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DIY- Wheel Polisher


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So with the amount of wheels I have, and im always getting more, and the fact that hand polishing is the worst thing ever! Constantly jacking the car up, bolting a wheel to it and putting it in gear gets old very quick, not to mention the wasted petrol!


I decided to make a wheel polisher. 


The idea was to use a old bench grinder with a pulley on the end and a fan belt to spin the wheel. 

To mount the wheel I use a old KE70 axle/hub mounted in a wooden box using the bearing on it to allow it to spin freely. 


This was my test setup-



It was mounted to a bench in my garage, it worked well but the vibrations made shit fall off the selves and wet sanding made a bit of a mess in my garage. It also was very hard to remove the wheel because the belt could not be loosened. 


So I decided it had to be portable and the grinder needed to move to allow the belt to loosen to remove the wheel.


So this is what I came up with-





Using two saw horses and a sheet of MDF I mounted the axle/hub and attached another plank of wood on hinges for the grinder to allow it to tilt up to loosen and tighten the belt.


I then needed to secure the second plank down to keep the belt tight. So I used a turn-buckle to hold it in place then easily loosen it to remove the wheel. This also means I can do different sized wheels!





Im planning on making another one on the other side of the stand with a 5 stud hub so I can do a larger variety of wheels.


Im surprised how well it worked! Ive started doing a wheel, got through 180 grit and 240 grit and It already looks 100 times better! Still have 360, 600, 800, 1200, 1500 2000 grit to go then 2 buffing compounds then polish! 


I should have a pair done tomorrow so I will post up before and after photos when theyre done.


Anyways I thought Id put this up for anyone else who is sick of hand polishing wheels!


Im happy to take more photos if someones interested in making one.

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So one wheel is done!  Its still a long process but beats doing it by hand and the results are awesome!


Heres to process of what I done-


180, 240, 400, 600, 800, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500 grit wet sands on the polisher. Takes about 5-10 mins per grit to do. The course grits are very important, I misses some of the tricky areas and it does show up in the end result.


Then used Josco Brown Tripolicar Polishing Compound on a stitched rag wheel on a drill for about 10-15 mins


Then used Josco White Sscard Polishing compound on a loose leaf buffing wheel on a drill for about 10-15 mins


Then bolted the wheel back on the polisher and using autosol metal polish I done the final high speed polish for about 5-10mins






Josco Products-








End result-









Now just need to strip the gold paint of the centres, then re-paint them. Bought a air brush kit to see if that gives a nicer result then using my touch up spray gun, should get into the tricky spots easier and less chance of getting any runs. 

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And then a good clear coat?


Nah, I find clearing them actually dulls the shine. Im pretty pedantic with my wheels, and with a good clean and a polish with some autosol once a week they stay nice and shiny.


^^^^ Mount, dirty, repeat ;)


nah just a quick wash and hand polish with autosol once a week or so keeps they nice, only have to do the sanding process as theyre all 30+ year old wheels haha

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I looked into trailer hub and spindle sets with no luck local in the 114.3 pattern...


I tried quoting you and hit like button twice,, :rofl: :rofl:


Anyway,  :D ,,  why not instead of trailer axle , get a strut and strip it down and use muffler clamps to bolt tube down to a workbench. Lots of different vehicles use that pattern.

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Reminds me of when i did my first set of wheels, sanded/polished the lips from satin to mirror with a similar method, but mine was KA24DE powered ;)


Haha that sounds cool :P


Im actually making "Wheel Polisher 2.0" tomorrow

Got another plan in place to not only make it more secure/sturdy but should allow me to do wheels with tires too.

Could even make it to do 2 wheels at once (with 2 people), just dunno if my smaller grinder will hold up to that, but will test it and see if the 2.0 will need a bigger grinder haha

Will be working on replacing the plastic "pulleys" with metal ones too to stop them wearing out. 


Ill be sure to post photos if all goes well haha

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got this all made up before I left for my trip to Japan, but forgot to post it up here haha


Works 100 times better then before, no wobbles! Just need to sort out a metal pulley as im burning through the plastic ones super fast! and running the belt straight off the grinder without a pulley just slow down the RPM of the wheel just a little too much, Still works just will take even longer to do each wheel.











There is a reason I didnt cut the strut right down... If anyones wet sanded to re-finish wheels theyll know the mess it makes, especially when its spinning! So im going to make a "splash guard" to catch the water the spits off the wheels and drains into a bucket, saves me having to lay and hang tarps everywhere to avoid getting the dirty water on the floor... and walls.... and roof...


I only got the test it very briefly as I made it the day before I was due to fly out for my holiday, but dont the first 3 sand paper grits on a SSR MKII and it worked great so far! Will finish the MK2s and everything else I have at home that needs referbing.. will probs need another holiday after all that polishing hahaha





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nice work! your pics are inspiring me to try something like that too!


Thanks mate =)


Yeah with the amount of wheels I refinish hand polishing / using a jacked up car got old reallll fast haha

This was I can sit on a comfy chair not the floor hahha

And for the amount it cost to build id recommend making one if you refinish a lot of wheels!

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