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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #1  
Old 07-25-2014, 11:58 AM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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Deep cleaning of rims

I want to deep clean my rims, but not only from the outside, but from the inside as well. I'm using the spare to replace one rim at a time, clean it, put it back on and so forth.

I've neglected the car (cosmetically at least) for a long time so the rims are in terrible shape.
There is a ton of break dust that's all baked in, and one has a bunch of rust baked in from a worn out brake pads (don't ask).

I tried spraying wheel cleaner, but that's not doing much. I then tried attaching one of those green kitchen scrubbing pads on my drill and "polishing" the dirt away - that helped a bit but working on a round surface (the inner wheel well) is a pain.

I tried doing it by hand - as you can imagine that's a pain.

I was going to switch to sandpaper - maybe 80 or 100 grit, but I'm afraid I'll damage the rims.

I do want to repaint them but got a $150 or $200 quote per wheel and that's a bit too steep for me.

What do you suggest?
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2014, 05:29 AM
dmatre dmatre is offline
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Be patient, years of neglect don't come off with a spray on, wipe off process.

Get a wheel cleaner, spray on, agitate, spray more, agitate again, etc until the crud loosens up. You need chemistry + agitation + time for them to work.

You can also try something like Wolf's Decon which is a bit stronger that normal wheel cleaners, but time, scrubbing, & repeated applications are still required.

Don't rinse the cleaner off before it's had a chance to do its thing.


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  #3  
Old 07-26-2014, 05:39 AM
luigi524td luigi524td is offline
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Exclamation Cleaning rims

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatre View Post
Be patient, years of neglect don't come off with a spray on, wipe off process.
Get a wheel cleaner, spray on, agitate, spray more, agitate again, etc until the crud loosens up. You need chemistry + agitation + time for them to work.
You can also try something like Wolf's Decon which is a bit stronger that normal wheel cleaners, but time, scrubbing, & repeated applications are still required.
Don't rinse the cleaner off before it's had a chance to do its thing.
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Using those abrasive products will demand that you have your wheels refinished after stripping away any hint of protective finishes (if any is left after years of neglect!)

You might try a power washer - but even a small electric one with the spray nozzle held close for a long time will strip away paint or clear coat (yes, some wheels are painted - even on the outside face).

If you really want to return them to new you should really consider having them professionally glass-beaded and refinished or even powder coated. Depending on where you live it could cost you ~$100-$200 per wheel. But that's a lot cheaper than new "original" BMW wheels.
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2014, 08:51 AM
Johnz3mc Johnz3mc is offline
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You have a couple of options, like previous fellows mentioned.

One of the most powerful and nasty wheel cleaners you can buy is Meguiar's Wheel Brightener, really nasty stuff. Hydrofluoric acid.
Wear gloves and use it outdoors with lots of ventilation. You'll be amazed how well it'll work on crud that's been on your wheels for years and years. It'll take off 90%. Reapply and scrub with a stiff brush, toothbrush, until no more comes off.

As a last resort, Wurth sells a silver wheel paint that matches German silver wheels and they also sell a spray clearcoat.
Guys have sanded their wheels, prepped them well, masked off the tires and spray painted their wheels back to a fresh factory look.

One can of Wurth silver and one can of clearcoat would do one side of your car. Way way way less than your shop quote per wheel.

I did old Mercedes wheels for a buddy and they turned out beautifully so your dilemma isn't all that daunting really.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2014, 08:29 PM
chet31 chet31 is offline
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I've tried a lot of things on the embedded brake dust on my wheels, CarPro Iron-X is the only thing that put a dent in it.
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2014, 12:49 PM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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I'm considering sanding them down and repainting. If I can find someplace where they can sand blast them, even better. I saw a video online where the guy doing it put 4 coats of paint. How durable would it be? I'm guessing I need high temp paint right?

Last edited by ventsyv; 07-30-2014 at 12:53 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2014, 09:41 AM
ilian11 ilian11 is offline
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Brush is $25 and iron-x about $20 last time I ordered
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2014, 11:20 AM
Rick D Rick D is offline
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Kinda curious, are they painted, clear coated, raw aluminum or chrome?? Makes a difference on what you use..........
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2014, 02:49 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
I tried spraying wheel cleaner, but that's not doing much. I then tried attaching one of those green kitchen scrubbing pads on my drill and "polishing" the dirt away - that helped a bit but working on a round surface (the inner wheel well) is a pain.

I tried doing it by hand - as you can imagine that's a pain.

I was going to switch to sandpaper - maybe 80 or 100 grit, but I'm afraid I'll damage the rims.
+1 for having Iron-X in your arsenal.

Yeah, don't do low grit sandpaper, but instead try automotive paint polish, at least if your wheels are painted like mine. I used both Megs 105 and 205, using my favored blue huck cloths as I always do for hand polishing (and other applications). I bet mine were in much better condition than yours, and I still couldn't get all of the contaminants out.

For rust, I used straight vinegar and 0000 steel wool, but mostly on the hub itself (not so bad on the wheel). I didn't remove all of that either, but most of it.

Rick is right about knowing what you're working on, and from there would I start researching more specific advice.
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2014, 06:35 PM
chet31 chet31 is offline
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I would say 90% of rims are painted and clear-coated. If you post a picture, we can probably tell.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2014, 08:32 PM
Revelation19 Revelation19 is offline
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Info from a pro detailer on detailing wheels/tires
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2014, 08:50 AM
Amherst Amherst is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
I'm considering sanding them down and repainting. If I can find someplace where they can sand blast them, even better. I saw a video online where the guy doing it put 4 coats of paint. How durable would it be? I'm guessing I need high temp paint right?
My local BMW dealer has an in house wheel service where the wheel is fully reconditioned to new for under $150 per wheel. They check the rim for straightness also. If straightening is required the cost for straightening and reconditioning is $220 per.

Something to consider. Reasonable price and easy!
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  #13  
Old 08-23-2014, 09:12 AM
CGP CGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amherst View Post
my local bmw dealer has an in house wheel service where the wheel is fully reconditioned to new for under $150 per wheel. They check the rim for straightness also. If straightening is required the cost for straightening and reconditioning is $220 per.

Something to consider. Reasonable price and easy!
+1.
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