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Cleaning un-coated alloy

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by incitatus, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. What do you find best for cleaning light corrosion from un-coated alloy? specifically my 1975 BMW R60/6 crankase. I have used a dilute solution of caustic soda in the past, but it's a bit extreme and not very nice to use. I have tried commercial 'alloy wheel cleaner' without a great deal of success. Any suggestions?

    Oh and for those among us so inclined, save the effort, I'll say it for you,

    spider web remover?
    wheelchair cleaner?
    just rely on the alzheimers and forget it's dirty?
    etc, etc, any other assorted, 'old farts on beemers' cliches.
  2. Avoid anything caustic or alkaline on uncoated alloy, it attacks the metal. Most commercial aluminium cleaners are acid based - depending on how "comfortable" you are around chemicals, hydrochloric acid (available from hardware stores) works great. A less extreme option would be to try a citrus (citric acid) based cleaner. Autosol brand metal polish also works extremely well but can't be easily sprayed on hard to get at areas.
  3. Yes, I know about Autosol thanks, but I'm looking for a 'spray on - hose off' type of thing, for removing large areas of light oxidization.

  4. Thanks JD, but I have stayed clear of acid since the 60's. Do you think a citrus based shower cleaner might work?
  5. Don't forget smecklers' powder...

    :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  6. WTF!......? :?
  7. Shower cleaner's definately worth a go, basic premise is the same just using a less corrosive acid - so less effective than HCl but safer.
  8. Thanks again, I'll give it a go and report back.
  9. If you're talking about large cast pieces, i.e. rough and slightly porous a spray of WD40 and wipe will do OK. Works better if the case is warm.
  10. I'll give that a go too, thanks.
  11. Just head to any aluminium welding/fabrication engineering shop & beg/borrow/steal some of thier aluminium cleaner or brightener as it is sometimes called. The active ingredient is hydroflouric acid which is real nasty stuff. So use gloves. Best if you can submerge the article & let it soak for a while. Give it a bit of a scrub with a stiff bristle brush & hose off. Works a treat. We use it for cleaning up ally welds. Can also brush it on but you have to keep "working" it or you will end up with streaks which are impossible to remove unless you mechanically remove them.
  12. Ahem....I think I might pass on the flesh eating, bike melting, brain corroding solutions just for now. I am a total disaster around nasty chemicals, but thanks for the suggestion.
  13. I have seen a product for trucks used to clean aluminium bullbars. it's a liquid, and bullbars are very large, and usually very shiny, so I amay try some of that and report back. My Z has very ugly cast alloy pieces at the moment, years and years of neglect.
    Regards, Andrew.
  14. Kind of an understatement. There have been a couple of deaths in this country due to exposure to Hydroflouric acid, not something to be spraying around as a cleaner (absorbs into skin and destroys soft tissue and bone).
  15. But the general public can still buy it though (the cleaner -not HF acid) It only has a very small percentage in it & is quite safe as long as you don't drink it or say go swimming in it.
  16. You can try autosol. You may also want to try a product called purple polish. These may work depending on how bad the alloy has deteriorated. It will just take some good old elbow grease and i am sure you will be able to get it back to looking good. Once you have cleaned it up look at giving it a spray with some clear coat to help prevent the problem occuring again.
  17. Bugger, there go my plans for next weekend.
  18. Scary thought, unless it's very dilute. 70% HF solution only needs to come in contact with 2% of your skin surface to be fatal - so I guess theoretically anything less than 1.4% won't kill you even if you swim in it (still not going to be exactly beneficial to your health though).
  19. Reporting as ordered JD. I bought a bottle of 'Orange Maid' citrus shower cleaner for 2 bucks at Ded Rot, and it rocks! I doubt if it would tackle real corrosion, but the mild grey discoloration I had to deal with just melted away! leaving bright clean alloy. I will now polish the rocker covers and a few other bits with Autosol, and she will be shining like a new pin.