Honda Shadow Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just bought my first shadow, a 1985 VT700. Today was the first day out in the garage cleaning and inspecting.
The bike came with set of saddle bags which I removed to start cleaning the bike. I noticed that the aluminum fender strut/sissy bar seemed a little dull. Upon closer inspection I found that the previous owner had spray painted it with silver spray paint.
I grabbed a piece of grey scotch bright pad and removed a bit of the paint, everything looked fine to me so I started removing it. Four hours later I had finally removed all the paint. What a difference!
So if you’re looking for a good way to brighten up the aluminum, go out, find a bike that moron painted the aluminum, spend hours sanding, and you to will have a great brushed aluminum piece.


mindfungus
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
As an Airstream owner I can you that any aluminium can be brought back 100%.

Depending on the oxidation use red or white compound, then go to Metalwax.com and buy a small kit.

It will look like chrome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
They ONLY did the sissybar?? Lucky you, the 85 VT700 we bought the hooplehead had spray painted (silver) the entire bike except for the seat, fenders and tank. I mean, motor, frame, overflow bottle, wiring, under the side covers, EVERYTHING. Mine will never be in 100% condition but what I did get removed is a vast improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Are you sure they painted it? There is clear coat applied over the aluminum and over time it dulls and casts a silver hue to the aluminum underneath. By hitting it with the scotchbrite (or steel wool) you end up removing the clear coat exposing the aluminum underneath which is quite a bit shinier. No problem in removing the clear coat...you will just have to hit it with aluminum polish every now and again.

And if you have any pitting in the aluminum from salt water spray, you can hit it with something a LITTLE more coarse, then dfollow up with finer polishing medium and it will be as good as new.

I am in the process of doing this with my sissy bar, both crankcase covers, the engine head covers and the lower front forks. It is a slow process to be sure. I am sure I am not doing it the "preferred" way, but I am hitting it with #1 steel wool and following up with #00 steel wool and #0000 steel wool and finally some Mothers aluminum polish. I am doing all of mine by hand because I do not have the polishing wheels, etc... for my drill. But what I have done so far on the sissy bar and one of the crankcase covers looks 1000% better than before on my 86 VT500c...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
I did the same to my '87 VT700, wheels and lower forks were all blackish corroded thru the clearcoat.

I agree with LI Pets, stay away from the steel wool, it can embed itself in the aluminum and cause rust spots. Use Scotchbrite, it is THE new steel wool!

Lower forks facing forward were the worst, started with medium emery cloth, then fine, then used very fine Scotchbrite WITH Mother's Aluminum polish. Gave it a nice sheen, used a little brake cleaner to get the shmuck off, then a couple of coats of wax.

For the rims, started with a fine wire wheel on a drill, very lightly, then the very fine Scotchbrite and Mother's, clean, and wax. Still looks great. Of coarse, I stay out of the rain - I HATE driving in the rain anyway.

Then there was all that rusty chrome...

Gumpy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Oh, it was defiantly spray paint, over spray and all. I used a generic grey scotch bright pad. It looks great now. I just made sure that I sanded in one direction, gave it a nice even brushed look. I can't understand why they would have painted it. It's not chrome, but it's not supposed to be either. Now that it's cleaned up it looks really good.

I've read some other posts about cleaning up the engine side covers. Looks like I'd have to remove the clear coat from the covers and then spend a whole lot of time polishing them. As long as it's clean, runs good, and keeps turning heads, it works for me. It's a 22 year old bike it's not supposed to be perfect.

I'll get some pictures up today. I still have to refurbish the saddle bags. The bags are quite dull and warped and need some attention.

mindfungus
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Instead of brake cleaner to get the black stuff off when polishing alum, any soapy water will take it off.

I tried the scotch bright pad, the bronze wool is much better.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top