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Restoring/cleaning up Aluminum Suspension Parts

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Old 03-05-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
vettnut
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Default Restoring/cleaning up Aluminum Suspension Parts

What materials/techniques are some of you using to clean-up your suspension parts? Not sure if I want to polish. Thanks DG
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:13 PM   #2
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lacquer thinner on the really bad stuff, then simple green then Mother Aluminum polish.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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Do a search cause someone found an aluminum cleaner spray that did a fantastic job.

I used a lot of brakekleen (walmart brand at a buck less a can), lots of paper towels, steel wool, sandpaper, and a wire wheel on my drill. It took weeks of cleaning when I got the parts off the car and removed the old bushings.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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Easy way- start with a dry rag and drag off all the gunk. Then use fantastic or 409, get the rest of the grease, dirt off. DO NOT USE SIMPLE GREEN

Then stick a wire brush wheel in a drill and go to town. Fast and easy, less elbow grease. If you want them to 'shine' vs. looking like new aluminum, then you'll need to use the elbow grease with polish.

Last edited by socalman; 03-06-2010 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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Easy way- start with a dry rag and drag off all the gunk. Then use simple green, fantastic or 409, get the rest of the grease, dirt off.

Then stick a wire brush wheel in a drill and go to town. Fast and easy, less elbow grease. If you want them to 'shine' vs. looking like new aluminum, then you'll need to use the elbow grease with polish.

remove bulk, then use spray, or air compresser sprayers with detergent, and it comes off, then steel wool, or use what ever to shine up.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:55 AM   #6
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prepsol on the caked-on grease, and i used a small wirebrush to brighten up any components that were really stained. i followed up with plenty of simple green and a (gray) scotchbright. -



to me, cleaning and detaining suspension on these cars is mental therapy -
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:51 AM   #7
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Morning, I saw a reference to "Simple Green" and had to comment. Forgive me for not remembering "all" the details but anyway here goes.
In my other life as a Quality Control Superintendent in the AF we were also very involved in safety issues. There was a safety notice sent out around the late 80's or early 90's about Simple Green. It seems that some flight line folks had been using it to clean wheels and other parts on aircraft rather than the "approved" mil-spec cleaner. During a normal daily walkaround there were several instances of broken bolts found on the ground around the A/C area. It was discovered that the Simple Green would cause damage to the lug bolts on the wheels, weaking them and causing the bolts to pop while the aircraft were sitting on the ground.
The problem was traced to a change in the bolts caused by a chemical reaction of the cleaner. At that time Simple Green was banned from use in and around all aircraft. Never heard anything after that. That's about as best as I can recall.
It would be hell to loose your ... well at any speed.
Regards Pop
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Morning, I saw a reference to "Simple Green" and had to comment. Forgive me for not remembering "all" the details but anyway here goes.
In my other life as a Quality Control Superintendent in the AF we were also very involved in safety issues. There was a safety notice sent out around the late 80's or early 90's about Simple Green. It seems that some flight line folks had been using it to clean wheels and other parts on aircraft rather than the "approved" mil-spec cleaner. During a normal daily walkaround there were several instances of broken bolts found on the ground around the A/C area. It was discovered that the Simple Green would cause damage to the lug bolts on the wheels, weaking them and causing the bolts to pop while the aircraft were sitting on the ground.
The problem was traced to a change in the bolts caused by a chemical reaction of the cleaner. At that time Simple Green was banned from use in and around all aircraft. Never heard anything after that. That's about as best as I can recall.
It would be hell to loose your ... well at any speed.
Regards Pop
good point - here's a reference - http://www.mechanicsupport.com/aircraft_cleaning.html

simple green does have a cleaner for use in the aircraft industry. don't know if its mil approved, but it does meet some Boeing spec - ???

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...s/09-00809.php

after reading you're post, i'll have second thoughts about using "plain" simple green on aluminum...

Last edited by Joe C; 03-06-2010 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John A. Marker View Post
lacquer thinner on the really bad stuff, then simple green then Mother Aluminum polish.


That will work and work well!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay in tune...
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:42 AM   #10
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After you are done cleaning them up,put a coat of wax on them.They just wipe clean after that
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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I used Simple Green with bad results. It definitely cleaned the aluminum suspension parts well, but even after I thoroughly rinsed it all off, I noticed that some of the parts were turning white the next day. I re-cleaned them and then waxed them. That stopped the discoloration.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:59 AM   #12
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SImple green has a tendency to discolor aluminum, if its polished it will leave dark stains you may never be able to get out.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John A. Marker View Post
lacquer thinner on the really bad stuff, then simple green then Mother Aluminum polish.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:12 AM   #14
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I used "Awesome" found at most Dollar or 99 cent stores. Its a great cleaner and followed by a good rinsing with clear water. Then polish with the non metallic rotary wheels found at most hardware stores. A coat of ZoopSeal to seal the finish.





These photos where taken five years ago so a lot of miles have been logged.
Since then my lug nuts have not popped off nor has the suspension split or cracked.
The only problem so far was the corrosion of some steel bolts after running on the salt flats.

Last edited by JrRifleCoach; 03-06-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:10 PM   #15
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Simple Green works if you dilute is some (maybe a 50% solution) but don't leave it on for any length of time, especially if you use it full-strength. And rinse it well! After using Simple Green, use a detergent soap to re-clean the area followed by another rinse.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:02 PM   #16
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Simple Green works if you dilute is some (maybe a 50% solution) but don't leave it on for any length of time, especially if you use it full-strength. And rinse it well! After using Simple Green, use a detergent soap to re-clean the area followed by another rinse.
You may be right, then again we never know what will happen in 4 or 5 years down the road when something breaks and the blame is "metal fatuge". Especially on a 20 year old vehicle. The unanswered question is why did it fatuge and break when "Joe the plummer's" didn't? Just my $0.02 worth.
Regards Pop
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrRifleCoach View Post
I used "Awesome" found at most Dollar or 99 cent stores. Its a great cleaner and followed by a good rinsing with clear water. Then polish with the non metallic rotary wheels found at most hardware stores. A coat of ZoopSeal to seal the finish.





These photos where taken five years ago so a lot of miles have been logged.
Since then my lug nuts have not popped off nor has the suspension split or cracked.
The only problem so far was the corrosion of some steel bolts after running on the salt flats.
So that's where the oil filter is......good to know. Nice looking job there BTW
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:47 PM   #18
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I just got done doing this and I used some brake clean first, wiped off the major gunk and then steel wool followed by mothers aluminum polish. It was quick and easy and came out nice
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:29 PM   #19
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Nice JR, detail the heck out of it then drive it to Utah and run the flats. Love it
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:56 PM   #20
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I ain't a waxer. Thats been documented.
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