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Old 01-18-2019, 11:53 AM   #1
Scooby Guru
Member#: 93750
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Default Advice On Removing Buildup From Anodized Wheels

I came across an amazing set of used og bronze te37s made in 2002.

For being 17 years old, they are in great condition. No bends. No cracks. No curb rash.

But It looks like they were improperly cleaned for the sales ad and developed some type of white crusty build up on the surface.

When I searched all over the web (bmw forums, 350z forums, Maguirs forums) I only found the same general statement repeated "Only clean anodized wheels with soapy water because anything else could dull the anodized bronze color or possibly even remove it." but nothing on how to restore wheels in my condition.

There’s no way soapy water is going to do anything to that. I need a chemical cleaner that’ll loosen it but be gentle enough to not ruin the anodized finish. Ill also need something that’ll scrub it off but be softer than aluminum as to not alter the texture of the cast wheel.

Does anyone have first hand experience with something like this?
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Last edited by Foo_Blyat; 01-19-2019 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:17 PM   #2
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Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT


I highly doubt they are anodized, they are likely powdercoated......the top sealer has been breached, thus aluminum corrosion.
So, "my opinion", if not at the bead seal area, no tire pressure leaks. Keep driving safely, looks will suffer.......
A short term fix is clean the corroded area, then paint the whole rim.
Better is pull the tire, media blast the whole rim, repowdercoat.....
Around here, about $100US/rim.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:27 PM   #3
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Member#: 93750
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC

google it. trust me. Bronze te37s are anodized. Others are painted. i spent a few hours going thru multiple resources .

I refuse to paint or powdercoat these. They are simply way to amazing and beautiful. If i cant remove the crust safely, i wont remove it at all and just use them as is. I bought them for the design and structure anyway, the aesthetics stuff isnt a major concern or priority but i would like to try and restore them to their original glory some.

I even came across a video of a guy using peanut butter on bronze te37s. Something about the oils seeping into the cast aluminum to bring back and restore shine

EDIT: are you using an app? because i posted some pictures in OP and i dont think they are visible to you. However i did google aluminum corrosion and some picture examples do look similar to mine. Im going to look further into it

DOUBLE EDIT: Turned out it was aluminum corrosion so I had to take a green scotch rite pad to the wheel. I used some meguirs aluminum wheel cleaner too. Got all the surface gunk off but it left a little pitting in areas. I donít have peanut butter like the YouTube video so I rubbed coconut oil on it for 15 minutes then wiped clean. Should help seal the wheel from oxygen until I go and get some professional wheel wax to protect them with.

Before picture

Surface corrosion

Pitting after all surface corrosion was removed

Dirty wheel on left, clean on right

Cleaned and oiled

Just have to do the same to the other 3 and then seal all 4 with wheel wax. Possibly even use a little touch up where there is pitting

Last edited by Foo_Blyat; 01-18-2019 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:29 AM   #4
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Member#: 93750
Join Date: Aug 2005
Chapter/Region: MWSOC

I think I’ve been cleaning for 6 hours straight now and finally finished two wheels before throwing in the towel for the night.

From far away they look mint, up close you can see the scars left behind from the improper cleaning and storage of anodized wheels

But I’m super happy with the way they cleaned up. All the surface corrosion was removed. None of the texture or color was harmed. And as long as I keep them clean and apply wax every season they shouldn’t ever start to corrode again.

Here’s a shot with the flash to show they still kept their rich bronze color

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Old 01-22-2019, 04:16 PM   #5
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Member#: 189077
Join Date: Sep 2008
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Connecticut
2011 STI limited


Looks like you did a great job at bringing these back to life! Why not protect it using something like Gtechniq C5 wheel armor instead of waxing every season?
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