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T120V
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive lighting Automotive fuel system


The aluminium tank on the bike I'm assembling looks really good as-is. I've had it quite a while, doesn't loose shine. Would be easy to maintain/polish.

But, for this project, is too dominant, too shiny, it makes cylinder head and other castings seem a bit dull. Don't want to take engine apart to vapour blast, as it's low mileage and clean.

Today I 'polished' the stainless steel front mudguard with scotchbrite. So, lost its shiny surface finish, has now a sort of deeper shine. Looks really good.

I want to do the tank too, now. Also would have an advantage of hiding any tiny scratches.

There's the obvious difference in metals. After finishing the mudguard, I cleaned finger prints off with meths. Can't see I'll ever have any problems with the finish.

Might a satin-finish aluminium corrode (atmosphere, it won't be left outside, or ridden in the wet). I won't clear coat it.

Can a brushed aluminium surface be tidied with something like used on crankcase covers, but to clean and even up, not make a mirror-finish?

Aluminium is obviously softer. Would the scotchbrite flap wheel be okay? Not too abrasive?

Will I regret it? 馃槸

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why not try another piece of sheet AL with various grades lapping compound and hold it in front the tank?
I had to Google lapping. How would it be done on the curves of a tank?
Good idea, though, I could practice on underside.
I think as an inexpensive preview test to see what your bike will end up looking like you can probably find a brushed aluminum colour in a plasti-dip spray can
I'm not having any (hardly any) paint on this bike. That's why I've got an alloy tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is a suggestion. I like the looks of polished aluminum but I understand where you are coming from so perhaps consider something along the lines of a Goldstar tank. You will still have some polished ally just not a much and the mat silver will tone it down a bit.
View attachment 787494
Hmm, yes. Could try making the sides satin, and under edge, top, etc., left shiny. Wouldn't use silver paint. One of the themes is natural materials.
Can imagine it would be very difficult to get a crisp border between areas. Maybe I could have a painted pinstripe, that would be minimal and functional painting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, no it's not anodised already, and not what I'd want. It's an Indian allow tank. Happy with it so far (haven't filled it with fuel yet o_O).

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I've just ordered some thin painters tape, as recommended. I'll then see about making a comma shape in satin on the tank (less the tail, which would be too challeging). Triumph would have originally painted this comma. That will be a nice nod its heritage. Might make a second nod and make an area where a rubber knee pad would go satin too.

I'll then wipe it with ACF50, as using something like Autosol would re-polish it. In fact, ACF50 already does a lot of magic on this bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Here's the work process


Land vehicle Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood

Tape line across tank, to ensure to satin areas have a smooth flow.

Automotive lighting Hood Grille Motor vehicle Vehicle

Tape out areas. 1/8" tape. Never used it before. Lovely to work with. Did corners pressing and turning same time. Maybe an hour to do rubbing to good finish, time was getting up close to tape.

Fuel tank Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire

Tape removed. Edges not 100% crisp, but looks good.

Tire Vehicle Fuel tank Motor vehicle Automotive tire

Application of ACF50 slightly darked, which I expected. Improves contrast.
 
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