Restoring Wheels

The wheels on my 1996 XJS are generally in good shape, but there are a lot of fine scratches on them, which really detract. I believe that these are clear-coated aluminum alloy (if not, please let me know). Any ideas on the best way to restore these? I tried to machine polish them with a DA polisher, with limited success. Will I have to strip the clear coat or is there a better way to return them to original.


Could we get a picture so we know what you’re dealing with. so we or I can provide the best response. Right now, kind a shooting in the dark.

Thanks Mark, I’ll take some photos in the morning and upload them.


I’ve attached a Dropbox link to some photos of the wheels. As I expect that you’ll find, they are not as bad as many that I’ve seen, often with peeling paint, etc., but I would like to refurbish them.

Thanks.1996 XJS Wheels

Clearcoated aluminum. Do the flaws you see appear to be on the surface of the clearcoat, or are they under the clearcoat on the surface of the aluminum?

If on the surface, I’d try some automobile polish, the stuff that’s actually a fine abrasive and will eat clean through a clearcoat if you don’t control yourself.

Thanks Kirbert, I think that they’re in the clearcoat. I think that I’ll revisit the DA and some other polishes than I’ve been using and see if that makes a difference. Appreciate your input.


Well, if, as I suspect, you are wanting concourse condition and have the $$ to spend, there is a vendor on Ebay called DetroitWheels (IIRC) that you can mail/freight your wheels to (in Detroit :doh:) and they will either redo them for you (inc. checking for straightness, sandblasting, grinding and even diamond turning on lathe, if applicable, re clear-coat or powder coat, etc.) or send you another set they have already done (if they have one) + of course their fee. The fees are quite reasonable, esp. if you “swap out” your wheels for a set they already have done, and they do great work, looking OEM-matching quality. :+1:

Thanks AttyDallas, I check them out.

I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a shop in your town that refurbished wheels too.

I found a company called Wheel Mechanic. Come to your location.

Are you saying they can work on your wheels at your house? Like, while you wait?

Yes that’s right Kirby. Wheel Medic 8005029092. Had a small compressor, air tools, all they needed. Showed up in a panel truck. dressed up the nicks and gouges. Re-applied clear coat.
I think they were based out of Tallahassee

Wow … may have finally found a job (franchisee?) that my tech bud can get into (and get accomplished :roll_eyes: ) … :smile:

Thanks for everyone’s input. I’m in Los Angeles and there a bunch of folks offering mobile wheel refinishing, many with really good feedback. There are also a number of bricks and mortar companies that offer powder coating and so forth, and they may also simply apply clearcoat. I may give one of the mobile people a try and see what they offer.

Ha ha, he would have you buy all the tools etc for him. Then you may or may not see a penny of return. His track record, as reported to us by you, are not the most stellar

No way. I did forward him a website link re: all the grants and loans available to ex-felons in TX (i.e. to start a biz) … :moneybag: Heck, wish us law-abiding folk could get $$ assistance like that with our bizes. :slightly_frowning_face: