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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Any advice on type of paint for the fins on my vt 1100 cylinders? It looks like they can come off, and since I got a few chips here and there, I was gonna just sand them and paint them again.

Just thinking of using a higher temp rattle can. Figured since they are cosmetic they won't get blazing hot like real fins on an air cooled bike?

Also, are those polished head covers cosmetic covers that can be easily removed and shined?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
has anyone ever tried that chrome finish paint that duplicolor makes? If it actually looks ok, it might look cool on my bike... I'm a little apprehensive of how well it will turn out though..haha.
 

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You should probably stick with high heat engine paint. You can find it in a rattle can at any auto store, might be a little more durable and resistant.
The trouble with any faux chrome paint is it doesn’t do well in the sun and will fade rather quickly. You also can’t clear coat over it without messing up the chrome look.
 

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http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/53-general-discussion/103263-just-stole-shadow-im-new-3.html

Check the thread out with my build up and paint work. I pulled the cylinder fins off mine, and the chrome plastic pieces that you're talking about. If that page doesn't show em just scroll thru to the next few pages to find it (I just changed my total posts per page to 20 so it might not be the same as you. Maybe page 5 or 6 is where it starts).

I'd personally stay away from the chrome. At least on the cylinder fins. High temp paint on the cylinder fins works fine but I wouldn't use anything else. Most of the cooling is done thru the radiator on our bikes. Even running at normal operating temp I can reach down and touch the cylinder fins for a few seconds at a time. It's more cosmetic. If you'd really like, you can paint em and then sand down the edges to give them back that shininess.
The plastics can use almost any paint. They don't see too much heat
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sweet ride there acid. I was reading it the other day and the wife dragged me outside and I forgot to continue reading it!

Anyway, I was under the impression the cylinder caps were not plastic... but appears they are? I'll probably just clean them up as best I can. I am pretty sure my fins are aluminum because in a few places where it bubbled and flaked off it looks like oxidized aluminum. I'll just clean them up and use a high temp grey paint to match my factory finish.

I don't want to change a whole lot on this bike (other than accessories) because it's kind of a family heirloom...so no chopping or whole sale mod'ing (even though doing that stuff is a blast)
 

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If you do decide to refinish them, you can paint the fins. Don't worry about the edges. After you paint them, some thinner on q-tips can remove the major paint on the edges. Once the paint is dry, you can clean the edges up on the polishing wheel of a bench grinder. With some effort, they polish up really great. Keep in mind you will need to refinish the rest of the engine to match (read: a lot of masking and hard work).

My fins were corroded when I bought my bike (paint was fine). I took them off and polished the edges on the polishing wheel. They really brightened up. It requires some effort (and a fair bit of rouge) but the results are worth it.

The lower fins require a Dremel with a polishing bit to match.
 

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When you say "Cylinder caps" I'm assuming you mean the pieces on top. Those are plastic (at least on mine). You can knock on em with your fingers to find out. The fins themselves are metal. Mine were flaking and looking really ratty. So I took the top fins off (The bottoms are part of the motor and not removable), and I used a dremel with a metal polishing wheel to grind some of the flaking off the fin edges. I did that mainly because I wanted the edges to come out smooth. I gave them a chemical boil, and cleaned the living heII out of them to make sure the paint would stick and not flake since i couldn't really use a primer or clear coat on the motor.
It's holding up well. I've put probably 500 miles on it since I did all the paint and I'm happy I did it.

Like AeroCapDave suggests, if you polish the edges after painting you can really get it gleeming. But it's a bit of work. I was satisfied with an all black motor so I decided not to sand and polish the fin edges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think my whole fin assembly is painted...so no edge work required, unless of course I want to change things up.
 

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...Once the paint is dry, you can clean the edges up on the polishing wheel of a bench grinder. With some effort, they polish up really great. Keep in mind you will need to refinish the rest of the engine to match (read: a lot of masking and hard work).

My fins were corroded when I bought my bike (paint was fine). I took them off and polished the edges on the polishing wheel. They really brightened up. It requires some effort (and a fair bit of rouge) but the results are worth it.

The lower fins require a Dremel with a polishing bit to match.
I used a Dremel tool with a Cratex wheel on my fins. LOVE the Cratex for resto stuff!! Removes any excess paint, stubborn corrosion and shines all in one. :D
 

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the top fins while removable are NOT FOR DECORATION ONLY. The fins when installed correctly conduct the heat from the cylinger and head at the point of contact between the fins and the cylinder. This DOES provide cooling to the cylinder. They are removable for convenience.
 

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I'm not saying that they're completely cosmetic, but the amount of heat they actually dissipate is minimal at best. If you pull the cylinder fins off you can see that there's hardly any contact with the motor itself. Which is needed to transfer heat to the fins. Hence why you can touch your fins even with a fully warmed up bike and they're barely hot. More like luke warm for me.

Here's a few more opinions on the matter
http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/72-technical-discussion/102606-cooling-fins.html

In all combustion engines, a great percentage of the heat generated (around 44%) escapes through the exhaust, not through either a liquid cooling system nor through the metal fins of an air-cooled engine (12%). About 8% of the heat energy finds its way into the oil. On a liquid cooled bike, the fins aren't useless, but their impact on the actual cooling of the motor isn't super high either.
 

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The hottest point on the engine is the cylinder head. Yes the exhaust manifold (or pipes as the case may be) is where the most heat is concentrated but that is not in the engine proper.
Heat needs to be channelled away from the cylinder head as heat causes detonation and damage. In many later madel cars the coolant flows through the head first instead of the block first in order to keep the heads as cool as possible and increase both thermal and volumetric efficiency.
the coolant on the shadows flows through the cylinders first then the heads. The cast fins are located around the hottest portion of the cylinders and the bolted on ones are in a less critical area. My bolt on fins get warm in the cool weather but not hot. But it is not the hottest spot to begin with.
As was mentioned in the other thread. the fins also act as baffles to direct the airflow to the desired parts of the engine.
 
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