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Discussion Starter #1
So I spent today doing a sand/polish cycle on my rear footpegs/muffler hangers, as they where pitted all to hell.

I found that I ended up with two tones of color, which feel smoth but I think I took off the chome plating and a little bit remains. I'll follow up with pictures, but I was also wondering, did they seal over the chrome?

There are some small 'blotches' where it sure does look like varnish of some kind.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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Mine are clear coated polished aluminium.you might have removed most of the clear and still have some left.unless some were chromed and some were not.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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That's what i thought.my 85 & 86 are both clear coated polished aluminium.yours look chromed.also looks like black paint?or could be lighting.i haven't tried stripping chrome so i'd try polishing them the best ya can
 

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Mine ('02) are chromed cast aluminum. If the finish was ruined in them, I'd just paint them.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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If you could sand through the chrome and nickel plating(can anyone say pita and not the tasty edible Greek kind)i don't see why you couldn't polish the aluminium
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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Mine ('02) are chromed cast aluminum. If the finish was ruined in them, I'd just paint them.
Looks like someone already tried that.chrome isn't easy to paint over.usually ends up peeling and flaking.
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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That's what i thought.my 85 & 86 are both clear coated polished aluminium.yours look chromed.also looks like black paint?or could be lighting.i haven't tried stripping chrome so i'd try polishing them the best ya can
If you need to paint I would do a glass bead blasting first. I have used that on many items to get a decent finish before paint is applied. Sandable primer as a base after the blasting should give a good base.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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What about self-etching primer?
 

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2000 VN 750 Senior Member
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What about self-etching primer?
That would be a good choice also but I would do the glass bead blasting first followed by any hand finishing necessary and then follow with your choice of primer application. Glass bead blasting will certainly get rid of any pitting or other imperfections on the surface and it is much easier to hold a nozzle as compared to total hand sanding. I have a small blaster that I am looking to convert into glass beads from a regular aggregate media. I think all that is necessary is to change the nozzle but I will need a collection system for the glass. The glass is reusable many times over and actually gives a better finish as the beads begin to wear down with use and time. I have to see later today if there is a glass media blaster at the new work location I am transferring to this morning and if so I will save my unit for the more coarse aggregate I already have. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The black look was just the reflection of my shirt.

After going at it a bit more, it appears that in the process of trying to go thru the pitting, I made my way thru the chrome coating to the aluminum.

At this point, I think I may slap on some 500 grit and sand thru it to get back down to the aluminum. On the other hand, I might wait till spring, I need to store this puppy pretty soon, I may leave well enough alone for now.

What I really wanted to establish is which part was the chrome, and which part was the aluminum. I'll post some better lit pictures later.

If I did get thru the plating, and buffed and polished the aluminum, what would be the best way to care for it? Clear coat it after polishing it up with white compound?
 

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Sparky!!!
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If I did get thru the plating, and buffed and polished the aluminum, what would be the best way to care for it? Clear coat it after polishing it up with white compound?
Clearcoating the polished aluminum will work for a while, but after a year or so the paint will start to yellow and crack, and then you will have to sand and repolish the aluminum any ways. Better to just finish up the polishing process with something like Mother's Aluminum Polish. Then you just have to hit up your aluminum with NeverDull when you are detailing your bike.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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I polish with mothers and then use car wax.protects it for a while
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you could sand through the chrome and nickel plating(can anyone say pita and not the tasty edible Greek kind)i don't see why you couldn't polish the aluminium
That works, but the crap silicon oxide sandpaper has GOTTA go. :) I'm thinking of picking up a flap wheel to take it off, it does come off and it comes off clean.

And the benny is, the pits seem to be in the chrome. After sanding thru the chrome, the aluminum is pretty clean!
 
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