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Hall Monitor
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Cleaning is one thing, but polishing is another.

I've been working on my '82 Honda CM450E bobber project.  The cases were a bit corroded:



To get them like new, this worked for me:

1) Chemically strip off any remaining clear coat

2)  Wet sand with 400 grit.  Sand until the color is even (dark, corroded areas disappear).

3)  Go over everything with red Scotchbrite and a strong solution of dishwashing detergent (this cleans out all the oxidized aluminum and gets rid of any residual oil). You can skip step #2 above and just start here if the cases aren't too badly corroded.

4)  Wet sand with 600 grit until the surfaces are smooth (you'll feel less drag as you work the area)

5)  Using 0000 steel wool, polish with just about any metal polish.  The important part here is to have the steel wool just -barely- moist with polish.  Too much polish and you're just smearing it around.  Buff it until the steel wool disintigrates and dries out- at that point, the shine will really show. Follow up, if desired, with more polish on a soft rag. If you apply a thin film and polish it with a nearly dry rag, you'll see the metal take on a mirror-like finish.

If you don't mind re-polishing the cases one Saturday a month, and you want to keep the shiniest finish possible, stop here.  If you don't want the hassle:

6)  Wash the part again in a dishwashing detergent solution to get rid of any oily residue from the polish.  Pat dry with a soft cloth and thoroughly dry the part in an over or with a blow dryer.

7)  Clear coat.  I've had good results with Dupli-Color Clear Engine Enamel.  It's good for upto 500F, is fuel resistant, and lays down nice and smooth if you follow the directions.  You'll lose the mirror-like finish the polish leaves, but can get cases that look factory fresh.

Bill
 

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Aw man... where's the AFTER picture, Bill? ;)
 

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Poe said:
Aw man... where's the AFTER picture, Bill?  ;)


Polished per the procedure outlined above, and clear coated.

Note that I'm going for the "Mystery Bike" look by eliminating all traces of its Honda origins...

Bill
 

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bmetz99 said:


Polished per the procedure outlined above, and clear coated.

Note that I'm going for the "Mystery Bike" look by eliminating all traces of its Honda origins...

Bill
But it had more shine before the clear coat, right??? I tried to clear coat some aluminum parts that I had polished, but seemed to take half of the luster away.
 

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Ivan said:
Does aluminum rust? I thought it did not but then again I haven't driven my bike in the rain more than once.
Aluminum does rust, but its rust(oxide) is white in color, as opposed to what people typically know as rust, Red Iron oxide, for ferrous type metals.
 

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Ivan said:
Dang...my whole engine is rusty. Absolutely every part of the engine is rusty.
Good thing is that aluminum oxidizers at a much slower rate than ferrous metals and is much easier to clean up. ;D
 

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Ivan said:
Well, shoot, how do I get it off then? Do I need to?
Are you sure the whole engine is?? It really only affects areas that were once polished and now dull. If you are refering to those areas, some Mother's Aluminum Mag polish and a cleanrag will work wonders.

Good luck...proceed at your own risk. LOL
 

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DougZ said:
But it had more shine before the clear coat, right??? I tried to clear coat some aluminum parts that I had polished, but seemed to take half of the luster away.
Yep, exactly. Which is why I said:
If you don't mind re-polishing the cases one Saturday a month, and you want to keep the shiniest finish possible, stop here. If you don't want the hassle:
and proceeded with the clear coat instructions.

For me, I'd rather ride than polish.
 

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bmetz99 said:
Yep, exactly. Which is why I said: and proceeded with the clear coat instructions.

For me, I'd rather ride than polish.
Yeah, exactly. I polished a lot of the parts on my old Katana, and then regretted it, becuase even though you can get aluminum to look like chrome, the keep up is a PIA.
 
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