Anyone else use silver rub n' buff on aluminum?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by 240sx4u, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. 240sx4u

    240sx4u Been here awhile

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    I saw this stuff mentioned here and it seemed like an awesome alternative to bead blasting and things like that. Wax plus silver = decent looking cast parts.

    Anyone use this stuff? Let's see some pictures!

    Evan
    #1
  2. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    The whole idea of "engine makeup" seems kind of goofy to me no matter how good it looks. Blast it with soda or walnut shell to get rid of grunge. Call any remaining imperfections "patina." Painting aluminum so that it looks like aluminum, just doesn't sit right with me. It just feels fake. Even if it looks good to others, I would always know that it's fake and it would bother me.
    #2
  3. 240sx4u

    240sx4u Been here awhile

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    I have no blasting equipment or that is exactly what I would do. I mainly wanted to use it in places where it would be difficult to clean later.
    #3
  4. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    you can get a cheap venturi blasting pistol for $20 at HF and a bag of media. Rent a good enough air compressor for the weekend and you'll be good. HF was unloading their smaller soda blasters REALLY cheap for a while also and the one I got actually worked pretty decently.
    #4
  5. 240sx4u

    240sx4u Been here awhile

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    I have a compressor that is definitely up to the task, I hadn't even thought about just trying out a cheap siphon unit. Sweet. Thanks for the suggestion. That will also allow me to get into the hub area on the wheel where it's pretty gross looking.
    #5
  6. brocktoon

    brocktoon Been here awhile

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    I guess when you call it "engine makeup" it's bound to seem goofy. Still, that's why I ride without oil seals. The whole idea of an "engine tampon" seems kind of goofy to me, no matter how well they work.
    #6
  7. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Oil seals serve a vital function. Rubbing silver goop onto aluminum to make it look "more" like aluminum doesn't.. The same people must have developed those bathtub inserts. They share the philosophy that instead of fixing a relatively simple problem it's better to just hide it under a bunch of cheap crap that won't last.
    #7
  8. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

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    I tried it on the front cover of my R90/6. A little goes a long way, and it looks pretty good. It's held up well. To each there own, of course, on the pros and cons of the stuff, but it's a good option if you don't want to mess around with media blasting or whatever.
    #8
  9. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I got a tube,
    I found that it works best on surfaces that are cleaned but show discoloration from something.

    Like the hubs on my GS where it's stained black and shy of media blasting it I've not been able to get the gunk off.

    It's decent stuff and it has it's place but it doesn't make something that's nasty and dirty suddenly all clean and bright looking.

    It will even out the finish on some lower grade polished aluminum. I wonder how well the black would be at doing the black plated fasteners and bits, the kind that fade to med. gray.
    #9
  10. lockyv7

    lockyv7 Long timer

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    Would a soda blaster do any damage to a front wheel hub and spokes on a 100GS, i can clean the rim but to get in to the hub with the spokes its just a shit fight, maybe place a long threaded rod through the wheel with a couple of good rubber sealing washers to keep the bearings clean, or just use it as the time to replace the front wheel bearings while its apart.
    #10
  11. patanga

    patanga BMWAirheadsDownunder

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    Hi lockyv7... Wet media Soda blaster on the hub or most anywhere else alloy should be fine... It's the dry bead blasters that you need to keep away from anything alloy. It's also handy if the person doing the job understands a little about the parts and does their best to only get it where required.

    Dry blast looks great until you touch it and then you'll learn that with every touch, finger prints will for ever be left all over the metal. Dry blast leave a sharp edge key which is near impossible to work with after that. You'll end up having to do the job a 2nd time with a wet soda blaster. Also keep in mind with any media blasting that's it's vital to make sure that everything is really well pressure washed afterwards... The media gets in to everything,,, especially oil galleries and other nasty nooks where is will come back to haunt you.. Otherwise it's great..

    As for the spokes and other coated steel items,,, The blast media will likely remove any of the electro plating or paint that is on them. I'd suggest R & R the spokes and or having the wheel relaced with stainless wires afterwards.

    One more thing for those keen on giving their engine parts that highly polished look;.... Highly polished finishes retain more heat as they don't provide that same cooling efficiency as flat or standard factory patina finishes... Look on any serious race car and you will find engine parts etc in mat or satin colours. Sorry lockyv7.. I digressed there a little, just thought I'd kill two birds with one stone... Cheers.....

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    #11
  12. coastranger

    coastranger Been here awhile

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    soda balst is the way to go
    food grade is softer and less agressive for areas you need to be gentle with
    #12
  13. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    I've used Rub 'n Buff to tidy up the disc carriers on a couple of older discs.

    This picture shows the original tarnish on one, and after cleaning with scotchbrite and Simple Green metal cleaner on the other.


    [​IMG]

    You can see in this picture how the stuff massaged into the metal changes the appearance. An old toothbrush or q tips would get into the tight bits.


    [​IMG]

    The back of the carrier was almost black with years of untouched road grime. Same treatment with the cleaning, then a finger tip worth of the Rub 'n Buff massaged into the metal and voila!

    [​IMG]

    Leave it a while to dry, then do as it says...buff. The more you buff the shinier it gets. It really feels like it just absorbs into the metal, and it spreads so easily that a tiny dab goes a long way. Amazing stuff.
    #13
  14. Jon-Lars

    Jon-Lars Jon-Lars

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    Just how deep are those grooves in your discs?
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  15. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    If that stuff adds any fake color to the aluminum, forget it!

    I'd like to have a few words with the idiot who painted the spare set of Royal Enfield Interceptor cylinder heads I bought some years ago.

    When I was restoring my Interceptor last year, the plan was to use those heads since they just needed the valves lapped in. The original heads were functional, but the valve guides are quite loose.
    I had access to a commercial engine washer (giant dishwasher with a built-in oil skimmer), and put both pairs of heads in it to clean them up.
    My old-worn out heads looked fantastic when I took them out. The heads with the good valve guides looked like hell, as the paint had only partially washed off, and was duller looking than the clean metal on the other pair.
    So, now I have to get the good heads media blasted before I can use them. I put the bike together with the better looking heads to finish the restore in time for the OVM show in May.
    #15
  16. 240sx4u

    240sx4u Been here awhile

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    I figured this would really bring people out of the woodwork. Thanks for the perspective guys.
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  17. puncar thogoole

    puncar thogoole Been here awhile

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    Thought I'd revive an older thread rather than starting another.

    I kind of agree that Rub n Buff might make our old Airhead alloy look a little too blingy if overdone but wondered about the black Ebony Rub n Buff, anyone tried it on the frame & black parts?
    My frame isn't rusty it's just a bit tired, chips & discoloured areas, I've tried a few products but nothing really does it, in a perfect world I'd strip her down, media blast the frame & re-paint or powder coat but it doesn't really warrant that at the moment.
    Thought I'd just ask if anyone has tried black RnB on the frame just to save me ordering something that ain't gonna work if it's no good..
    #17
  18. puncar thogoole

    puncar thogoole Been here awhile

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    Ok I'll answer my own question for the benefit of others, seeing as no one else has thought of using Ebony Rub-n-Buff on the frame because nobody else is a smart as me :D

    Works pretty well, OK it didn't make my frame look as new but it made it look much better.
    #18
  19. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

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    Thanks for letting us know about the ebony on the frame.
    What I really want to know is what the ebony does to the aluminum. Does it simply turn it dark or actually black? Inquiring minds need to know.
    #19
  20. Renner

    Renner combustophile

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    I tried the "pewter" Rub'n'Buff last night.
    It's a near-perfect color match to the fork sliders.

    Truthfully I prefer the clean, natural casting.
    OTOH this stuff is primarily carnuba wax (with metallic powders & pigment) and easily stripped with acetone.

    Not necessarily a bad thing.
    #20