3.21. Polishing the Engine Sidecases

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Polishing the Engine Sidecases

After a few years the clearcoat on our engines and front forks begins to deteriorate, beginning a process of oxidation that results in a grundgy looking engine. Through experience and the great aid of the XS650 email list, I have found a method that works well on anything aluminum.

The first thing is to remove the old clearcoat. I bought a product called "Aircraft Stripper" that you spray on, allow to sit for 5-15 minutes, then you scrape and wash it off. It neatly removes and paint or clearcoat. It is my understanding that any paint stripper will work- "Aircraft Stirpper" was simply recommended to me by our local auto parts guy, and it worked great for me.

After stripping the clearcoat you can remove any scratches of small dings by sanding. Simply start with a coarser grit and work up to 1000 or 1500. Be careful- aluminum is soft and you don't want to sand through your case.

For the polishing, I bought the Aluminum Polishing kit ($49.99 as of 4-20-09) from Caswell Plating. Here is a link directly to the kit I bought: Aluminum Polishing Kit

Follow the directions in the kit- you simply use an electric drill, angle grinder with guard removed, or die grinder. The kit is large enough to do many bikes (probably 10-20). You can use it on anything aluminum- the front forks polish up nicely as well. You can literally get a mirror-like finish on your aluminum bits, it's very impressive.

I hope this helps!

CLAY 4-13-06


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