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Painted vs. Polished Wheels

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2017 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by kabiblueline, January 10, 2011.

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    1. kabiblueline

      kabiblueline New Member

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      Can anyone comment on the 2 different types of available wheels?
      Painted aluminum vs. Polished aluminum?

      Other than the obvious visual differences, are there significant differences in the maintenance required?

      Is one finish likely to degrade more quickly than the other?

      Any other advantages/disadvantages?
       
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    3. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I don't kow about maintenance but I think the Polished wheels likely require more work and they really stand out making them an attractive item for those "midnight shoppers", if you know what I mean. I ordered my Limited with the painted wheels and will buy a set of the Base model's 17" steel wheels to mount my winter tires on.
      I've had the painted alloys on my 3 Highlanders and had no problems with them at all.
       
      Last edited: January 10, 2011
    4. edge929

      edge929 Active Member

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      I was torn between the standard 18" rims on the XLT and the upgraded 20" polished ones. In the end I didn't want to pay $1000+ for rims, get a slightly harsher ride and worry about dinging them up on an off-road oriented vehicle, meaning I'm more inclined to take it places I would not take a car = more chances of scratching up my expensive rims. If they were more like $600 I most likely would have gotten them.
       
    5. willied

      willied Well-Known Member

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      Both should be fine, but the polished ones will probably have a more solid look. Either way they should be better than the crappy chrome clad junkers Ford used to put on the Explorers.
       
    6. drober30

      drober30 Active Member

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      TTT.......Searched for this exact question and want to bring it back to the spot light to see if anyone else has any input?

      Why is there an up-charge for polished aluminum?

      Does the painted aluminum chip or have some sort of downside not presented with the polished ones?
       
    7. 1995E

      1995E Elite Explorer

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      The painted aluminum wheels would probably lose their protective clear coat and color like regular paint does after some years. That's what I've been told.
       
    8. paulfrank285

      paulfrank285 Active Member

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      @edge929: i know exactly what you mean...if they were cheaper, then i won't get them right away without thinking it twice. even if they offer 19" with cheaper price, i would still consider...

      i think painted wheels will chip, just like bath tub. polished wheels can be restored by sanding? polishing? i don't like polished that much as it's too "bling" for me!
       
    9. Razziel24

      Razziel24 Active Member

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      IMHO the polished look great on a dark colored vehicle.
      I got the painted 5 spokes 20's
       
    10. drober30

      drober30 Active Member

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      The way things are, the rims will probably pick me instead of me picking the rims (whats available on the truck I find).

      However, I really like the look of both but I lean toward the 5 spoke but would opt for the polished aluminum if they were that much better.
       
    11. new to ford

      new to ford Active Member

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      i went with the 18" painted, I do plan to wax them at least 2-3 times per year to keep them clean and without brake dust pitting.
       
    12. Bill #5 Explorer

      Bill #5 Explorer Elite Explorer

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      Both have a clear coat. If you properly wax them a few times per year, with a high quality wheel wax product like RejeX Wax, for example, you'll be fine. All you need to wash them is hot soapy water, and blow dry with your leaf blower. Don't use wheel cleaners. Just a waste on money, and they are harsh. Wheel wax is the secret.
       
    13. drmelotti

      drmelotti New Member

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      Hi all, new member here. I had a question regarding polished wheels (which i have) if they were clear coated, well Bill has answered that, now my question to those out there is how do you polish these up? I have an 2011 Limited with the 20" polished wheels, I've noticed a friend with a like 2013 and his wheels look much brighter than mine, it almost appears as if I have many swirl marks, I'm wondering if I could use a swirl removing compound on the wheels, much like is used on the clear coat paint, my vehicle is the Tuxedo Black Metallic..All answers appreciated
       
    14. Harley#356

      Harley#356 Active Member

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      yup that's correct the polished wheels are clear coated, otherwise they'd be bitted up and dull in no time. Polished wheels that aren't clear coated are a CRAP TON of work to keep on top of. I don't think any manufacturer sells a vehicle with an uncoated polished wheel.

      So you want to be careful and not use billet or aluminum polish, since they are coated. Once you wear through the clear coat, you're going to have fun keeping them looking nic for any more than a few weeks before they're gray and dull and hours of elbow grease required. Treat the wheels like you do your paint. Wash them with the same soap (separate wash mit), wax them to protect them. They can get swirls just like the paint can, and you can use swirl remover just like on paint, but again be careful with how abrasive it is, and it's going to be fun removing swirls on a wheel unlike a flat panel you can just hit with a buffer.
       
    15. LukerDooker

      LukerDooker Active Member

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      small scratches on 1 wheel-scratched clear coat

      With all the ice and snow I found 2 small scratches on one of my wheels, right on the elbow of 2 of the spokes. The clear coat is scratched, doesn't look like the aluminum is scratched.

      On top of salt or whatever road mix they put on residential streets, they also began spraying something for ice prevention this year, that turns white after a few hours.(glycol?)

      So I do wash the car in between stretches of snow but I want to protect the wheel.
      Anything I can use that is quality to at least cover the scratched area with a hand applied clear coat that wont turn yellow or affect the aluminum below?
       
    16. User.pb1

      User.pb1 New Member

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      Ford claims that the polished alum. Wheels aren't clear coated

      I have 20" polished Alum. wheels on my 2015 Explorer Limited. I'm trying to decide how to clean them and protect them, but I'm confused as to whether they are clear coated or not. My local Ford Rep. states that they are not clear coated. I called FORD and after a great deal of checking the rep. stated that the rims are not clear coated. However, there are several post here that state that they are clear coated.

      I used a small amount of polish intended for uncoated alum. wheels on a small area of the wheel, and the white rag did not turn black, which according to several post would indicated that they are clear coated.

      I'm not sure how to proceed, so I put some regular car was on them and will monitor them to see what happens over the next six months or so.

      It would be nice if Ford has something in writing on this matter so I would know for sure if they rims are clear coated or not.

      UPDATE: I just spoke with a Ford Tec at my dealer that I trust to know what he is talking about, and he says they are polished and sealed. He works directly with the Wheel Dr. that repairs damage to the wheels of the dealerships cars, and the Tec. is quite certain that Ford seals the OEM wheels. Guess it's a good thing I didn't use the polish I bought on them as it would ruined the wheels by scratching up the clear coat.
       
      Last edited: September 15, 2014
    17. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum User.pb1.:wavey:
      I would think that they do have some kind of coating on them. The post above yours seems to also indicate that.

      Peter
       
    18. OKCXLT

      OKCXLT New Member

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      For 2015, the appearance package is roughly the Same price as polished wheels, so I went for that to get the better interior as well as 20" wheels with painted inserts.

      Seems to be a better look and a better deal IMO
       

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