my clear coat.....I thought what the's worth a try.....i went to the tire shop and had my tire and valve stem dismounted, then I pulled off all the weights.

Keep a bucket of water.......(you and your car are gonna' get real wet and dirty......)....keep the rim wet as not to scratch it. Use the following grades to get a smooth finish.
1. 320 or 400 wet and dry sandpaper...followed by
2. Scotchbrite
3. Then finish with #00 steel wool then progress to #0000 super fine steel wool.

I get my compounds from
Get two buffing wheels (don't mix compounds) and use:
1. Tripoli polish compound to start.
2. Then change wheels and buff with white rouge to finish.

Start with your worst wheel'll get better as you go along.
You can buff your brains out and take it to any degree you want. My first wheel took ALL DAY, but my second took about 4 hours start to finish.

Prep wheel with degreaser, acetone, or laquer thinner before spraying.
Good time to refinish the center. I chose "spray gray" by the Eastwood Company. It has a nice freshly cast look. Choose a name brand paint so you can match up a year or two from now in case you need to touch up a wheel in the future.

Clean undercoating overspray immediately....I use acetone.
It's a good time to do some detail fenderwell work. I re-undercoated the well, touched up the brake parts and accessable frame parts, sprayed some oil on shock and sway bar nuts and bolts in case of future removal.

Just like new.........saved $80.00 per wheel.
Remount the tire and valve stem. I installed:

New Center Cap $18.48
GM P/N 10097583

New Silver Bird Medallion $ 9.77
GM P/N 10036135

5 New Lug Caps $ 1.50 ea.
GM P/N 10028614

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