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Stock Calipers: The purpose of polishing the calipers is purely for appearance. They are an ugly, rough, cast piece from the factory. I thought about painting my calipers, but I thought that they would look better if they matched the wheels. It's also rarely done, so it makes your car different. There is no need to remove the calipers in order to polish them. I only polished the surfaces that can be seen. The procedure below could also be used if you are going to paint the calipers. You could create a very smooth suface before painting. The surface would then duplicate aftermarket painted calipers. I bought all my supplies at Home Depot. The supply list is at the bottom of this page.



Casting flash removed with Dremel: I used a Dremel with a course sanding band to remove the casting flash. It could be sanded down with a sanding black, but the bands are faster. You will need to be careful that you don't sand down too deep. Any deep marks you make will have to be sanded smooth. The picture of the front caliper shows all the grooves that had to be removed by sanding. One front was normal, and one was all gouged from the factory. I was able to get it flat by removing more surface material. It was no big deal, but it did take longer.




Sanding: I started out with 220 grit paper on a sanding block. The caliper will need to be sanded smooth. I used a up and down path with the block on the front calipers. The rears were a little harder because of their shape. This is the most time consuming step. All the texture must be removed to leave a completely flat surface. If you have deep gouges like mine in the picture, just keep working to get them smoothed out. Unfortunetly it takes longer, but they won't look right otherwise. The wire wheel on the drill can be used during this stage. It works great in the hard to reach areas, but it's not as fast.




Calipers sanded smooth: The second stage of sanding is the 400 grit paper on the sanding block. The calipers will start to look really good at this stage. Make sure all the grooves from the 220 grit paper are removed. This is basically the stage that determines how smooth the calipers will be. After I was happy with the 400 grit sanding, I used the wire brush on the drill. The brush helps you get a nice even finish on the calipers. If you find an area that needs work, the wire brush can usually take care of it for you. It's a great detail tool.




High Polished Calipers: To get a high shine on the calipers, I used a cotton buffing wheel and Tripoli Compound. The calipers need to be very smooth for them to look right. Several times I had to go back over a few areas so they looked good when polished. If the areas weren't completely flat, they trapped compound and appeared dull and black. I used the cotton wheel mounted to an electric drill. I started out using a cordless drill, but the juice ran out faster than it could be recharged. The tripoli will be hard as a brick. You just get the cotton wheel spinning and hold the tripoli to it. The heat of the wheel will soften it enough for it to transfer to the wheel. Just push the polish up from the tube and hold the wheel to it. I applied the compound several times until I was happy with the shine. In between applications, I wiped off the excess polish with a rag. Let the compound do the work. There really isn't any need to apply heavy pressure. If you don't have a high shine after several applications, just keep applying it. They will shine up. I use Mother's Metal polish to keep them looking good. They do get dirty and water spotted. When I have the wheels off the car, I use the metal polish. Otherwise I just clean them with a rag through the wheel spokes. If you clean the water and dirt off of them, they look almost as good as when they are freshly polished.




Finished: All the hard work was worth it once I saw the calipers behind the polished Fikse wheels. They look awesome together. It's a look that painted calipers can't match in my opinion. I hope this helps if you decide to polish your calipers. If you have any questions email me. I also want to see pictures of how your calipers turn out, so send those to me.




Supplies needed:
  1. Drill. Electric is preferred.

  2. Wire brush with shank for drill. I used a 3 inch diameter brush.
  3. Cotton buffing wheel with shank for drill. I used a 4 inch diameter.
  4. Tripoli Compound.
  5. Sanding block, with various paper grits. I used 220 and 400.
  6. Dremel tool, with course sanding bands.

  7. Metal Polish.




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