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A question for the anodize boys from the powder guy

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  • A question for the anodize boys from the powder guy

    Heya folks.... nice to see you all. I have a question that crosses platforms and I thought maybe you can help. (for those that don't know me hi, my name is Russ and I'm from the powder coating threads. Nice to meet you).

    Now... here's my questions(s). They pertain to the aluminum trim found on most automobiles from the 50's on up to the late 80's. I have a lot of friends who have the trim found on wheel openings,surrounding the windshield,etc. This is stamped aluminum with an anodize top-coat,no? What basically happens is this.... the anodize fogs over and chips away after years of being on the road and it needs to be re-finished. Is there a kit that Caswell sells or a way you guys know of other than just buffing with an agressive rouge and then lighter compounds until it shines again? This is what people are doing now and it's ok, I suppose. I just thought that if it originally had anodize on it to begin with.... it should be put back on for protection sake. Strip the old coating, put on a new one? I dunno... you guru's tell me as I'm not knowledgeable in this area. Is there a set list of items that I can reccomend to my friends to basically restore the trim on thier cars with? I'll look through all the other posts here for ideas, but thank you in advance for any insight you may all have. Thanks again,folks.... it was good "seeing" you all,lol. Russ aka: "non-stick"

  • #2
    I'm not sure if the parts are anodized or not. They may just be clearcoated... If they are anodized, and the layer is chipping, it would be easier to first strip the part in anodizing stripper or lye, then sand it clean and re-polish.

    Aluminum will not corrode horribly if left unfinished, it'll just lose its luster over time and need re-polished. However, if there is bare aluminum touching bare steel, there will be accelerated corrosion at this interface due to the dissimilar metals. Anodizing will help here.

    Hope it helps!


    • #3
      Also, I believe the caswell LCD anodizing kit/method should work well for this. You'll likely need a larger electrolyte tub than caswell sells. I simply use large 80-90 gallon rubbermaid totes. They work well, and are great for odd shapes and large sizes.

      You may find that some of the older aluminum is very poor quality. I once watched the restoration of a '20s Rolls Royce and was amazed at how far aluminum quality has come. Hopefully this won't be a problem for most newer cars.


      • #4
        well.... it's gotta be some sort of protective layer like anodize,no? This is the main reason why fenders and quarter panels degrade so quickly I figure (actually, not my theory... it was brought up in a group discussion at one point why quarter panels degrade so quickly). Basically if bare aluminum is left to the elements it's ok.... it's just when it touches the steel and creates that reaction between the two metals is where I have a dilemma. One might as well sandblast the fender and leave it to the elements at that point. Is there such a thing as a clear anodize? If so, how thick is it? I'm thinking this...... strip with anodize remover and "re-plate" witha thicker than usual layer of anodize to ensure this doesn't happen again for a LONG time to come. Any thoughts on that? Will a thicker coating of anodize be hazy a little bit? Thanks again for the information.... Russ