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FastforaSlowGuy
06-25-2013, 02:44 PM
I've got a used Shimano XTR crankset heading my way and want to shine it up before installing on my wife's bike. Any suggestions for the right way to polish it up without discoloring or scratching the aluminum?

ColonelJLloyd
06-25-2013, 03:09 PM
Which model XTR crankset? I'm assuming it's anodized. You'll have to remove the anodized coating before beginning the polishing process. I've done this several times by stripping, wet sanding with 400, 600 and 1,000 grit sandpaper, followed by a buffing wheel and compound or Blue Magic and a cloth.

This (http://www.jestcoproducts.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=37)is what I use to remove the anodizing.

I stripped and polished a Truvativ Elita this week actually.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3719/9138022644_72c557bb55_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9138022644/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9138022644/) by ColonelJLloyd (http://www.flickr.com/people/51002114@N03/), on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3746/9138020338_4f1d2a20ca_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9138020338/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9138020338/) by ColonelJLloyd (http://www.flickr.com/people/51002114@N03/), on Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5331/9138026974_07db5b4ced_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9138026974/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9138026974/) by ColonelJLloyd (http://www.flickr.com/people/51002114@N03/), on Flickr

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5450/9135810409_482b727531_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9135810409/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51002114@N03/9135810409/) by ColonelJLloyd (http://www.flickr.com/people/51002114@N03/), on Flickr

Lewis Moon
06-25-2013, 03:31 PM
The good colonel is correct if you need to create a mirror finish. I use 100 grit and elbow grease to remove anodizing. It's also nice to touch up any mold marks that may have been missed at the factory. If you just want to do a surface polish w/o stripping the anodizing, I use chrome polish and soft rag. That will take off the factory graphics and spiff up the surface....just be careful not to polish in one place too long. Better done by hand. I just did this to a set of Centaur cranks.
Incedentally, I used the same polish to smooth out some rub marks that came on a set of used chorus carbon cranks. Worked very well.

AngryScientist
06-25-2013, 03:46 PM
i agree with the approach above

some 105 cranks i did:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Dgk8qR3V59Y/UKlqgXs5NWI/AAAAAAAAA9M/H9KY2-QeIfI/s640/IMG_0330.JPG

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZYVkr4UV8xo/UKlqjV8TEyI/AAAAAAAAA9U/-116j5HLjuc/s640/IMG_0333+(2).JPG

Shoeman
06-25-2013, 04:10 PM
I've heard oven cleaner works on the removal of the clear ano. Then wet sanding down to 1500 or 2000 grit follow with buffing wheel and rouge from Harbor Freight.

ColonelJLloyd
06-25-2013, 04:14 PM
Oven cleaner (lye) does work, and I have used it with success, but the anodizing remover I linked above has more predictable results and is easier to work with.

FastforaSlowGuy
06-25-2013, 04:22 PM
May be a stupid question, but any way to do this without stripping the graphics? I ask because I don't yet know whether she'll want them on there or not.

gone
06-25-2013, 04:43 PM
May be a stupid question, but any way to do this without stripping the graphics? I ask because I don't yet know whether she'll want them on there or not.
In my experience, no. I've tried various methods of masking off graphics and they always get stripped off during the polishing process no matter how careful I am.

josephr
06-25-2013, 04:43 PM
I recently did this same project to a set of Shimano cranks using Mother's Metal Polish and a roll of paper towels. The crank had some smaller barnacles that took a lot of rubbing to remove. I haven't tried a buffing wheel attached to a drill or a bench grinder, but that might help to expedite the process --- just be careful not to remove too much metal.

Yes. It will remove the graphics/lettering and will also strip off the anodizing. Also, to keep it clean, you may want to put a sealer on it like Pedro's bike polish to help keep sweat/grease from oxidizing the aluminum and giving the mirror finish you worked so hard to get from becoming hazy.

Ride hard!
Joe

chromopromo
06-25-2013, 04:47 PM
To remove the anodized finish Easy Off oven cleaner works. Just spray on and let sit awhile and wipe off. Then you can start sanding.

FastforaSlowGuy
06-25-2013, 05:14 PM
Not sure I want to remove the anno, so I think I will start with just polish.

Columbus SLX
06-25-2013, 05:41 PM
Not sure I want to remove the anno, so I think I will start with just polish.

FYI, polishing won't do a thing unless you remove the anodizing. When I want to save the graphics, I mask them with 3M clear packaging tape and an x-acto knife before the Easy-off ano stripping. Obviously, this only works on big "lump" graphics like a Campy shield, not individual letters:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0aEX20fiXGg/S_FOXz0Uk-I/AAAAAAAAAm8/NF_W_9UrgwE/w1043-h693-no/DSC_0348.JPG

ColonelJLloyd
06-25-2013, 08:09 PM
FYI, polishing won't do a thing unless you remove the anodizing.

+1 That's pretty much the point of anodizing.

josephr
06-27-2013, 05:05 PM
FYI, polishing won't do a thing unless you remove the anodizing. When I want to save the graphics, I mask them with 3M clear packaging tape and an x-acto knife before the Easy-off ano stripping. Obviously, this only works on big "lump" graphics like a Campy shield, not individual letters:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0aEX20fiXGg/S_FOXz0Uk-I/AAAAAAAAAm8/NF_W_9UrgwE/w1043-h693-no/DSC_0348.JPG

Maybe I've had too much coffee, but in the reflection it looks like the guy taking the picture is also holding a bloody knife standing over a woman's naked body....

dfischer1
03-07-2015, 03:46 AM
Reviving an older thread --has anyone polished the grey off an Ultegra 6800 crankset?

Thanks

oldpotatoe
03-07-2015, 08:42 AM
Maybe I've had too much coffee, but in the reflection it looks like the guy taking the picture is also holding a bloody knife standing over a woman's naked body....

Looks like a dog is taking the picture.