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Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

  • Phyllo
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My DT3’s sliders are pretty grungy. I thought i saw a post where someone used emery cloth side to side, then clear coated? 
I would prefer the factory look to a super polished look (if my memory is correct, weren’t they the “brushed “ look when new ?).
 I would appreciate any advice on materials/process.
TIA
22 Mar 2023 10:25 #1

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Replied by Pedalcrazy on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

My experience says you’re right on target. I used various grits of sandpaper depending on how deep gouges are. Fine sandpaper and ScotchBrite pads. The gray is equivalent to about 800 grit I think. The finer you use the shinier it gets. Finish off with careful side to side motion to mimic original finish. I used 2K gloss clear. Pretty happy.
1978 DT400E
1976 DT400C
1973 RT3
1971 RT1B
1968 DT1 (3)
22 Mar 2023 11:03 #2

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Replied by Phyllo on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

Thanks Pedalcrazy! (From that username, you must be an electric guitar player?). Is 2K the brand name of the clear?
22 Mar 2023 11:15 #3

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Replied by Phyllo on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

Did a little digging, looks like SprayMax 2K is the clear?
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22 Mar 2023 11:22 #4

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Replied by 1971DT250 on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

These are NOS fork tubes. They have some minor scratches and a couple small areas that corrosion has gotten under the clear coat. But from 5 feet away they look good.

For really bad aluminum parts I send them to a vapor blaster. Then depending on the finish I want I'll buff and polish. Some parts I think are good enough to not clear coat.

For buffing and polishing slow is better. This variable speed JET can be set between 900-3600 rpm. I run it at 900 rpm. The wheel on the right is from TP Tools item # 8455-87. Gives a nice finish close to the factory. The cotton wheel on the left will give a mirror like finish with the white rouge stick.

There is also different brands of liquid/paste aluminum polish and 0000 steel wool and Scotchbrite that can be done by hand.

 

 

 
The hours spent riding my Enduros is not deducted from my life span.
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Last edit: 23 Mar 2023 04:02 by 1971DT250.
22 Mar 2023 18:13 #5

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Replied by 1971DT250 on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

This is way over the top polishing.

 

 
The hours spent riding my Enduros is not deducted from my life span.
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22 Mar 2023 18:28 #6

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Replied by RT325 on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

Vaporblasting seems to be used for motor parts so would that make easy work of it. Then clear coat if you want a shiny look. I don't really know & just guessing up ideas.
22 Mar 2023 19:55 #7

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Replied by bhepp15 on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

Just had my forks vapor blasted and it gave a similar look as those nos ones but not quite. Were the engine covers from the factory a similar finish as the NOS forks or more polished than those?
22 Mar 2023 20:48 #8

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Replied by 1971DT250 on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

From what I've observed in my collection of NOS parts the lower fork tubes, engine covers, hubs and brake backing plates had the same treatment from the factory with minor variations.
 
The hours spent riding my Enduros is not deducted from my life span.
23 Mar 2023 03:59 #9

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Replied by Phyllo on topic Recommendation for cleaning fork sliders

Thanks for all the ideas guys! As I recall, the original factory finish was “satin” on all the unpainted metal, not what I’ll call “mirror-like “ like those side covers. I prefer the original look, but to each their own.
I guess the beauty of aluminum is that it’s fairly easy to do it over, which I suspect I will be doing, probably more than once.
23 Mar 2023 05:10 #10

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