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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Best way to clean aluminum?

I have always used this stuff on my rims called Wendol (spelling??, starts with a W and ends with a L) that is a rubbing compound for aluminum. I am looking more for something for larger areas that involves less elbow grease! Just bought an alum. trailer that was in a fire and has a few black spots on it. I took it to the pressure washer and tried engine cleaner on it, no luck. Somebody told me to take steel wool to it. The trailer has a matt finish to it but I am concerned that the wool may still scratch it. Any ideas?

OT -- anyone know how much a sheet of 1/2" pressure treated ply-wood runs at home depot? $40?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 09:37 AM
 
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

don't use steel wool! it will impregnate the a;uminum and cause rust spots. find a fine grade of 3M Scotch brite (green cleaning pads). hope this helps! matt

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 09:43 AM
 
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

Steel wool can leave dark grey scratch lines.
Try a grey or the even finer white 3-M abrasive pads.
BUT as in most cases, you'll probably have to do the whole thing to make it perfectly match. These are sold in auto paint stores among other places.


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 10:01 AM
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

Aluminum trailer? Is it jeep size? For larger areas try some rubbing compound and a buffer/polisher. If it's nooks and crannies, can't help there, all the acids/oxidizers I know will ruin the finish.

Hey, if you come across any good deals on a lightweight jeep trailer or a tow dolly, let me know, I'm interested.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 10:27 AM
 
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

The steel wool is NOT an option!!! the green grey or white 3M pad will do the trick but as stated it may need to be done over the entire surface to match. The fastest best looking way, but may be a little costly, is to have the trailer bead blasted to get it back to the new look with a mat finish. Not sand blasting but with glass beads they do that to some resto jobs to get all the paint off and it comes out with a very nice looking silky mat finish.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

There are a couple pieces that I can take off and have bead blasted, thanks for the tip.
Will probably take the buffer to the actual frame pieces. Thanks for the warning on the steel wool all !!!

Jeepn, this is the trailer I was telling you about (where my dig camera cash went!). It's a 2001 Triton Elite 101" x 10'. Very nice trailer! Had two burnt ski-doos on it. One was a '95 triple ??cc, heard that the crankshaft in it is worth $600 used!! The motor still turns over so hopefully the crank is good, fingers crossed. Will tell my father-in-law to keep his eyes open for something that can hold/tow a jeep.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 11:40 AM
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

My brother picked up a burned job, and redid it for about $1K, so he has basically a newer sled and not a lot of cash in it. He cruises the Moosehead loop all the time, and has been clocked at over 110 mph on the lake. He says the suspension is so nice he takes some of the trail at about 70 mph, it just soaks up the bumps.

I appreciate it on the trailer, looking for one or a tow dolly for the Scrambler/Zuki's (just bought another and have a 3rd waiting on the tax check).

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-12-2001, 08:19 PM
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

They make rubbing compound "bricks" that you run against a buffing wheel that work pretty good. I have bought them at metal refinisher (polishing) places. They offer them in different grades too. Once you get it nice go to a truck stop and they offer "alum. trailer wash" in 1/5/55 gal. It's a diluted acid and works pretty good for keeping it looking shiney new. We use it at work on our trucks.


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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2001, 08:17 AM
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

Muratic acid is what they use to clean bull wagons. You can find it at swimming pool supply places. I would clean it with that and then use the scotchbrite. That is probably whats in the solution that dirtdog is refering to.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-16-2001, 08:30 AM
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Re: Best way to clean aluminum?

I wouldn't use muratic, maybe phosphoric, but not muratic, It eats alum very fast, there are several acid cleaners, I buy it at a pro. cleaning supply, and scotch-brite it...Truckers are always cleaning with acid cleaners, check the truckstops. Do a search on alum cleaning.

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