Cleaning Engine fins

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Jdsmitty10, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Jdsmitty10

    Jdsmitty10 Active Member

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    I have asked in the past how to clean my engine fins, I tried the recommendations of s100 and other cleaning products.

    Some of the fins have some discoloration/oxidation...

    I am thinking they need sanded with a high grit.

    What grit do you think I should go with? Autozone has an assortment up to 2500 grit. Should i just get that and try the highest and see if it works, if not, go down from there?

    thanks,
    Jon
     
  2. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

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    Let us know what you end up doing. Pictures before and after (close-ups) I was thinking about a Dremel with a scotch bright wheel myself, but I'll wait and learn from you.
     
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I would try with something like chrome polish just on the edges but you will need to do a good cleaning after you are done followed by some engine brightner afterward. If you go the sandpaper route, something up in the area of 1800-2000 WET should do the job.
     
  4. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    My Dyna has the natural silver finish engine. It's easy to shine up the fins. I used 600 & 800 and it looked good. Later I went as high as 2000 to give it a polished look. I wrapped the sandpaper around various flat pieces of wood to make sure I only hit the edges of the fins. 1 hour will do a very nice job. Just yesterday I noticed my Electra needs some FINish work.
     
  5. Jdsmitty10

    Jdsmitty10 Active Member

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    so the high grit works pretty good? I only have a few areas that need work, mainly the front of the engine where road grime flips up.. i was thinking the same thing to use a piece of wood to make sure the sanding does not hit the painted surface between the fins.. Do you wet sand it?
     
  6. Porter

    Porter Junior Member

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    Especially with very fine grits, wet sanding will reduce loading of the paper. Wet sanding is what I would recommend. I like using a foam block with the paper wrapped around it. (like one of thos dry wall sanding sponges) Keeps the paper sort of flat but is also allows for some contours.
     
  7. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    I just spent some "quality" time with the Electra glide. I wet sanded the left side of the rear cyl. fins with 320,400,600,800,1000,1500 and 2000 grit. The fins look pretty good, but the front ones, even though a lot "rougher" had a better sparkle. I wrapped some denim around a stick and hit the front fins with Bush aluminum polish. In 10 minutes the front fins look better than the rear that I spent an hour on. I'll finish the fins with Bush polish (avail at truck stops).:D
    The engine needs washed, because of the grey goop from sanding/polishing got
    on the wrinkle black. I don't think you can tell much from the pic. too much glare. Oh well, back to the garage.
     

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  8. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    Update to my earlier post. The "grey goop" from sanding and/or use of Bush alum. polish is VERY difficult to remove. So far I have used car wash, simple green, gunk aerosol engine degreaser, Back to Black and S100 engine brite. The fins are still grey. I've used a toothbrush to no avail. I'd suggest NOT doing this on a wrinkle black engine. I'll update when I find out how to restore the black finish. :(
     
  9. maine-e-axe

    maine-e-axe Junior Member

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    Breeze, someone told me that Windex(Amonia based) and a tooth brush will take that goop off , never tryed it but worth a try
     
  10. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the windex tip. That's about the only thing I didn't try. I tried WD40 with some success, but slow. Then I went to the DON'T ever use this for cleaning solution that is about $3.50 per gallon, and a toothbrush. It seems like it disolved it. I will see what it looks like in the morning (if the wife doesn't notice her toothbrush tastes funny and kills me in my sleep).