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Old 05-04-2009, 09:24 AM   #1
XscoreX
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cleaning wheels with acid!

Ok so i was at the tire place and having the tires taken off of my 19"s I had this awesome plan of cleaning them and having them refinished and getting them straight, well the tire guy told me to get them good & clean that I should find someone in HVAC and that they have an acid cleaner that they use to clean the gunk out of air conditioner units. He said this stuff wil get all the brake dust & everything out like magic, he also said that it wouldnt mess up the clear coat. i am skeptical. has anyone done this? what are the pro's tips on getting a wheel clean enough to eat off of. I was thinking first step would be to buy a kiddie pool from wal mart, fill it with soap & dishwashing detergent like palmolive and letting them soak for a day. then get in there and go nuts with a scrub brush. these rims are pretty dirty, then use a pressure washer and then use some metal polish and a buffing cloth on a drill to get them super shiny.

anyone want to share their experiences or tips?
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:26 AM   #2
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i'd use a cat litter pan, and tons of Simple Green.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:29 AM   #3
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Acid does do crazy work on brake baked wheels. It's a bit strong on certain wheels and may stain, so make sure to dilute it, or buy a rim cleaner from you local store which is probably mainly acid. It'll also take the yellow from the rotors off you wheel if you have it.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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I would not use air handler coil cleaner on rims. That stuff is pretty strong.


Buy you some AWESOME from the dollar store.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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They sell a few different wheel cleaners that already have acids in them that work surprisingly well, just check the labels. I can't think of the name off of the top of my head but duragloss makes a very good one. The only spray bottle wheel cleaners that will take all of that caked on brake dust off have acid in them, so your buddy might be onto something. If your eyes dont burn 30 seconds after spraying it then its not gonna clean your wheels. I also use a little bit of laquer thinner on a paper towel for the small spots that just dont seem to come off. Make sure your wheel is WET when you do this, and DO NOT RUB, gently swipe over the area until its gone, then rinse the entire wheel off really well. Laquer thinner WILL take the clear coat off! Its very dangerous stuff so if you decide to use it PLEASE BE CAREFUL.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:43 AM   #6
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^ He knows his stuff, if you have a powerwasher at home too, you're golden!
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:44 AM   #7
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cool thanks for the tips, so I can get this duragloss stuff at autozone right or oreilleys or anyplace like that right?
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:49 AM   #8
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i would find a professional detailing supply store. Every mid-large city has them. They usually have a bunch of different cleaners that work wayy better than what you can buy from autozone. My local shop offers "acid wheel cleaner" specifically, but they recommend only using it on wire wheels (old cadillac hubcaps) or chrome wheels. He said there are a few customers that use it on clearcoat/powdercoat wheels but they spray it on and wash it off quickly. Most importantly, make sure the wheel is cool and not in direct sunlight. Harsh brake cleaner will ruin nice wheels if used while hot!
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iansanderson View Post
i would find a professional detailing supply store. Every mid-large city has them. They usually have a bunch of different cleaners that work wayy better than what you can buy from autozone. My local shop offers "acid wheel cleaner" specifically, but they recommend only using it on wire wheels (old cadillac hubcaps) or chrome wheels. He said there are a few customers that use it on clearcoat/powdercoat wheels but they spray it on and wash it off quickly. Most importantly, make sure the wheel is cool and not in direct sunlight. Harsh brake cleaner will ruin nice wheels if used while hot!
thats a great tip, I think i know exactly where a little store like that is. Ill go check them out and see if they can recommend me something.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:58 AM   #10
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best way to get EVERYTHING off is a bar of clay, detailer spray, and a sh!t load of time. results are great. just get some rid-x to seal the deal so that grime takes longer to build up.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #11
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Mmmm

I got some Mother's wheel cleaner spray. It smells exactly like the coil-cleaner stuff for a/c evaporators/condensers I used to use.

I use it at the spray car wash. Problem is, without taking off the wheels, a lot of stuff you can't see also gets dissolved and even when well rinsed, the gunk seeps out and looks nasty. The Mother's stuff works well otherwise.

OEM pads are just too soft/dusty!
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