Cleaning up Engine - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum

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Old 12-24-2009, 10:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cleaning up Engine

Newbie here. have visited site many times and learned a lot about my Shadow...Thanks everyone!

I am cleaning up the old girl and getting her ready for the road in the spring. The cylinders and clutch housing though looks like it was once painted (poorly) with that old aluminum spray paint %^&*. The clutch housing is also slightly pitted.

I would like to try to restore the look back to oriignal...any tips???
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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+1 unfortunately, you could go for the new mid-night look and use black stove paint which is Hi Temp, it comes in flat or semi gloss.

You could use paint stripper which will dull (etch) the alm and give the new paint a good base to hold to.
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Old 12-25-2009, 08:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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These bikes come with a clearcoat over the aluminum to keep it looking new. Unfortunately, eventually it will fade and deteriorate from heat, UV rays, etc.
You can sand off the clearcoat with fine sandpaper (or one of those green 3M pads) then follow up with a polishing kit to brng things back to better than new.
I was able to get old parts looking like chrome with this method. It can get frustrating at time, trying to get into all those cracks and creveses, so it can be time consuming. A Dremel tool helps also. Good luck!
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here is a article that may be of interest.
http://www.thepontiactransampage.com/clear.html
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey thanks everyone...not the answer I was hoping for, but it is just as I suspected might be the case.

I think I'll do a little scubbing on the flat spots...getting into all of the cylinder fins looks like a lot more effort than the result is worth...(at least for this winter anyway).

I'll see how she runs next summer and perhjaps do a major restoration next winter.

Thanks again


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Old 12-26-2009, 05:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PainterD
These bikes come with a clearcoat over the aluminum to keep it looking new. Unfortunately, eventually it will fade and deteriorate from heat, UV rays, etc.
You can sand off the clearcoat with fine sandpaper (or one of those green 3M pads) then follow up with a polishing kit to brng things back to better than new.
I was able to get old parts looking like chrome with this method. It can get frustrating at time, trying to get into all those cracks and creveses, so it can be time consuming. A Dremel tool helps also. Good luck!
AMEN TO THAT ! dremel tool is amazing for polishing aluminum on a bike.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Other than tearing the engine apart and bead blasting, you're not going to get showroom quality. However, since most of us actually ride our bikes, I'm assuming that's not what you're after.

That being said, let me tell you how I got my VT700C looking a LOT better than it was.

Like you, someone had painted over the factory coating, with what looked like some cheap dollar store gloss black. Needless to say, what with the peeling and discoloration, it looked like crap.

Here's what you'll need:

Engine degreaser*
Wire brushes of various sizes
Baggies, zip ties and trash bags
Masking tape
Newspaper (lots)
Dremel (not necessary but VERY handy)
600 grit sandpaper
Scotchbrite pads (synthetic steel wool)
Dupli-Color Hi-Temp Engine Enamel

*I did this on a couple of bikes, on one I rode it to a coin-op car wash and used the degreaser there initially then touched up with aerosol degreaser, on the other I used the aerosol and Dawn soap, scrub brushes and a garden hose. Both turned out fine.

On a COLD bike:

Start by masking off everything you can that's not the engine with the tape and trash bags. Baggies help with small stuff, or stuff that's easy to remove that doesn't need painting. Thoroughly saturate the engine with degreaser, making sure to get into nooks and crannies, and don't forget to pull the plug wires and clean under there. Accumulated crud will need additional scrubbing and soaking. Try to avoid getting degreaser on electrical components or the carbs, these items should be wrapped tight. Let soak 15-20 minutes.

Lather, rinse, repeat until the engine is relatively clean.

If there is old paint, this is the hard part. After the engine is dry, start scrubbing with the wire brushes. Dollar stores are great sources, look in the kitchen and tool sections for various sizes and shapes. You don't have to remove all of the old paint, just any that's flaking or loose. This will also allow you to find any grease and crud deposits you missed (and you will miss a few). The paint that is not loose needs a good scuffing. This is where the Scotchbrite and sandpaper comes in.

After you've got the old paint and/or surfaces scuffed and cleaned, go over the engine once more with a scrub brush and some soapy water. Dawn works well. Rinse and let dry. You want it completely dry, so you may want to grab a hair dryer and make sure the nooks and crannies are dry and clean.

Dupli-Color makes two types of hi-temp paint, regular (for engines and such) and super hi-temp (with ceramic!) for manifolds, etc. Either will do. The ones I prefer are Natural Aluminum or Brushed Aluminum. You can also mix and match for a more detailed look. If you want a black-out look, I recommend semi-gloss black.

Using the newspaper and masking tape, carefully mask off EVERYTHING that you do not want painted. This includes rubber hoses, sheetmetal, frame, exhaust, etc. Remove the plug wires (did you remember to scrub under the plug caps?) and tape them out of the way. You want to cover anything that could catch overspray. Cables should be zip-tied out of the way. Once you've covered everything but the engine, you're ready to go.

LIGHT coats are the key here. Don't try to cover everything at once. I normally go for 5 light coats, with about 20 minutes between coats. Make sure to get under the exhaust pipes, inside the fins, every nook and cranny. If you get a run, wipe it off quickly and you should be fine after the next coat or so. This is pretty forgiving paint.

Let dry for an hour or two, then unwrap the bike and put everything back to normal.

If you decided to go for the blackout look, or if you want a little more detail, you can sand the cylinder fins lightly with the 600 grit until the bare metal shows through. I like starting with the 600 and going finer until I hit 1500 or 2000 grit, but it's up to you. If you want even more detail, pick up a stainless bolt kit off of Ebay. Really stands out on a blackout, still looks nice on a silver engine.

Now would be a good time to hit the rubber sections of the clutch line and other small rubber pieces with your preferred treatment.

This method works great for me, pretty cheap (around $6 a can for paint, I normally use 2 cans, everything else is dollar store or cheap hardware stuff) and easily done over a weekend. The results last several years. DO NOT skimp and buy cheap paint or you'll end up back where you started. You can buy cheap degreaser if you're really broke, but don't cheap out on the paint.

BTW, the bike will smell a bit for the first couple hundred miles, this is just the paint going through it's "final cure" stage and will clear up soon. A little haze or "smoke" off of the engine is normal. The heat hardens the paint and actually makes it much more durable.

This is a relatively easy but time-consuming job that anyone can do, and the results are definitely worth it. I've done this on several daily riders, both blackout and aluminum, and in most cases it looks like a factory job. The trick is all in the prep work, getting the engine as clean and ready for quality paint as possible. For best results you may want to remove the exhaust, but it's up to you. Experiment with the paint prior to painting the engine to find out what the final color will be, mix and match and just get creative.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the compliments. Thought I'd post a pic of my gone but not forgotten VT700C with the blackout treatment and sanded fins.



Actually, I used to call that bike the Dupli-Color bike, the rims were painted using much the same method, as well as the final drive. Frame was painted semi-gloss and the bodywork was, yes, Dupli-Color Truck and Van metallic teal, five coats base and four coats clear, wet sanded and polished. This pic was taken about six months after painting. While I would have preferred a professional paint job, I did this for about $50-60 total investment on the back patio of my apartment, and I didn't have a compressor at the time.

Here's the kicker: when I got the bike, it had been sitting under a mesquite tree for 7 YEARS. Wish I'd taken some before pics.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey, my first sticky post! Cool!
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Engine clean up

Hey thanks, great write up...due to this being an el nino winter, I am hoping to get her one the road soon, so I'll save your tips until next fall.

Hopefully a photo of "Shadow" as she is now will post here...

http://picasaweb.google.com/mooneyfwie/ShadowRoadTrips#
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