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Old 8th March 2015, 01:00   #1
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Default Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

As you know, chromium (chrome) plating protects the underlying steel from rusting and of course if it is in good condition it looks good.

Unfortunately much of the chrome plating is very thin, to the point that small areas are poorly covered. This of course can result in small specks of rust appearing.

Not only are these specks unsightly but they serve to conduct moisture under the adjacent chrome plating and if left untreated the undamaged steel around them will begin to rust, causing the spots to grow resulting in further loss of the chrome.

There are many "chrome polishes" on the market but these are abrasive and using them to remove the spots will wear away what little chrome exists on the part. For this reason, I do not recommend using these polishes.


The solution to the problem?

Aluminum (aluminium for the British among you) foil.
Yes, the ultra-thin aluminum foil, often used in roasting and baking can remove the rusty spots when coupled with a little oil and some elbow grease.

Aluminum foil is much softer than chrome so a good scouring with it will not damage the chrome.
The oil serves to not only lubricate the surfaces but it will penetrate any remaining rust that may starting under the chrome around the pit and prevent water from causing further damage. The oil also serves to float the removed rust away so it can be easily wiped off of the part.

Before your "significant other" pounds knots on your head for stealing "HER" aluminum foil, tell her you will only be using a small bit of it and she will never miss it. The other option is to wait until she is out of the house. Just be sure to return the package just exactly the way you found it.


The process is simple:

Just wad up the foil so it has many crinkles on it.
These crinkles serve as the somewhat sharp edges that remove the loose rust.
Apply a drop of oil (yes WD40 works) to the rusted areas and begin scrubbing with the foil.

Small spots will disappear right before your eyes.

Unfortunately, large rusted areas will show little to no improvement because the chrome has already flaked off and you are just rubbing a piece of rusty steel.

Although the oil will do some protecting, if you use a window cleaner or similar fluid to polish your chrome it may remove it.

For this reason, its wise to get some wax and give the chrome a good coating and polishing.
The wax will not live long on a hot part like a exhaust pipe or silencer but on other chrome parts like a crash bar, handlebars, mud guards and the like the wax will keep water away from any porous chrome areas.
Even on a hot exhaust pipe there will be cooler areas where the wax can survive, at least for a while.

Any good wax ranging from furniture wax (at the bottom of durability) to modern clear coat automotive wax (at the top of durability) will work for weeks on these chrome parts.

Just dont forget to re-wax your parts every other week or the water will once again start to cause problems.

Ride Safe.

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th March 2015 at 17:30. Reason: Adding a tiny bit of formatting :)
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Old 8th March 2015, 11:14   #2
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Default re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

@ ArizonaJim: Excellent. Follow up question, how do I keep the engine and the area around clean and shining? I expect to get my Continental GT this week.

I have noticed that the press vehicles look all shiny, however the cleaning done by the workshop before delivery is not upto the mark
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Old 9th March 2015, 01:16   #3
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Default re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

When you spend the big money to have a truly professional person clean your engine it will look as good as the press vehicles.

In the meantime keep a good eye on your new motorcycle looking for dirt and grime that has collected.

Use a mild dishwashing soap and water to clean this stuff off.
For oily areas like the zone right under the engine drive sprocket where oil that was on the rear chain collects, use something like kerosene or better yet, disk brake cleaner to remove it.
Some areas of your engine are painted with color coat or with clear coat so do not use strong solvents like acetone, MEK or lacquer thinner as these can damage the paint.

Tap water often contains large amounts of dissolved minerals and will leave these on the motorcycle as white "water spots".
To avoid this I use distilled water.

Speaking of distilled water I've found that a light spraying of it using a plastic spray bottle and a microfiber cloth for wiping is excellent for cleaning the dust off of my painted surfaces like the fuel tank and side covers.
If no oily contaminants are present, the DW and microfiber cloth will do the job just fine without scratching the finish.
If oily areas exist on your fuel tank, etc. the dishwashing soap will cut thru it and allow it to be washed away.

As for polishing the engine, if it appears the surface is not painted there are several good polishes available but I wouldn't use them on a new engine.

The wax I mentioned in my earlier post is perhaps the best protection from oxidation and sun damage.
I wax my painted surfaces after cleaning them with the DW and microfiber cloth at least every other week.
I use the best clear coat car wax I can buy.
Yes, it costs a bit more but to totally wax a motorcycle only takes a small bit of it so the bottle will last for years. IMO, it's cheap insurance against paint damage.

Here in the US many of the motorcycle repair places don't wash the customers motorcycle and IMO that's a good thing.

The last thing I want happening to my RE is for someone who doesn't give a hoot about my machine and is payed almost nothing washing off my motorcycle with a rough, dirty rag.
(Call me grumpy but I do all of my own servicing so I know it's done right. )
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Old 9th March 2015, 01:41   #4
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Default re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Nickel coating is usually done first before coating with Chromium to provide surface finish and corrosion resistance.
If done properly the coating would last longer.
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Old 9th March 2015, 03:59   #5
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Default re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Right you are.

Actually, three different metals are applied during a really good chrome plating.

Chrome and nickle are't that good at adhering to steel but copper is so a very thin copper plating is first applied.
Nickel easily attaches to copper so it is applied next.
Nickel is easily electroplated with chromium so that is applied last.

I don't know what process is used by the various companies in India who apply chrome plating but I get the distinct feeling that the copper and/or the nickel under-plates are sometimes omitted, probably in the interest of saving money.

This sort of thing is what leads to the small rust spots that the aluminum foil process described above will treat.
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Old 9th March 2015, 07:52   #6
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Default

This is the product I've been using for over 4+ years to keep my Rx shining like new. I've used foil to Indian make Silvo, but nothing comes closer to this. It does both the job of removing the rust as well as protecting the surface as it has wax.

BTW on worst monsoon (when the vehicle is exposed to rain), this has to be applied every month otherwise, once in 6 months is more than sufficient. One bottle of this is enough to keep the vehicle shining for some 7-8 years


Last edited by GTO : 9th March 2015 at 11:30. Reason: Replacing image in your original post :)
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Old 9th March 2015, 09:28   #7
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Default re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

ArizonaJim,

Thanks for some great advice on this DIY work at home. I just waxed my Bonneville this week after a 1000 mile trip and had wondered if i should or should not wax the chrome exhausts. And which are the parts i should/should not wax. Your posts clarify a lot.

I have to confess when i bought my car wax i regretted spending so much on a Meguiars in the spurt of the moment but i guess it was money well spent.

Coming back to chrome, i know rifle barrels are hard chrome plated to increase durability but products like Hoppe's no. 9 that contain ammonia are advised not to be used on them. What should be avoided with decorative chrome on the motorcycles?

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 9th March 2015, 17:55   #8
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
This is the product I've been using for over 4+ years to keep my Rx shining like new. I've used foil to Indian make Silvo, but nothing comes closer to this. It does both the job of removing the rust as well as protecting the surface as it has wax.

BTW on worst monsoon (when the vehicle is exposed to rain), this has to be applied every month otherwise, once in 6 months is more than sufficient. One bottle of this is enough to keep the vehicle shining for some 7-8 years
Where can I purchase this? Tried searching online but not available.
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Old 9th March 2015, 21:44   #9
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Hello friends,
Using Brasso to remove rust from chrome parts works perfectly. Brasso is used to polish machines and is available at any industrial parts shop. Works extremely well.
Regards,
Ashok.
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Old 11th March 2015, 16:38   #10
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
This is the product I've been using for over 4+ years to keep my Rx shining like new
Where did you source it from, and what was the cost of it. I hunted for it all evening yesterday but could not find.
My RX135 and Yezdi rims are rusted badly and needs cleaning, or should I send for chrome plating?
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Old 11th March 2015, 19:52   #11
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumithb View Post
Where can I purchase this? Tried searching online but not available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Visaster View Post
Where did you source it from, and what was the cost of it. I hunted for it all evening yesterday but could not find.
My RX135 and Yezdi rims are rusted badly and needs cleaning, or should I send for chrome plating?
Sumith & Visaster - Sorry that I didn't respond earlier. I sourced it from bringingbest.in & that was some 3-4 years ago. Pls check with a gentleman Mr Sanjay on the availability of this product.

If you've anyone coming from US of A, please ask them to source it through their check-in (not hand baggage) luggage.
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Old 12th March 2015, 19:29   #12
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

The best way to derust large objects is electrolysis :

I built one out of an old washing machine drum:
https://picasaweb.google.com/1009819...r?noredirect=1

You use washing soda as the electrolyte, it pulls the rust right off the metal, its non toxic , and the remaining iron rich water is great nutrient for plants

You can make terribly rusted parts as good as they can ever get, even tanks, and things that have holes and passages.
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Old 15th March 2015, 00:01   #13
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Sumith & Visaster - Sorry that I didn't respond earlier. I sourced it from bringingbest.in & that was some 3-4 years ago. Pls check with a gentleman Mr Sanjay on the availability of this product.

If you've anyone coming from US of A, please ask them to source it through their check-in (not hand baggage) luggage.
I did check with bringingbest (they are the official distributors in India), they do not have it in stock. They have asked me to wait couple of months for new stock.
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Old 5th April 2015, 15:57   #14
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
This is the product I've been using for over 4+ years to keep my Rx shining like new.
aargee, could you please help me sourcing this?
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Old 7th April 2015, 06:16   #15
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Default Re: Removing rust from chrome-plated parts

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Originally Posted by Mr.Boss View Post
aargee, could you please help me sourcing this?
Pls get in touch with Mr Sanjay at bringingbest.in or with greenzcarcare.com; they're in the process of getting Collinite products in India. Both options will take a little time though

Last edited by aargee : 7th April 2015 at 06:17.
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