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In the restoration of my GL1100, I'm trying to restore the original shine to the aluminum. 0000 steel wool seems to offer the best finish, but doesn't do much for the heavier deposits (could be clearcoat) and what appear to be stains, perhaps under the surface. I'd appreciate any input that would enlighten me as to products available to accomplish my goal or maybe I'm asking too much and maybe the steel wool and lots of "elbow grease" is the only solution.
I've been giving some thought to using my dremel tool to apply polishing compound. Any other ideas?
Thanks in advance for all your helpful direction!
Don
 

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There is a good article on the Bikers Workshop section of this site (go back to the main page and go from there) about polishing Goldwing wheels. I believe the same technicques described will do for your covers.
 

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Jason,
Thanks for the help!
:clapper:
Don
 

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Hello Don: I used a product called NeverDull and lots of elbow grease. It made my forks on my 85 Ltd. look new. I am still going to clean up the residue from the NeverDull and clearcoat them. I purchase the product from a local automotive store. It should be available in your area.
 

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Hello!

I just polished my windshield garnish (among many other things). I went through the whole sanding process (400, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 grit) then polished with Mother's "Billet Polish". The garnish actually looks like chrome now. Hard to believe it was an old, oxidized, stained piece of dull aluminum before.

Jack
 

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YukonHonda wrote:
Hello Don: I used a product called NeverDull and lots of elbow grease. It made my forks on my 85 Ltd. look new. I am still going to clean up the residue from the NeverDull and clearcoat them. I purchase the product from a local automotive store. It should be available in your area.
Never Dull works well if a bit labor intensive. I spent an hour (for no discernable reason) rubbing the stuff on a full Pepsi can. I still have the can in the shop it looks so neat, the paint rubbed off and it looks like polished chrome!
 

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jsmith24 wrote:
Hello!

I just polished my windshield garnish (among many other things). I went through the whole sanding process (400, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000 grit) then polished with Mother's "Billet Polish".  The garnish actually looks like chrome now. Hard to believe it was an old, oxidized, stained piece of dull aluminum before.

Jack
Jack, did you use emery cloth? I'm curious as to the process but also where you bought the materials (cannot seem to find that fine grit easily)
 

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sanfelice wrote:
sanfelice wrote:
Jack, did you use emery cloth? I'm curious as to the process but also where you bought the materials (cannot seem to find that fine grit easily)
Hi,

No, I had trouble finding the fine grits at local hardware shops, but when I went to get paint to repaint the bike at the auto parts store, I found it all right there. It was easy to do, just took some time. I can post a pic of a before and after if anyone wants. I also did my handlebar retainers and my fork brace, so far.

Jack
 

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I have been using Blue Magic on pure aluminum and chrome since the 60's. Then either wax the polished surface or clear coat it...

However, if you're dealing with a shiny surface that has already been clear coated, you must remove it before you can buff / polish the metal underneath. Don't use steel wool to brighten aluminum. Steel wool will leave behind tiny particles embedded in the aluminum and they will rust eventually leaving a dull surface.. Use aluminum wool or rubbing compound to get the shine... There are different grits of buffing and polishing compounds out there you can use with a buffing wheel. Finally, thoroughly clean the parts and clear coat them.. The clear coat offers some protection against stones, sand and road grit..
 

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Man, I love this site! You guys are the best! Thanks all for the tips.... and Jack, I'd love to see the pix of your windshield garnish, etc., efforts...
I did a little googling on my own and came up with a website for a company called http://www.caswellplating.com/
they offered a kit for aluminum complete with sisal wheels, arbors and polishes. I'll let you know the results I get!
:cheeky1:
Don
 

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Did I say "timing chain cover"? :shock: -deep blush-
:gunhead: LOL
 

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I'll post pics of the garnish, handlebar retainers and fork brace tomorrow. I'm quite pleased with them. I'm also quite pleased with my "do it myself" paint job. :)

Jack
 

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Jack,
Great! And now! For the rest of the story... LOL
Seriously, I have great interest in learning from your experience, I have some pieces I got on Flea-bay that are "color challenged". LOL
What did you do about your striping? ...(sorry, I just can't resist) Did you....
Wing-it?
:cheeky1:
LOL
Don
 

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As far as the clear coat, the best thing, and most handy, is what they called Grafitti Remover. Basically paint remover in a spray can. It's pretty nasty stuff, and it takes the clearcoat off in seconds. And it burns when it hits your bare skin, so be careful with it. Available in most good hardware stores.

Raymond
 

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dat7 wrote:
Jack,
Great! And now! For the rest of the story... LOL
Seriously, I have great interest in learning from your experience, I have some pieces I got on Flea-bay that are "color challenged". LOL
What did you do about your striping? ...(sorry, I just can't resist) Did you....
Wing-it?
:cheeky1:
LOL
Don
Hi again,

Do you mean the striping that was on the parts, or when I paint, how do I get new striping on?

If you are talking about removing it, it really wasn't as hard as everyone told me it would be. I just used 400 grit sandpaper, and with little effort it cut through the clear coat and took the stripe right off. I didn't even have to be that careful about creating valleys...it blends in very easily.

As for putting the striping back on, I used automotive stuff found at just about any parts store. I simplified, though - where Honda used a double stripe on side covers, saddlebags and the like, I used one wide stripe. For fenders, gas pod, etc., one thin stripe. I even found a way (thanks to my scale modeling experience) to use these straight strips but have them form "joints" that are just about invisible once clear coated.

What I need to do is do a write-up and post it on my website. I learned a great deal from the guys here...that combined with my myriad of other experiences has led me to come up with some good results.

Jack
 

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Jack,
Thanks! Yes, I was referring to replacing the striping. It's a little more important to me as I had hoped not to paint the whole bike. (Maybe not a good idea, I know, but I want to ride this spring and as you know we don't get too much spring around here!) I'll save that for another off-season job!
Looking forward to seeing your handiwork!
Don
:cool:
 

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I said to heck with all the labor and used a Key Buffing wheel. :D

Right here : http://community.webshots.com/album/265653255lqlkoa/4

Made SHORT work out of the process! Now just have to get the never dull on em or some clearcoat stuff my Brother has for his work painting and repairing Paint on vehicles.
 

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dat7 wrote:
Jack,
Great! And now! For the rest of the story... LOL
Seriously, I have great interest in learning from your experience, I have some pieces I got on Flea-bay that are "color challenged". LOL
What did you do about your striping? ...(sorry, I just can't resist) Did you....
Wing-it?
:cheeky1:
LOL
Don

Don, the pinstriping is very hard to remove (if thats what you are doing). The pinstripe glue is impossible to remove, even sanding leaves the outline behind! Sand as best you can and after using a proper plastic primer for grip, get some spray putty. Its a very high build yellow primer and will cover the marks well. Follow this with grey primer and then paint.
 

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I meant to speak to the point of pinstrips more. When I sanded my saddlebag lids the stripes came off right down to the plastic with almost no effort. I thought that was odd, especially after reading folks' past experiences on this board.

Now, on all the other parts I got through the clear coat easy enough, but yes, the stripes remained. What I did, though, was to leave them "roughed up" with the 400 grit paper, then prime. I am doing a candy metallic (dark blue/light blue), which if done correctly is a four step process - 1. Primer, 2. Silver Coat, 3. Metallic coat (then add striping), 4. Four clear coats. What I ended up with on step 3 was the faintest outline of the old pinstriping, which I used (under very bright light) as a guide for the new striping. Once the striping is on and the clear coats applied, it all levels out, unless you are a centimeter or so away and under the right light.

I am going outside now to get the garnish and post that pic! Honest!

Jack
 

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FitzAl,
You're the best, Dude! You never fail to give good helpful advice. Thanks, again! :clapper:
Don
Jack,
Your design sounds great, I'm holdin' my breath to see that pic.... LOL
:cheeky1:
 
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