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Polishing aluminum

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  • Polishing aluminum

    Hey troops.

    I've had my Seven for a couple of months now (AND I LOVE IT!!!) The body is bare aluminum (aluminium?)

    What do you recommend for cleaning and polishing?

    Thanks in advance
    John Norris
    '91 Caterham 1700 c/f
    Green/Aluminum W/Clamshells
    '94 BMW 325I Racecar
    '94 BMW 325IS Racecar

  • #2


    • #3
      Chris as in Moosetestperson recommends not polishing, just leave the skin alone.

      Once you start polishing you can't stop.

      Just ask Gert or myself.

      There are several products none of which make a whole lot of difference in the amount of elbow grease required.

      Belgom (SP?)
      Bombs away
      Purple metal polish.

      I've tried them all looking for the magic one and have yet to find it.

      Best way, per Blatchat, to keep the car shiny is paint it.

      I like the Aluminum look but am at least a year behind in my polishing.



      • #4
        Agree. But once you get over the urge to keep it showroom quality all the time it is not too bad. I posted my recipe somewhere else, see a copy below. Alternatively, take the whole car to your friendly local motorcycle parts polishing shop or hire one of the big rig truck polishers and have them do it for you.

        It is rather simple: clean the aluminum and if you have those tiny rock impact craters (unavoidable in some areas) wet sand protruding metal smooth with 1000 grit (or finer) paper. Then you get going with polish compound (I use Mothers) and a 4" buffing wheel on a hand drill. Brush a thin film of compound on for a square foot at a time and polish that out. You will get the hang of the polishing pattern so that the wheel will remove its own black residue and leave a mostly clean metal surface. If the buffing wheel gets too clogged up take a new one or refresh it by rubbing against a sharp tip (e.g. large nail) Then clean the metal with mild soap solution and rinse. Wear a dust mask and gloves. You will still look like a pig at the end from all the flying black residue. If you need showroom quality you can remove the swirl marks of the buffing wheel with more compound on a soft bonnet of a disk polisher or just by rubbing out with a terry cloth.

        Polishing the seriously dull surface of my car took me a full day. But I do that only every other year or so.


        • #5
          Clean it (I use a rag & Simple Green & sometimes a citrus de-goop-ifier to get the tire rubber) and then hit it w/ WD40. Then some kind of window cleaner and you're done.

          Contrary to popular belief, shiny cars do *not* go faster after polishing. It just feels that way.:D
          A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted