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Cleaning Metal Parts

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by cakeman, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Hi, i was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on cleaning metal parts on my bike. Its a 10 year old bike and a lot of the metal is looking quite dull.

    Foot Levers
    Rocker covers
    swing arm

    etc etc.

    Its going to need more then a simple polish (some of the parts wouldnt be able to polished).... does anyone have any suggestions... i dont think degreaser would be strong enough to bring back the shine

    Thanks in advance

  2. Check the sticky in this section.

    With polish I just use a kitten polish, works fine.
  3. at bunnings in the tools section you can buy a polishing wheel for about $20 that fits in a drill chuck. Wouldn't bother using a cordless though, you'd probably polish a square inch before the battery was flat.

    Comes with a couple of polishing compound blocks depending on what you're shining up.
  4. It can be pretty slow & tedious process and requires a fair bit of hand 'endurance'. I've done it before using a bunnings polishing drill attachment attached to a corded drill and/or rotary tool.

    I never managed to get a mirror shine, but it looked a lot better than before. Just remember that the polished metal tarnishes quickly, so i'd advise finding something to coat it with.
  5. i dont think a polishing wheel/buffer would do the trick, to big, alot of parts hard to get to etc etc....

    im after some sort of liquid cleaner that is pretty tough at eating away at a lot of the grime and discolourations
  6. I'd certainly try the old fashioned toothbrush and degreaser first. You might be satisfied with how it looks afterwards.
  7. When we were de-mothballing the R65, there was a lot of dry powdery corrosion on all the cases, cylinders and wheels.

    It took about 3 packets of green scourers, many hours, a bottle of brasso and almost a complete tub of White Lily. It still has an old patina, but no longer looks like some kid left it in a sandpit when the batteries went flat. I don't think the older airheads look good shiny anyway, so the used but loved look it is.

    Another problem you will encounter if you polish to super shiny standard is further corrosion. Aluminium oxidises very quickly, so if you want shiny you'll need to clear coat it or be prepared to re-cut and polish often.
  8. Whats White Lily?
  9. +1 to the mighty green scourers.

    If you're really keen sand/bead blasting might be worth investigating.
  10. Go ask you Gran what she used to scrub the coffee stains out of the formica benchtops.

    (It's an abrasive cutting paste)
  11. I'm about to attack some old exhaust headers with scourers/steel wool and some AutoSol - will do a write-up on that and installing if I get around to it.
  12. I have found that aluminium foil and Brasso works well for cleaning up headers and other pipework. Less fally-aparty than steel wool, and more rigid than scourers.
  13. Coke????
  14. Hi cakeman,

    I purchased some AutoSol recently from Autobarn (~ $19) and this stuff is the ducks guts for bringing out an amazing shine in anything metal ! Truly impressive ! Also protects metals with an anti-rust additive etc.

    As always, try on a small hidden area first. If you're still sceptical, apply some on a ring (cosmetic variety) - you will be in awe !

    Good luck !

    PS- Please post pics of the finished product. I'm sure we will be impressed...nothing better than seeing polished up metal on a bike :)
  15. I picked up some AutoSol. Got the Liquid one, havent used it yet.
    I cleaned the metal parts of the bike (got a little lazy towards the end). Its come up pretty good considering.

    Firstly i sprayed some Degreaser all over the metal, let it soaked for 5 or so min. The with green scourers, got it off.

    Then i put some undiluted CT18 on the metal and left it for 15-20min and again scoured off.

    I was going to do the AutoSol but left it for another day. I did a reasonable job, you can see a few lines from where the scourer has been, and on the metal which wasnt smooth, it came up great, but obviously it not being smooth doesnt really make it shine.

    I want to do the AutoSol tonight, though ive got the misses over and i apparently have to put in some "quality time" with her.

    So unless this bottle of wine ive got her send her to sleep in the next hour, it will have to wait till tommorow.

    Ill let you know how i go.

    Thanks for the tips guys

  16. You're spending your quality time on NR? Proud of you!
  17. Have finished 'restoring' the Akra headers - simple but labour intensive process:

    1) Spray of cheap generic degreaser, wipe off.
    2) Scrub the life out of it with steel wool and AutoSol
    3) Spot polish the difficult areas with kitchen scourer and more AutoSol
    4) Final buff with normal hand-towel and - you guessed it - yet more AutoSol

    Comparison looks like this:

    Being the exhaust headers on a fully-faired sports bike I didn't bother to get them spotless except for the mid-pipe which is visible where it attaches to the muffler (conveniently the biggest, least complicated and therefore easiest piece to polish!) but I reckon they came up pretty well.

    For cosmetic, heavily tarnished or obvious stuff I'd say more heavy/abrasive first go, like wire brush or similar, then more time evening out the scratches and smoothing the finish with steel wool then scourer then towel.
  18. They came up a treat, look great!
    Ivew been meaning to do the same to my exhaust but i know the tuffest part will be getting the bolts out!
  19. great post. Im looking at getting a full system and want to install it myself like you. My bike is a 94 honda rvf 400...... ever since i started doing ANY work at all to my bike, the only problem i have come across is removing bolts.

    Changed chain and sprockets a few weeks ago, the bolt for the front sprocket would not move.... i put everything i had on this bolt and still didnt budge, had to end up taking it somewhere to get it removed. RIGHT ROYAL PAIN IN THE A$$!

    So, i am a little hesitant to do the exhaust myself, cause i know im going to run in to the same problems.

    I notice you speak of Inox in your post... what is it and what does it do?