Polishing Aluminum

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Polishing Aluminum

Post by orange Juiced on Sun May 24, 2009 4:24 pm

So i started to receive some of the parts from my chrome guy, and he did a very good job on it. But even with the discount I got from him, it was still a big chunk of change that I could have used it on something else on the car.

I had the trim around the grill polished about 3+ years ago, which cost me $80. So to save a few buck$ i started to play around with the trim to see if i can polish it. I never cleared it and since then its gotten dulled, a few deep and low scratches. I have polished it in the past but it never looked as good as it did when i first got it. Well here's my step by step guide on how I polished, hope it helps u guys out and saves u few dollars.

The Items u will be needing for this, which u find them all at wal mart or an auto parts store.

1500 grit sand paper (to remove deep scratches)
2000 grit sand paper (for everything else)
Packet of Terry towels or detail towels
Mothers Power Ball w/drill
Mother Aluminum polish

I also used 2500 and 3000 grit sand paper, I couldn't really tell the difference when i used it and compared it to the 2000 grit sand paper.




here's the trim how it looks and close ups of some of the scratches.






After I sanded it with 2000, all the deep scratches start to show up. Here's some very deep scratches that i knocked it down with 1500.

Before




After




Then i hit it again with 2000 grit, then I used 2500 and then 3000. But I noticed that if u reuse the old 2000 grit since it worn out, it starts to polish and u can see it to start to shine. And u can skip the process of polishing it with 2500/3000 grit.


So that's how it looks after all of the sanding. At this point you're ready to start to polish and bring out the shine.. . . . I placed the camera at the center, where the two side meet and make the center point on the trim. I took the rest of the pictures like this so u can see the difference in the reflection. Also in some of the pictures its hard to distinguish where the edges of the trim are, so i added some red lines near it to help u out.

what worked for me is to polish it 2 times then wipe it off with a clean towel, repeat this several of times and ur done. When you wipe it off don't press too hard, u will start to scratch it again. Here's how it looks after the first set.



after the 2nd set.



3rd set



4th set



5th time



6th



7th



I only did half of the trim, as u can see where it starts and ends



8th



9th



10th



It does take some time and you have to clean off the power ball every so often, but the payoff is worth it.
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by IndyG3 on Sun May 24, 2009 5:21 pm

Very nice work man! Now if only I had the motivation to go outside and do that myself...
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by badbiscayne66 on Sun May 24, 2009 10:01 pm

WOW
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by Limey SE on Sun May 24, 2009 11:13 pm

very nice job bro

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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by orange Juiced on Mon May 25, 2009 12:22 am

thanks guys, at times I thought I had ruined it but u just need to be patient. Its very easy, it just time consuming. this took about 5 hours, but i was experimenting to see what gets better results and i didn't have a clue what the hell i was doing Smile Now to do the other side
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by The Dude on Mon May 25, 2009 12:34 am

Dude, you are a saint. I was just sitting back trying to figure out how I'm gonna get my new (old) wheels to shine. I'm already started working on the first one, but need to find a better way than a Dremel. Never knew those Mother's balls worked that good.
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by orange Juiced on Mon May 25, 2009 5:57 pm

Rago- After i bought the power ball, I had a 2 buddies tell me there not that great. "It works good at first, but then after a while it stops working." I noticed that both of them weren't cleaning them from all the polish build up, and they were using the same ball with different chemicals.

If the wheels have no scratches, try just polishing them with the power ball and there alum polsh. My steering wheel horn button has no srcatches, so i just skipped the sanding part and polished it. came out looking good
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by The Dude on Mon May 25, 2009 7:00 pm

They've been in a garage since the 70s, so there's a lot of corrosion that I need to polish out, but thanks for the tip, I'll remember to keep the ball clean & post pics when I'm done.
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by wokrdan AKA BU Balls on Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:03 pm

Wait, did you do this on the chrome sections of the car??? I have this tiny bubbling coming up on my grill and am wondering if I can polish them out. Let me know.
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by The Dude on Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:40 pm

The bubbling is from the chrome starting to peel. It's referred to as pitting & short of stripping the chrome, there's nothing you can do. If the chrome gets stripped, you either have to paint or re-chrome it, since it's just bare metal underneath & will rust. Sometimes small scratches in the chrome will buff out, but don't try sanding it or you will mess it up.
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by orange Juiced on Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:53 am

this works on the aluminum trim only. I haven't tried it stainless steel yet. Rago is right, u would need to rechrome it.

Since u can't clear it doing it this way, I've also been messing with some white rouge. I haven't had to much time to mess with it, also i cant seem to make it look as good as the mothers. but once i figure it out, I will post updates.
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Re: Polishing Aluminum

Post by 75 Classic on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:55 pm

i bought trim polishing kit from eastwood and polished my aluminum radiator and it looks amazing i didnt take before and after pics but the buffing bars work wonders but in your guys opinions what would work best with stainless i am about to do my window trim and need some tips

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Re: Polishing Aluminum

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