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How do I tell the difference between aluminum and stainless

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  • How do I tell the difference between aluminum and stainless

    Hello, I'm new here. I tried a search before posting, but I did'nt find anything.
    I will be polishing all trim work on my car, but will be starting with the trim around the windows. On my 77 Mustang II.
    How do I tell if it is aluminum trim or stainless steel trim? From what I have learned so far from searching this forum, there is different polishes and methods to polishing either aluminum or stainless, is that right?
    Thank you for any help.

  • #2
    staimless

    try using a magnet. if i am not mistaken it should stick to stainless and not aluminum

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    • #3
      there is non magentic stainless out there
      but here is what you can do :
      wet sand with 600 - up to - 2000
      buff with white on a losse cotton.. if i get a chance today i will tear a part off the junker in the back and polish it up..

      wait better yet
      green on sprial
      white on loose

      than should give you a shine that you want

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      • #4
        stainless is not magnetic to my knowledge. you can tell by shooting a tig torch at it on dcep- if you get a nice pool, it's stainless. if it just looks nasty and spatters, it's aluminum.
        another way to test it to try and drill a hole in it or mill it or just scratch it. aluminum is soft, stainless is relentless in hardness.

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        • #5
          customandsound: Ok I am working on a trim piece, started with a small section about 1 foot long.
          I did what you said with the wet sanding.
          I don't have all the green on loose or white on spiral stuff. I am using Mothers aluminum and metal polish, with clean, white 100% cotton t-shirts. Starting with a clean section everytime.
          I'm doing something wrong!!
          I wet sanded about 3 min. each with each grade of sandpaper. Remember the section I'm working on is only about a foot long. Do I need to sand for a longer time with each grade?
          I then took the piece inside and started polishing. I have polished in that one spot for 4 hours. It's got a shine to it, but not good enough, I want it to look like a mirror when it's done.
          And heres what blows my mind. After all the wet sanding, after 4 hours of polishing. I start with a clean section of rag everytime, as soon as I start to rub, the rag instantly turns black, dark black, everytime.
          What am I doing wrong, please help. I could be 65 by the time I get this stuff polished.

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          • #6
            can you email me your phone # or call me
            [email protected]
            my phone # is on my webpage www.customandsound.com

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            • #7
              the trim is stainless,as is about 99.9% of auto trim.
              just an fyi some of the lower grades of stainless are magnetic and will rust.but the trim on autos don`t they just dull.but they polish out pretty good.

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