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Thread: Aspen off season projects

  1. #101
    Aspen and Volare Super Member Stalkervette's Avatar
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    I plan to cut out my bezel this weekend -- instead of a polished look like you are going after I will either brush it or coat it with bedliner for a textured/plastic look. I will lay it on the panel I made to see what will look best.

    You could always send your bezel out for chrome plating -- it should only be 20-30 bucks. Cheaper if you walk in a coating shop to have it coated.

  2. #102
    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    For whatever reason, we have no chrome shops here. Any other kind of plating or finish, no problem. No chrome though. The one we did have closed like 25 years ago due to regulations and the cost to comply couldn't be justified. Thanks EPA.

    I had thought of sending it out for plating but decided not to. The bezel is almost ready. I need to buff it out and by hand it's pretty much impossible. I've got a buffing motor and various wheels and compounds BUT, I want to wait for warmer weather so I can haul it outdoors. I cleaned fuzz and strings off everything in the garage for days after buffing all my aluminum trim. What a mess. Outdoors, it'll just blow away. IF it ever warms up.............................

    Waiting for my front seats to get done yet. I would imagine it'll be at least another couple weeks. Should call and get an update I suppose. He did say it would be the middle of March before he could start on them when I dropped them off last month so I'm not worried. As long as they're back before "the season" starts, all is good. The way it's going, the season won't start for at least another couple months
    Last edited by aspen79; 03-10-2017 at 06:56 PM.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

  3. #103
    Aspen and Volare Super Member Stalkervette's Avatar
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    I had the same "fuzz issue" several years back when I had the polished motor in the Vette; I was cleaning fuzz out of the garage for a month. I have the large Harbor Freight buffer - it is a beast.

    Just finished cutting my bezel, the center cut was a bear. Still need to clean the lines up a little better with a file. Looking straight down it is good, but at a slight angle the corners do not look as crisp as I like.

  4. #104
    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Buffing is a messy job best done outside. I got an Eastwood buffing motor and stand along with a buffing wheel/compound kit a few years ago. Made a wooden platform to bolt the stand to so it's portable. At first I was going to bolt it to the floor but then decided that would be a bad idea. The platform holds the stand and it's big enough to stand on so nothing moves. Works good and the wood is more comfortable to stand on than concrete as an added bonus.

    All my front/rear and side window trim is bare aluminum. Took the anodizing and bright dip off (it was SHOT) and buffed it all. All it needs is a going over with metal polish every so often to keep it looking good. Any clear coat makes it look milky so, bare it is.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

  5. #105
    Aspen and Volare Administrator Rattle Trap's Avatar
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    When I did the Doba year before last much of the trim was really badly scarred or dented. Luckily there's half a dozen still in my local yard where I was able to source some better pieces. Some of those had the milky look to the anodizing or scratches to sand out before polishing. I've noticed that they have completely changed color now from exposure and don't match the anodized stuff with just light buffing again. They have a softer looking silver tone.
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  6. #106
    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    Yea, I had buffed some trim before and noticed that the polished trim has a different look to the anodized trim. I also tried spray can clear coat on the polished trim. I wondered if automotive finish clear coat would have worked better.

  7. #107
    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    That's what my trim looked like, all milky, some pitting and the drivers door belt molding was dented up. Stripped the anodizing and bright dip off, which was no minor task. I used oven cleaner (the old toxic type stuff, not the odorless stuff which wouldn't clean anything) and steel wool. Then sanded it all smooth, starting with 400, then 600, 1,200, 1,500 and finally 2,000. Worked the dents out of the one piece VERY CAREFULLY and then a few hours on the buffer. It does look different than the anodized trim. Wheel opening and front end trim was all NOS pieces. I couldn't find most of the other trim in NOS and certainly couldn't afford to send it all out to be bright dipped and anodized so,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it'll have to do. Honestly, nobody notices unless I mention it.

    Did a test with the same clear I used on the paint and it does the same as rattle can clear, leaves a milky look. Clear isn't totally clear. Since the car never gets wet, it isn't that terrible to keep it polished. Two or three times a year is all it takes.

    I forget what plating company it is but one of them came up with a process to successfully chrome plate aluminum trim so it won't just peel off a couple years later. Again,,,,,,,,,,if money was no object I'd have all the trim done that way. Since money is an object, that's not happening anytime soon either, lol.
    Last edited by aspen79; 03-11-2017 at 05:28 PM.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

  8. #108
    Aspen and Volare Administrator Rattle Trap's Avatar
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    There was a product on the market briefly called ZOOPSeal. It was supposed to seal your polished aluminum parts without having to get them re-anodized. I never saw a single complaint posted, not that I looked too hard, but it was suddenly gone anyhow. Wish I'd have bought some before it got yanked for whatever reason. I had to start with 240 or 320 in areas of some of my trim and only took it to 1200 before compounding and polishes. I think some of the higher grade papers are really pointless on 99% of projects. Especially when you're not doing every single piece the same way. My polished stuff was already a nicer shine than my original stuff. But it really ticks me off that it looks entirely different when compared end to end with the others in any lighting. I've considered sending it out for anodizing, but I didn't even get the car out of the garage last year for an unrelated issue. I hate the round side mirrors. Those stock mirrors just ruin the experience for me. I got a square nos driver side Diplomat mirror for nearly nothing, just like most of the rest of the nos. While the F-body nos has virtually disappeared in the past year, vendors still seem to give away late B-body or M nos just for mentioning the part numbers. It took a little over a year and giving up to finally match it with a passenger side for a 5thA. Just have to heat gun the sticker off it. Now the car will look right, so it will come out to play again this year. Don't know why any stylist would ever put a round mirror on a car where every single feature is squared up. As soon as I saw it, I just couldn't drive it anymore. I can live with the trim tone difference, for now, but not that. At all...
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  9. #109
    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    I agree about the mirrors. Mine originally had the chrome round remote mirrors and they just looked wrong IMO. Had the same exact mirrors on my '78 Cordoba and they looked like they belonged there. All depends on the car I suppose.

    I'd heard about ZOOPSeal but for whatever reason, never gave it a try.

    Turns out the same company (I think) came up with an "improved" product and now it's called "Shine Seal". I may just check it out.

    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ssl-1001/overview/
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

  10. #110
    Aspen and Volare Administrator Rattle Trap's Avatar
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    Nice! Like I said, I hadn't looked too hard. Glad to see they have a new and improved product. I'll be giving it a try too.
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