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Latest post Tue, Sep 5 2017 10:32 AM by FX. 17 replies.
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  • Sat, Jul 8 2017 2:04 PM

    Aluminum Finish Issue

    I know this is not strictly a tech question, but it is related to restoration. Apology if this is in the wrong place. 

    I have an 84 XLH1000 that has been in storage for a while. I am trying to clean up the various painted and unpainted surfaces. I am having a devil of a time with some of the aluminium. I have attached some pictures of the front fork. I have tried several brands of metal polish/cleaner restorer (blue magic, meguiar's, Mothers) . I also tried striping the clear coat and using Ospho rust remover, then cleaner. Nothing seems to make a difference.

    I am assuming this is some sort of oxidation on the aluminium which can be removed, am I wrong? I have the same issue on other aluminium areas. These areas are smooth, not flaky or otherwise rough. 

    Any help would be appreciated.  

  • Sun, Jul 9 2017 6:39 AM In reply to

    • FX
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    This question is alright here, we try to help on all aspects of motorcycle repair.

    The lower pic showes the aloy actually pitted, this may not buff out. I have used a product called 'Colnel Brassy', it worked well. It's a very gritty pollish. You can try to find it at local stores, but probably available on the net. It would be best if you take the legs apart, and buff them on a wheel...

    It would be a good idea anyway, to take the legs apart, and clean the old oil out real good, and install new seals and oil...

    FX

    Don't force it, get a bigger hammer.

  • Sun, Jul 9 2017 1:32 PM In reply to

    • lemck
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    I used to have an FLHT that had front forks that were pitted almost a bad as yours.  I ended up using very fine wet sandpaper to sand past the pits then hand polished with Mother's metal polish.  I was able to get them almost perfect.  It took a LOT of hours of hand polishing.  I think the job would have been pretty easy if they had been off of the bike using a power buffer of some kind.

     

  • Sun, Jul 9 2017 11:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    Thanks FX. I think I will pull them off as you suggest. Ill try to find that product. Thanks again

  • Sun, Jul 9 2017 11:04 PM In reply to

    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    lemck, Thanks FX says similar thing about taking them off and using a wheel. From your experience it sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the info

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 9:25 AM In reply to

    • PaulJr36
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    FX is correct on the colonel brassy. That stuff works great on pitted aluminum. I have always used White Diamond for polishing legs and the other aluminium on the bike but it takes some time with a buffing wheel to get that nice polished look. In the end though it looks great.

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 3:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    I found the Colonel Brassy on amazon and ordered some .Will try it this weekend. 

     

    \\

  • Tue, Jul 11 2017 5:29 PM In reply to

    • FX
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    Let us know how yer do'n Brenie. This is interesting to all...

     

    FX

    Don't force it, get a bigger hammer.

  • Fri, Jul 14 2017 5:19 AM In reply to

    • wkerner
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    Bernie, I 've done this twice using 2 different finishes and both worked out great. On my 73 FX I stripped the clear off and buffed the legs using a polishing compound since I wanted a polished look. On my 89 FLHTC I wanted to keep more of a factory look so I used a scotchbrite buffing ball in a drill motor and it replicated the factory finish pretty closely. In both cases I clear coated the finished legs with a satin engine enamel. 

     

  • Fri, Jul 14 2017 11:39 AM In reply to

    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    Sounds good wkerner, I also removed the clear coat before starting. I have been doing some wet sanding and making some good progress.  I should be receiving my order of colonel brassy and some pads today, so I will update this after the weekend. 

  • Mon, Jul 17 2017 2:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    Hello Everyone, 

    Here is the latest. I got the Colonel Brassy and it does work very well on some of problem areas like the primary cover, generator etc, which were not as bad as the forks. I didn't take the forks off the bike, I don't actually have a wheel, but I did take the front wheel off which gave me plenty of access.  

    I had previously taken the clear coat off with a paint/varnish remover. I did some wet sanding by hand starting with 150, then 240, 400, and 800. This really worked well I think. I then used some Colonel Brassy  with my medium foam pad on my drill (maybe I should have done this before the 400 grit ? ) ,  then a coat of Blue Magic using the fine foam pad. Then a buffing. 

    I probably could have gone to 1000 and 1200 grit for a better finish. I may try it on the other fork and compare. I will eventually re-clear coat for protection. 

    Thanks for all the info guys, I hope what I have done helps someone else. 

  • Mon, Jul 17 2017 3:20 PM In reply to

    • FX
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    This is look'n pretty good Bernie. Thanks for the update...

    FX

    Don't force it, get a bigger hammer.

  • Mon, Jul 17 2017 9:01 PM In reply to

    • Ironhead
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    Brenie, YES they look really really good - wish mine looked as good.

     

     

    The first tool out of the box should be the "book"  Geeked

  • Tue, Jul 18 2017 6:20 AM In reply to

    • FX
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    Get out the elbow grease Keith...

    FX

    Don't force it, get a bigger hammer.

  • Tue, Jul 18 2017 3:51 PM In reply to

    • Ironhead
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    Re: Aluminum Finish Issue

    only trouble is, if I got it looking "purdy" again I wouldn't want to ride it incase it got dirty.

     

    I keep trying to convince people that right now is "Ridin' season" and that "Cleanin' season" starts December 17  Cool

    The first tool out of the box should be the "book"  Geeked

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