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Discussion Starter #1
Sounds like a personal problem and it is. Uh... for my bike. I know there are some smart folks here so here goes:

I have this chalky oxidation built up on my forks. It was there when I bought it (previous owner wasn't much into cleaning) and I'm wondering what would be the best way to get it off without doing any further cosmetic damage to the forks? 0000 grade steel wool? oxalic acid (deck bleach) ? Any thoughts?


 

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Hmmm? How long have you had this bike? I would think, "If he didn't clean it, did he maintain it? Did he change the oil/filter regularly? Was preventative maintenance done?"
Hmmm? Just wondering?
 

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I would also be suspicious of the routine maintenance, probably just assume that none was done and "catch the bike up" to be safe.

As far as the oxidation, get some Scotch-Brite to clean it up, then protect it with a clear coat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmmm? How long have you had this bike? I would think, "If he didn't clean it, did he maintain it? Did he change the oil/filter regularly? Was preventative maintenance done?"
Hmmm? Just wondering?
I just picked it up 2 weeks ago. The PO had a lot of things replaced; tires, hoses, spark plugs n' wires, brake pads, battery, tune up, oil and fluids. He gave me the receipts (with date) for the work he had done at the stealer. I changed the oil and oil filter when I bought it anyway. He said he had the routine maintainence done but you never know 100% when you buy used.

I would also be suspicious of the routine maintenance, probably just assume that none was done and "catch the bike up" to be safe.

As far as the oxidation, get some Scotch-Brite to clean it up, then protect it with a clear coat.
Yes, I went through it and it's sound. Even the brake/clutch fluid is clear and the tires still had the little rubber 'spines' on the sides and again, he had the reciepts.

Those forks though... :blackeye:
Scotch-Brite, OK sounds good, I can do that. For a clear coat what brand do you recommend?

And thanks for your replies guys. :smile:
 

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Good luck with getting rid of the oxidation!
What is Scotch-Brite?
 

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I' have some similar issues on the brushed steel parts of my bike. the triple tree I can get a cover for but the forks I think I'm just gonna spray a good matte black on.
 

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I like nevr-dul for metal polish. it does some amazing things
 

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Discussion Starter #9
White Diamond and Cycle Care M, never-dul. It looks like I have some researching to do. I have S100 polishing cream but it didin't seem to do anything for this particular problem.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good luck with getting rid of the oxidation!
What is Scotch-Brite?
Hi PopPop This is a scotch - brite pad. We got plenty of them, works great on sinks, bath tubs, etc.



I might try gently rubbing the heavier oxidaized areas with this. Then go with my usual 0000 grit stainless steel wool. Then use a polish (Blue Magic, Never Dull, maybe Mother's?) to finish it off.

I've been using Blue Magic for years n' years and I really like it. I personally like it much better than turtle wax metal polish or some of the other brands out there. But for this job I needed ideas to get that white crud off first - without scratching the aluminum!
 

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If using Scotch Brite remember it comes in a variety of "grits" just like sand paper or steel wool. Only use the roughest that you need.......
 

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Before you go and try anything that is abrasive, like that Scotch-Brite pad (although it is minimal in abrasion), try vinegar.

If it really is oxidized aluminum, not something caked on there, vinegar will dissolve it (The "Dr." before "BLVD" is 'cause I have a PhD in Biochemistry).

Next, try Marvel Mystery Oil. If both those don't do it....go mechanical and try the Scotch-Brite.

I just don't want to see you scratch up the aluminum if you don't have to.
 

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I had an older vstar that had aluminum forks. They were clear coated from the factory. After a few years the clear coat came off and looked a lot like yours.

I ended up using wet/dry sandpaper. Started around 500 grit to take the nasty stuff off with then went to a wetsand 1000 and 1200 grit. I then sprayed clearcoat lacquer (car paint) with several coats.
When all done it looked like aluminum glass... better than when I got it new.
 

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Out of curiosity did the guy you bought it from live near the beach? Keep it outside? i have seen the same look that seems to be caused by salt air.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks again for your input everyone.

Dr. Blvd, what you say makes sense. Better to try the less invasive method first. I'll try the vinegar (white?) and then the Marvel Mystery Oil (never heard of that one, have to look it up). Should I just wipe the surface with a cotton rag dipped in vinegar or should I let the rag lay on the forks for a while to soak the surface?

I'll keep the scotch brite and steel wool ideas on the back burner for now.

Wogeboy - you really got your forks to look that good? I'm starting to get my hopes up that these can be restored to close to new - or maybe better. How much do charge per hour? :wayhappy:

LA Tony007 - yes, the guy I bought it from lived pretty close to the beach. He swears he kept it the garage but those forks give me reason to wonder. The rest of the bike is OK, so maybe he did keep it indoors with the front of the bike facing near the door?
 

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fyi nevr-dul is cotton wadding soaked with something smelling like kerosene
 

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Before you go and try anything that is abrasive, like that Scotch-Brite pad (although it is minimal in abrasion), try vinegar.

If it really is oxidized aluminum, not something caked on there, vinegar will dissolve it (The "Dr." before "BLVD" is 'cause I have a PhD in Biochemistry).

Next, try Marvel Mystery Oil. If both those don't do it....go mechanical and try the Scotch-Brite.

I just don't want to see you scratch up the aluminum if you don't have to.
+1 on the vinegar. I've picked up similar crud and oxidation on my aluminum when I have been in salty air (especially if I don't clean behind my lowers real well). Normally I scrub it with vinegar then hit it with metal polish. Takes some elbow grease, but not too bad.
 

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I had quite a bit of small little rust spots on different parts of my chrome and the what helped me get it all out was actually car polish cutting compound. It actually works great with a little elbow grease. On some spots that may seem a little tougher you can use a buffer but should be able to get most of it out by hand.
 

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Before you go and try anything that is abrasive, like that Scotch-Brite pad (although it is minimal in abrasion), try vinegar.

white or brown vinegar,....or does it matter?
 
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