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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got the problem with corroded engine cases. I like the idea of stripping off the clear coat and polishing them, and also like the old school look of the polished cases anyway.
I've got some pretty good how-to threads from this site on the project, but the most recent was still over a year old. My question is what to expect after the clear coat is removed and the cases are polished. How do unprotected cases weather and wear over time and if theres alot of extra maintence involved now. Also, if theres any new products or procedures to do it since the last thread on the subject.

Thanks all.
 

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I polished my side covers on my 1970 TR6R to a point where everyone thought that they were chromed. For maint I just rubbed them down after every ride with simichrome. Never had an issue maintaining the high luster. My T-100 has chromed side coves, so not an issue here.

Mike
 
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i've never used simichrome, but i polished my engine covers last year and don't regret it at all. i use 'blue magic' to keep them looking new. to clean and polish them i used to use a rag and godd old-fashioned elbow grease, but i gound that a buffing wheel and my cordless drill work just as good, and much, much quicker! in fact, i am heading out to the garage today to polish my heel guard to match. i absolutely hate the process of polishing a piece, and everytime i do a piece i tell myself i will never do it again, then find myself polishing something else!
 
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this topic is relevant to my interests. i need to find a solution to my paint problem.s

500 miles into riding my brand new bonneville, i noticed my jeans caused the paint to rub off the engine case on the clutch side. now my black engine has an unsightly silver patch.
 

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Have fun sanding and polishing the black cases. I did my sprocket cover first. The paint came off easy, and it was relatively smooth underneath. I just touched it lightly with 400 grit, the went straight to the buffer wheel.

Of course, that was all the convincing I needed to proceed to the alt and clutch covers. I found the alt and clutch covers at least 10X harder to strip. I ended up softening it with aerosol aircraft stripper, and removing it with a 8" brass wire wheel in the grinder(while still wet). After trying several different industrial strength strippers, and all kinds of scraping tools, that's the only process that would touch it. It was a real mess. Under the powder, the covers had a very rough, pitted, sand textured finish. Lots and lots of sanding for those two parts.

As happy as I am with the results, I honestly only completed the job because it was halfway done. I would not do it again. Also, by the time it was all said and done....I probably spent nearly enough to buy chrome covers.

The guys with brushed covers are LUCKY. Some of them even strip and polish ON the bike.
 

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I want to second what dledinger said. I was going to strip all my black engine covers, but after doing the cam cover I realized I'd have to make a career out of it. I found polished cover kits about $100 off the dealer price on ebay. Well worth the money. You can sell the black covers to recoup some of the cost. The worst case scenario would be to half strip the black and quit. Then they're not worth as much.

The original post was about removing the coating on polished covers. There's a video, I think Youtube, where a guy from Australia strips and buffs.

Edit: The Australian guy strips and buffs his engine covers. Left unsaid it sound lewd, ha, ha.
 

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Covers

Bummer ya'll dont like the black covers!. They are impervious to disimilar metal corrosion & other road hazzards. The chrome on mine has held up wondderful for 5 yrs! The clear coat is a problem tho. It starts w/ corrosion undder the casing bolts & goes from there. A nick/ gouge- the same. Funny I cant remember in my old Honda days that happenning! Different metal? I love the black & chrome & it still looks new~! Buds laquer- well there is very little left that looks halfway decent. Salt air doesnt help. Polishing seems like a lot of work? The upkeep seems the same. I wonder IF there is a different coating that can be used after stripping them down? The only difference on the old Honda's was that they used the same metal type on the screws as they did on the covers. The old philips screws were a bitch to get out w/o an impact driver. All replaced them w/ allen then - same metal I think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
So for the guys that stripped off the laquer coating, ( mines an '06 Scram ) who managed it while the covers were still on the bike? I'm guessing that it would be easier to do off the bike, plus possible to do a thorough job, but harder at the same time and involve new gaskets and potential oil leaks afterwards on the clutch side. The alt side, I'm guessing is just bolt on, bolt off no problem.

At any rate, it seems that unprotected covers will not rot and corrode if I'm hearing it right.

Hey rmak.... do you have a link to that YouTube guy?

And for the guys that did polish the covers, could you detail a bit on how you went about it?
 

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....involve new gaskets and potential oil leaks afterwards on the clutch side.
I have replaced a bunch of gaskets on my bike and none have ever leaked. I wouldn't even consider that a deterent. With the exception of the MLS gaskets, I make all mine from Felpro gasket paper. I don't have to wait for parts to come in, and save a bunch of money.

And for the guys that did polish the covers, could you detail a bit on how you went about it?
Wet sand with 400 grit. Use a teaspoon of dishsoap in a bowl of water. Look close, and you should see nothing but fine sanding marks. If there are any pits, or coarser scratches you must continue as they will show X10 when polished.

For black cases, you will likely need to start coarser than 400. I used 220 for most, but needed 180 grit for some of the rough areas.

Some of the recesses and odd shapes on the clutch cover are best sanded with various size scotch-brite wheels or flap disks chucked in a drill or mounted to a buffer.

If you are going to a real BUFFER afterwards, don't waste your time going to finer paper.

If you are going to a drill, or other polising device.....then you might be a glutton for punishment.

I used a 1 HP buffer with 8" wheels. I used sprial sewn with black compound for the initital buff. Mostly cutting (moving piece against the direction of wheel travel), then a single polish (with the wheel travel) over the whole piece.

Apply the compound OFTEN when cutting.

After the black compund, I switched to 8" loose wheels and repeated the process with green compound. Be certain to use different wheels for each compound, and WASH the piece between stages to remove the previous compound. To be safe, I marked all my wheels with the color of compound for future use.

The final was done with another clean, loose, 8" wheel and white compound.

I ran my 8" wheel at 3700 RPM. It's the wheel surface speed that you are looking for. For aluminum you need 6000-8000 SFPM for the cut, and 6000 for polishing. (You can see why this is so much more difficult with a smal wheel chucked in a drill)

It takes at least a 1HP machine to spin an 8" wheel that fast. Even with 1HP, I still bogged the motor without trying, and overheated it a few times. If I were going to do this regularly, I'd buy no less than a 3 HP machine.
 

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Hi Guys
anyone recoat the covers after polishing???
I've been trying to find a reliable polisher here in the UK, no one answers emails:mad: Any hints
Phil
 

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stripping the black covers sounds awful, and more work to get the coating off than it's worth, but for the standard brushed and lacquered covers, that lacquer comes off real easy, and think that once they are polished they look way more fitting on these particular bikes than the chrome does. just my opinion though. if you have the tools and space to polish them, i say go for it. it's a bit of work, but you will be happy you did it. everytime i look at my bike i can say to myself 'i did that myself' and be proud of it, instead of just going on ebay or clicking a button online to buy new ones. like i mentioned before, i spent a total of around $60'$65 on supplies and so far have polished my clutch, alternator, sprocket and cam cover, heel guard and headlight brackets. no more polishing for me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have replaced a bunch of gaskets on my bike and none have ever leaked. I wouldn't even consider that a deterent. With the exception of the MLS gaskets, I make all mine from Felpro gasket paper. I don't have to wait for parts to come in, and save a bunch of money.



Wet sand with 400 grit. Use a teaspoon ........

this regularly, I'd buy no less than a 3 HP machine.
Thanks for the excellent reply. I was looking for that.
But damn... begins to sound a bit intimidating to get involved with as I own none of the tools or supplies mentioned, or was even aware that buffers came in HP. :)


Here you go, brem. Kind of a funny guy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhzGE5dLcmM
Has a short clip of female stripper, may not be suitable for everywhere.
Thanks, bro. I tried to find that myself but couldn't get the right search terms figured out to locate it. I will check it out later this morning as I am in a hurry to get off the comp now.


the tools and space to polish them, i say go for it. it's a bit of work, but you will be happy you did it. i spent a total of around $60'$65 on supplies and so far have polished my clutch, alternator, sprocket and cam cover, heel guard and headlight brackets. no more polishing for me!

But then I read things like THIS, and want to pull the covers off. :D
 

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Several folks have said to use 400 grit sandpaper and then the buffing wheel. I've polished parts on more bikes than I can remember (of course, I'm old enough that I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, either.) My advice is to go from 200 (always use automotive wet or dry paper, and use it wet) to 400 to 800 and then 1000. This dramatically cuts down on the time spent buffing, the amount of buffing compound used, and gives a more uniform finish.

As to coating after polishing, Eastwood sells clear coat in a rattle can which works nicely if you don't want to have to repolish periodically. Follow the directions on the can - clean the part with brake parts cleaner (don't inhale this stuff) then spray several thin coats in quick succession. Let it dry for several days before handling - this allows it to harden. Free tip - beer and loud music making the entire sanding and polishing experience more pleasurable.
 

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Compound is cheaper than sandpaper. Besides, I'd rather let the buffer do the work!

LOL...then again...sand all the way to 1000 grit and you're covered head to toe in black slime....stop at 400 and you end up covered in black wax! I guess it doesn't matter much.
 

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this topic is relevant to my interests. i need to find a solution to my paint problem.s

500 miles into riding my brand new bonneville, i noticed my jeans caused the paint to rub off the engine case on the clutch side. now my black engine has an unsightly silver patch.
Well if you are sure that is what caused it then I suggest you see you dealer straight away, something is seriously wrong there.

Don't delay and keep us informed :)
 
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