View Full Version : have I done non repairable damage to my HD

May 9th, 2011, 10:24 PM
I decided to clean up my HD Dyna and started with the chrome tire cleaner. I decided what is good for the chrome wheel must be good for the rest of the chrome. I sprayed my engine also, I guess not all the engine was chrome. Maybe it's a brushed aluminium? It's a rougher finish that isn't smooth and shiney like chrome. hmm mabe that should have been a clue! It looks terrible, it is streaked like the chrome cleaner stripped or ate through the aluminium or whatever material the engine is. I then tried the aluminium tire cleaner and it didn't undo what I had done. Have I done non repairable damage? Is there a cleaner I could try? :pullhair1

Markus Kleis
May 9th, 2011, 11:08 PM
Pictures would definitely help, but as the chrome cleaner bottle warns, it has strong acids that can indeed damage aluminum. If it is repairable, it will require polishing.

Do you have access to a digital camera?

May 10th, 2011, 05:59 AM
http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/C:\Users\Harley Chick\Pictures\2011-05-10\DSCN2866.JPG

May 10th, 2011, 06:12 AM
Unfortunately the image will not attach . tried several times with the url. I could send it in an email

May 10th, 2011, 06:23 AM
Yeah, you have to upload and then insert the URL. Can use your gallery here to upload, or somewhere else.

May 10th, 2011, 06:42 AM
I put a picture in the photo gallery. not sure how to get it here though

May 10th, 2011, 07:01 AM
You can go to the gallery, right click, and copy the photos URL. And then click on the little yellow square with the mountain looking thing in it in the reply box, and it will say to paste in the URL.

Andy M.
May 10th, 2011, 03:00 PM
Here you go.......


Marc Hufnagel
May 10th, 2011, 03:16 PM
ow.. good luck.

May 10th, 2011, 03:17 PM
First thing I would try, (and the cheapest) is washing the area with car soap and water. Use a old wash mit or MF towel. See if the staning will wash off.

May 10th, 2011, 03:52 PM
Looks like a satin finish... getting too strong could change the look completly.

But maybe a milder paint cleaner, like SwirlX or similar, would be a gentle start.

May 10th, 2011, 09:05 PM
ya tried that and a couple other things. tonight however I tried a metal cleaner polisher and it is looking better. It is taking A LOT of elbow grease and time! It may not be as good as it was when I am done but will be better.
Keep ideas coming if anyone has them.

May 10th, 2011, 09:24 PM
Here you go.......
thanks for getting this here for me

Michael Stoops
May 11th, 2011, 04:52 AM
This is very unfortunate, but it's also the reason why the bottle of Hot Rims Chrome Wheel Cleaner states not to use on motorcycle wheels - there are too many other surfaces in close proximity to those wheels that will not like getting over spray on them. In your case, spraying the product directly onto aluminum pieces was, as you've obviously already determined, not a great idea.

The good news is that aluminum can usually be polished back to a high shine fairly easily with a good aluminum polish. We get calls every week from someone who used Hot Rims Chrome Wheel Cleaner on high polished aluminum wheels, thinking the wheels were chrome, only to end up staining them white; a sure sign the wheels are, indeed, aluminum. Our new Wheel Polishing Kit can clean those wheels up pretty easily, and it should work on the various aluminum parts on your bike. Now, for parts that are supposed to be more of a satin finish the polishing may make them a bit more shiny than they were, but since you're already making progress by hand, the wheel kit may be a huge benefit to you.

In this thread (http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48408) we intentionally stained an aluminum wheel with Hot Rims Chrome Wheel Cleaner and then polished it back to a high shine with the kit. It ought to do the same thing for you.

May 11th, 2011, 03:25 PM
I was at a dealer where some wash-clown sprayed S100 Total Cycle Wash on a hot engine... matte silver like yours. It stained and nothing they did would clean it off. They thought they'd have to replace the engine since it was a new bike that had less than 1000 miles on it. They called the Motor Company seeking a solution and they were told to use Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner.... the foamy stuff. Cleaned it up like new.

Your aluminum primary cover is coated. Get too aggressive and you'll marr and remove the coating. If Scrubbing Bubbles doesn't work there try a mild polish like Nevr Dull wadding.

Lesson to be learned is always do a small test spot in an inconspicuous place when you're unsure of cleaners/polishes and surface compatibility.


May 12th, 2011, 04:27 PM
Thanks everyone for your help. I have spend a few hours on the bike and have posted an after picture in the gallery. (if someone wants to move the after picture here for me that would be great) It took more elbow grease than this gal usually likes to put forth, but it has been worth it. I used the all metal polish with great results. I will do one more quick polish before I list it for sale. Wow did I learn a lesson, know the kind of metal you are working with! I will go with a product safe for all metal on my new bike!
Thanks again!

May 12th, 2011, 06:42 PM
here ya go! Looks better!