aluminum refinishing - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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aluminum refinishing

Well the boy is just about ready to take the engine out of the frame and is getting set to clean up the exterior.

I searched and saw people recommend soda/bead blasting, but due to $$/time(my time)/experience this method is out of the picture for now.

However, after searching the web, some have done it the manual way with stainless steel or bronze/brass brushes (which would be right up my son's alley and keep him busy for hours at a time )

My question is which material is safer for the aluminum, and what kind of prep is recommended before attacking the metal?

Thanks again for your input!!

Bernie

Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?"
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:07 PM
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Does the metal still have the clear coat on it? Most vintage jap bikes have clear over the aluminum, you have to get that off first with a paint stripper, then you can polish it up, usually a scotchbright pad does a pretty good job as a first run, then depending what kind of finish you want you can go finer working your way to polish or just leave it as is.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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it has a rough pourous texture to it (darker gray color)

if there's clear coat on it, id be very suprised.

Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?"
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 05:25 PM
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Sounds like it's cast aluminum but a pic will tell the real story. Aluminum is soft and therefore easily scratched so the wire brushes, even the softer brass ones, will probably leave a lot of light scratches over the entire finish.

As stated you can then go to a finer abrasive (Scotch Brite or similar) to achieve the finish you're going for, otherwise if it's just a cleanup for paint or powdercoating you shouldn't have to do much else.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Sounds like it's cast aluminum but a pic will tell the real story.
looks like alot of salt corrosion. here's a couple of pics i snapped this morning on the way out. Any further suggestions to get it cleaned up?

Thanks again!
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File Type: jpg Engine1.JPG (133.4 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg engine2.JPG (149.9 KB, 14 views)

Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?"
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:02 AM
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wow that's in pretty rough shape...

Personally I'd send it out to be blasted, polishing between all those fins ins almost impossible, but yeah start with a scothbright pad and see what happens, if that isn't enough go to a fine sandpaper to remove the gunk and try to get the shallower pits out, then go finer from there to polish it up, but something in that condition I don't think you'll ever get all the pits out.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 11:28 AM
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On the cheap, I have used Steel Wool. Scary two words, I know. I started with the coarse stuff and worked down to the '0000' fiine grade. Once done, you can spray with engine clear coat. 0000 does an awesome job on chrome too. This is what the finished results can look like.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BanditCPA View Post
looks like alot of salt corrosion. here's a couple of pics i snapped this morning on the way out. Any further suggestions to get it cleaned up?

Thanks again!

Good friend of mine does media blasting if you decide to go that route. He owns StripRite in Union Grove WI

http://www.stripritellc.com/

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2011, 01:36 PM
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i'd start with a wire brush to knock down the heavy crap and work down to finer material from there. You *could* get that thing polished nice and pretty. Results will be dependent on how much time you want to put into it.

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