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Greetings,
I have read many posts about the various ways each builder finishes their aluminum (polishing/steel wool/anodizing/powdercoating/painting) etc. Personally, I have no real preference to any of the above but would like your feedback on which method produces a nice/durable finish without costing and arm and leg (or wearing them out either) :D
Thanks,
Trent
 

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I'm going with powder coating (gloss black to match the frame)in the engine bay and spray on undercoating for everything else under the car and in the wheel wells. Polished looks nice but it may require lots of maintenance.
 

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I used a D/A with 60 micron paper, then 30 micron followed buy Mother's polish with a wool pad on a buffer. Took about an hour and a half to two hours to do all the visible areas. A hand buff once a year should be enough to maintain.
 

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Wow that looks nice but I think I prefer the satin finish. You can get it by just using a course steel wool type pad on a buffer.

Dan
 

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convincor - what was the media for the micron papers?
Diamond, AlO, Si02?
 

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I used "Pro-Liquid Buffer" and a buffing pad, very messy (do it out side with old clothes that you will throw away) and lots of time and patience. Nothing comes easy, or quick. I did it before I drilled and mounted the panels. I now only clean it once a year.
Bob Mac
FFR3981

 

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I dont recomend polishing the pannels just because it takes alot of time (convincor must be a polishing master if he got it done in 2 hours). Once the engine is in and the body is on it is difficuld to re-polish all the panels. If you must polish use a dual action sander or a buffer (dont use a buffing wheel mounted on a drill, it takes alot longer and can get the metal so hot that it discolors). once everything is polished you should use Glisten, it is a product made by the POR-15 paint guys. Glisten is a pain to use but will give a very durable, water clear, protective finnish on highly polished metals. If you polish your panels DONT HAVE THEM CLEAR POWDER COATED! I did this and the powdercoating gives a dull orangepeel like finnish. If I had to do it again I would have hand sanded any deep scratches out and then had the panels clear powder coated without polishing them. If you had them powdercoated in a color then you wouldnt have to sand them. I paid $125 to have all the visible panels clear powder coated.
 

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So this is what a V16 looks like in a Cobra

Originally posted by Bob Mac:
I used "Pro-Liquid Buffer" and a buffing pad, very messy (do it out side with old clothes that you will throw away) and lots of time and patience. Nothing comes easy, or quick. I did it before I drilled and mounted the panels. I now only clean it once a year.
Bob Mac
FFR3981

I didn't treat the panels on the first car I built and wished I had. The first drop of radiator fluid that touched it stained it and I never was able to get it out (So I sold it)

This one I am anodizing Black, I am jitterbugging the panels first to give a even look.
FREE! through the office, I even got the Bosses permission... Really I did
 

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POR's Glisten product is CRAP! You absolutely can not spray the stuff. I tried and all it did was dullen my polishing and put a milky finish on it. Luckily it can be removed with Lacquer thinner
BTW the glisten instructions that came with the product only talks about brushing it on.

Brian
 

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Steve K,with micron paper all the grit is the same size where regular paper the grit particuls can very.

quicksand, I used 3m 481Q wet/dry polishing paper. It's silicon carbide.
5" D/A, soap and water in a spray bottle for lube.
 

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If you are going to shows, by all means you need to polish exposed aluminum. Mine's just a fun street car, no polish. Anyway, all of my exposed aluminum is covered with a heat blanket to reflect engine-radiated heat away from the cockpit.
 

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I love the polished look. Convincor has the right idea. My method: wet sand(with block) with 400 across the grain, 600 the other way, 1000 by hand(no block, then brasso. You can put a coat of Mothers aluminum polish on for some protection. I've done the "f" panels and dash this way, but I might try Convincor's method, then Mothers. By the way, super choice for motor, C.
 
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