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Old 04-19-2009, 10:26 PM   #1
65fordguy
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Default best way to restore aluminum grille shell

I recently acquired a 63 aluminum grille shell for my 65 f100... It is in really good shape... however there was one small dent in one of the inner corners, I was able to get it out with hammer and dollies. But what ever hit it left some scratches, so I got out the mothers power ball mini and mothers aluminum polilsh ( all I had ) it cleaned up the area pretty good but the area where the scratches were came out shinier than the rest... like chrome almost. so now, I have a clean shell and one shiny spot..

How do I get the rest of the grille to look like that!? any advice and specific compounds and wheels I need would be great. Thanks
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:40 PM   #2
36-3window
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

if you want to make the rest look like what your repaired ,and are happy with the results, do what you did to the repair area to the rest of the grille

if you ant to make the repair area match the original part of the grille...maybe you could dull it down with a scotch brite pad??? i'd start with the finest , i think that is green ,or white. i believe red is the roughest
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

did these grilles have some kinda protective coating? only thing I can think of is what ever hit it rubbed it off allowing the metal to get polised, instead of just cleaned.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:01 PM   #4
36-3window
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

hmmmm...there may have been some sort of coating on it , maybe anodizing? you better not listen to me right now. wait for a real answer from someone who knows
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:07 PM   #5
65fordguy
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

Quote:
Originally Posted by 36-3window View Post
hmmmm...there may have been some sort of coating on it , maybe anodizing? you better not listen to me right now. wait for a real answer from someone who knows
lol well. your guess is as good as mine at the moment.

Ive got a red scotch brite pad on a wheel for my drill.. I thought about trying that out to see if would polish it up... eh. who knows.. ill keep digging.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

If the aluminum is anodized then you can chemically remove it by putting it in a bath of lye and water.It will bubble up while the anodizing is being dissolved.Don't leave it in too long.After the hard anodizing is gone you can polish it just like any aluminum.You will need to coat them or you will have to periodically repolish them.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:42 AM   #7
65fordguy
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

will a good spray clear work. I know the body supply shop here has a spray can clear that is made for small repairs.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

Those grilles were bright anodized and as was mentioned once the coating is removed the aluminum will polish up (or tarnish) like regular aluminum parts. When I bought my 66 it was missing the rt.side headlamp rim. I was able to find a painted one down at the wrecking yard. I painted it with "aluminum" spray paint and it came out a real close match. I later found a pair of anodized headlamp rims but decided the painted one looks fine to me. That spear along the body is finished the same way. It looks kind of cloudy but I resisted the urge to polish it with anything stronger than cleaner wax.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

I was able to get the anodizing off... EASY OFF.... I sanded it down with emery paper of different grits working finer... started buffing.. discovered small pitts in the aluminum.

Im using a brownish red compound... says for aluminum... and the residue gets in the pits. any way to get it out?
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

Solvents like thinner or wax and grease remover do a decent job of dissolving compound. Good luck
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:59 PM   #11
65fordguy
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

Thanks, I will have to give that a shot....
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: best way to restore aluminum grille shell

out of curiosity is there away to achieve a brushed aluminum look and coat it?? If the polish doesnt look great... i might try that look to cover the imperfections.
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