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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The grille and upper body trim on my 79 are made from the same anodized aluminum, and no matter what I've tried, I cannot get it to shine. Within a day the same old cloudy, dull look comes right back.
I've tried Wenol metal polish, Nevr Dull, Brasso, McGuires with a buffer, even super fine steel wool in one place! Nothing works to get it to shine-up! Looks like its been dipped in acid or something. : (
Anybody got any suggestions short of removing it all and getting it chromed somewhere?
Thanks.
 

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LargoRik said:
The grille and upper body trim on my 79 are made from the same anodized aluminum, and no matter what I've tried, I cannot get it to shine. Within a day the same old cloudy, dull look comes right back.
I've tried Wenol metal polish, Nevr Dull, Brasso, McGuires with a buffer, even super fine steel wool in one place! Nothing works to get it to shine-up! Looks like its been dipped in acid or something. : (
Anybody got any suggestions short of removing it all and getting it chromed somewhere?
Thanks.
Anodizing is a process to create a protective surface to the aluminum, which prevents corrosion. It's not a good idea to polish aluminum which has been anodized, because the polish removes the anodized surface from the aluminum and the result is what you are experiencing. That dull, cloudy look is the result of the exposure of air to unprotected aluminum. Your only option is to keep polishing the aluminum and try to find a polish which has a longer duration, such as Mothers polish. Don't use any product that etches aluminum, such as acid, don't use anything that scratches aluminum, like sandpaper or steel wool. Try using a polishing wheel on occasion.

Ed
 

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you could also remove the trim clean, polish, clean again, and paint with aluminum wheel clear coat, designed to keep polished surfaces looking polished, lots of work, but when done right should leave a fairly shiny look until uv rays start to damage the paint. then have to remove paint and start over again, warning this stuff is hard, as in the good stuff will not come off with aircraft stripper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike Barf said:
you could also remove the trim clean, polish, clean again, and paint with aluminum wheel clear coat, designed to keep polished surfaces looking polished, lots of work, but when done right should leave a fairly shiny look until uv rays start to damage the paint. then have to remove paint and start over again, warning this stuff is hard, as in the good stuff will not come off with aircraft stripper.
Thanks. Damn, I didn't realize how difficult is really was to get a decent shine. :eek:

Hmmm, maybe I could remove all the trim, prep, then paint it that Argent Silver used on Mopar rallye wheels. Then paint my center caps to set it off. That might be cool, and the LAST time I'd have to look at dull trim. 8)
 

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The grille and upper body trim on my 79 are made from the same anodized aluminum, and no matter what I've tried, I cannot get it to shine. Within a day the same old cloudy, dull look comes right back.
I've tried Wenol metal polish, Nevr Dull, Brasso, McGuires with a buffer, even super fine steel wool in one place! Nothing works to get it to shine-up! Looks like its been dipped in acid or something. : (
Anybody got any suggestions short of removing it all and getting it chromed somewhere?
Thanks.
Sen me a message. I have used never dull. But in the end You will need to send them off. I have a fella out of Michigan but he is 3 months behind. I just sent him a set form my 87 RC. My buddy told me they will come back better than they did from the factory.
 

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1988 Ramcharger W150, 318, 4-speed; 2008 Sebring Convertible; 2015 Challenger Shaker SCATPack 392 A8
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I have a ton of experience with polishing metal, aluminum specifically, I ran my own polishing business for years. Here are so pointers to polishing aluminum:
1: Don't do it, be happy with what you have.
2: Every scratch in the metal has to come out, whether you put it in there or not. To remove finish, most people, myself included sand with sand paper, that scratches the metal, you have to remove those scratches otherwise see Tip number 1. I prefer to start with like a 120 grit paper of anodized surfaces, sand through the anodizing then switch to a 240 grit, change the direction that I sand in and remove all of the marks that I made with the 120 grit. Once I have removed all the 120 marks with the 240 change to 360 grit and change directions again, then remove all the 240 marks, if any of the 120 are still visible you have to go back to the 240 grit until they are not. Sand until all the 240 marks are gone then switch to 400-500 grit paper, change directions once again and remove all the 360 marks. again, if all this sounds like too much work refer to tip # 1.
3: Use a bench mounted power buffer, basically a bench grinder with a buffing wheel at this point and begin the cutting process. I use the sisal buff with a cutting compound to remove the sanding marks from the sandpaper, then wash the parts in hot soapy water and let dry, before switching to the next wheel and polishing compound. I finish up with a soft flannel buff and jewelers rouge After you get the finish that you want, forget all about any of the polishing compounds that you have always heard about, they only scratch your finish, simply apply with a clean soft cotton cloth a coat of paste wax and that will protect the finish for years. Do not under any circumstances ever clear it, you'll have to start all over if you do.

I have a 2002 Yamaha Roadstar Warrior motorcycle that I polished all the aluminum on, except the frame, I did the wheels, engine covers, swingarm, forks, Triple trees, fender stays, brake calibers, front and rear, hand and foot levers, disk brakes. Basically everything. The bike currently sits in the weather outside and hasn't even been washed in about 3 years, its a shame but I can't ride it and won't sell it. The polished stuff still looks great, no it doesn't look as good as it did the day that I did it but it still looks better than you would think.

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Automotive lighting
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Locking hubs Tread
Wheel Tire Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle
Tire Wheel Bicycle Land vehicle Bicycle wheel
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle


The only chrome in the pictures is the exhaust, blinkers and handlebars, the rest is polished aluminum, done by yours truly. I need to get some recent pictures of the bike just to show how well the aluminum has held up but it still looks great.

CAD
 
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I have a ton of experience with polishing metal, aluminum specifically, I ran my own polishing business for years. Here are so pointers to polishing aluminum:
I don't and I didn't but have had the battle with oxidized anodized and won.

1: Don't do it, be happy with what you have.
Sound advise. For me push came to shove when I couldn't find enough NOS and ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

2: Every scratch in the metal has to come out, whether you put it in there or not. To remove finish, most people, myself included sand with sand paper, that scratches the metal, you have to remove those scratches otherwise see Tip number 1.
Especially the ones ya can't exactly see in the current grit because they show up later.

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Grille Automotive exterior


I started at 60 grit on the banged up grille intentionally to take out the hammer marks. 80 seems a good balance between rip it off efficiently and not completely shred it. There's lots of home brew options for dissolving it off, all of them caustic and ya gotta sand / polish it anyway. With window trim and body side molding, I skip the abrasive and go straight to a polishing wheel. A lot of elbow grease powered stuff out there will cut the oxidation, Never Dull comes to mind, but way too much labor for me. Best stuff I found is "Met-All aluminum polish". Tape up the surrounding paint, apply liberally, hit it with a buffing wheel.

3: Use a bench mounted power buffer, basically a bench grinder with a buffing wheel at this point and begin the cutting process.
Absolutely unless you're the sort that enjoys blocking body work. I've also had good results with a buffer hood on a DA.

Wood Gas Automotive tire Auto part Fire hydrant


More on the topic in my epic below and I seem to have lost a lot of my polishing pics from doing my b-body.
 
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