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Mike
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I was looking for advice from you guys who know your way around sanders. I am in the process of restoring a 1972 XLCH (will be a gift to my father). The primary, cam and sprocket covers all had corrosion on them. I believe these are made from aluminum or some type of alloy that is polished to a bit of a dull finish. In order to remove the etching that had accumulated over the last 33 years, I used Flitz with a buffing pad in an electric drill. The good news is that it removed the etching/corrosion but the bad news is that it polished the covers to almost a chrome appearance. While they are beautiful, I would like to return them to the dull polished original look so I was thinking perhaps buffing them with a fine grade sand paper or something of that nature?

My experience in this area is about zero so I would appreciate any and all comments as I'm afraid I have screwed this up.:unsure:

Take Care,
Mike
 

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Knower of Stuff
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1,978 Posts
I believe the original parts were clear anodized which gave them the less than shinny appearance. I have to admit, this is the first time I have heard anyone ask how to make parts dull. Most people want to do what you did and polish them to a chrome like shine.
Now that you have polished them the clear finish is gone. Given time they will dull, but I think the polished parts look great.
You might check your area for a place that does clear anodized finishes on aluminium.
 

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Premium Member
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3,289 Posts
Only thing that comes to my mind would be powder coating the parts. With the protection removed you expose the bare aluminum to the atmosphere which will start corrosion immediately. This will lead to a very uneven color distribution, white spots etc.. Aluminum protects itself by way of creating a very dense layer of corroded aluminum which is not all that pretty.
 

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Premium Member
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3,624 Posts
His '72 never had clear coat on the aluminum parts. I have an original '77. All the aluminum on it was bare. You have to keep up with it with Mother's or similar to keep it from corroding.

The parts that you have made shine can be polished with a heavier grit compund than what you used to give them a brushed-like finish. Time will give them the aged patina you want.
 

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Humpin One Leg at a Time
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455 Posts
You can spray some white wall cleaner on them, that will dull them up pretty quick. (at least it did to my factory fatboy wheels)
 
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