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MG MGA - brake dust

I use green stuff disc-brake pads on my car which work really well, they are ideal for me as they have lots of "bite" when cold but also show no sign of fade when used hard.
My car has alloy replica twin cam wheels fitted which look great on the car but the brake dust really coats the inside surface of the wheels and isnt so easy to clean off.
What would anyone recommend using to clean the the brake dust off the wheels?
I am reluctant to use any really aggressive solvent cleaners as I dont want to damage the paint.
Is steam cleaning too aggressive?
Any suggestions welcomed
Colyn Firth


Im not in a position to advise you what you can use to clen the wheels but when you have it may be a good idea to apply a good wheel wax polish, I do with my wires and it makes it a lot easyer to clean next time roundm Vin
Vin Rafter

Aftermarket companies make a disc that goes before the wheel on disc brakes to keep the dust off the rims. While I am sure they don't make one for the MGA, I bet you can look at them and come up with a reasonably close fit, and modify to fit.
Mike Parker

I've found regular wheel cleaners do a good job with brake dust. Degreasers aren't so good at removing it so much as smearing it around.
Steve Simmons

I just thought that I had better correct my earlier post.

At the time I thought that I had Green Stuff brake pads fitted but it turned out that were actually Mintex 1144 brake pad material.

A year or two after posting this I replaced the worn pads with brand new Green Stuff ones. I was really disappointed with their performance. They seemed to have much less "bite" from cold and needed a lot more pedal pressure to get them working and they also produced lots of dust.

I checked with Bob West who told me that I had probably been using Mintex 1144 pads and he sold me a new set.

As soon as I fitted them the brakes were back to being excellent again.

c firth

This is a problem not solved even by any of the majors...Mercedes, BMW etc. Have a look at any of the expensive newer models running around, and the front wheels are black with dust....except the ones that have daily cleaning by others!
Gary Lock

Agree re last comment . When I installed chrome wire wheels many moons ago the manufacturer recommendation was to spray all with wd40 . I do this about once a year. They stay reasonably bright and they are very easy to clean when crap does get on them.
It's a bit like the publican in London who wanted to stop snorting on the toilet seat cover and so he sprayed it with same stuff ....
A new use every day...
Neil Ferguson

Green Stuff pads are a harder pad. They are designed to work at higher temperatures. A lot of people buy them because they are labeled as "performance pads" when they should really be called "aggressive driving pads".

Under heavy and constant braking, Green Stuff work beautifully. In normal daily driving however, they require more pedal effort because they are below their optimum temperature. I run Green Stuff on my MGC which is only driven hard, but I removed them from my daily driver MGB GT in favor of standard semi-metallic pads which work far better in city traffic. But hit the canyons at speed and they will fade where the Green Stuff are biting hard.

The one thing that disappointed me about Green Stuff is the "low dust" claim. It's rubbish. They make more dust than the standard pads.
Steve Simmons

Dasty is a winner, it cleans very good and is very cheap.
Wim Betzel

I use a Sodium Hydroxide based cleaner... Here it is available as 409, and Fantastik. "DO NOT USE FULL STRENGTH" Wet the wheel first and spray diluted cleaner on the rim then brush the dust free and rinse well. This should clean it all off easily. After you have it clean use a good quality wax on the rims, and do a couple of coats. After that soap and water should keep them clean with a light brushing.

I know others will have different methods, but this has worked for me on all my cars for over 30 years. Diluted it will not harm paint or clear coats. It also gets the dirt off the rubber tires so you can put whatever product you use to keep the rubber looking good.
... CR
C.R. Tyrell

Gary,we bought a new '14 BMW 328 sports wagon,they must have changed them here in the US,no dust at all.I wonder what took so long?
gary starr

Gary, can you find out what the brand of pads are? Probably BMW will just say "our own"!
Gary Lock

I'll try Gary,right now I'm spending the winter where it's warm,1500 miles away from the car. I expect your thoughts are correct.
gary starr

This thread was discussed between 02/02/2010 and 18/02/2016

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