In the UK the hoop of rubber that covers the spoke heads and protects the tube is called a rim tape. You guys may call it something else though.
I've also read somewhere that using a steel wire brush on alloy can leave tiny fragments of wire in the alloy which then rusts and causes staining. The suggestion was to use a brass wire brush.
You really confused me when you wrote "I went out in the garage to prep the engine for swapping out the clutch water pump seal".I didn't know that /5's had water cooled clutches