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Monday, July 29, 2013

Spiffin’ Up The Joint

It’s been a while, actually, too long, since I gave my aluminum wheels on the Journey some TLC.  And as a result, they showed it.


The wheels were looking as dull as reading the IRS tax code (sorry Sandie).  So what to do?  Off to Walmart for some supplies.


Mothers makes some polishing balls (about $20, each) as well as polishing compound.  The balls attach to my cordless drill.



Have I even mentioned cordless drills are one of mankind’s greatest inventions?

I removed the lug nut covers with special pliers, available at Camping World.


And I popped out the center hubcap.  It makes it easier to polish.


I smeared some polish around the wheel and went at it with the drill.


After about ten minutes of running the polishing balls around, I wiped off the wheel with a couple of clean rags and then gave it a light buffing by hand.  Looks pretty darn good.


Before putting the hubcap back on, I checked the fluid in my oil filled front hubs.  You folks that attended Camp Freightliner may remember this.



Yep, all good here.

Then I reinstalled the lugnut covers, giving each one a light tap with my rubber mallet.


Finally, the hubcap.  Make sure to line up the hubcap properly with the grooves in the hug or it won’t fit right.  They cost $35 if you lose one.


On to the rear wheel.


Rear wheels have a hubcap held on by a large nut.  You can remove the nut with a special wrench that Freightliner sells, or with a large pair of slip joint (water pump pliers for us old timers) being careful not to squeeze too hard to mar the nut.


Now a tricky part.  On the right (passenger side) wheel, the nut is a “righty tighty, lefty loosey”.  On the left (driver side wheel), it is exactly opposite: “LEFTY TIGHTY, RIGHTY LOOSEY!!!”  Just so you know.  Did they teach that at Camp Freightliner?

With the hubcap off, you’ll see this:


This is what the nut screws into for attaching the hubcap.


After that, you can polish away.  Then wipe, hand buff and reinstall the hubcap and lugnut covers. 

Wow, now I can see myself! 


Scary, isn’t it?  :c)


Clean up is easy, just spin the balls in a bucket of hot water and dry with a rag.


I spent about two hours, start to finish, taking my time.  I should do this again in a couple of months.  I’m a little (okay a lot) embarrassed that I let my wheels look so dingy. 

Now that I’m in a polishing mood, I think I’ll go brush my teeth.  :cD

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Looking at the last three pictures, couldn't you find any without that guys picture on them?

    1. I tried, honest I did. But for some reason he kept showing up! :cO

  2. The polishing ball in the last photo tells the story. Mui was on wheel duty two weeks ago ... they looks nice and shiny ... just like yours.

  3. Oh dear, poor Winnona! I think she needs your help much more than Judy's rig.

  4. Cordless drills may be the best invention known to man but you still have to plug it in for it to work when you need it! Keep that practicing up on those wheels. You'll be experienced when winter comes and might be able to pay off the campground fees with all the extra money you'll be making.

  5. You have got to be kidding me! The last thing on earth I'd ever think of is polishing my wheels. I think you need to get a life there, Paul. ;)

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth. Been out almost 8 years and they're still waiting for the first polish. :)

  6. I cannot even begin to count how many cordless drills my husband has gone through in our 35 years of marriage. Sometimes I think he likes them more than me.

  7. Pretty snazzy cordless drill. Looks like racing flames on it :-) The wheels look pretty nice!

  8. All I can say is that you must be REALLY bored!

  9. What happened to your little helper? Loafin' on the job? :-)

  10. Despite the naysayers, Paul, I think you were born to polish wheels!! You have the know-how, knack and the intelligence required to do this job.

    That reflection photo you took shocked me a bit at first because it looked like you may not have any pants on and I thought you might be one of those weird selfie-pic guys like Geraldo etc.

  11. Hey, don't pay any attention to those slugs above! John polished ours last week after Jojo and I finished polishing and waxing the motorhome. Now, how can you have a clean, shiny m.h. and dirty shoes???? No way!

  12. They look so PURDIE;-) The motorhome will be all dolled up and ready to go!!!

  13. Gotta have shiny wheels, just makes you coach look too good.

  14. Sheesh. Washing them occasionally I get. Taking them all apart to polish to that extent seems a little anal. You're not a little anal are you Paul? Lol

  15. I have to admit I was nodding my head when I read Judy's comment:)

  16. I think they look great. They look so good in fact, that you can polish ours any time :)

  17. A man and his power drill. If Al has to loosen one little tiny screw, he'll go all the way out and get the power drill. It amazes me.

    Al needs to read this post and polish his wheels. I keep reminding him, but he keeps forgetting. I guess if I tell him he can use a power tool, he might do it.

    And before you say it. It's NOT my job!

  18. Easy solution, just paint em red like mine...dirt doesn't show up as much.