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Thread: Motorcycle Engine polishing

  1. #1
    tomlando is offline New User
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    Default Motorcycle Engine polishing

    I am about to get started on a bike project. I am thinking about polishing the engine. I have a blaster cabinet, die grinders, dremels. I would like to acquire attachments,supplies and instructions on the best method(s) to do this. Any help would be much appreciated

  2. #2
    skiddz's Avatar
    skiddz is offline Experienced Metal Finisher
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    Did the very same thing for my banshee about a month ago. Took a LOT of time and more than one temper tantrum. heheh

    I outfitted myself with a couple sisal wheels, a couple tight spiral wheels, a loose cotton wheel, a couple mushroom buffs, several different sizes of felt bobs and a decent flex shaft for my drill.

    I took the engine completely apart before I ever started, then washed all the grease and dirt off the case with carburetor cleaner and then blew it dry with compressed air.

    Various holes were stuffed with newspaper to try and keep polishing "funk" out of 'em. As the case was pretty smooth to start with, I only sanded those few areas that had scratches or blemishes with 400 grit wet/dry then went to town with the sisal wheel and black compoundicon. I did all the areas I could reach with the wheel, then switched to felt bobs to get into the hard to reach areas. I had to use my dremel with a little tiny spiral wheel for a couple areas too.

    Once the entire case was shiny and scratch free, I wiped it down with laquer thinner and a *SOFT* rag to remove all the black compoundicon remnants. I then used the spiral wheels and brown compoundicon. Again, I did all I could with the wheel then switched to various bobs to get into the nooks and crannies.

    Once I was satisfied with the shine, I cleaned it with laquer thinner again then fired off the loose cotton wheel with white compoundicon and went over the entire case. One more cleaning with laquer thinner and then I unplugged all the holes and washed it down with dishwashing soap and lots of hot water. I blew it dry with compressed air then gave it a couple coats of carnauba wax. Check out the pics at www.net-cetera.com/banshee

    One thing you want to avoid. DO NOT polish any gasket mating surfaces!!! You could remove enough material to cause a leak. Also, be aware of the mandrel itself. You don't want to try working the wheel into an area and scratch the carp out of another area with the mandrel 'cuz you weren't paying attention (Been there, done that!)

    Read the online "How to Buff" manual for info on technique - this helped me tremendously.

    Some of the other parts I did required a lot of grinding and hand sanding before they were ready to polish. The clutch cover I did was a pain in the butt as the casting was of pretty poor quality and I had to bead blast the old paint off before I even started. It came out ok, but took a lot of work to get to that point.

    The suspension link was pretty easy since I could get to all of it with various sanding drums to get it smoothed out before I satrted polishing.

    The brake caliper was disassembled, bead blasted, washed clean then required a bit of time with greaseless compounds to get it smooth. Again, a poor quality casting, but came out pretty nice with a little effort.

    This weekend I tackle the carburetors.. Not looking forward to those at all...

    I'm no expert, but with this forum's help and Caswell's products, I'm having good results.

    Good luck!!

  3. #3
    tomlando is offline New User
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    Good job there, Skidzz. Thanks for taking the time to answer and include all those pics. I have a little delay in my project as I had a little fall and broke both of my wrists. But I'm going to do a 90 Suzuki Intruder VS1400 as soon as I'm able. I found that wet sanding down to 2000 has produced the best as far as removing scratches and less wheel time; though I am wondering if it might be better to experiment with the finger type buffs on the finned jugs. Thanks again! - Tom

  4. #4
    skiddz's Avatar
    skiddz is offline Experienced Metal Finisher
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    Ouch! I'm guessing there was ice involved. Either on the ground where you were walking, or in the cocktails you got hammered on. hehehe

    Sorry to hear about your spill.. Hope you heal quickly and can get to your project.

    I'm thinking the "side" of a felt bob might make those fins pretty easy to get done. I'm going to tackle the billet grille on my truck with one as soon as I get my 4 wheeler put back together. Same kinda deal as your fins. I'm thinking it should turn out pretty good...

  5. #5
    customandsound Guest

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    skiddz: i started to tear my quad down .. seeing how it is frezzing here i need to get it all polished for the mud this spring .... now only if they would clean the race track before i get there

  6. #6
    skiddz's Avatar
    skiddz is offline Experienced Metal Finisher
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    That's why I like the dunes out here. No mud, just dust and a little oily dirt to clean off. usually it takes no more than a good hosing off to get the wheeler all nice and clean. I wonder if that'll still be the case with all the freshly polished stuff that's gonna be on it.

    I took my truck (F350 crew cab 4x4) out in the mud a few weeks ago and romped around.. man, what a nightmare it was to clean that thing up. Took a good 4 hours with the pressure washer to get the underside clean and then I had to break out the grease gunicon and lube everything to push any water out... Good thing it's lifted and I don't have to jack it up to get under it. <g>

  7. #7
    customandsound Guest

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    i had me one of them toys .. a 81 ford bronco with a double frame.. 8"lift 44"tires and i had more room than i needed .. i had to sell it do to the fact i opened a shop.. and now that i am opening a new one it would bring them in ....

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