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  • 1 Post By techinspector1

Thread: Advice on polishing compounds

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  1. #1
    Dustin f's Avatar
    Dustin f is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Nov 2017
    Car Year, Make, Model: 72 chevy 400 c10 super

    Advice on polishing compounds


    Hello I have a 1972 super cheyyenen and was looking, for suggestions on what kind of polish to use on the outside trim and bumpers.
    And also how to tell the difference from mag , aluminum, chrome and coated metals?

  2. #2
    firebird77clone's Avatar
    firebird77clone is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 69 nomad, 73 charger, 74 vega

    Simichrome polish is the cat's meow on chrome.
    Mother's products are very good.

    As far as magnesium, if you've got it you would know already.

    To differentiate aluminum and chrome, it's mostly the color. Aluminium is, shall I say, a bit "whiter" than chrome. Also, it gets chalky when it oxidizes. Chrome tends to get rust specks, or an orange tarnish.

    Coated metals tend to be trim pieces.
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.

  3. #3
    techinspector1's Avatar
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    Zephyrhills, Florida, USA
    Car Year, Make, Model: '32 Henway

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin f View Post
    Hello I have a 1972 Chevrolet Super Cheyenne and was looking, for suggestions on what kind of polish to use on the outside trim and bumpers.
    Although there are likely dozens of chrome polish examples on the market, here is what I have used in the past with great success.....
    Simichrome Polish 50gm Tube

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustin f View Post
    And also how to tell the difference from mag , aluminum, chrome and coated metals?
    Magnesium and coated metals (such as powdercoating) will probably never be found on commonly available domestic and foreign automobiles and trucks straight from the factory. Aluminum and chrome, however, will be found extensively on automobiles and trucks today. Aluminum may be found "as cast" or "as finished" at the foundry. It may be polished to a bright shine or it may be treated with anodize to prevent oxidation. Naked aluminum will dull in time due to exposure to the atmosphere, so it will need to be re-polished from time to time. Either that, or a clear coating may be applied to the polished surface to prevent further oxidation, or as already mentioned, an anodize process may be applied.

    Sanding aluminum with a very coarse sandpaper or cloth with produce an extremely attractive finish. As a kid, I used to race a '59 Studebaker which sported Moon aluminum discs as hubcaps. To keep them looking good, I would sand them periodically with 80 grit cloth. I would jack up the rear of the car and crank the motor, putting the transmission in reverse gear. This would spin the rear wheels like a giant lathe and would allow me to use WD40 as a lubricant while I hand sanded the discs with 80 grit. Then the discs were washed with dish detergent and rinsed in cold water. This operation would return the discs to their "as new" look and would last a couple of months, whereafter I would do the operation again. I did this same operation on a set of factory mags from a '75 Continental Mark V and they looked far better than the stock wheel. I am sorry that no photos of the Studebaker or the wheels from the Mark V have survived the years, but trust me, it looks killer.

    Chrome plating is also used extensively and is normally referred to as a "triple chrome plating process" of preparing the surface to perfectly smooth, then copper plating, then nickel plating, then chromium plating, then polishing to a mirror finish. Here is a tutorial that explains the process.....
    The shining: chrome plating explained in 14 steps

    The first racing wheels were cast of magnesium, but it was found that magnesium is porous and would leak air, so that innertubes had to be used. Although magnesium is lighter in weight, aluminum is a far better material for wheels, as the tires can be run tubeless. It is also less expensive than magnesium. Aluminum wheels are still referred to as "Mags", a throw-back to the word magnesium.

    Powder coating is found mainly in the aftermarket, although I have not kept up with factory procedures in the past several years. PC may be being used at the factory without my knowledge. It is a plastic material that is sprayed onto the object to be coated and then the object is baked, leaving a tough, shiny surface over the parent material.
    Pete at Pete's Garage does one heck of a job explaining the science behind powder coating. If you can get wrapped around his explanation, you will know more about powder coating than 99.9% of the humans on planet Earth.

    One last thought. Parts can be finished in chrome plating or nickel plating. Chrome will have a blue hue to it, while nickel will have a brown hue to it.
    Last edited by techinspector1; 12-17-2017 at 02:42 PM.
    glennsexton likes this.

  4. #4
    40FordDeluxe's Avatar
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    Prairie City
    Car Year, Make, Model: 40 Ford Deluxe, 68 Corvette, 72&76 K30
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    The aluminum trim on your truck has a clear anodizing on it. This hazes over the years. sanding it definitely helps before polishing. Sometimes, you have to remove it for best results. If yours is real cloudy I can share some links for products and the process to remove the anodizing.
    1940 Ford Deluxe Tudor 354 Hemi 46RH Electric Blue w/multi-color flames, Ford 9" Residing in multiple pieces
    1968 Corvette Coupe 5.9 Cummins Drag Car 11.43@130mph No stall leaving the line with 1250 rpm's and poor 2.2 60'
    1972 Chevy K30 Longhorn P-pumped 24v Compound Turbos 47RH Just another money pit
    1971 Camaro RS 5.3 BTR Stage 3 cam, SuperT10
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