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  #1  
Old 12-11-2005, 10:21 PM
126 Guy
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 523
Dremel Clean/polish nooks of my stock rims/?

If you have a w126 with the factory stock 15 hole rims then you know how hard it is to keep them extremely clean. Well After 45 minutes of cleaning my rims good, there was still some dirt stuck in the holes that wheel cleaner and brushing cannot take off. I was thinking of using my dremel to polish them away?? Good idea or not? I bought the whole dremel polish/clean pack so I was planning to use the polish paste that comes with it. Good idea or not. Need you opinion. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2005, 11:03 PM
Strife's Avatar
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Location: KY USA
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I've polished a lot of aluminum parts with a cable-mounted dremel type tool, and I've stripped my wheels and repainted/clearcoated them. Your stock rims have clearcoat over paint/primer over bare aluminum. I think that if you would be EXTREMELY CAREFUL and use something like rubbing compound you might be able to do this without going through the clearcoat and paint (if there is any at this point...HA). It would be a lot easier with a variable-speed tool set to very low speeds. I wouldn't use anything that came with the tool because that's usually used for polishing bare metal, plastic, etc.

I'd first try rubbing compound on a rag with a pointy object and the rag completely covering the point first.

If your real problem is caked-on brake dust, something like straight simple green, left to soak (maybe soak a rag and stick in the hole), would be worth trying. Warmer temperatures will help.
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2005, 12:56 AM
126 Guy
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 523
Is simple green safe for clearcoat painted wheels? I know many use this to clean wheels but I never bother even buying it because of the fear that it will ruin the finish on my wheels or give the wheels that hazy look. Thanks
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2005, 01:22 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 482
I usually use soap and water and a lot of elbow grease on wheels. Rarely do I get the acid out.

On my wheels, I just got sick of cleaning them only to have a messy clearcoat under the brake dust. I ended up using a chemical stripper and steel wool to remove the paint. Now they are pretty.

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  #5  
Old 12-12-2005, 02:32 PM
126 Guy
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 523
Wow, nice wheel. Now I am thinking of doing that but doing the whole wheel. Looks like a really clean job and make the car stand out. if I use my dremel in the holes and take al lthe clear coat and pain off, will I get the bare aluminum look? What do I have to treat it with once I get to that point
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2005, 02:07 AM
126 Guy
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 523
Ok So I was reading over the archives over wheel refinishing but was greatly confused because there are so many ways of doing them! Well I want to learn a relatively simple way to strip the paint off the wheels, then prep then paint agian. What type of sandpaper and materials do I need for the job? I want to get the prep %100 correct so the paint job I will do will come out awesome
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2005, 03:50 PM
TheDon's Avatar
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so i could take a rubbermade bucket fill with simple green and stick the whole wheel and tyre in their and let it soak for a day? ive got some nast 20 years of brake dust that wont come off and id like to repaint the wheels or even strip them to bare metal
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2006, 04:54 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: DFW, Texas
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I have the same problem with my 420 SEL wheels. The folks at Griots suggested using either clay/Speed Shine or carburetor cleaner. Anybody tried these methods?

I'd like to refinish my wheels but from what I have read you really need to remove the wheel. It can't be done with the tire on. In Star magazine I always see ads for refinishing but I don't have a spare set of wheels to use while the others are being refinished.
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2006, 10:47 PM
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A comment: the layer of clear is not very thick (if you still have any, heh heh). I think that using a Dremel would be very, very tricky and going through the clear and the paint would be pretty easy unless you have a variable-speed cable-mounted model with really good control.

Here's how I did my wheels; I think my results are very good, considering what I paid in materials and labor to do it. One of the real problems in getting wheels refinished by someone else out of town is the shipping - unless you have a commercial rate with UPS, you will get killed.

Since I did it about 1.5 years ago, I have a few chips on the rim, which I attribute to not using enough paint on the rim, and also a small chip near the center cap, which I attribute to bad preparation and careless installation of the center cap. My wheels were fundamentally good with virtually no curb rash. Note that I did this in the summer, and used solar power to my advantage! I think that this "baking in the sun described below tends to make the paint harder, faster.

a. Had 2 tires at a time removed an independent tire shop, brought tires+rims home. If you do biz there, you can usually get a break, especially if you bring the wheels in loose yourself and don't demand that they hurry. I think I paid $5 a removal/reinstallation (WITH balancing!!!). They had originally put my TireRack tires on, and buy their tires for my other, unmentionable vehicle.

b. Using aircraft stripper (VERY nasty, gloves+safety glasses REQUIRED!!), sprayed wheels that had been warmed in the sun (it was summer).

c. With a hard bristle brush, steel wool, and a broken CD (a very useful tool!!), scraped everything possible off onto newspaper (I have 15-holers, the most difficult). The effort you put in here will show in the finished product! You may have to sand very stubborn areas with 400 grit wetordri.

d. VERY thoroughly washed w/garden hose and let dry in the sun. Make sure that they are reasonably dust-free before the next step.

e. Used automotive primer (a type supposed to be able to adhere to aluminum)

f. Sprayed "steel wheels" wheel paint from Wal-Mart (darker than original, but I liked it - the "argent silver" of theirs actually is very close to the original). Please note that ANY silver paint is very, very tricky to paint and does not tolerate thick/uneven coats or contamination under the paint at all, whatsoever. The distance between the can and the object to be painted is a lot more critical for silver, for some reason. You definitely should practice on another piece of metal, in under the same weather conditions that you will be painting the wheels under. It doesn't dry very quickly on it's own, either, so..

g. Put the wheels in the sun (it was June, and they got hot!), and return to item 'f' until a reasonable thickness (~1/2 - 3/4 can per wheel) is acheived.

h. Put clear wheel coat on (somewhat thicker). If you are doing this right, you should get some sort of a shine, with some overspray.

i. Left to dry in the sun (again, a june day, they got hot!!). Then, left overnight.

j. Took rubbing compound and a soft rag, and a power buffer to the wheel (they will be a little soft still, so don't press hard). Then, cleaned and waxed. This brought out a fairly good shine.

k. brought wheels back to shop to remount.

l. Reinstalled finished set, repeated above with the other 3 wheels (I jacked up the car).

I asked that the shop be careful with the fresh paint, and they _were_ careful, so, I bought them lunch.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2006, 01:51 AM
Gigtime's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wimberley, TX
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I found a company at a car show in Houston that would powder coat my wheels for $65 each and it would take a week. I'd have to have the tires removed and reinstalled.

A friend of mine had his Alfa Romeo wheels powder coated and they look
really sharp.

Discount Tire will sell me the replicas for $99 each and install the tires
free since I originally bought them there. I've also considered going with the
8-hole wheels for the same price. I like the look and think they'll be much
easier to clean than the 15-hole wheels.

Going this route is a lot less hassle and I can resell the originals on eBay
or keep them.

If I could find a pair of 17" Monoblock replicas, I'd go that route but they're
no longer made. There are other options but they look odd to me on the
126.

Bill
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2006, 07:36 PM
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Cleaning and waxing the 15-holers is a weekly chore for me in the summer! And even then, they look clean only for a few days...
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2006, 08:20 PM
126 Guy
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 523
ok so i cleaned up my rims and put polish on them and used the dremel to take the polish off instead of doing it by hand. Results are great and my wheel look awesome. I didnt use much pressure on the dremel of else I could of done some real damage like go through the clear coat. And most important, dont stick to one place too long or too much heat builds up
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