After the axles are polished, the wheels require polishing of their own to minimize friction. Again, a multi-step process was used to prep the wheels.
Step 1 – Taking a power drill, a cut-off cotton swab stick (made of paper, not plastic), and a plastic scratch remover we attempted to polish the inside of the wheel bore by eliminating any minor scratches. The process is to dip the stick into the scratch remover and use the drill at a very low speed to spin the stick through the wheel more. The process makes a distinct squeaking sound to let you know that there is enough friction present to polish the wheel bore.
Next – The wheel is placed into a bath of dish detergent and shook around for about 30 seconds.
Once out of the bath we dried off the wheel and blew off the soap suds. Then, using a pipe cleaner to buff up the inside of the wheel bore. Note that we used cotton pipe cleaners and not chenille sticks. Chenille sticks have plastic and fiberglass elements that will scratch the wheel. So yes, these are pipe cleaners bought at a tobacco shop. (BTW- I realized very quickly that I am not the target demo for pipe cleaners once I walked into the shop. 🙂 )
The buffing should be done gently to ensure that the cotton fibers do not get all over the wheel. We do not have a microscope or any high-tech tools to gauge how clean the wheel bore is at this point, so we eyeball it to see if the inside of the bore is looking smooth.
The final step is to apply a light coat of wax to the wheel bore.
The wax dries over night and we buffed it again the next day with a pipe cleaner to remove any excess and to shine up the bore yet again.
Next Steps – Installing the axles and tuning the car.