Baked on brake dust

I have a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis which I bought used from a Mercury dealer on March 22, 2002. It had about 18,000 miles on it and the remainder of the factory warranty. The car has the alloy wheels and
they really get filthy from the brake dust. I do not know if any brake work was done on the car. I tried many different wheel cleaners but the dust in the cutouts is very hard to remove and appears to be baked on. The only way I can get it off is with a wire brush and lots of elbow grease. It takes about a half hour to clean each wheel and even then it's not completely crud-free. Any help would be appreciated.
PS I've still got my 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis which I bought new. It now has about 110,000 miles on it and it is still nice to drive around town but not at high speeds because it uses oil. At lower speeds it uses no oil.
George from MD
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There is a product called Blue Magic Metal Polish. Works great on polishing brass. Not sure if it will help your wheels but it's probably worth a try.
How is the suspension in your 91 holding up? I have a 2001 Crown Vic and the tie rods failed after 40,000 miles
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Thanks for your suggestion for the metal polish. I've still got my can of Brasso from my army days and might try that first.
Regarding the '91, at 70K miles I replaced the left outer tie rod end. No other suspension part has ever been touched and I still have the original shock absorbers all around. When I bought the car new, the one I liked that was in stock just happened to have heavy duty/handling suspension on it. I have never owned a trailer so I really had no use for this option but maybe that's why the suspension held up so well. Other than "normal" replacements, the most expensive repair was having the automatic transmission rebuilt at 108K miles. When it would shift from 3rd to 4th gear, the engine would race and was disconnected from the rear wheels. You could still drive it up to 3rd gear. This cost $1327.00.
Regarding our 2001 cars, I had a similar problem. I was getting an annoying rubber squeak and could not find it at home. At that time the car had 25K miles on it. I asked my friend/neighbor to take the car in to his family owned auto repair shop and put it up on the lift. He found the squeak but also told me the left upper balljoint was worn out. He also recommended getting the car back to the dealer as soon as possible as he thought the car was unsafe to drive. Under warranty, the dealer replaced that and also the pitman arm. When I bought the car from this dealer, it had about 18K miles on it plus a valid Maryland State Inspection Certificate. Surprisingly, it had been inspected by this dealer.
George
_ wrote:

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My dad bought some spray on stuff that you just hose off for cleaning brake dust. It worked great on my car.
Jeff
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Jeff,
The first thing I tried when I first bought the car was "Turtle Wax Foaming Wheel Cleaner--spray on, hose off, no rubbing." It worked okay on the relatively flat surfaces but not in the cutouts.
George
Jeff wrote:

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I found a simple solution, go to the store and get some Brake Clean, some times Easy Off Oven Cleaner works, I've had great success with that too.
But to add some preventative measures after you get them cleaned you might want to spray them with PAM no stick spray, you know the stuff of frying pans, and the brake dust just washes off with water.
Camtrek

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Thanks, I think I'll give that a try.
George
Camtrek wrote:

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You might have to remove each wheel to allow wheel cleaner to sit on the wheel for a longer period to help disolve it. Let them sit in the shade when you do this. I had to do that with ( front ) wheel covers especially the insides.
Is it possible the protective clear coating has been damaged on the wheels? Are you using a real " Wire " Brush on your wheels?
Most every availabe spray on wheel cleaner should be strong enough to disolve brake dust.
Good Luck
Harryface 05 Park Avenue 91 Bonneville LE, 303,321 miles
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Harry,
It was a brass wire brush although the protective coating could have been damaged by the previous owner.
George
Harry Face wrote:

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hi george - i've found that the baked on brake dust takes repeated cleanings about a week apart. seems like the elements of the weather works on the stuff that left behind and when you spray the brake cleaner on it again, a little more will come off.
as to directly the source of the problem, changing out the pads to the kind that won't leave the dust is a solution, but also j.c. witney did offer some brake dust covers that mounted between the disk and the wheel that directed the air flow away from the wheel so it wouldn't deposit on the grooves. i don't know if they are still offered.
to trace out where the oil is leaking from on your 91, put a bottle of black light dye in the oil. it works great, but i didn't like what i saw. it reveals the truth on the leaks.
~ curtis
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional "Many more men die with prostate cancer than of it. Growing old is invariably fatal. Prostate cancer is only sometimes so." http://community.webtv.net/PALMER_ENT/doc
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Curtis,
When I replace the brakes I'll have the "no-dust" type put on. I think I've seen them advertised by Advance Auto Parts in the newspaper. I think Advance is a national company.
About the 91's oil problem, I don't think it's an external leak but burned internally in some way. I do not get clouds of blue smoke coming from the exhaust. Just before I bought the 2001, we were on a trip and I was pushing it very hard. While doing so, the "check engine" light came on. I stopped as soon as I could and checked the level of oil on the dip stick. It was full.
Regarding the prostate cancer comment at the bottom of your reply e-mail, I had my RRP in November of 1999. I assume you, too, read the "alt.support.cancer.prostate" newsgroup.
George
c palmer wrote:

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For after market wheels, might I suggest going direct to the manufacturer for advice? You may find it is part of their R&D.
wrote:

Hey! Spikey Likes IT! 1965 Ford Mustang fastback 2+2 A Code 289 C4 Trac-Lok Vintage Burgundy w/Black Standard Interior Vintage 40 Wheels 16X8" w/BF Goodrich Comp T/A Radial 225/50ZR16
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To the best of my knowledge, these are factory wheels.
George
Spike wrote:

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"" wrote: > To the best of my knowledge, these are factory wheels. > > George > > Spike wrote: > > > For after market wheels, might I suggest going direct to the > > manufacturer for advice? You may find it is part of their > R&D. > >
> > wrote: > > > > >I have a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis which I bought used > from a Mercury > > >dealer on March 22, 2002. It had about 18,000 miles on it > and the > > >remainder of the factory warranty. The car has the alloy > wheels and > > >they really get filthy from the brake dust. I do not know > if any brake > > >work was done on the car. I tried many different wheel > cleaners but the > > >dust in the cutouts is very hard to remove and appears to > be baked on. > > >The only way I can get it off is with a wire brush and lots > of elbow > > >grease. It takes about a half hour to clean each wheel and > even then > > >it's not completely crud-free. Any help would be > appreciated. > > > > > >PS I've still got my 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis which I > bought new. It > > >now has about 110,000 miles on it and it is still nice to > drive around > > >town but not at high speeds because it uses oil. At lower > speeds it > > >uses no oil. > > > > > >George from MD > > > > Hey! Spikey Likes IT! > > 1965 Ford Mustang fastback 2+2 A Code 289 C4 Trac-Lok > > Vintage Burgundy w/Black Standard Interior > > Vintage 40 Wheels 16X8" > > w/BF Goodrich Comp T/A Radial 225/50ZR16
I dont know if you want to try these but many parts stores have dust shields that go in between your wheel and brakes so there is little to no brake dust on the wheels. They are plastic and if i remember correctly they are like 40 or 50 bucks.
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Thanks, that might be a simple fix. Do you know if this would impede the cooling of the brakes?
George
82Mustang wrote:

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