Polishing Aluminum

Mopar Body and Trim

  1. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    I am posting on how to sand and polish Aluminum
    It is not hard to do but very time consumeing Please keep in mind I am posting as a how to with the worse case possible! Most items will be way easyer since they start out with a better suface
    I first cleaned the parts in a parts washer with mineral spirts so they would be free of dirt and oil.
    Next step is to get rid of casting flash, like i said this part is ruff and not the norm. So it will take the extra mile to get it right.
    Normaly this step could be by passed! But since we are dealing with a casting being so ruff, We are going to take no prisoners
    I started getting the casting flash with a plain ole metal file since it would have just wasted sand paper and tolk a ton of time as well.
    Once that was filed down, the part was sanded with coarse sand paper progressing to finer grits to remove the scratches from the corser [a[er used before. It is very important that the sctraches from the privous grit are removed before going to the next step finer!
    So I went from metal file then #80/180/360/600 grit papers were used,
    I used my DA and my trustly Die grinder with paper rolls, in the smaller tight areas.
    One thing that will come in handy is a cheap candle. Hit the paper roll on the wax and it will lube the paper and realy extend the life of it.
    Once everything is sanded you are then moving into polishing mode! This is realy just like sanding you will start with a agresive compound working towards fine ones.
    I get the smaller tight areas first with "Cone shape buffs" The smaller buffs are used in the die grinder and small air drill for larger cone buffs.
    The compounds used are grease based so when touched to a buff they melt and go into the buff.
    Working first with Black Emery, then Gray emery, at this point you have a nice shiney part but it does not have depth! So the iuse of white rouge is used to get the depth/color. Note buffs must be changed for each compound used,do not use the same buff.
    Once all those areas are done we move onto the large buffer wheels.
    Doing the same thing Black, Gray and White Rouge they do have a even finer compound that is blue.
    Now you have a part that is eone but needs to be cleaned to get the residue off so By hand clean it with Wenol and clean white rags.
     
  2. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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  3. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    If you look you can see that the case is missing the tabs that are used with a colum shifter since they were not going to be used I stream lined that case lol
    Be careful of the buffer it will grab a lose shirt and tear it right off you. It will also grab a smaller part and fling it,like a wheel trim ring ect.
     
  4. mullinax95

    mullinax95 Well-Known Member

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    You are da man!

    That looks great! I got me a little bit of what you are doing and I know how it feels to stand there in front of that buffer. I couldn't imagine holding that trans up like that.. that would kill my back! I need a big ass buffer like yours! I'll send you my intake next week! LOL!
     
  5. ocdart

    ocdart Inland Mopars Car Club FABO Gold Member

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    Wow, good stuff. That tranny looks great. Sure wasn't a 5-minute process! What's it going in/under?
     
  6. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    These were super easy since the casting was so nice to start with barley needed to use the #80 before moveing onto the 180-220
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  7. pastortom1

    pastortom1 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that's great stuff Six.........But I think you're playin' unfair here.......

    Me thinks you'se has had your backbone FUSED.

    I gotta go lay down just lookin' at the picture of you holdin' that case......!!!

    8)8)8)8) (the sunglasses are for the shine............)
     
  8. mullinax95

    mullinax95 Well-Known Member

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    What size electric motor is that? 220volt?

    I have been looking around and just have not found one yet (free).

    Where do you get your supplies? I've browsed Eastwood but they are high and was just wondering if that is the best place to order from?
     
  9. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    That one is for the challenger convert if i ever build it,'I have a twin to it under the dart sport{yes i did 2}
    I have not done anything since late 2005 due to losing lots of the things I had/needed to do this with as well as my home.
    The Katrina hurracane got me. Now that I am back in my home but I have major scar tissue and artherritus{sp?} in my right wrist,4 bulding disk in my neck bad disk in upper ,middle and lower back from 29 years of installing carpet, ceramic tiles ,stone and wood floors.
    I also recovering right now from having some of my colar bone trimed off, as well as the bone that goes into the socket {shoulder joint}
    Heres the hand when it was cut on that has now left me with major scar tissue and artheritus
    The lump on the left is not supossed to be there LOL
    I am hoping my high school age son will pick up on this and he can made some $$$ doing it.
    Oh and the trans in the dart.
    I posted these pics to show others as a how to. Said to say all them pics were taken way back in 2004-2005 when i was still able to do this kind of work as a hobby.

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    motor11.jpg
     
  10. 74360duster

    74360duster JEREMY

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    Looking Good..
     
  11. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    I had a real buffer that had long shafts but it was just a 1/4HP one and i burnt it up. Then came the 110 Baldor motor it was the man! But it died after sitting in 2 feet of water for 6-7 days.Baldor makes the best Period! now i have just a cheapo china made buffer that is junk. I should have known better but i am in no shape to use it anyway. But would have been good to teach my son with if it was worth anything. It slows down when you use it. The baldor would crank out the power and if not careful rip stuff out ya hands lol.
    I get all my Compounds from a friend who owns a industrial chrome plating shop. I bought about 400 bucks in sand paper rolls for 200 way back when on a close out deal. Paint stores that sell auto paint have sand paper in stickey rolls and boxes of precut for inline sanders as well as DA paper! do not buy cheap sand paper Marida{sp?} or 3-M
    You can get compunds at http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/index.html
     
  12. 70Duster440

    70Duster440 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I gotta hand it to ya - that takes some serious patience and hard work. The results are stunning! I dread just doing pieces of trim.

    Thanks for sharing - and beautiful car!
     
  13. Flatlander

    Flatlander Well-Known Member

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    Wow, nice.
     
  14. shortz

    shortz Well-Known Member

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    mate if ya lived here in new zealand i would sure be sending you some parts, great job and thanks for the tips, i will sure give it a go on some smaller parts
     
  15. waggin

    waggin moving on ain't easy if you drive a Ford :p

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    what are you using to polish down in the low spots ?? your work is awesome!!!and thank's for sharing =)
     
  16. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    I use my die grinder{air run type not a dremal dremals are crap}
    I use pre made sand paper rolls. I picked up 4 large boxes on ebay long time ago of #80-#220 and some finner grit would have to look at the boxes, The same ones you would port an aluim head with.
    I think i still have 3-400 hundered left.
    Once the 80 is done i use a candle, hit the hot roll on the wax and then use it it holds the grit and keep it from eatting the paper roll up
    Then use the black emery on cone shaped buffs and the white rouge
     
  17. 66340SEDAN

    66340SEDAN FABO Member #3649 FABO Gold Member

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    Any tips on brining back the shiney finish on old aluminum mag wheels? I have some old Cragar G/T I want to restore, will I need to use sandpaper, what grades? All I need to polish is the outer area around the spokes, I want it to shine like new again. Most of the crud is in the surface, no deep corriosion areas. I have 2 already polished up but it was done before I got them, thanks a lot! BTW, great thread!!!!!!!!

    Picture 303.jpg
     
  18. mullinax95

    mullinax95 Well-Known Member

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    Dremels are good for lot of stuff... especially on teeth! LOL

    The dremels don't produce enough RPM correct?
     
  19. joe440

    joe440 Well-Known Member

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    what do you mean by pre-made paper rolls? Do you have a picture or link to see what they look like? I'm balls deep in sanding my intakes and really could use some advice on how to get those deep spots. Thanks for help
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  20. 65barracudadude

    65barracudadude Well-Known Member

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    MAN!!!! Those parts look unbelievable. I need to bust out some of my buffers. Good thing I have a few. Looks like I'll be burning out a couple.
     
  21. gts340

    gts340 Well-Known Member

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    Incredible!
     
  22. 65dartcharger

    65dartcharger Dart Charger 273 Historian FABO Gold Member

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    340six! You're the man in this area! I have nine Cragar wheels in size 13x6 for the DartCharger. They have polished centers made out of aluminium welded to a chromed steel ring! In which order should I do the wheels?

    Bild.jpg
     
  23. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    Not sure what you mean? tape up the chrome outer rim.Then sand the aluim centers buff them. them use the final white rouge with a freash buff on the chrome. them put2-3 coats of car wax with carnuba in it to protect them for water
     
  24. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    They look like this
    http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/cartrolls.html
    I buy them in bulk of 100 or so eastwood also sells them
     
  25. 340six

    340six Well-Known Member

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    I normaly cut down everything with the ruffer paper. then do the nooks and granies.
    That way if you hit the paper roll on some part of the easy large areas it is not finished polished. then i final sand the smaller areas followed by the final large areas.
    Then do the same polish the smaller areas and then the larger ones.
    If you slip on the smaller tight areas and hit the large ones it does not matter since they are the last part getting done.
     
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