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Discussion Starter #1
I'm polishing my RK2's outer aluminum ring. So far they're coming out nice. I've never tried clear coating polished aluminum, is there any issues that can arise?

If I leave them bare and polished, how long will they keep the luster? What upkeep is there to keep them looking shiny?
 

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The Clearcoat won't stick to the aluminum for any length of time. Clear anodizing would be the only thing that would hang on. If you polish and wax them, plan on doing that twice or more a year to keep them looking good, less if you arent picky.

I've been repairing/painting boats and hardware for 15 years and aluminum is the most difficult to work with. Without using the proper primers/etching routine nothing lasts. Anodizing or powdercoating are the only long term solutions.
 

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Glisten PC. It was DESIGNED for polished metal. After polishing, you need to clean off the polish residue and treat with a micro-etcher. AP-120 was designed to do this prior to application of Glisten PC.
I have used these products on polished aluminum for years, with excellent results.
Hellish expensive stuff though.
 

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I had a set of used HRE wheels that were perhaps the highest quality aluminum you could get. Keeping up on them was almost a full time job and after I let them sit in the garage for the winter it was a real challenge.

I hope the clear coat works for you, granted mine were old when I got them and whatever protection they had was long gone. I also noted that the fellow I sold the car to took them off after a month and went back to the stock rims I gave him with the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Glisten PC. It was DESIGNED for polished metal. After polishing, you need to clean off the polish residue and treat with a micro-etcher. AP-120 was designed to do this prior to application of Glisten PC.
I have used these products on polished aluminum for years, with excellent results.
Hellish expensive stuff though.
Thanks for the replies everyone. Body work and polishing are one of those areas I typically avoid at all costs.

Saaboheme, The Glisten stuff you linked, it says it can be brushed on? Does it streak, or leave any noticeable brush marks? I think a pint would be enough as it's only the outer lip that polished, then I'd also seal the bead area again. If it goes on smooth, I might get this.

Also, will the Glisten allow the polished shine to stay locked in? Meaning will remain polished, or does the polish some how fade under the Glisten clear?
 

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The paint will only grudgingly brush. It is self-leveling but only to a degree. If you have no compressed air, get a spra-tool and some aerosol refills from Eastwood. They work with this paint - you have to experiment to get the right nozzle (there are 3) and with adding in a little xylene (which is what it is thinned with). The paint is sneaky. It appears to have a strong surface tension but will run on you at the drop of a hat wherever you spray too heavy. I use multiple light semi-dry coats and let the orange peel build up all it wants. Mixed paint has a pot-life of about 4 hours so you can easily wait a half an hour or an hour between coats. Once it cures you can wet sand it with 2000 and buff it to a glass like finish. It must be mixed exactly as directed. Too little hardener, and it will dry too soft. Too much and it can craze on you. Use in an extremely well ventilated area - it is di-isocyanate based and is toxic as sin. Eye irritation followed by respiratory symptoms (burning in the nasal passages and shortness of breath) followed by disorientation is how unsafe exposure usually presents. If you use it outside you should have no issues.
The paint cures faster in a humid environment, so adjust pot-life expectations and time between coats accordingly.
The shine remains. You cannot see the micro-etching from the AP-120.
The throttlebody transition casting you see here was ground down, wet sanded with 2000, not polished, and then painted with Glisten PC. The paint was on for about years in this picture. The DIC was sanded, polished and then Glistened. The paint was on about 3 years in the picture.
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You engine bay just flat out pisses me off.

;ol;
Mine no longer. Car was parted out in May - July of last year. Those parts were all sold as a lot. Have a snow silver 2008 now and it is planned to be done in Chili Pepper red, hope to do it this summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, that engine bay looked sharp ;ol; Think I could I see some clouds passing by in that Glisten finish :cheesy:
 

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Mine no longer. Car was parted out in May - July of last year. Those parts were all sold as a lot. Have a snow silver 2008 now and it is planned to be done in Chili Pepper red, hope to do it this summer.

Sorry to hear it's gone... it was a work of art.
 

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Sorry to hear it's gone... it was a work of art.
It was a hard decision to make. I put a lot of time in it. 340 bhp was great fun, but the chassis was never up to it and the selector forks were weak in 2nd and 3rd (taught too many of my teen-aged kids to drive a stick in it). The stupid SPEC clutches wouldn't last more than about 2 years, several other major issues were just beginning to develop (including some top problems after nine years of totally trouble-free operation in that regard), and it was just getting to be too much work. I used to love working on it, and began to find myself dreading it. Now I am just learning these 9440 cars and everything is so different and just harder. Too many [email protected] $ $ ed electronics and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
@Saaboheme I've got a couple more questions about this Glisten stuff before I order or not.

1. Will this go over already painted surfaces OK? What grit would a painted surface need for it to grab onto it? 1000 grit? or 2000?

2. Also, I'd like to add metal flake to it. I'll brush the Glisten on (I used to paint interior and exterior, homes, etc. so I'm good with a brush) since it doesn't leave brush marks. Say I bought an ounce of metal flake, added it to a pint of Glisten, does it settle in or stay mixed and remain suspended?

3. You mention a 4 hour pot life. Once the can is opened, is that it? Or can it be poured for 2 different applications? (If the flake is a go, I'll do the centers with it and probably just clear the aluminum as I dunno if the flake would look right going over the polished section or not)

4. You mention buffing it? Would that be the same as using a polishing wheel?

5. Ever see those bass boats with the deep blues, reds, or greens? They have a ton of metal flake and I've always liked that look. Any idea what size flake those use? If I can add flake to the Glisten, I'm thinking of adding a couple different sizes, like .008 and .015 of the same color to give it a lot spark in the light. Not the polished lips btw, but the silver centers. The silver I used almost looks like a semi dark flat or maybe semi-gloss silver. They're screaming for the flake and the clear top coat ;ol;
 

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@Saaboheme I've got a couple more questions about this Glisten stuff before I order or not.

1. Will this go over already painted surfaces OK? What grit would a painted surface need for it to grab onto it? 1000 grit? or 2000?

2. Also, I'd like to add metal flake to it. I'll brush the Glisten on (I used to paint interior and exterior, homes, etc. so I'm good with a brush) since it doesn't leave brush marks. Say I bought an ounce of metal flake, added it to a pint of Glisten, does it settle in or stay mixed and remain suspended?

3. You mention a 4 hour pot life. Once the can is opened, is that it? Or can it be poured for 2 different applications? (If the flake is a go, I'll do the centers with it and probably just clear the aluminum as I dunno if the flake would look right going over the polished section or not)

4. You mention buffing it? Would that be the same as using a polishing wheel?

5. Ever see those bass boats with the deep blues, reds, or greens? They have a ton of metal flake and I've always liked that look. Any idea what size flake those use? If I can add flake to the Glisten, I'm thinking of adding a couple different sizes, like .008 and .015 of the same color to give it a lot spark in the light. Not the polished lips btw, but the silver centers. The silver I used almost looks like a semi dark flat or maybe semi-gloss silver. They're screaming for the flake and the clear top coat ;ol;
That's a lot of questions.

1. It is a clear coat and will lay down on nearly any paint IF THAT PAINT IS FULLY CURED. I have used it over polyurethane base color coats, enamel and lacquer. The one time I got some nasty lifting with polyurethane, the base coat had not been given enough time to fully cure. When the base coat is fully cured, wet sand lightly with 2000 and clean it really well with something like Simple Green before painting over it with the Glisten. The paint should look uniformly dull and flat. The Glisten will pull the shine right back out, guaranteed, and the paint will really pop.

2. I have been trying to use metal flake with Chili Pepper Red Colorchrome and Glisten PC. It is very difficult to keep the metal flake in suspension in these di-isocyanate based paints, despite their appearance of being thick and heavy, even with un-thinned paint. The paint's apparent viscosity is very deceiving. You will need to repeatedly stir it, and I mean repeatedly and often. Overall I did not like the final result using metal flake and have changed my original plan for my current engine bay to simple CP Red with Glisten and NO metal flake. I have tons of metal flake left if you want it.

I think brushing it may work, but it does NOT self-level perfectly every time. Pick a day with very low relative humidity if you stay with the idea of brushing it on. That will give the paint more time to level.

3. The four hour pot life refers to the paint that has been mixed with the catalyst/hardener. Any Glisten that has not been mixed with hardener can be re-sealed and kept for several years. So mix what you think you will need only.

4. Best results for me came with many semi-dry coats sprayed. This built up a thick film of paint with a heavy orange peel texture. After full cure I wet sanded with 1500 moving to 2000 and then buffed with a polishing pad/wheel mounted on a drill and then mounted on a die grinder for a really high speed pass or two. I got a mirror finish that way.

5. I know what you mean about the bass boats. It was a popular paint treatment in the sixties and seventies for cars especially with nitrocellulose paints. It was what I was hoping for with my experiment. In the end it made the deep ruby red of the Colorchrome paint, which is a transparent red (think candy apple red paint here), appear orangish, due I think to the additional and multi-angled refraction of light within the paint caused by the reflectivity of the metal flake. That should not be an issue for you since you will be working with and staying with a silver base color coat. I do not know the metal flake sizes used but the cars I saw generally had uniform medium sized flakes. I think your idea of having multiple sizes would give an incredible depth of finish effect.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I know what you mean about the bass boats. It was a popular paint treatment in the sixties and seventies for cars especially with nitrocellulose paints. It was what I was hoping for with my experiment. In the end it made the deep ruby red of the Colorchrome paint, which is a transparent red (think candy apple red paint here), appear orangish, due I think to the additional and multi-angled refraction of light within the paint caused by the reflectivity of the metal flake. That should not be an issue for you since you will be working with and staying with a silver base color coat. I do not know the metal flake sizes used but the cars I saw generally had uniform medium sized flakes. I think your idea of having multiple sizes would give an incredible depth of finish effect.
Thanks for putting in a thorough and thoughtful reply ;ol; as you knowledge is appreciated. I remember those late 70's van with air brushed murals LOL. 1st time I ever saw one of those bass boats hit sun light I was hooked on that look.

What color are the flakes you have? I was thinking of using a silver flake, which will probably be a bit brighter than the rim paint on there now.
 

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Pontius:

What are you planning on painting?
He is refinishing his BBS RK2 wheels.


Thanks for putting in a thorough and thoughtful reply ;ol; as you knowledge is appreciated. I remember those late 70's van with air brushed murals LOL. 1st time I ever saw one of those bass boats hit sun light I was hooked on that look.

What color are the flakes you have? I was thinking of using a silver flake, which will probably be a bit brighter than the rim paint on there now.
The flakes I have are indeed silver. I have maybe 1 and 1/2 jars (plastic jars) of them. They are rated for 450 deg F apps. as I was using them underhood.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pontius:

What are you planning on painting?
The center of the rim after separated from the outer half is about the size/shape of a hubcap. I've already painted them with a rattle can polyurethane "silver" rim paint, but was rather disappointed to discover it has no real metal flake in it and looks almost flat despite being a gloss. I like the color enough to keep it, but it needs the metal flake and a durable clear coat. I've basically restored them, removed the minor curb rashes, and polished the outer lips. They're basically finished and I could just reassemble and have the tires mounted, but after all the work to get them looking like new (better than new ;)) they need a top coat so they'll last.


I bought a 2nd, darker rim paint color and refinished the bolts with it to contrast the rim color. I polished all the bolts but they looked too blah being shiny so they were primed and painted. That paint oddly enough has a LOT of fine metal flake, despite being the same rim paint by the same company, just different color. I'll eventually post pics and will update the avatar eventually once it's finished.


Also, I have about 4 NG900 grills and 2 9-3 grills, want to refinish one of them and top coat, as well as the plastic lip moldings that wrap around the lower portion of the car (might hold off on this though). My hood vents need a coating too unless I can find a mint dark blue hood to replace my tatty one and I'll notch the support and make a true cowl induction in favor of reinstalling the vents since at idle the heat should still rise out, but with the added benefit of air getting pulled in while moving. Made the mistake of passing up on one at Pull-A-Part from a vert that was perfect shape with no rock chips. Now, all that keep coming in are rusted ones or perfect black hoods :cry:
 

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I'm completing near the same project right now. I've got my 2 rear barrels stripped and sanded from 100 all the way up to 600. They look fantastic. I'll be applying the GlistenPC clear at the last stage. I almost feel like I could clear them right now. Just so excited about how much better they look. I used 320 grit wet on the centers in preparation for paint. For the center paint, I need to find something over the counter that's as close to original as possible. Looking for that today.

Question about polishing. What or how should this be done in preparation for clear coating? I'm picturing Mothers Mag or some product like that but am concerned about polish residue being left behind.

So I polish with [insert recommendation here]
Prepare for clear coat by cleaning it with [insert recommendation here]

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I went to Harbor freight and bought some polishing wheels. You can get 4 wheels in a package with white and brown polish compounds for $5. I bought that and bought a "barrel" one that was longer. They fit hand drills no problem. I used the white compound.


Now, I used 3M Clear Coat remover. That stuff is worth the $10 a can price (I went through about 4 cans, but also sprayed the bead area where the tire sits (don't want leaks now, do we?) and also hit the inner rim since there was brake dust baked into the factory clear- it lifts right off;ol; These rims had a ton of factory decal residue. The clear coat remover lifted them off in seconds. I was able to strip a rim to metal in about 15 minutes with it (the outer part, I only sanded the inner piece lightly to get the paint to adhere). The 1st rim I was able to scrape the clear off with a plastic rattle can cap :cheesy:

There was no need to heavy sand mine. I used a fine mill file on the curb rash. Then 320 grit only where the filing was, then a light 600, then 1000 over everything. If any small scratches were left, went back over with 600, then 1000 again.

Clean everything. Run the drill with a polish wheel, and press the white compound bar on it. Then, start polishing. Keep the drill moving back and forth. Eventually it'll shine.

There might be more "preferred" ways of doing it, but this worked OK. Outer area looks 100% better than before. Can't even tell it had any rashes (they weren't too bad to begin with, but there was some deeper scratches)
 

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