View Full Version : Stripping/Polishing Aluminum

12-23-2009, 03:05 PM
Ok, I have an ARC topmount for my alltrac. I've had it for some time and is rather old in the grand scheme of things. When it was originally made it looks like it had been coated in some sort of ceramic like material, which after time has started to flake off and just takes away from the beauty of this piece. I want to bring it back to life. What can I use to strip this thing down? Without being too harsh on it that is. I'm on the fence about coating it again or polishing it...regardless I want to respray the ARC logo onto the fins and apply a new ARC badge that I purchased from rhdjapan. Any help? I just dont want to put something on this thing that is going to scar it so to speak. The piece is too rare for me to mess it up.

The Captain
12-23-2009, 04:28 PM
You may have to have it media blasted. Something like walnut shells or plastic beads.

12-23-2009, 05:59 PM
Ok thats good advise....althouth I'm still a little hesitant to give it to anyone to blast it with anything....I dont want to damage anymore of the fins. Would something like this http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=37025 cut the cake with say a baking soda media? I'm just trying to think of a media that wont actually knock the fins around as I'm blasting it...

12-23-2009, 06:13 PM
What pieces are flaking exactly? Is it the end tanks or the fins / core also? Pics?

12-23-2009, 06:30 PM
Dude post a pic if you can.

Once I get done with this escort job, im going to be polishing a lot of stuff. I got a huge collection of greaseless compound, polishing wheels, and rock hard clear coat from POR-15. I can possibly help you out, PM me if interested. Ive been able to polish up and clear coat fins before.

12-23-2009, 07:19 PM
I dont have pics as of right now, its mostly on the end tanks and the sides of the I/C. From what I can tell the fins themselves arent coated, but the portions of the core that run thru the fins are more than likely coated as well. I can try to get a pic....but unfortunately I dont have internet access at home (do all my surfing from work) so I wont have anything to post up until monday. Just trying to guage what I'll need to do to get this thing cleaned up. My alltrac has been sitting for almost two years and I'm looking to get it rolling again in the next couple of months.

anachranerd...once I get a pic up, you let me know what you think and we'll discuss based on that. I think I like the idea of polishing/sealing it rather than doing another ceramic coat on it.

12-23-2009, 08:41 PM
I've done my fair share of polishing IC and piping along with tons of misc. parts (unrelated to cars). http://www.aceengineering.ca/polishing.asp

The inital prep all depends on the surface finish you are starting with and what you want the final result to be. Key thing with polishing is to never skip steps or it'll just end up taking you longer.

I have never blasted an IC, far too easy to damage fins and to even have potential for media to get lodged inside the IC (normally when removing the capped ends). I'd start with sanding, proper polishing equipment helps too. I have a benchtop 3/4Hp (true Hp, not gimicky China Hp rating) 3/4" shaft Baldor unit with some serious selection of wheels and compounds.

12-23-2009, 08:52 PM
Im a big fan of the greaseless sanding compound on a razor wheel.

The Captain
12-23-2009, 09:11 PM
I would start with the softest media, and work up until you get the results you want. There's no way to really strip a "coating" chemically that I know of. You'd have to try really hard to start bending fins with a soft media. It just doesn't have the mass to do it. I've seen them do radiators before, but I didn't find out what media they were using. I'm sure the i/c is tougher than copper.

12-25-2009, 05:03 PM
There's no way to really strip a "coating" chemically that I know of.

Depends on the coating. Anodizing can be stripped using Easy Off Oven Cleaner. Powdercoat can be taken off with Aircraft Stripper. Never had the opportunity to see what will get off ceramic coating though.