View Full Version : Tips/Tricks/Products for 'refinishing' used wheels?

09-08-2009, 06:05 PM
Just picked up a set of used wheels that have had a few owners before me. They are still in very good condition, but just a little bit rough around the edges. Stuff like adhesive residue from old wheel weights, little bit of brake dust, etc.

What are you guys using to clean up wheels so they look brand newish? Simple stuff like Goof off and Autozone brake dust/wheel cleaner?

Thanks in advance.

09-08-2009, 11:34 PM
What about refinishing scuff marks yourself? I read about one guy using some kind of aluminium bondo-thingie to fill these up then sanding it flush, but I'm not sure if that's really advisable.

09-09-2009, 08:44 AM
It's nothing so bad as it needs any kind of filler+sanding, it' just random stuff stuck on the surface. I attacked it with some all purpose cleaners last night and alot came off. I'm gonna go pick up some cheap brake dust cleaners and see what happens.

09-09-2009, 09:48 AM
Just don't start sanding.... it'll never stop. Ask me how I know!


after (still no where near perfect):

Then I realized I wanted to go an inch wider and just went and got new lips instead.

09-09-2009, 10:26 AM
To clean off old brake dust and wheel weight tape I use Brakleen


09-09-2009, 10:15 PM
Then I realized I wanted to go an inch wider and just went and got new lips instead.


Some of those spots will not ever come out fyi. even with sanding. Here's a link to all the projects that I've done for polishing so I've dealt with a lot of those spots. Those peppercots for instance. No amount of sanding would take them out fully but I'd say I got most of it clean with sanding, buffing compounds and metal polish


09-09-2009, 11:39 PM
dont spray brake cleaner on your painted wheels, it will remove the paint, ask me how i know...

09-10-2009, 12:07 PM
simple green works good, I also like to use Mags wheel cleaner. dont use any harsh chemicals like break cleaners

09-10-2009, 04:21 PM
Thanks guys. For reference, here's what I'm working with.


09-12-2009, 09:12 AM
they look to be in good shape. What I would do is pull them apart (I'm hoping they're not fake) and then you can strip the clear off the lips and mirror polish them. As well as get some good degreaser (NOT brake cleaner) and clean the centers. Use some wheel polish on them and then wax the lips and centers and it'll repel dirt and brake dust.

09-12-2009, 11:01 AM
Your original post had me thinkin you were just cleaning old barrels, hence the Brakleen

09-12-2009, 04:52 PM
Hey Neb, you ever use Meguiar's Wheel Brightener? Since you polish stuff and just need it cleaned real fast first, that stuff would be a good bet for you. It's not advisable to use as your every time wheel cleaner, but it'll get stuff off fast the first time around.

And Fiziks, do what Neb said, no Brakleen, that stuff is bad for the finish...