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Old 02-24-2008, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Aluminum cleaner?

Trying to clean some aluminum engine parts like a timing cover and therastat housing and stuff like that. They are aluminum and have some discoloration and corosion after all the grease is removed. Is there a chemical or spray I can get localy that will take any of this off and give me a uniform finish? I think I'll clearcoat it when its done, my only other option if all else fails is to sandblast them but that may be too rough.

Thanks,

-Rob
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I used to use a paste called 'Simichrome' on my motorcycle aluminum parts. Works well, takes quite a bit of effort, but aluminum will shine very well with it. Don't know where you would get it these days. I used to buy it from the motorcycle dealer. The stuff isn't cheap, but a tube of it will last a long time.

Just looked on EBAY and see that the stuff is still in existence.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can get some "Mothers Aluminum Polish" at your local NAPA. It is some good stuff.

Jim
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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there is polish called speedy clean works the best i think truck stops sell it or at least arond here
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicFordGuy View Post
Trying to clean some aluminum engine parts like a timing cover and therastat housing and stuff like that. They are aluminum and have some discoloration and corosion after all the grease is removed. Is there a chemical or spray I can get localy that will take any of this off and give me a uniform finish? I think I'll clearcoat it when its done, my only other option if all else fails is to sandblast them but that may be too rough.

Thanks,

-Rob
I’ve been using Home Page for years on the Harley. If it’s on any metal and shouldn’t be, this takes it off, and it makes aluminum look like chrome. Cotton wadding base won't scratch. Nevr-Dull cleans and polishes:
Aluminum
Copper
Pewter
Brass
Gold
Silver
Chromium
Nickel
Zinc
Just a pinch of wadding goes a long way and no residue. Get it at Wally*World, Hm Day-Pot, Ace and the like.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have used Nevr Dull , works great and no mess
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds good, thanks for the imput. I already have some never dull so I'll give that a shot first.

Thanks,

-Rob
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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do you want them cleaned or polished? If you just want to brighten the aluminum finish then what you want is aluminum brightener. I have 5 gallons of the commercial stuff they use to clean cattle trailers. Its mean stuff!

My local Napa store sells "aluminum brightener" in a gallon jug. works Ok nothing like the commercial stuff but good enough.

all the items listed above are more polishes than cleaners. Also if your trying to strip an anodized coating off, oven cleaner seems to work best for small parts.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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[quote=Dualie;1518668]do you want them cleaned or polished? If you just want to brighten the aluminum finish then what you want is aluminum brightener. I have 5 gallons of the commercial stuff they use to clean cattle trailers. Its mean stuff!

Dualie,
Where/how do you get the industrial-strength aluminum brightener?
Thanks
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have used Flitz, it is a good cleaner/polish. I have used it on alcoa wheels, stainless fuel tanks, chrome etc. The trick to removing the wax/polish is using flour, regular stuff used in cooking. I take a small bucket/ container, put the flour in the bucket, use a soft cotton towel, cover the towel with the flour. The polish, and residue will come off with ease. I would polish large areas at a time, without worry of removing the polish. This sounds crazy, but I learned this from a professional wheel,and fuel tank polisher. It is amazing how this works. An air hose helps to blow off the flour, then buff for the final step.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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[quote=strelnik;1519358]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dualie View Post
do you want them cleaned or polished? If you just want to brighten the aluminum finish then what you want is aluminum brightener. I have 5 gallons of the commercial stuff they use to clean cattle trailers. Its mean stuff!

Dualie,
Where/how do you get the industrial-strength aluminum brightener?
Thanks
I make custom metal plating tanks. The major west coast distributor of the acids for metal plating is a great customer of mine. it would be very difficult for most people to get this stuff. Its pretty nasty stuff.

IF left on too long it will eat its way through 1/4" aluminum no problem. even diluted it will still turn polished aluminum snow white in seconds of you don't know what your doing.
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1994 7.3 I.D.I.T. factory turbo, auto 2x4 DRW with lots of upgrades, 11 transmissions under 100K factory warranty. 280,000 miles Currently Cavitated and parked.
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2006 Murray 16 tire professional lowbed SOLD
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Like someone said the truck stops or maybe a Fleetpride if they have them in your area is sure to have what you need.

Zep purple degreaser will etch aluminum pretty good also.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Unless you have experience with the Aluminum brightener, do not use it. Notice I did not equivocate. You need to be taught how to do it, and need to understand the hazards. IT WILL KILL YOU IF YOU GET AS LITTLE AS A TEASPOON ON YOU! It is Hydroflouric acid and will seek out calcium and you will not feel a thing while it does it. Read a little about it here. Professional Carwashing & Detailing Online :: Brought to you by Grand View Media If you are still not worried about it, then knock yourself out. Just make sure you wear protective gear.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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" Killed by Alumabrite " ????

IT WILL KILL YOU IF YOU GET AS LITTLE AS A TEASPOON ON YOU!

After reading that, my B.S. meter just ran on up to Full Tilt.
I have used this and similar products that are much worse for years.
YES! they are hazardous when used improperly. They will give you acid burns on exposed skin, but only slight irritation if just a mist or splashed on you. I have had it happen many times over the years. If you wish to soak your hands in it, it will eventually remove a fingernail or two and burn your skin like a deep sunburn. Voice of El Stupido experience here. But I have never been killed by it, (at least last time I checked) and I have been soaked in much more than a tespoon full more than once. In full strength it "WILL" most definately strip the shine off of aluminum if used improperly. It removes paint a minuscule layer at a time also if left on very long. Makes an oxidized paint job look like new as long as there is enough paint that it can afford to loose a layer.
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