Polishing fork tubes (NOT Lower legs)

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by sduquette, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. sduquette

    sduquette Member

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    Hi All,
    I'm doing some spucing up on the front end of my 81 Lowrider. When I took the lower legs off to get them chromed, I notice that the fork tubes where the lower leg seals rub is like a mirror.
    So my question is, could I polish the rest of my fork tubes? I've done a LOT of Googling on this, and whenever I get a hit on polishing fork tubes, they always turn out to be talking about the lower legs(sliders). I'm taking about the main fork tubes themselves. Not sure what they are made out of, but it looks like brushed stainless. If it is stainless, polishing should be no problem. The fact that I can't find anything make me wonder if it's a real bad idea, and I'm a fool for even thinking about it.
    Thanks for any ideas!

    Steve
     
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    I have used Semi-Chrome polish on aluminium and made it look like chrome. The thing is that it does not last long. Your constantly having to keep polishing it. There is nothing like real chrome.
     
  3. sduquette

    sduquette Member

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    Thanks for the post hoople,
    I still thinks there's some confusion here though. I'm talking about the fork tubes themselves. In other words the tube that gets clamped into the triple trees. These can't possibly be aluminum.


    Steve
     
  4. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

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    The reason that the tube has a mirror finish is because of the constant rubbing of the seal and the fork oil rubbing on the tube but I think that you already know that. I don't think that your lifetime would be long enough to do the task.
    kemo
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I see no reason why you couldn't polish the tubes. The thing is where the lower leg seals ride would then scuff it up a bit as compared to the finish on the rest of the tube.
     
  6. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Steve, On my 2009 FXDL the fork tubes that gets clamped in the triple tree are made of a ferrous metal (magnet will attract) so they are not aluminum.

    A magnet does Strongly attract to mine so I am guessing they must be chrome plated steel in my case. Hope this helps.
     
  7. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Steve, thanks for the tip, did not know that jewlers polish was aggressive enough to polish stainless, .save this ol' riders numb and less nimble fingers with less elbow grease. :D
     
  8. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I was always under the impression that fork stanchions the upper part was steel with a hard chrome coating and hard chrome does not shine as easily

    Brian
     
  9. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

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    I am sure that Brian is right
    kemo
     
  10. sduquette

    sduquette Member

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    Thanks for all the input folks!

    Thats what I was hoping to hear, that its OK to give it a try.

    I've got some time to kill anyway, while the lower legs are at the chrome shop.

    If I have any luck, I'll let you know.

    Steve