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(Post Link) post #1 of 28 Old 22-03-09 Thread Starter
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Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Does anyone know how to remove brake dust and grime thats been built up over the years inside the wheel nut wells ? (from the previous owner)

I tried just normal scrubing and NO WAY is it coming off in a hurry. Anyone got any ideas ?

(Dont worry about the scratches I will get them fixed at another time)

Last edited by Freds GTV 2001; 25-11-09 at 11:04.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Something really strong like Wonder Wheels may be in order
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

I think we have an equivalent from Meguiars that cleans wheels specifically. Ill give that a try - but ive heard some of those things dont work. However ill give it a go.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

I took mine off last weekend and had a go and the stuff is well hard to get off Gave it a bloody good go and they do look better for it but to get a 100% off your be there for days
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

There are various specific wheel cleaners from the major manufacturers - the non-acid types are supposed to be better. I've used the Autoglym product with success but the grime was probably less hardened on than yours.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

you really do need to a stiff brush for baked on stuff.
soak, scrub. repeat.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

hmm looks like a lot of work, maybe get some new wheels instead that will solve the problem been thinking of getting GTV JTS wheels. But they cost money. See what happens anyway.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

I got some wicked wheel cleaner from meguiars the guy at the shop said "Try This !" and put it on the wheels and was AMAZED that most of the muck and dirt came off !!

Although alot of the muck right in close to the wheel nut is still there I have to take the wheel off and clean it without the nut in it. Well thats another days work Ill do later on. Anyway good to know that megs stuff works
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Yes, but that "wicked wheel cleaner" will contain acid or alkaline so don't leave it on too long and once clean, then wax the wheels afterwards to protect them and prevent the brake dust from adhering. Otherwise you will find yourself using more and more of the stuff to keep your wheels clean.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

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Originally Posted by springbok View Post
Yes, but that "wicked wheel cleaner" will contain acid or alkaline so don't leave it on too long and once clean, then wax the wheels afterwards to protect them and prevent the brake dust from adhering. Otherwise you will find yourself using more and more of the stuff to keep your wheels clean.
+1
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

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Originally Posted by springbok View Post
Yes, but that "wicked wheel cleaner" will contain acid or alkaline so don't leave it on too long and once clean, then wax the wheels afterwards to protect them and prevent the brake dust from adhering. Otherwise you will find yourself using more and more of the stuff to keep your wheels clean.
Really ???? I didnt know that - Ok
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Jack her up
Take a wheel off
Rinse with water
Clean with car shampoo
Scrub with a brush
Use a clay bar to get the last few stubborn bits off (I use 1/4 of an old bar for all 4 wheels)
Seal the wheel with something like Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection and it'll be much easier to get the stuff off in the future
Put the wheel back and move on...

It'll take about an hour a wheel to get them all spotless.

Edit: I should add... if you use something acidic like Wonder Wheels or Autoglym Clean Wheels you will rust your bolts and potentially damage the paint on the wheels. You can get non-acidic preparations like Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner if you *really* need something specific to the task.
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(Post Link) post #13 of 28 Old 23-03-09 Thread Starter
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

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Originally Posted by Touche View Post
Jack her up
Take a wheel off
Rinse with water
Clean with car shampoo
Scrub with a brush
Use a clay bar to get the last few stubborn bits off (I use 1/4 of an old bar for all 4 wheels)
Seal the wheel with something like Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection and it'll be much easier to get the stuff off in the future
Put the wheel back and move on...

It'll take about an hour a wheel to get them all spotless.

Edit: I should add... if you use something acidic like Wonder Wheels or Autoglym Clean Wheels you will rust your bolts and potentially damage the paint on the wheels. You can get non-acidic preparations like Autoglym Custom Wheel Cleaner if you *really* need something specific to the task.
Yeah ok - I got "Meguiars Hot Wheels All Wheel Cleaner". Didnt say anything about it being acidic. Do you know if it is acidic?
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Almost all wheel cleaners are to a greater or lesser extent acidic or alkaline.

Meguiars Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner contains Hydroxy Acetic Acid and Oxalic Acid and has a ph of 2.5 at 70 deg F so...........yes, it is acidic!!

If you read the instructions on the bottle of any wheel cleaner and it says something like "spray on and do not leave on for more than 30 seconds before rinsing off" then you better know that it has something very strong in it.

If your wheels are so bad that they have ingrained brake dust in the tiny pores then they probably need to be re-furbed after which you would seal them and never ever let a wheel cleaner near them.

If you simply have to use a wheel cleaner then use it carefully one wheel at a time, rinse well afterwards and use a really good sealant (Car-lack/Klasse) or special wheel wax (Poorboys Wheel Sealant or Smartwax Rimwax). Wash them separately everytime you wash your car with car shampoo and a microfibre cloth.

The secret is to stay on top of the dirt buildup and never let it get too bad.
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(Post Link) post #15 of 28 Old 23-03-09 Thread Starter
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by springbok View Post
Almost all wheel cleaners are to a greater or lesser extent acidic or alkaline.

Meguiars Hot Rims Wheel Cleaner contains Hydroxy Acetic Acid and Oxalic Acid and has a ph of 2.5 at 70 deg F so...........yes, it is acidic!!

If you read the instructions on the bottle of any wheel cleaner and it says something like "spray on and do not leave on for more than 30 seconds before rinsing off" then you better know that it has something very strong in it.

If your wheels are so bad that they have ingrained brake dust in the tiny pores then they probably need to be re-furbed after which you would seal them and never ever let a wheel cleaner near them.

If you simply have to use a wheel cleaner then use it carefully one wheel at a time, rinse well afterwards and use a really good sealant (Car-lack/Klasse) or special wheel wax (Poorboys Wheel Sealant or Smartwax Rimwax). Wash them separately everytime you wash your car with car shampoo and a microfibre cloth.

The secret is to stay on top of the dirt buildup and never let it get too bad.
Ok Thanks !
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Yes.. I agree with the 'Bok. Take the wheels to someone who will strip them and then re-paint.

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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

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Yes.. I agree with the 'Bok. Take the wheels to someone who will strip them and then re-paint.

Ralf S.
Either that or just get new wheels (second hand) probably the same cost
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Maybe... but your re-furbed wheels will look gleeeeeming.


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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

New bit of kit out? Alaska's Advanced Wheel Brush? Halfords? No I have not tried one yet.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

i use Billburry, it is pretty PH neutral and is excellent for getting rid of the crud on the rims and the inside of the rims....

I did my P1 Spider a few weeks ago, took all the wheels off one by one
coated them with Billbury
scrubbed them with a loo brush
recoated with Billbury
washed down with a cloth
clayed,
washed with clean water
wiped down
waxed with a good quality wax

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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

I'm having trouble getting the little black dots off my wheels. Right in the very corners of the wheels is full of crap, I took two off yesterday, paint cleaner and polish still didn't get rid of all the spots.

Never found any of the wheel cleaning products to be any good tbh, will claying get rid of them?? Although I'm not sure the clay bar would fit right into the corners of the rims??

They do look better and I've coated them with supa guard but I'm still not 100% happy.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by G5een View Post
I'm having trouble getting the little black dots off my wheels. Right in the very corners of the wheels is full of crap, I took two off yesterday, paint cleaner and polish still didn't get rid of all the spots.

Never found any of the wheel cleaning products to be any good tbh, will claying get rid of them?? Although I'm not sure the clay bar would fit right into the corners of the rims??

They do look better and I've coated them with supa guard but I'm still not 100% happy.
Maybe could get them refurbed ? or bit of overkill - do you have any photos?
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

They're only four months old so don't really need a refurb, I think I'm just being a bit obsessive

Been thinking today about getting them sprayed a gunmetal colour, watch this space
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Engine Cleaner / degreaser works Wonders, cost 2 quid.
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Re: Cleaning off old brake dust / grime of wheels

Is that not acidic though??
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