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Chief Honda
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So I've been rehabilitating my long neglected 85' VT700C. So far I've cleaned and service the carbs, replaced the brake and clutch master cylinders, new turn signal stocks, new throttle cables, new grips, all oil and fluid changes, rebuilt the front brake pistons/seals, new tires, greased all the things and cleaned about 23.6% of all the dust and grime off. The one issue I still have is my Vance & Hines exhaust looks like crap. It's getting pretty rusty and there may be three different melted rain suits on the down pipes. I am having a heck of time finding a replacement exhaust.

Does anyone know of a company that will clean up the rust and re-chrome my current exhaust? Or know where new exhausts can be found for a 35 year old bike?

Oh, and I had it running today so here is a photo.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle
 

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'83 VT750C; ‘21 SV650A
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Those pipes are pretty! Look stock, but without the bulk. Yes, finding ‘new’ ones would be impossible, though you MAY come across the MAC and Cobra ones, which aren’t near as nice. Even 25 years ago or more, the MACs were the only ones I could find. Salvage yards MAY have something if they have a complete bike.

Someone here had mentioned a trick with aluminum foil that might work, plus other tricks to remove light rust. Just don’t want to scratch the Chrome. Otherwise, a local detailing shop might be able to help.
 

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2013 Honda Shadow Phantom 750
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4,388 Posts
The rain suits can be cleaned off with aluminum foil and oven cleaner, just protect everything else from the oven cleaner. It should remove the rust too.

If the pipes are rusting then the chrome is compromised and will need to have constant attention to keep it at a minimum, this is what I have heard over the years.

Look for shops in your area that do metal plating. They should be able to fix you up. You may have to work with a shop some distance away so shipping would have to be factored in to the cost. They would also be able to do a heavier application of chrome that would be more resistant to future issues and would look better as well.

I am sure it will not be cheap but you have to weigh all your options, in the end it may be the better option.

Eric


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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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Surface rust, clean with polishing compound and aluminum foil but will require constant attention. Depending on on condition, I'd have them sand blasted with a 120 grit aluminum oxide and use VHT High Heat Cast Iron paint per instructions. I highly recommend VHT products.
 

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03 750 ACE / Michigan
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Most plating shops don't like to do exhaust pipes because all the soot from inside contaminates the tanks. You might have to consider painting them with high-temp paint or doing a wrap. Or once you get them cleaned up they become a maintenance item for polishing. That might not be as bad as it sounds, it might be a couple-times-a-year kind of thing.

I like what you've done so far, it looks good!
 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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I might add that using glass bead will give a slight shiny finish which isn't a good finish for paint adhesion like aluminum oxide medium will give. Need that dull finish.
 

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I have brought back pipes to 90% that were worse than those.
It takes a lot of work and the right products but NEVER use steel wool of any kind.
It's best done with the pipes off the bike, saves a lot of squatting/kneeling, and you can use a buffing pad/wheel.

On the bike, I have used chrome cleaning products and a length of cotton rope wrapped/looped around the pipe with a back-and forth motion.

Yes, you can remove the rust, but as PhantomRider6 mentioned, the chrome has been compromised and will need more frequent "cleaning" than pipes that have never rusted.

For the burnt-on plastic, make a scrapper from a flattened piece of copper tubing to remove the bulk of it follow with some chrome cleaner.
Lots of old threads on cleaning (rusty) chrome on this site, search for them, but don't use steel wool as some have suggested.
Not interested in a debate about using steel wool here either.
jmo,
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Edit: here's a bunch of how-to vids on utube:
(20) removing rust from chrome exhaust pipes - YouTube

This guy used Lime Away and white wall cleaner:
(20) Clean rusty motorcycle exhaust in minuets. You must see this! - YouTube
I'm sure you will find a method that does not use steel wool.
 
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Chief Honda
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thank you everyone for the responses. I forgot to mention that the rust is mainly at the cross pipe underneath and at the brackets that mount the exhaust to the frame. Yes, at a distance it looks good. Especially since I did a bit of polishing on the pipe in the picture. My major concern us underneath and I know I should have taken a picture of that.

I've actually plated some things at home in the past. I was just hoping there was an outfit already set up to do this.

That matte paint idea is attractive too.
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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If the underside of your exhaust is the worst you may want to treat the rust, clean and paint the hidden rusty areas. The chrome looks great from here. My mufflers were so bad, chrome peeling, that I sanded and painted them black. I left the rest of my exhaust chrome.
 

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Pretty much what the group said. Rechrome is out. Replacement is out. Foil is in, 0000 grade steel wool and wd40? Might scratch, but light is the touch-test under the pipe where the test won't show.

37yr old bike. It runs. Going showroom is anal for that kind of year. More like a tube of patina needs to be inhaled thru the eyes. Eases the brown color from all that retentiveness. After all, you neglected it. Just saying. It's a bike and that's too over the top to worry about rust spots.

Just come down from the building's roof. It's not a collectable bike once the OEM enters the trashcan. Life is too short.
 
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