Moto Guzzi V700, V7 Special, Ambassador, 850 GT, 850 GT California, Eldorado, and 850 California Police models
A highly polished bike looks great. But, I hate to polish. I've been polishing aluminum since I was a kid working on my Dad's semi truck wheels. Back then, all the work was by hand and it seemed to take forever. Today, I've discovered some techniques and methods that make the job a lot easier. Sure, it will cost you a little bit of money up front to invest in these items, but you'll always be glad you did. My philosophy is to purchase the best possible tools for the jobs I hate to do the most...it makes those jobs a lot more bearable.
- TurtleWax Chrome Polish; I've found this to be just a good as Mothers - at a cheaper price.
- Mothers Chrome Polish
- Competition Chemicals Blue Away (specifically for exhaust header pipes); I've found this to be nearly worthless.
- 0000 steel wool. I never start with steel wool, but sometimes chrome polish simply won't get the job done. It is then that I turn quadruple-ought steel wool. If your chrome is in great shape, don't use steel wool. But if you are left with the choice of replating or using 0000 steel wool, the choice is clear. Never use triple-ought (000) steel wool.
- Start with this great
- Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish (I use this for all hand polishing)
- Tripoli compound - the red stuff (I use this with the buffing wheel for the first pass). Eastwood (item number 13135) sells this, as well as many other companies.
- White Rouge compound - the white stuff (I use this with the buffing wheel for the final polish). Eastwood (item number 13001) sells this, as well as many other companies.
- I do all of the buffing I can using a 6 inch buffing wheel on my bench grinder (with the safety shields removed). A dedicated buffing station would be better, but I haven't invested the money into one yet.
- John Ulrich recommended this: For polishing wheels, I use a 2 inch mini buff connected to a mandrel that is attached by a flexible shaft to my drill press running as close to 3600 RPM as it can. The 2 inch size make it easy to get between the spokes and polish the entire rim (1 1⁄2 inch would be too small, 2 1⁄2 inch would be too big). Eastwood sells the 2 inch mini buffing wheels (item number 13140 C), 1⁄4 inch mandrels (item number 13054), 1⁄8 inch mandrels (item number 13063), and the flexible shaft (item number 13385 - No longer available). A die grinder could be used in place of the drill press/flexible shaft.
Rough cast aluminum
- Mark Etheridge of Moto Guzzi Classics recommended this: ZEP-A-LUME - Mark swears by this stuff. It is a little hard to come by, but he has begun selling it. Contact him directly.
John Ulrich recommended this:
Eagle One Etching Mag Cleaner - etching solution
Bsystem. Cleans the engine and transmission cases very well. You will need to use a wire brush to remove any corrosion, etc.
Preparation: The case must be completely cleaned of all oil and grease before applying the cleaner.
Caution: Do not use on polished aluminum or you will have to polish it again.
Note: Eagle One will turn certain castings a darker color. These castings include:
- Timing chest cover
- Oil pan
- 5 speed transmission case
- Deep sump rear drive housing (starburst rear drive is polished)
- Pat Galbraith recommended this:
I usually use aluminum door cleaner on the engine cases and have always been asked how did I get them so clean. I normally found it at the local hardware store but its been some time since I bought a bottle. It comes in a gallon jug like milk comes in and you just apply it with a paint brush. If you decide to use this cleaner, ALWAYS clean from the bottom of the case and work your way up otherwise you will get streaks and be sure to do just small sections at a time.
- Timothy Bowser recommended this:
Gel LimeAway works wonders. Buy it at a grocery store. Use a brush and just lather the case one side at a time. Don't let it sit too long. A few minutes is sufficient. This has got my Guzzi blocks exceptionally clean and didn't leave any residue.
Tom Christian recommended this:
Soak with a
pasteof water and Barkeepers friend (oxalic acid) and scrubbing, rinsing, repeat after I use zip strip to get the paint off. Lots of work, but it is looking better.
Matt Hoffman mentions:
Oxalic acid is available in the States at most boating stores and some home improvement stores sold as
Ralf Brinkmann sent me his comments and photos about using oxalic acid. In Ralf's own words:
The oxalic acid doesn't affect the aluminum metal nor the ultra thin protecting skin of aluminum oxide that is coating each naked aluminum.
So it doesn't look like fresh casted or blasted metal, it has a more normal look - medium grey - maybe that's not that what you are expecting.
I bought 1000 grams for beekeeper affairs from eBay for nearly 10 Euro bucks - after cleaning one engine case, one timing cover and two hubs nearly 700 grams of the white powder are still remaining.
I did mix the oxalic powder with water and some liquid soap - you may apply with a sprayer but the sprayer jets may tend to block - a tooth brush or a hard paint brush is the more safe method.
I gave oxalic acid a try by buying 2 pounds of oxalic acid off of eBay for USD $11.99 delivered. I set a disc brake hub and two bearing carriers in a small plastic tub and filled with water until the parts were covered. Then I mixed in three heaping tablespoons of oxalic acid and let the parts sit. After a couple of hours, I used a nylon bristle brush to easily rub off any of the material the acid had
sluffedoff. Then I let the parts set again for another couple hours. Once complete, I neutralized the acid in a separate container with baking soda. The parts must be cleaned and degreased beforehand, but the oxalic acid really worked well removing the stains and discoloration, giving me the look I was after.
- John Ulrich recommended this:
If everything is apart, the engine and transmission cases can be treated with Sodium Silicate, baked in the oven. The product tends to remain in the pores, thus helping to prevent future stains.
- John Ulrich recommended this:
3M Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scour Pads (for inside the spokes on the wheel hubs).
- Meguiar's PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner and Polish