Polishing engine casings on 500LS
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Thread: Polishing engine casings on 500LS

  1. #1
    Senior Member black nails's Avatar
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    Polishing engine casings on 500LS

    Last week, while the weather was somewhat inclement, I decided to do something that could be done indoors, so I didn't turn into frosty the snowman.
    I removed the engine side cases to polish them. I'm sure I did everything correctly, 1- de-greased thoroughly, and dried off. 2- sand off with 600 wet and dry, washed off and dried off, 3- polished up with bench mounted polishing mop.
    They all came up very well, I refitted them and gave them a good polish up with Dodo Juice carnuba wax polish.
    Today, I decided to spend the day just cleaning and polishing the bike, to my astonishment, the cases were no longer as bright and shiny as they were, the blanking plug for where the kickstart was, but the rest of the cases are grey.
    I have had this before, on my Velosolex, but the casings on that are made of the same monkey metal that Dinky cars were made of.
    Has anyone else had this problem? or is it something I did wrong? or, hopefully not, are these casings made of monkey metal?
    come to think about it, they did feel a bit heavy for good aluminium.
    Despite this, I did polish most of her up before the rain started.
    I will post pics later.

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    Senior Member black nails's Avatar
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    pics as promised
    Polishing engine casings on 500LS-clean2.jpg Polishing engine casings on 500LS-clean.jpg

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    Senior Member DenH's Avatar
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    i would give them a coat of good quality clear laquer.
    when i was young i was very indecisive,now im older im not so sure.

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    Senior Member black nails's Avatar
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    I have been the lacquer route before, it never seems to last very long, it cannot 'key' onto the polished surface, then it allows ingress underneath and looks awful, then it is a pain to get off again. I'll stick to quality wax polish.

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    RUSSBUS
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    I'm not big on polishing engine cases but in the past I have polished them up nicely and then dulled them prior to the spraying on engine lacquer,
    It looks awful when wet but dries of nicely.
    However once something gets underneath the lot has to come off so I just leave well alone once polished and then re-polish areas as required in each area of case..

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    I Vintage raced a ‘57 Lotus Eleven fo many years, no paint, just yards of polished aluminum body work. I used to do a section, every time I finished working on the car. The hardest, non-dulling results came with a final hand polish using a German product: AUTOSOL. After that, I only used “Commercial Strength-WINDEX” glass spray cleaner to clean the surface. It usually lasts a full season before needing to be hit again with the Autosol. About as much fun as polishing silverware!!

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    Senior Member black nails's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm no stranger to the drudgery of polishing yards of aluminium. This is my summer car, I built this from scratch A long time ago.
    I have been using SOLVOL AUTOSOL for at least 50 years, but the name seems to have dropped the SOLVOL bit.
    Good shout with the WINDEX, I'll try and find it and give it a try.
    Polishing engine casings on 500LS-little-car2.jpg
    Believe it or not, a very good medium for polishing aluminium by hand, is just FLOUR, all you do is just rub it on dry, it is quite surprising how effective it is.

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    I’ve just finished up my 750 SEI and that was the process! Here in Canada, the “commercial” Windex is available along side the regular one, same shelf. It does smell more of ammonia and flashes off more quickly. Give it a try! Cheers, John D.

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    Senior Member black nails's Avatar
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    Very shiny indeed, the wheel rims have come up very well, I will have another go at mine, you have set the bar very high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by black nails View Post
    Very shiny indeed, the wheel rims have come up very well, I will have another go at mine, you have set the bar very high.
    Just spotted your post . . I recommend Belgom Alu, often sold in motorcycle accessory shops. It's really good on aluminium and keeps it bright for a long time as it contains a wax that seems to work well with alloy. It's also good on stainless steel and for polishing out scratches on plastics and car paintwork. It's expensive, the bottle I have cost £10.99 about five or six years ago, but the bottle size is large (250 ml) and lasts for years. I used it for polishing the rocker covers on a big Guzzi, then lacquered over them and they stayed looking good for ten years. You could also try using WD40 and polish it off after the first shiny polish and before lacquering it, as that will get into the tiny pits and crevices in the metal and help to prevent the corrosion starting.

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