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Old 08-25-2003, 02:15 PM
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Polishing Aluminum

I have a 67 GTO. On top of the doors, on the outside, runs a 1 - 1/12 in piece of aluminum. It is full of scratches and needs to be finished. Question guys, what is the best method for removing the old scratches and leaving a brilliant shine?

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Old 08-25-2003, 04:03 PM
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Removing the piece so you can work on it will be your first chore. After that if you wet sand it with some 1000 grit wet and dry that will take out the lighter scratches. From there if you polish the pice with a good quality aluminum polish such as "Mothers" mag polish or "Autosol" it should come up really nice for you. I have done several sets of old valve covers that way and they look great. The key to the whole thing is Patience!
Stick with it and you will be rewarded knowing that you took a precious old part of your car and made it look new again.
Good Luck !!
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:21 PM
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Aluminum is highly reactive. Almost as soon as you buff it to a mirror finish it will start to go dull. You will need to find a way to clearcoat it that will last. Wax lasts about a few days to a week then you have to start all over again.
If it's stainless steal you should be able to just buff the scratch out and it will look as good as new. And it will then keep its shine no problem.

How big is the scatch?
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:31 PM
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The scratches are minor but plenty. This is the area that you would have your arm resting out the window on. Someone told me that "the finish" would have to be removed first. Is there some kind of finish from the factory? Also if I can get a nice shine I might have them powder coated clear. Unless someone can tell me why not to do that. Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:40 PM
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Try polishing it by hand first and see what happens. Can you definatly see a clear coat on it or not? If you can then you'll have to get it off.

If it's aluminum you can make a friend at an anodizing shop and have it hardcoated to any of about 200 colors. Then clearcoated.
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:45 PM
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There is a clear coat, partially warn off. Will sanding or buffing remove it?
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Old 08-25-2003, 06:03 PM
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A final polishing with Never Dull will bring on a shine, but then you must seal it. Zoops makes an aluminum sealer for polished surfaces that is supposed to work real well.

Vince
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:54 PM
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IFand I repeat IF it is aluminum you can use Easy Off Oven Cleaner to remover the anodize. Then wet sand the piece with 1200 grit wet or dry, then buff. You really want to do this with the trim off of the car although it can be done on the car. Carefully mask off everything else though. You will need a rotary buffer on something like a drill or preferably something more high speed. You can also do it by hand but will take a considerable amount of elbow grease. The best bet though would be to have it off and take it to someone who has a pedestal buffer. If the piece is stainless then a pedestal buffer would be the best bet using progressive compounds.

Kevin
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Old 08-25-2003, 09:09 PM
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Jestco Products (Jestcoproducts.com) makes some really nice polishing and buffing kits. Their $34 kit comes with three wheels and 3 compounds that will remove rough scratches and mirror-polish stainless, aluminum and brass. No, this isn't a paid ad, but I have used my kit a lot on my '31 A and I am quite pleased with the results.
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:49 AM
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HEY RAM: Checkout www.flexchrome.com DAVE
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Old 08-26-2003, 04:31 PM
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What would be the progressive compounds that I should use?

Last edited by ramoore; 08-26-2003 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 08-26-2003, 07:13 PM
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I use a 10 inch cloth buffing wheel, one on each end of a pedestal grinder buffer, use course white rouge in a bar on one and a fine white rouge in a bar on the other one, be sure and wear gloves, as it gets hot and tends to jerk the item out of your hand. HTH

Good Luck
Troy
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:00 AM
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This question is for Kevin45. If I use oven cleaner to remove the outer coating do you rub it or let it sit for a period of time?
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:10 AM
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Coleman, you said you did some old valve covers, I have a pair of older corvette covers I want to use on my 350 for my 36. Clean them up, paint the corvette script with matching paint for the car's color. what would I clearcoat with so the covers stay nice and also doesn't mess with the script paint? Thanks, Dan
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:27 AM
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Coleman. the best thing to do is to take your valve covers to a powder coating business and have them powder coated clear. this is a fairly new product and looks great. Also will last forever.
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