Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???
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2009-2014 Cadillac CTS-V Appearance Mods Discussion, Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated??? in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2009-2014; Wondering if anybody knows i the factory polished aluminum wheels are clear coated or not. I got a set from ...
  1. #1
    cruiser68 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    Wondering if anybody knows i the factory polished aluminum wheels are clear coated or not. I got a set from my dealer to replace the painted wheels and I was curious if they were cleared for maintenance or if I am going to be polishing them every other week. Dealer sold them to me for $800 and let me keep the painted for winter rims.

    Anybody know?

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    smackdownCTSV's Avatar
    smackdownCTSV is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    That's a pretty good deal.

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    serturbo is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    Mine appear to be cleared. They are nothing like the non-cleared, polished wheels that I am used to - Welds, Alcoas, Mickey Thompsons, etc. However, this topic has come up before and I remember one person saying that his wasn't cleared.

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    Gary Wells is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    There is also a post on here from a factory rep or dealer that says that they are both cleared.

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    baabootoo's Avatar
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    Mine weren't. I got my car used, and only where they were repaired and clear coated. The rest had nothing at all on them.

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    cruiser68 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    Thanks for the feedback. I too thought they were cleared, until I zainoed them that is. I got them new from the dealer so I wanted to get some good protection on them before they mounted the tires. A couple times the microfiber I was using to apply came back with that silvery look, like I had used polish on aluminum. Come to think of it, I think it only came back discolored when I polished the inside of the center where the center cap mounts. Maybe they didn't polish in there or maybe it was just a little dirty. Oh well, I'm not going to worry about it for now. Let's see how they hold up with a few coats of zaino on them.

    Thanks again. I'm still figuring out all the cool things in my new ride. Really like it so far and I'm coming from a Yukon Denali so it is quite a bit smaller and I'm on the large side.. Going to seriously beat on it next week at a Cadillac event in Joliet. Can't wait

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    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    fwiw, the polished wheels on my CTS4 were supposed to be cleared. They started clouding after the first snow I went through.

  9. #8
    Gary Wells is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyH View Post
    fwiw, the polished wheels on my CTS4 were supposed to be cleared. They started clouding after the first snow I went through.
    You were not the original owner on that particular car, were you?
    Didn't you buy that car used?

  10. #9
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    That is true. But the car had only 7000 miles when I bought it, and it was clean. Not as in detailed, but from-the-factory clean. It is certainly possible the previous owner screwed up the clear, but I doubt it.

  11. #10
    Cadillac Tony's Avatar
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    All polished aluminum wheels from GM are absolutely clear coated, including the V. Bare polished aluminum would oxidize within weeks. If anyone posts up that theirs are not, it's because someone (a dealer, a detailer, or themselves) used something overly abrasive to clean the wheels and stripped the clear.

    Here's an excerpt from a technical service service bulletin that details the repair procedure for all GM factory wheels, including the CTS-V.

    This bulletin is being revised to add additional model years. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 99-08-51-007 (Section 08 - Body and Accessories).

    This bulletin updates General Motor's position on refinishing aluminum wheels. GM does not endorse any repairs that involve welding, bending, straightening or re-machining. Only cosmetic refinishing of the wheel's coatings, using recommended procedures, is allowed.

    Evaluating Damage

    In evaluating damage, it is the GM Dealer's responsibility to inspect the wheel for corrosion, scrapes, gouges, etc. The Dealer must insure that such damage is not deeper than what can be sanded or polished off. The wheel must be inspected for cracks. If cracks are found, discard the wheel. Any wheels with bent rim flanges must not be repaired or refinished. Wheels that have been refinished by an outside company must be returned to the same vehicle. The Dealer must record the wheel ID stamp or the cast date on the wheel in order to assure this requirement. Refer to Refinisher's Responsibility -- Outside Company later in this bulletin.

    * Aluminum Wheel Refinishing Recommendations

    * Chrome-plated aluminum wheels: Re-plating these wheels is not recommended.

    * Polished aluminum wheels: These wheels have a polyester or acrylic clearcoat on them. If the clearcoat is damaged, refinishing is possible. However, the required refinishing process cannot be performed in the dealer environment. Refer to Refinisher's Responsibility -- Outside Company later in this bulletin.

    * Painted aluminum wheels: These wheels are painted using a primer, color coat, and clearcoat procedure. If the paint is damaged, refinishing is possible. As with polished wheels, all original coatings must be removed first. Media blasting is recommended. Refer to GM Aluminum Refinishing Bulletin #53-17-03A for the re-painting of this type of wheel.

    * Bright, machined aluminum wheels: These wheels have a polyester or acrylic clearcoat on them. In some cases, the recessed "pocket" areas of the wheel may be painted. Surface refinishing is possible. The wheel must be totally stripped by media blasting or other suitable means. The wheel should be resurfaced by using a sanding process rather than a machining process. This allows the least amount of material to be removed.

    Important

    Do not use any re-machining process that removes aluminum. This could affect the dimensions and function of the wheel.



    Painting is an option to re-clearcoating polished and bright machined aluminum wheels. Paint will better mask any surface imperfections and is somewhat more durable than clearcoat alone. GM recommends using Corsican SILVER WAEQ9283 for a fine "aluminum-like" look or Sparkle SILVER WA9967 for a very bright look. As an option, the body color may also be used. When using any of the painting options, it is recommended that all four wheels be refinished in order to maintain color uniformity. Refer to GM Aluminum Refinishing Bulletin #53-17-03A for specific procedures and product recommendations.

    Refinisher's Responsibility -- Outside Company

    Important

    Some outside companies are offering wheel refinishing services. One such company, Transwheel Corporation (800-892-3733), provides this service within GM guidelines. Other companies may also exist. Such refinished wheels will be permanently marked by the refinisher and are warranted by the refinisher. Any process that re-machines or otherwise re-manufactures the wheel should not be used.


    A refinisher's responsibility includes inspecting for cracks using the Zyglo system or the equivalent. Any cracked wheels must not be refinished. No welding, hammering or reforming of any kind is allowed. The wheel ID must be recorded and follow the wheel throughout the process in order to assure that the same wheel is returned. A plastic media blast may be used for clean up of the wheel. Hand and/or lathe sanding of the machined surface and the wheel window is allowed. Material removal, though, must be kept to a minimum. Re-machining of the wheel is not allowed. Paint and/or clear coat must not be present on the following surfaces: the nut chamfers, the wheel mounting surfaces and the wheel pilot hole. The refinisher must permanently ID stamp the wheel and warrant the painted/clearcoated surfaces for a minimum of one year or the remainder of the new vehicle warranty, whichever is longer.

    Important

    Whenever a wheel is refinished, the mounting surface and the wheel nut contact surfaces must not be painted or clearcoated. Coating these surfaces could affect the wheel nut torque.


    When re-mounting a tire on an aluminum wheel, coated balance weights must be used in order to reduce the chance of future cosmetic damage.

    © Copyright General Motors Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer". They are written to inform these technicians of conditions that may occur on some vehicles, or to provide information that could assist in the proper service of a vehicle. Properly trained technicians have the equipment, tools, safety instructions, and know-how to do a job properly and safely. If a condition is described, DO NOT assume that the bulletin applies to your vehicle, or that your vehicle will have that condition. See your GM dealer for information on whether your vehicle may benefit from the information.
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    The views and opinions of this poster are solely his own and do not represent those of Plaza Cadillac

  12. #11
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    My only conclusion then is whoever detailed the car must have used some kind of wheel cleaner, or polishing, that took off parts of the clear. It wasn't the entire wheel that clouded over, mostly just the face of the wheel.

  13. #12
    cdog533's Avatar
    cdog533 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    Yes, they are clearcoated, probably a clear powder, and they pick up micro scratches very easily. I am afraid of polishing them (with something like Meguiars 205 or Menzerna FIP) as I think it may cloud them.

    Has anyone cleaned the swirls in them up with a polish? Did it work well?

  14. #13
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    I used meguire's aluminum polish and a buffing disc on my wheels. Cleaned them right up. And the compound immediately turned black as I started buffing, which is how I know the clearcoat was gone. Now that I think about it, I also re-polished the areas that were not cloudy. And the same thing, the compound turned black immediately. I read that the polishing compound turns black because is it absorbing particles of metal from the wheels. It said that won't happen if a clearcoat is present.

    After polishing they did look gorgeous, I will admit.

  15. #14
    JimmyH is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    As an aside, I know they are supposed to be clearcoated. but based on my experience, and that of several others in the 08CTS forum, I believe a batch of wheels got to the factory missing the clearcoat. Maybe quality control at the wheel manufacturer missed it.

  16. #15
    Teutonaddict is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Polished Aluminium wheels clear coated???

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac Tony View Post
    All polished aluminum wheels from GM are absolutely clear coated, including the V. Bare polished aluminum would oxidize within weeks. If anyone posts up that theirs are not, it's because someone (a dealer, a detailer, or themselves) used something overly abrasive to clean the wheels and stripped the clear.
    Thanks for posting the TSB excerpt, Tony! Extremely informative and helpful. I agree that if these were raw polished Al, they would oxidize much more quickly than mine do. I had that finish on a set of custom Kinesis three-piece wheels on my M5, and it was an absolute beeeyotch to keep shiny.
    I did use Wheel Wax on my OE polished wheels when I changed brake pads. Seems to work pretty well.

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