Chrome polishing

Discussion in 'Tech Area' started by tygerhawk, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. tygerhawk

    tygerhawk New Member

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    Hello, Im looking for advice on cleaning up my chrome pieces. Any and all step by step processes are much appreciated. I've seen a lot of different methods mention throughout the internet but just wondering what some of you have tried that work. Thank you!
     
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  3. racerx

    racerx Administrator
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    There's one, key, piece of information to keep in mind, regardless of the visible results...once you see rust, the plating has been penetrated all the way down to the base steel and it's ruined. That said, in some cases, you may be able to get a decent-looking result, if the damage isn't too far spread. Best method is a buffer wheel & a suitable compound, most guys won't have access to this...it's not cheap getting setup. Next best would be chrome polish, if you can find it in an autoparts store; be prepared to use a lot of elbow grease. The final method and it's a little on the drastic side would be using wadded aluminum foil and either paste wax or chrome polish. Aluminum is softer than chromium so you have a fighting chance of not scratching the bejeezis out of the surface. Beware, there's still scarring potential. Fine sand and rust are both harder than chrome. Wash the part thoroughly before you begin and, if using aluminum foil, try a test section first...to see if it leaves fine scratches. Best case, you'll want to work on one small area at a time, polishing the haze, along the way to check for fine scratches (a.k.a. "spider webbing"). If you see them, time to use a clean spot of the foil. Look for the wax or chrome polish to turn color...that can be an indication that you're getting more abrasion than you want.

    All you're trying to do, really, is knock-off the rust, without peeling the plating. Afterward you'd best seal the metal, either by keeping it waxed, or clearcoating. Otherwise, the rust will return in no time..and the damage will progress quicker than before.
     
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  4. Chrisqa

    Chrisqa New Member

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    I had some chrome shocks that cleaned up really well submerged in Evaporust then wipe and let air dry and apply clear coat. Keep it submerged for two days. It's reusable too. A friend gave me several buckets of old rusted dirty parts with locked up crank and ball bearings spider Webb's you name it. I just stuck it all submerged in Evaporust for two weeks and the Piston had no more carbon build up. All the rust was converted into magnetight and the dirt just slid right off. Really good stuff and it's safe too. It even made the ball bearings and crank reusable. It even drouned the spider.
     
    #3 Chrisqa, Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  5. cjpayne

    cjpayne Well-Known Member

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    MeGuires Chrome wheel cleaner works pretty good. I used a scratchless pad, washed the grime off, sprayed the cleaner and scrubbed the chrome. Cleaned off, sprayed again and scrubbed. Let it sit over night. Washed it all off with water, then used the polish. Didnt come back to brand new, but looked good.

    Btw, if the rust is just too bad, nothing will help, but all the steps for replating. Post some pics of the chrome your talking about.
     
  6. tygerhawk

    tygerhawk New Member

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    Hey guys, thank you all for the recommendations! I just finished cleaning all the parts in my parts washer. Most parts will eventually have to be replated. At the moment I would like to spend my money on getting the bike cleaned up and ridable. I hear plating is pretty pricey now a days and I don't currently know of any places close to me (Iowa) that even do it anymore. I will look into replating next summer. I'm going to try aluminum foil and chrome polish on some CB550 parts I have and see how that works. I do have a bench grinder but its an 8" Dewalt that runs at 3600 rpm, is that too fast for buffing pads? If not, what pads should I look to buy? I see HF sells some 8" pads, I wonder if they are any good. Also, what buffing compound should I use with the corresponding pad? Im not currently home at the moment but I will try and post some pictures of the parts soon. Thanks again everyone!
     
  7. allenp42

    allenp42 Active Member

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  8. tygerhawk

    tygerhawk New Member

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    9E389CD8-2771-409B-8A94-7B9CFBFD89C6.jpeg

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    Decided to just try the aluminum foil and some chrome polish on the fenders since I plan on buying new in the future. They turned out pretty good although it did leave some very small surface scratches that you can see if you’re up close. Going to try and pick up some buffing wheels this weekend and see how it works on the other parts.
     
  9. allenp42

    allenp42 Active Member

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    Here is rough guess based on what I've read and personal experience. Keep in mind, purely a guess. A lot depends on how much metal work is required. For example, the rear turn signal bracket needs to be straightened. The left fork ear is beyond hope, or at least what I would consider reasonable. I won't even make a WAG on that one.

    Engine Cradle - $100
    Rear Turn Signal Bracket - $50+
    Front Turn Signal Stem - $25
    Right Ear...no idea, maybe $50
    Top Plate - $25
    Rear Tail Light - $75
    Shock Covers: $20 each
    Main Heat Shield - $50-$100 depending on how much metal work is required.

    Most of these estimates are a guess. A few local places charge an extra $50/hour for any welding, dent removal, etc. From what little I have done, prices are all over the map....so is the Quality of what you get back, turnaround time, etc.
     

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