Sunday, October 18, 2015

Chrome Parts & Ultrasonic Cleaning

The chrome on the Interceptor was hit and miss. Some parts were rusted and pitted while other pieces were good upon cleaning. Everything that fit into the ultrasonic parts washer went in and it was de-greased and cleaned. Most of the rust came off too. The next step was to buff all of the parts on a cloth wheel. It quickly highlighted what could be saved and what needed to be re-plated.

Parts before cleaning above.

The seal holder on the left uncleaned.....the right after the ultrasonic. 

Many parts cleaned up and will not need to be re-plated.

Parts in need of help. 
The two cable adjusters, bottom middle, had chrome removed in the cleaner. 

The ultrasonic has been a great addition to my process. It has done well on any metal part I have put in it so far. One chrome part that was left in too long was stripped to the copper. That surprised me and I was careful on following pieces. It was a re-chrome part and I have had no issues with OEM chrome. The longest cycle on the machine is 8 minutes. I usually run it four times but this varies depending on the condition of the part. I check between every other cycle to see if it needs to go longer. I always run the heat element and make sure the bath is at full temperature before starting the frequency cycle.

I have used several different cleaner / de-greasers in the unit. I tried baking soda but it hardened into a plaster around the inside of the tank and blocked its effectiveness. I have settled on “Simple Green” as a cleaner of choice. Plain water also works but not as fast. There are specific Ultrasonic cleaning agents but I have not tried them as of yet. They caution against using on soft metals which has scared me away at least from my aluminum parts. More testing in the future…..

The ultrasonic and cleaners. 

Parts that were too big for the ultrasonic where hand washed and buffed. The brake rod was pretty rusty but not pitted. I was able to soak it in white vinegar which removed all of the rust. This method worked surprisingly well and I will expand its use in the future. This may be a better method for removing rust stains from chrome than the ultrasonic. 

The brake rod - uncleaned - and nut after ultrasonic cleaning. 

Satin chrome parts cleaned up well. 
The brake rod was soaked in white vinegar and came out great. 

The fenders had light pitting but were in decent shape. They need to have dents removed and then will get new chrome.  The chain guard, exhaust pipes and rims must also be refinished.

Large parts heading for new chrome. Next step.....find a chrome plating source. 

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