Alloy wheel cleaning - HELP!

I am having real problems cleaning my wheels. I want to do a proper clean, repair kerbing damage, repair scuffs and repaint my wheels. The wheels are the 15 hole type (like this
http://germanstar.net/15hole.jpg ) and it is a nightmare trying to get the insides of these holes clean. The brake dust, road dirt and crud have built up a thick black layer of rock hard muck inside all the holes. I have tried alloy wheel cleaner - no joy. I removed my wheels and tried my pressure washer and alloy wheel cleaner with a scouring pad... still no joy.
Any ideas how I can properly get this muck off without removing the tyres and having the wheels blasted! What's your secret for clean wheels???
300 Essie
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1994 Mercedes E280 [W124] 99,000 miles (R.I.P)
1992 Mercedes 300 SE [W126] 230,000 miles
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*300 Essie wrote:

All the time I hear about ppl using all kinds of cleaners, pressure etc... have you tried using a brush or a spunge? Normally the brakedust wont get off with the cleaners and just pressurized water but just clean the wheels as you would with the rest of the car and it runs right off..
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Thomas



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On Sun, 30 May 2004 19:23:50 +0200, "Thomas" wrote:

This stuff was on the wheels when I got the car - it is like black enamel, right inside the holes (where the car wash wheel brushes don't get I guess). Wheel acid, a stiff brushing for a couple of minutes, a good soak of more wheel acid, then a power washer have so far failed to make much of an impression :(
300 Essie
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1994 Mercedes E280 [W124] 99,000 miles (R.I.P)
1992 Mercedes 300 SE [W126] 230,000 miles
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300 SE -
I ran into similar difficulties with a set of 15 spoke 'bundt cake' alloy wheels a while back that I was trying to get ready for the plater. No amount of pressure washer blasting, wheel cleaners, power wire brushing, etc. got all those little recesses clean. I finally decided I'd wasted enough of my own time & elbow grease on the project to warrant having the local car wash steam clean them for me. They came out *spotless*!
At some point, you may decide to opt for this approach if your time & energy is worth anything to you. Once they're clean, you'll be easily able to maintain them in spotless condition from then on using that pressure washer and commercial wheel cleaners.
Just my $.02 worth - as always, your mileage may vary . . .
Jerry Wolfram '78 450 SL - 212K miles, & still purrin'
300 Essie wrote:

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really? i've had a similar problems cleanign a set of 26 year-old rims..... try as i might, i can't get them totally clean. I've tried all sort of things, including, in desperation, a commercial type cleaner, which, despite it's claims of being "safe on all kinds of rims" seems ot have done little but tarnish the finish on them. Do you think the same process might help clean off a set of rims from an old W123?
Jerry Wolfram wrote:

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I tried everything- took the tires off and soaked them in Simple Green for a week, no good. Then went to the car wash to use the very hot and powerful cleaning spray, no good. Industrial cleaner? Took the shine off, left the crud.
Finally I sand blasted them and repainted them using wheel point from AutoZone. It has a good match to the stock look, but once again I'm seeing crap in the holes that defies cleaning.
Last year I installed brake dust shields, those light weight aluminum shields that keep the dust on the inside. The next day I drove my 300SD in the hill country near here and within 15 minutes my brakes began to fade from overheating. I removed them.
So- can anyone recommend a brand of brake pad that minimizes this headache?
Doug

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On Sun, 30 May 2004 18:53:43 GMT, Jerry Wolfram wrote:

I'm not quite there yet. I remembered that we had a wallpaper stripper in the shed (with an oven cleaning attachment). Took a wheel off to give it a try and BINGO! You need a fair bit of patience, but I guess that once cleaned properly, dings sanded, smoothed, primed and repainted they should then be easy to clean on a weekly basis.
Thanks for the pointers guys :))) 300 Essie
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1994 Mercedes E280 [W124] 99,000 miles (R.I.P)
1992 Mercedes 300 SE [W126] 230,000 miles
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Have you tried CRC Engine Degreaser? The CRC stuff is strong... especially their carburator cleaner.
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Also the CRC Brakleen.
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Don't drive a German car (they all do this).
Starting with clean wheels, weekly washing will keep them clean. Sounds like yours need refinishing.
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snipped-for-privacy@vrx.news (Richard Sexton) wrote in message

Yes and there are outfits you can find with an internet search that will take your alloy wheels, weld curb rashed spots, dings, etc, then refinish them for you. If the wheels are bad enough, I'd go that route and have them done right.
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eh.. if they only need refinishing you can do that yourself: stip, sand, paint with wurth wheel paint silver then clear. if they have curb rash: http://wheel.mbzarticles.org /
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On Wed, 2 Jun 2004 04:02:01 GMT, Richard Sexton wrote:

That's exactly the route that I am taking Richard... one corner at a time! Each wheel takes an afternoon to complete, but once done properly they should be a breeze to keep looking good. A labour of love I think it's called ;)
Thanks again guys for all your tips and pointers. 300 Essie
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1994 Mercedes E280 [W124] 99,000 miles (R.I.P)
1992 Mercedes 300 SE [W126] 230,000 miles
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Put on your spare tire whereever you are going to paint. It takes 24 hours to dry properly... so if you drive with it in one afternoon... then you are going to pick up all the sand and brake dust that will get embedded into the paint.
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On Wed, 02 Jun 2004 12:12:42 GMT, "Tiger" wrote:

Already one step ahead of you there buddy ;) Thanks for the advice though. You must leave the paint to dry and harden properly before you try to apply any varnish etc, or it will just act like thinners and wash the paint off!
300 Essie
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1994 Mercedes E280 [W124] 99,000 miles (R.I.P)
1992 Mercedes 300 SE [W126] 230,000 miles
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