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Discussion Starter #1
I have corrosion under the clearcoat on the brushed aluminum triple clamps on my '05 Kingpin. Has anyone had success in fixing this? I suppose I can try to completely strip the clear, rebrush and polish the aluminum and then clearcoat again. Is this the way to go? Have not had much success in clear coating metal in the past so any suggestions for how to proceed or what to use to clear coat (anyone know what the factory used?) are appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Use grapefruit. Squeeze all the juice in it and let it sit for over night
whip out all and spay it with a clear coat paint
grapfruit will eat rust but not paint
 

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I have never heard of the grapefruit trick and suggest to try first! I will next time. I have always used 1000 grit steel wool then reshot with a clear coat from VHT or others from amazon or automotive store of your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Trying Grapefruit Juice

Nothing to lose so decided to try grapefruit juice. Used my wife's juicer to make the juice and then brushed on the corroded areas of the triple tree.

Am a bit skeptical as the corrosion is not 'rust' per se and is under the clear (although there might be a small break in the clear in order for the corrosion to have happened in the first place).

I did not see a reaction when I applied the juice and now, an hour later do not yet see a difference. Will keep on overnight and then see how it looks.
 

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Aircraft aluminum stripper (available at wally world and every automotive parts store) will take it off instantly and you can use Qtips to apply.
I would still suggest using the 1000 grit steel wool to take it off with a little elbow grease and you can re coat with clear coat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh OK. From what you posted, I wasn't clear that you used the steel wool to strip the clear off the entire piece. I thought you were using the steel wool to remove the corrosion and even out the surface sheen after stripping. Are you saying you see a problem with using stripper?

You recommended the VHT clear. Just to make sure I'm looking at the right stuff, do you mean their polyurethane wheel paint in clear #SP-184?

Any tips on how to match the brushed look when I redo those areas that oxidized down into the metal?
 

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Oh OK. From what you posted, I wasn't clear that you used the steel wool to strip the clear off the entire piece. I thought you were using the steel wool to remove the corrosion and even out the surface sheen after stripping. Are you saying you see a problem with using stripper?

You recommended the VHT clear. Just to make sure I'm looking at the right stuff, do you mean their polyurethane wheel paint in clear #SP-184?

Any tips on how to match the brushed look when I redo those areas that oxidized down into the metal?
All you need to do is tape off the effected area with masking tape, spray with wd40 then scrub with the 1000 (fine) steel wool until the corrosion is gone. The steel wool will strip the clear coat and the corrosion. Wipe down the area with windex or gas to clean what you've done and that will dry fairly quickly then use the clear coat you choose. The VHT sp515 acrylic will work as well as dupli-color bcl0125 and DA1692. They are just automotive rated clear coats. You can get at any autozone or other auto parts store.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Appreciate your input and your method of using 000 steel wool to 'buff' just the spots affected works when the corrosion is not bad. However, as I mentioned in my last post, this bike has spots where the corrosion has created pits in the aluminum. For the record, I did start with your method and it does work where the underlying metal is not pitted. But in those areas where it's pitted your method will not work. In those places, I had to resort to my old method, using the finest sandpaper I can get away with that will still take the metal down until the pits are removed. In this case I had to go all the way to 100 grit. I now have the pits out and will need to apply finer and finer grit until I get something that approximates the original brushed look. Note that once you have to recreate the brushed surface, I've found its best to apply the same technique to an entire surface, otherwise it will never match. This requires stripping the entire piece. For this I am using heavy duty paint stripper from Lowe's. It seems to be working OK. If anyone has any tips for 1) matching the OEM brushed look or 2) ensuring the clear adheres to the aluminum, I appreciate it. BTW the "grapefruit trick" was just that--it did nothing. For those needing to address this issue in the future, I would suggest you not waste your time. It may work on 'rust' (i.e. iron oxide on ferrous metal) and where there is not clear coat, but certainly does NOT work on clear coated aluminum.
 

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I would have it sand blasted then powdercoated , cheap to do , and finish will last forever .thumb up
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got it Done -- Some Tips for Others

Your probably right Lilmags. I like the process of making things "pretty" with my own hands. Among his many other talents, my dad was a machinist so maybe it wore off on me. Anyway, I went ahead and after using 100 grit to remove the pits and dings, I used 220 and then 320 dry paper to get the brushed look I thought matched the lower tree. But after clear coating with Rustoleum Clear Enamel, the scratches came out too prominent and uneven and the piece looked too bright and shiny. I realized that the clear acts on the scratches in the same way a finish coat acts to bring out the grain in wood. Also, if you use dry sandpaper the aluminum quickly clogs the paper and the clogs will create bigger scratches than you want. I stripped it again and this time used wet-or-dry 400 and then 600, careful to keep it very wet in soapy water. Now after getting the clear on again, it looks just about perfect. Interesting, with the finer grit it looks overall darker now, and a better match with the lower triple clamp. I think there's a possibility that the factory used a tinted clear on the triple clamps, in which case I'll never get a perfect match. But its looking good enough. Here's a pic:
 

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Looks awesome! Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Klamenta! I forgot to mention. Once you have the brushed look the way you want it, you'll need to rinse the piece with solvent to flush the dust and oxide out of the scratches. I used basic paint thinner applied with a toothbrush. Also once you get to the final sandpapering, wear rubber gloves. If you don't you'll drive yourself crazy. Every time you touch it you'll leave marks that sometimes even the solvent flush won't take out, forcing you to re-sandpaper. Since posting the pic above, I went ahead and baked it at 200 degrees for one hour and it reflowed the enamel and evened out the finish. Looks even better!
 

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I appreciate DIY stuff. Lots of good info here. Thanks!thumb up
 
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