Those big exhaust manufold nuts...

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by frichtie, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. frichtie

    frichtie Been here awhile

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    Tomorrow, my G/S will finally hit the road. Bought it in November and been making it a "better bike" since.

    This morning, i'm looking for a way to make the exhaust manifold nuts look better and for a longer time.

    Tell me if I'm wrong: They're made of cast aluminum, aren't they? My idea was to clean them by lightly sandblasting them. But then, it won't keep them from attracting the dust and dirt....I know, it's a trail bike. Dust and dirt is part of its life.
    How abour painting them with high temperature enamel? Polishing won't do much good, cause it will rapidly fade. Is there some chemical treatment that would do?

    It doesn't keep me from sleeping. But you know, if someone has a solution... The worst that can happen: They will remain as they are: And it just doesn't affect the bike after all!
    Eric
    #1
  2. Jon-Lars

    Jon-Lars Jon-Lars

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    Those nuts are radiators for your cylinder head. Don't mess with them.
    #2
  3. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Keep em clean. Use aluminum cleaner just like you would on the rest of the bike and definitely install with anti seize.

    The easiest aluminum cleaner to source (at least here in the states) is Eagle 1 all wheel Mag Cleaner. Not the one for clear coated wheels (stronger). They stay bright for a long time once cleaned up.
    #3
  4. frichtie

    frichtie Been here awhile

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    I know they are "radiators" and, no, I'm not gonna mess with them.
    Up to now, I tried a piece of red "scotchbrite" and I'll simply finish rubbing it with blue scotchbrite. I just don't want the G/S to look neglicted.

    Those nuts are what they are and since the bike is not intented to become a "trailer-queen", no chrome will be added to it....
    As I said, dirt end dust is part of those big nuts life!

    Thanks,

    Eric
    #4
  5. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    When I do an oil filter change, I take the whole exhaust off. It's about an annual thing these days.

    Doing that gives me the opportunity to also tidy up the exhaust, and I tend to soak the nuts in simple green for a few hours. A good rinse and a light brush at the end and they invariably come up well.

    Anti seize on the threads when they go back on.
    #5
  6. frichtie

    frichtie Been here awhile

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    A friend just suggested he could treat it with some chemical (Alodine) that works well on aluminum parts.
    The nuts would turn some yellowish and then be corrosion resistant....
    I'm thinking, I'm thinking!

    Eric
    #6
  7. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    Shot peen, then gold plate.
    #7
  8. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    Powder coating them is the only way to make them look good.
    #8
  9. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Painting the exhaust nuts is messing with them. The paint will hinder the transfer of heat. Can cause over heating of exhaust valve, burnt valve, poor running engine.

    Besides all the Airheads who see your machine will laugh at you.
    #9
  10. r77toy

    r77toy Been here awhile

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    Alodine will probably be splotchy, also a strange shade of brownish gold.
    #10
  11. frichtie

    frichtie Been here awhile

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    I finally decided to stick to the old say: "Leave well alone".

    A G/S doesn't need to look shiny. The best we can do, is keeping it reasonnably clean...

    May first! The Bike will be registered today and hit the road. Hope the rain stops....Got a brand new Heidenau that I won't take in the rain for its first ride.

    Eric
    #11
  12. igormortis

    igormortis Cafe Reise

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    Hmmm...

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Jon-Lars

    Jon-Lars Jon-Lars

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    Attermarket last-ditch repair.
    #13
  14. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Yeah. My assertion that paint on the exhaust nuts will cause any discernible damage is really kinda stretching it. But I still don't like the idea of painting them.

    The exhaust nut repair is a valid solution to a real world problem.
    #14
  15. frichtie

    frichtie Been here awhile

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    If I had to make some replacement parts, I'd make sure they are "winged" so they would still act as "radiators"...

    Eric
    #15
  16. lkchris

    lkchris Albuquerque

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    Gee, if you're concerned about the appearance of the nuts, just consider them replaceable parts. You know, after a while your tires don't look so good either, so you get new ones. Handgrips. Seat foam. Light bulbs.
    #16
  17. igormortis

    igormortis Cafe Reise

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    Not my pic - and in my case the threads are just fine - but I’ll be using them on a long-distance trip. Saves me from carrying a specific exhaust nut tool.
    #17