Airhead Chrome care - (... or, have I buggered my pipes)?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Six_Gun, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Six_Gun

    Six_Gun Airhead

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Sydney
    Long time lurker - first post.

    I ride a recently immaculate '89 BMW R80.

    Recently, I melted my cover on to the header pipes (the part of the exhaust that comes out of the engine at the front - headers right?). So I cleaned them off and decided the chrome could do with a polish, as it was bluing / becoming very dull. I used Brasso.

    In retrospect, this appears to have been a mistake as it seems I have taken some protective coating off the chrome and they now have a light, but growing, covering of rust - which they never had before.

    So my question to you guys is... what can I do about this?

    Can I get the rust off and polish the chrome back up and coat it with something to protect it?

    Or is it buggered?
    #1
  2. Houseoffubar

    Houseoffubar HoFmetalworks.com

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,874
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    There is not a "protective coating" on chrome, to rust you would have to sand through the chrome. I suspect you just need to clean the chrome with something that will whatever is on the surface, that is corroding.

    I recommend using steel wool (fine) and soft scrub cleanser, yes seriously, these will not scratch the chrome, and will in fact polish it. It is also aggressive enough to remove almost anything on the surface. Hope that helps:D
    #2
  3. pommie john

    pommie john Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,571
    Location:
    Brisvegas, Australia
    Have you got any pictures?

    I'd be surprised if brasso damaged the pipes. It's a mild metal polish. I usually use Solvol metal polish on chrome and aluminium. It's available at most bike shops.
    #3
  4. Lokey

    Lokey redneck

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    252
    Location:
    Susanville, CA
    I have used Simichrome for years to clean chrome with excellent results. As has been said, there is no coating on pipes. It is possible that you left some residue on them after you cleaned them, and that is what you are seeing.
    #4
  5. Six_Gun

    Six_Gun Airhead

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thanks for your replies... I thought maybe I was being a goose thinking that it was a protective coating but I couldn't figure why just that area had started rusting. Maybe it is residue or something as Lokey suggested.

    Anyway - I'll take some pics tomorrow but will probably just follow the advice, soft steel wool etc.

    Cheers.
    #5