I'm a bonehead and the cover on my pipe will agree

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by mspa, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    I officially did my first stupid thing with my bike. I tried to put my bike cover on this morning BEFORE the exhaust cooled off. So now I have a nice big hole in the cover and black melted stuff on the header pipe on the right side. The cover is a Dowco Guardian Weatherall Plus and it might be good to find out what that plastic-like tar is. I have contacted them for recommendation on what type of fabric to patch.

    I just went out during lunch and heated up the pipe and using wood coffee stir sticks, was able to remove most of the material. I also used some coffee paper sleeves and some damp paper towels, which helped. But now, I have a thin black film that I'd like to remove and hoping for some ideas.

    I have some Turtle chrome polish at home and some 000 steel wool. My Mac exhaust is chrome, not s/s, so I can't use my Mothers polish. Other ideas or methods????

    I assume I can eventually get this stuff off, but I'm concerned that the header pipe will be discolored, or at least not closely match the other side. If this is the case, I may consider header wrap . . .

    :cry
    #1
  2. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I clean chrome with steal wool pads. You know, like, SOS or Brillo. The chrome is harder than steal. To get rid of bluing or rust spots is a little different but you can always start with steal wool.

    For a bike cover I get the cheapest I can find. They blow away or get worn out from the sun and rain. Cheap ones for me.
    #2
  3. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    Thanks. Good word. I'll remember that next time :)

    I'll start with steel wool when it's just warm, but touchable. When it's cold, that stuff is really hard. You can't break it off. At least I'm down to the last of it.

    Just really bugs me that I did that. It's not like I haven't felt this way about other bonehead stuff I've done over the years . . .
    #3
  4. JRP

    JRP Old guy

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    Super Fine steel wool (0000) should get out any discoloration.
    #4
  5. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    I got a quick response from a customer support agent at Dowco.

    He told me to use the matching black bag that came with my cover to sew/patch the hole. He has an extra grey bag he is sending me for free to replace the "donor" bag. Very impressive service for something that is my fault!!

    So I have to give Dowco credit for going above and beyond the call of duty on this :thumb:thumb
    #5
  6. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

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    Wow, that's impressive.
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  7. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    And you can carefully skim the melted plastic off with a sharp knife or a single-edged razor blade. Like the people said, chrome is tough.
    #7
  8. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

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    Pulled into my temporary garage a couple weeks ago and inadvertently made header contact with some tarps wood pellet bags; then I did it again the next night!

    Thought about how to clean them and decided to see if a long ride would burn all the crap off.

    It did.
    #8
  9. Horsehockey

    Horsehockey A GPS? Huh?

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    I had a hell of a time cleaning some old head gasket material off a head on a friend's /6 not long ago.

    What didn't work: acetone, Goo-B-Gone, heat, razor blades, wooden scrapers.

    What worked:

    http://images.motorcycle-superstore.com/ProductImages/OG/0000-Permatex-Gasket-Remover---.jpg

    I think it helps to apply it to a warm surface. Let it sit for maybe half an hour. Try it on an inconspicuous spot first. I was cleaning off baked gasket sealant on an aluminum head. Wouldn't think it would damage chrome, but better to check.
    #9
  10. 100RT

    100RT Long timer

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    Oven cleaner or acetone should melt if off.
    #10
  11. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    Good news. Heat from the drive home did most of the trick, and I finished it off with 0000 steel wool. I also used a green Scotch abrasive pad, but the steel wool worked better. So that's done. Now on to asking my wife to do some sewing . . .

    Thanks for the very helpful comments!!
    #11
  12. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer

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    Next time it happens, get the pipe nice and hot and wipe the area with a wet rag. The heat from the pipe will melt the plastic, the wet rag will cause the melted plastic to harden against the rag as you wipe it off.
    Finish with 0000 steel wool.
    #12
  13. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    +1 on the el cheepo covers. I bought a "$79.99" high quality one once...it didn't last much longer than the $14.99 ones I buy now. Plus I can buy 5 of them for the price of one "good" one.
    or buy the Chinese E-Bay ones for $.01 cents....shipping is only $29.99, with a quick 8 week delivery time.
    #13
  14. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

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    There was suit called the Spartan years ago. It was a one piece insulated water proof thing that actually worked. My pipes melted more holes in that thing. The suit I patched back together with duct tape and silicone, the pipes I used steel wool and turtle polish. Oh, who am I kidding, I just let the crap burn off the pipes.
    #14
  15. mspa

    mspa Been here awhile

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    I have to thank my wife for using her seamstress skills on my Dowco cover today! I mentioned that Dowco sent me a matching cover bag that was big enough to do the deed. Here's pics.

    Outside cover:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Inside the cover:

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Long timer

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    warm up engine and use a knife
    #16
  17. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    Extra fine steel wool and acetone (wear proper gloves; butyl rubber, not nitrile) will clean the pipe up like new.

    I recently "restored" the headers on my old Royal Enfield 750 which had 20 years worth of old primary case oil burned onto them with the above materials.
    They're nice and shiny now.

    I thought those Dowco covers had metalized fabric on the lower half where they're likely to touch the exhaust system?
    #17
  18. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    FWIW, AutoZone sells bike covers that do have hot-pipe friendly sections built in. $30.
    #18