Making Aluminum Shiny - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 4th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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Making Aluminum Shiny

Does anyone know a trick to make aluminum shiny? I was hopping for a chemical or cleaner of sorts. I don't have the time to polish / buff them out, and I really don't want them that shinny. Just new looking.

The valve cover on the right has been cleaned in chem dip. It is very clean but looks stained.

The valve cover on the left I bead blasted which is a huge improvement but not shiny like a new one.

I'm not looking for chrome shiny just new cast aluminum shiny.
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  #2  
Old August 4th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Other than paint it require elbow grease. If you don't want to buff it and are not looking for a real shine , you might try; http://www.nevrdull.com/. It's cotton so it is easy to use and gets into the crevices.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:20 PM
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I've seen my father use that on the aluminum fenders on his truck. I'll have to give it a try.

This is what I'm going for... Something like the bottom of the manifold that hasn't been exposed.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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There is a better product called Wenol works great on about any metal.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:38 PM
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if you aren't looing for a super polished finish, just use a buffing wheel on a good fast drill (after bead blasting). They should clean up fairly quick maybe 30 minutes per side?



Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespierce View Post
Does anyone know a trick to make aluminum shiny? I was hopping for a chemical or cleaner of sorts. I don't have the time to polish / buff them out, and I really don't want them that shinny. Just new looking.

The valve cover on the right has been cleaned in chem dip. It is very clean but looks stained.

The valve cover on the left I bead blasted which is a huge improvement but not shiny like a new one.

I'm not looking for chrome shiny just new cast aluminum shiny.
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  #6  
Old August 4th, 2011, 01:44 PM
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That Wenol stuff is suppose to be the shit been under the radar for years(?) untill recently. You could only find it at truck stops and motor cycle stores but now you can find it at most auto stores now. Also might want to check out the Garage Journal forum as they have some pretty simple ways of doing things and getting awesome results.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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I remember this company from a Speed channel episode... I've never used it, but it looks to be what you need.

http://www.sharkhide.com/acinfo.html


You might want to media blast the cover first.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Have it soda blasted
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  #9  
Old August 4th, 2011, 02:20 PM
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I think you are looking for stuff called Alumabrite. Weak acid of sorts, works well for cleaning up castings. Bought some @ NAPA.

https://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/R...&Dk=1&Dp=3&N=0
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  #10  
Old August 4th, 2011, 02:57 PM
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Problem is that he has already beadblasted one and chemically dipped the other, so cleaners are not really the answer. The only thing that will brighten will require either blasting with a finer abrasive and/or some type of buffing. The phosphoric acid ( Alumabrite) might work to some degree.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 03:09 PM
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Heat resistant paint or fine sanding.
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  #12  
Old August 4th, 2011, 06:46 PM
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Mother's Aluminum Polish.

http://www.mothers.com/02_products/05100-05101.html

Nevermind, you don't want to polish.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi
I think you are looking for stuff called Alumabrite. Weak acid of sorts, works well for cleaning up castings. Bought some @ NAPA.

https://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/R...&Dk=1&Dp=3&N=0
X2 on that stuff. Cleans aluminum and also copper very well. But once you blast it you have altered the finish including any machine polish from the factory.
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  #14  
Old August 4th, 2011, 09:46 PM
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I just got some stuff called "woody's" from marine store to polish my cobra wind sheild frame.
I was told its the best for this but I have not had time to try it yet.......but soon

Let us know what works!
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  #15  
Old August 4th, 2011, 10:53 PM
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So far I've come to the conclusion that the parts go under the hood of a rover. They are not meant to be shiny and clean, and if they were they won't stay that way for long. So why am I wasting my time with this? I'll let you know when I figure that out

I went to O'Reilly's and picked up some Mothers aluminum polish and to Napa and picked up the Aluminum Bright. Neither had the Wieneroil or whatever you call it. If I am able to find it I will try it later and report back.

First the Mothers. Don't waste your money unless your 22's have some brake dust on them. It's probably a good product but not for this application. I don't think it would work well on cast aluminum that isn't already polished.

Second the Aluminum Bright does work. While maybe not in the first application and maybe not in the 20-30 seconds it says on the bottle it does work. In the first pic I coated the Left half of the valve cover with the AB and it didn't do much with one application. It preforms very similar to the sharkhide based on the video. Probably similar chemicals.

In the second pic the valve cover on the right has been scrubbed (a lot) with the Aluminum Bright and a fine scotch bright pad. The valve cover on the left has been bead blasted.

The glass beads, however fine they may be, do change the texture of the surface. They make the aluminum cleaner and brighter than the Aluminum Bright with a lot less effort but they do open the pores up and this leaves a rougher finish which I feel in time would only attract dirt quicker and be harder to clean off. So tomorrow I will head out to find a buffer / polisher to see if I can close up the pores and bring it back to its Solihull glory.

Thanks for all the input!
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  #16  
Old August 5th, 2011, 07:11 AM
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I'd hand that off to shopgirl. She can pretty much buff anything out. There is no substitute for hard work if you need to have shiny bits.
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

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  #17  
Old August 5th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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Smooth how you changed GF to shop girl Just incase she's checking up on your post Or was that a freudian slip? I wonder if Steve's Wholesale carries ship girls on the same isle as the buffers. This thread is going down hill fast.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 10:24 AM
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Back in my paintball days, when we had guns go out for anodizing, we would have them buffed as part of the initial process. Machining marks on the aluminum bodies down to perhaps 400 grit could be mirror polished.

The only way to get that "mirror polished" look was buffing wheels and successive levels of buffing compound. I saw photos of anolaze's buffing area and it's pretty serious. They sometimes blasted parts before buffing.

I've heard of electropolishing but that's for very fine polishing (like making hand-buffed components even more smooth)
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Old August 5th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespierce View Post
Smooth how you changed GF to shop girl Just incase she's checking up on your post Or was that a freudian slip? I wonder if Steve's Wholesale carries ship girls on the same isle as the buffers. This thread is going down hill fast.
yup ...that was a slip for sure.
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

"Dedicated to the resurrection of junk through engineering?"
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  #20  
Old August 5th, 2011, 11:41 AM
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Valve covers look good. Next time mine come off they are getting polished for sure as is Plenum. Good post thanks.
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