The Airheads Beemer Club is a non-profit club reclaiming the 'Legendary Motorcycles of Germany'

Topic-icon Engine, rim and aluminum cleaning

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2 weeks 2 days ago #6565 by Dub
Hopefully the right place to post this. I picked up a bike that has been sitting for a while. The engine block is a bit oxidized and dull looking with some grease spots throughout. Just curious as to what you guys n gals are using to bring the case back to its original look without corroding or eating into the alum (ie:purple power)

Same goes for the rims. Mine are spoked ('78) They have a lot of oxidation on them and need a good detailing. Best method for bringing them back?

Also the rear hub. Best way to bring that up a bit from the dull look?

In the attached pic, you can see the dust that has settled over the bike and the dullness of the rims and case.

While not looking to make a show bike, it is all original with low miles and will be ridden on a frequent basis. Just want to make it look a bit more presentable.

Thanks,
Dub

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  • CoupleOfAirheads
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  • '76 R90/6 | '78 R100RS | '83 R65
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2 weeks 22 hours ago #6577 by CoupleOfAirheads
Replied by CoupleOfAirheads on topic Engine, rim and aluminum cleaning
I just went through the same thing for my '76 R90/6. I had the bike for the past year and I've been riding it, but not until the shelter in place, have I had enough downtime between work and my rides that I took the initiative to clean 44 years of adventure off. The guy who I inherited it from really rode, serviced, and loved the bike, but didnt do too much to clean it up.

After doing some research on the safety of the aluminum, I went with the approach of Simple Green Extreme Aircraft and Precision Cleaner (4 parts water, 1 part chemical) in a spray bottle. Used it on the engine housing, rims, and rear final drive hub. Small sections at a time. Spray, then massage that area with a Scotch-Brite Scouring Pad and a soft nylon brush, then spray with water. Repeat that method until you are satisfied with the look. The rims: I too have spoked rims and used the same method, but it takes a lot of time and a lot of scrubbing if you have a lot of oxidation on the individual spokes.

Scotch-Brite General Purpose Scouring Pad
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00978X97W/ref..._title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Simple Green Extreme Aircraft and Precision Cleaner:
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001VXU7OE/ref..._title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Hope this helps.

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1 week 6 days ago #6582 by Dub
Replied by Dub on topic Engine, rim and aluminum cleaning
Thanks for the response. That is about what I have come up with so far as well.

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18 hours 43 minutes ago #6636 by CNRED
Replied by CNRED on topic Engine, rim and aluminum cleaning
Looking at the same problem. I've heard "Soda Blasting" works and cleans these types of surfaces without damage. I'm looking at spoked wheels on a 1984 R80st. I don't want to disassemble these wheels if I don't absolutly have to.
Any experience with or comments about Soda Blasting?

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7 hours 16 minutes ago #6638 by Dub
Replied by Dub on topic Engine, rim and aluminum cleaning
I am in the process of building a vapor blaster and have a soda blasting gun. That is best used for disassembled parts that need to be brought down to bare aluminum. The powder is fine and "gets into places" where you might want it to get in an assembled engine. There is plenty of info already out there on vapor and soda blasting. (Youtube)

What I was looking to do was clean a dirty barn find bike and bring back some of original aluminum color without polishing or buffing.

I picked up some scotchbrite pads and degreaser and will have a go with that to start. Hopefully will have a chance this weekend to get after it a bit.

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