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Hey guys, I have a 78 w150 and I am wanting to polish up the grill and make it look new again. Does anyone have any tips on what I should do? I tried rubbing compound with no luck. I am guessing there is a coating of some sort that is preventing the polish form working. Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

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I've done it with great results. There are chemical methods of removing the anodized layer but I used my mouse sander with fine grit sandpaper. After the fine grit on the mouse sander (forgot what I started with) I used I think 3 more finer papers going all the way down to I believe it was 4000 grit. Then I bought the metal polish kit from harbor freight that comes with cotton wheels to attach to my drill and the 3 different compounds (grit) for polishing. If I remember correctly, I only used the 2 finer compounds. Basically you just need to sand finer and finer. By the time I was done with the sandpaper (and before I started the "rubbing compound" or "jewlers compound") I tested a small section of the grill using something like the compound you tried, but the result was that it scratched my grill. In other words, I had already exceeded the polishing that the common rubbing compounds found on the the store shelf could do...and I still had yet to use the polishing kit.
You might also find some articles or youtube videos on the subject. It can be a lot of work but my end result came out great using this process.
 

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I found a couple of pics...I think the one is the finished product. I don't recall as I did take some pics with the grill just hanging there to see what it looked like a couple of times between polishing. The other pic is I believe after the mouse sander and before the finer paper just to show the contrast difference.
Keep in mind that the anodized coating is a protective barrier and you are removing it. I haven't tried clear coat on mine yet, but if I do, it will be a quality clear coat from eastwood, etc since with the surface being so slick from polishing there might be adhesion issues. A thin layer of adhesion promoter might help but I don't know what effect (if any) it would have on the sheen. Just some things to keep in mind.
 

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Yep glad to help. Good luck with it. The key is even sanding and applied pressure and going finer and finer with the sandpaper. If using the polish wheel attachment to grill use new cotton disc for each of the polish sticks....don't mix them
 
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