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  #1  
Old 01-18-2012, 02:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: League City, Texas
Vehicle: 2004 Ford F150
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Getting brake dust off of Polished Aluminum wheels...

I am really starting to hate my polished aluminum wheels... Mostly because of the brake dust that cakes up in the details of the wheels...

What can I do to get the brake dust off and a good polish back on the rims, and keep it there?
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2012, 03:39 PM
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Vehicle: 2006 Ford F350
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I have chrome steel wheels on my Super Duty and I have the same problem as you do. First you need determine if they are clear coated, honest to God polished aluminum, or chrome plated because it will make a difference in the steps used to get them looking shiny again. You can determine if the are clear coated or Polished/Plated by fist washing the wheels, then take a MF towel and some polish and test a small spot probably 1"x1". If the rag is clean after working the polish in they are Clear Coated/Plated and if the rag turns black they are aluminum.

If they are clear coated, wash them with soap and water, spray them with a clear coat friendly wheel cleaner, then use a soft wheel brush to agitate and rinse well with clean water. Now, what I do is I apply Meg's NXT 2.0 and it seems to help slow down and even repel some of the brake dust.

If they are plated or polished you can use the same steps on each but the polishes will be different. Wash the wheels with soapy water, then use a wheel cleaner that is appropriate for the wheels with a soft wheel brush, if you purchased them locally I would ask what the shop recommends. Then I would use a good quality chrome or aluminum polish (The sponsors of this forum have what you need) with a grunge MF (Micro Fiber) towel. Next I would use a good wheel sealant or Meg's NXT 2.0 to help them stay clean between washing's.

My only warning is if they are chrome plated. Use caution if you use something like a Mothers Power Ball because depending on the wheel manufacturer the plating can be thin and easily damaged. Also if you decide to use a wax on your wheels make sure it is a synthetic because regular Carnauba car wax will not stand up to the heat of the brakes.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2012, 03:57 PM
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Vehicle: 2004 Ford F-150
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I got polished aluminum wheels and struggled to get them to shine, my girls dad bought me some polish he used on his tractor trailer, its called zephyr and its awesome. wash the truck, dry the wheels, i pull them off one by one every week and hit it with some polish a pain in the a$$ but worth it when i am done. you can get it online at their websit or check out a truck stop or tractor trailer place. its safe for everything from chrome to polished and says so on the bottle
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2012, 07:12 PM
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Once you get the dust off with whatever you choose, maybe look into some new brake pads, Wagner Thermoquiets. Eliminate the root cause, detailing will be SOOOOO much easier with these.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:41 PM
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Running EBC Greenstuff 600s now... And they are definately honest to goodness polished aluminum. My rims aren't coated black or anything, but certainly grungy looking now... It's not just brake dust, but road grime, and a lot of it...

Probably get a can of Mothers and take it to the detail shop pay them to do the job...
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhost View Post
Running EBC Greenstuff 600s now... And they are definately honest to goodness polished aluminum. My rims aren't coated black or anything, but certainly grungy looking now... It's not just brake dust, but road grime, and a lot of it...

Probably get a can of Mothers and take it to the detail shop pay them to do the job...
One of the problems with uncoated polished aluminum wheels is that they oxidize pretty rapidly. Brake dust can accelerate the process too. Once this happens, it's not just a matter of getting any dirt / dust off the wheels. You then have to remove the oxidation and re-polish the wheel to really get them looking good again.

I had a set of wheels like that on my 2002 F-150. I loved the way they looked when they were just polished. As for the work required to keep them looking good, the word "therapy" does come to mind. Then again, so does PITA.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2012, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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I managed to keep my wheels looking like new on my Ranger:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

First and foremost, put some ceramic brakes on, that was the number one thing that solved my problem. You can take 0000 Fine steel wool and mildy scrub them. I always take my wheels off and clean them on both sides (yes the backsides). Clean really good with Simple Green. Then use the steel wool and wipe down.

Then took the new Meguiar's DynaCone polishing cone and their new All Metal polish and hit them really good. Then take and hit them by hand real quick to get any hazing left by foam cone to get the look above.

Once you get it to the point that you want, you can try this stuff called Sharkhide and seal them....
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2012, 05:18 PM
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For cleaning............
50/50 mix simple green & water
for drying, lightly spray your drying towel with a 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol & water
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:18 PM


 
 
 
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