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Old 06-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #1
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Detailing wheels

How do you clean wheels that have deeply embedded dirt/brake dust build up?

The outside are good. I want to clean the inside of my wheels. I am not happy.

So far the following has not worked:
- Soap with stiff brush
- Spray on wheel cleaner and stiff brush
- Clay
- Magic Eraser

I am open to suggestions. Thanks.



btw - the rest of the old girl cleaned up well. i will try to post a picture later.


/

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Old 06-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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have you tried brake cleaner?
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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I use a 3200psi pressure washer, but don't let the spray hit your paint from close range. (fortunately I made that mistake on the GF car, not the Boxster. Lifted some paint off down to the primer.)

Cleans the wheels so well I don't even have to use a brush.

Nice thing is it gets in and around the lugs as well, and every other nook and cranny a brush just can't get in to.
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Old 06-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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Wow those pressure washers can do a lot of damage! If they get under anything they'll peel it right off- like paint and Porsche crests. - I've done it!
When you say 'inside' the wheels, I wonder if you're talking about the inner rim or in the nooks and crannies? I'm currently refinishing my wheels and the inside of the barrels are black with brake dust and seem impossible to get clean with usual methods. I've decided to switch to Akebono pads to rid myself forever of brake dust as my wheels are way to difficult to clean everyday. I have found that 220 grit, wet sandpaper does an excellent job,as does a wire brush ( must use water though because of the extremely toxic dust) Now that they're aluminum-coloured again I'm not sure if I'll just clearcoat them,or if I'll spray them wheel- colour silver (to make them look like new) and then clear them but you shouldn't use these methods without clearcoating them as ,unpainted, they'll oxidize and begin braking down. So I guess I haven't really answered your question but introduced a process of recovery- if all else fails.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsman View Post
Wow those pressure washers can do a lot of damage! If they get under anything they'll peel it right off- like paint and Porsche crests. - I've done it!
When you say 'inside' the wheels, I wonder if you're talking about the inner rim or in the nooks and crannies? I'm currently refinishing my wheels and the inside of the barrels are black with brake dust and seem impossible to get clean with usual methods. I've decided to switch to Akebono pads to rid myself forever of brake dust as my wheels are way to difficult to clean everyday. I have found that 220 grit, wet sandpaper does an excellent job,as does a wire brush ( must use water though because of the extremely toxic dust) Now that they're aluminum-coloured again I'm not sure if I'll just clearcoat them,or if I'll spray them wheel- colour silver (to make them look like new) and then clear them but you shouldn't use these methods without clearcoating them as ,unpainted, they'll oxidize and begin braking down. So I guess I haven't really answered your question but introduced a process of recovery- if all else fails.


Yeah - I am talking about the inner rim. You can still see it, and I want to make them shine. There is some very old built up discoloration that won't come clean with lesser methods. I was hoping to avoid wet sanding/clearcoat -- but we may get there.



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Old 06-04-2013, 05:46 AM   #6
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Here is a picture. This is what I want to clean up. All of my wheels are like that. Clean (but some curb rash) on the outside, and some legacy dirt/brake dust that wont come off on the inner wheel.



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Old 06-04-2013, 06:58 AM   #7
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Take the wheels off the car to detail the barrels. You need better access and leverage.

Simple Green. Rinse. Dry.

Wax with RejeX Wax. Top with Armor All Wheel Protectant.

Next time, wash with hot soapy water. NO Simple Green needed. Repeat wax and AAWP.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #8
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IIRC I used brake cleaner, and lots of elbow grease. I also tried WD40, but It didn't work as well as brake clean.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
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I will try the brake cleaner. I didn't try wd-40, i have that handy.


Here is the hood in the sun. The basalt black cleans up nice.







And the tailpipes (still a work in progress, but much better):

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Old 06-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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wow Fatmike your wheels look like new compared to mine!!! Mine were truly black with br dust and under that they are heavily oxidized. A word to the wise- don't forget to take care of the paint on those wheels. Some cleaners are murder on them! Beauty paint on the hood!
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:36 AM   #11
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We need to get rid of the spam on this site. This stuff is ridiculous.


Here is the car all cleaned up:






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Old 06-05-2013, 10:11 AM   #12
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There are pro detailer level wheel cleaners that are not sold to the general public in auto stores...too strong, you have to order them online from the detailing websites. If soaking in a safe cleaner like P21S wheel cleaner won't budge then I don't think pressure washing is going to fair any better. Seems like there's been some bonding.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #13
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johnc36

remove wheels and use oven cleaner not the cheep stuff let it sit for 10 to 15 mins scub with stiff brush and rince with lots of clean water dont get on you stings like hell

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