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Old 02-12-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
Hank3
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Default Help with stains on wheels...

I'm interested in some rims from a guy that's a few hours away. These are the only pics for now that he has - he'll send me more this weekend that will hopefully show the stains. I'm providing pictures just so there's some sort of reference. I know these aren't for a Subie but I had a WRX for 6 years and I'm used to folks on this forum

Anyways, they're the RX-8 Shinka edition rims that have no damage, however, the guy said there are stains on the rims that he can't get off. I asked him to describe the stains and the best description he had was that they look like degreaser had stayed on the wheels too long. My question is if anyone has had any experience getting stains off rims before? I'm assuming the stain has penetrated into the clearcoat. I just wanted to get an idea to see if I should go ahead and buy these and take the chance of trying to get the stains off on my own, live with the stains, or just not buy them.

Any info appreciated







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Old 02-13-2009, 03:55 PM   #2
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Hi Hank. Since no one has chimed in, I'll see if I can help....

The real problem is that you really won't know what will work until you can get a hold of wheels and start trying products. Also, without knowing what caused the stain and the extent of actual damage to the finish, it's really hard to tell what amount of correction is needed and/or if anything will even help. Pics of the affected areas would certainly be a plus.

If you have the chance to view them in person before the purchase, you could bring along a mild polish to see what affect it has on the stains. ....something like Meguiars Scratch-X that is readily available at most auto part retailers. The intent is not to fully correct the issue while you're there but to merely see if you can get a better idea as to the extent of the damage (and if it may be able to be buffed out).

If the deal is too good to let go, you can't go there in person and you end up purchasing them anyway, you can try a few things after a good cleaning. Personally, I would clay first and then try a polish on those problem areas. ...if the polish doesn't work (or if it does but not well enough), I would move to a compound. Just keep in mind that you may have to live with the fact that the stains are simply not correctable or that you are only able to improve them to a certain extent. You don’t want the cure to be worse than the ailment (i.e. being too aggressive and ruining the finish). If you are successful or get to the point where you don't want to take it any farther, just follow up with a finer polish(es) (as needed) and then a sealant/wax.

....just throwing around some ideas. I hope this helps or at least makes sense.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the informative response, Kean. I really appreciate it.

The deal is too good to let go, so my friend who is going out of town, will be picking them up for me. He's gonna call me when he's picking up the rims tonight, and give me an assessment of the stains. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna buy them anyways. I think when I get them I will give them a really good cleaning and then hit it with Claybar and then go from there. I won't get the rims until Monday night so I'll post pics afterwards if the stain doesn't come out. Regardless, I will try and update this thread with before and after shots...if the after has good results
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Old 02-13-2009, 05:04 PM   #4
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...no problem. I hope it turns out to be a simple fix. ....I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:27 PM   #5
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get an slightly acid based wheel cleaning chemical. If you contact a company that specializes in autocare you can ask them for industrial strength wheel cleaner. I am a detailer at mercedes benz and even the hardest stains are taken off by that stuff with ease, and its not going to penetrate the clearcoat on the wheels. The trouble is finding these autocare companies, they are usually wholesale and hard to find, but they will sell to anyone.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:38 PM   #6
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I used mother's carnuba cleaner wax on similar stains on my wheels. I just used a rag and they came clean with minimal effort.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:30 PM   #7
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Thanks or the additional tips
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Hank3. don't get those wheels, you'll regret them. Instead, PM me the info of the seller and I'll yell at him for you and arrange for him to trash them instead of selling them to you. =D

In all seriousness, get them powedercoated and call it a day! Stains be gone!

mmm, RX8 wheels on a MS3 = FTW
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:42 AM   #9
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Hahaha - too late. My friend picked it up last night. The rims looked great he said. The stains look like like water was sprayed on the rims while a lot of brake dust was present and was left to dry. I know it'll probably be harder than simply wiping and washing, but hopefully it won't be impossible. There were two other deals that I turned down that were good deals. All in FL though.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank3 View Post
Hahaha - too late. My friend picked it up last night. The rims looked great he said. The stains look like like water was sprayed on the rims while a lot of brake dust was present and was left to dry. I know it'll probably be harder than simply wiping and washing, but hopefully it won't be impossible. There were two other deals that I turned down that were good deals. All in FL though.
....sounds like it's on the surface of the finish which may be good news. I would go with a good with the outline I mentioned earlier if I were in the same situation. ....just as you would do with the painted surfaces of your car. If you have a drill, there are attachments that you can use which will help cut down the amount of time needed to get results with polishes/compounds. ....seal or wax at the end and call it a day. Eitehr way, I hope it works out.
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:14 PM   #11
Hank3
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Friend sent me a pic of the wheel with the worst stains. You can see them towards the upper left. Going on assumption only - since the seller doesn't know what it is either - I'd guess it's brake dust mixed with water dripping/streaking down the spoke. I think clay bar will be the first thing I'll try.


Last edited by Hank3; 02-14-2009 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:19 AM   #12
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That looks like acid etch. My buddy made a mistake and hit my wheels with some acid wash at his bmw dealership and that's exactly what my wheels looked like before I powdercoated them.
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:20 AM   #13
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+1 for acid etch.

You might try hand polishing and waxing them.

Depends on how "deep" or bad it is.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:39 AM   #14
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Hmmm...I've never heard of it. You have to hit the wheels with acid for the stain to occur? Why would you want to hit it with acid in the first place?
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:46 AM   #15
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Acid is in a wheel acid.

Car dealerships usually have VERY strong wheel acids that can melt the NASTIEST of wheel gunk in a matter of seconds.

When I was younger and 16ish we would take full concentrate wheel acid and melt all sorts of stuff. Very hazardous to health.

Suppose to dilute it.

But if you spray it on certain wheels it can actually etch or eat at the clear coat on the wheel, resulting in permanent damage.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:01 AM   #16
Hank3
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Oh I see. So the wheels may have been exposed to some wheel acid at one point thus causing the stains. Gotcha. Just never heard of using that to clean off rims before. Hmmm...I guess I'll see how hard it'll be to get off. If it's even possible. I'll keep this thread updated with pics if it's successful. Is there a way I can find out for sure if it's acid etch on these rims? Or is a pretty safe assumption that's what it is? I'll take more pics when I get the rims in person.

Last edited by Hank3; 02-16-2009 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:25 AM   #17
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Your best bet will be to wash the wheels while off the car, clay bar, get a good polish and throw some polish on them, try to wax them clear and clean.

Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:39 AM   #18
Hank3
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Any suggestions on what brand polish?
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:48 PM   #19
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It could also be from using a wheels cleaner on a HOT wheel. If you've ever touched your wheels after driving around, especially in the summertime, you'll see how hot they get. That's why wheels are suspossed to be cool to the touch when using ANY cleaner on them.

I've seen similar stains on wheels from the above, spraying on wheel cleaner on a hot wheel.

Hank3 - I used Meguiars NXT All Metal Polish on my old MR2 on some dull polished alumiunum(sp?)



example of it on my old MR2:
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank3 View Post
Any suggestions on what brand polish?
....there are several products that should work but 3M is one I use and like as an off the shelf solution. Perhaps something like their fine cut compound (39002) and their Perfect It II swirl mark remover (39109 or 39009). The latter # is for dark colors while the other is for light.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:40 PM   #21
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Listen, I use Westley's White Wall spray, scrub it good with a brush, I have yet to find something it don't take off besides brake fluid . Always clean.

http://www.westleys.com/
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:19 PM   #22
Hank3
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Wow - thanks for all the additional help fellas! Should be getting the wheels in the next hour or so and I'll assess then. Probably won't be able to get to it until a couple days from now.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engmus View Post
Acid is in a wheel acid.

Car dealerships usually have VERY strong wheel acids that can melt the NASTIEST of wheel gunk in a matter of seconds.

When I was younger and 16ish we would take full concentrate wheel acid and melt all sorts of stuff. Very hazardous to health.

Suppose to dilute it.

But if you spray it on certain wheels it can actually etch or eat at the clear coat on the wheel, resulting in permanent damage.

Yup that's the stuff..you can't even breathe when you douse a wheel in it. It's some horrid stuff but your wheels look BRAND new if it doesn't stain the clear coat.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:03 PM   #24
Hank3
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Got the wheels tonight and I didn't really have any time to work on them. Probably won't until this weekend. I tried clay bar and it didn't work. Tried some wax/polish but to no avail. Lastly, the only thing I had left was some automotive grade Simple Green. I diluted some with water and scrubbed the rim...same result. So I guess it'll have to be something heavier duty.
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:16 AM   #25
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....that's a bummer. Hopefully, if its not too deep into the finish you'll be able to at least improve it by use of products with some "cut" (i.e. the polish, compound).
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