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  • Bumper Polishing

    Anybody have a recommendation on how to bring bumpers back to their original shine?

    Mine are a bit pitted. I tried a method I saw on YouTube, cleaned the bumper first, then used fine steel wool to put polish on, dried with the other side of the steel wool. It didn't do a whole lot. But I didn't use a ton of elbow grease (it's too hot outside). I want to try again.

    I also have seen the buffer padded heads that you can attach to a drill that looks much less strenuous.

    Love any feedback from people who have had success.

  • #2
    I've read and tried nearly everything from aluminum foil to extra fine steel wool. I like the triple extra fine steel wool with chrome polish because it has a tendency to shear and minimize pits should you have any. Stay clear of Brillo or anything that scratches and makes matters worse.

    There's no miracle cure for chrome except polishing as best can be, re-chroming, or that radical paint chrome look alike which is for customs.

    Don't over think this.

    Dean

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ssj335 View Post
      Anybody have a recommendation on how to bring bumpers back to their original shine?

      Mine are a bit pitted. I tried a method I saw on YouTube, cleaned the bumper first, then used fine steel wool to put polish on, dried with the other side of the steel wool. It didn't do a whole lot. But I didn't use a ton of elbow grease (it's too hot outside). I want to try again.

      I also have seen the buffer padded heads that you can attach to a drill that looks much less strenuous.

      Love any feedback from people who have had success.
      The motorcycle boys like to use " Autosol " which can be found in a lot of stores with auto aftermarket / cleaner goods etc. Comes in a tube and is a lot like toothpaste .

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      • #4
        Nice tips. Anyone apply polish with these?



        This is the polish I have.

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        • #5
          Ford polished their steel bumpers then nickel plated directly on to the steel. Nickel is hard and it is the reflective shine you see.

          Chrome is plated on top the nickel to preserve it from tarnishing. Before the days of chrome, everyone polished their bumpers to get the yellow tinge out. Chrome seals air out and is so thin, you see through it.

          Any abrasive diminishes the mirror-like effect. The only way to bring back a pitted piece is to strip all the plating off, usually with hydrochloric acid, re-polish the pits out so the steel is shiny again, then have it re-plated. If any scratches remain in the base steel, they show like a sore thumb through the nickel.

          More time is spent polishing than plating. Chrome plating is so expensive because it is labor intensive. 'Show chrome' uses copper as a base plate. Copper adheres very easily, it's soft and it polishes like a mirror; perfect for prep before the nickel plate. This is the 3-plate process (copper, nickel, chrome).

          Pot metal can only be chrome plated with copper as a base. They strip down to bare metal, grind or drill out the zinc-powder pits, copper plate the whole thing, then solder lead into the divots. Another polish and another copper plate THEN it's ready for nickel and chrome. Again, labor intensive.

          As you can see, aluminum mashed into the pits or steel wool that scratches will do nothing but damage the plating. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

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          • #6
            Wow thanks for the details. So basically I can't do anything the way I see it in these YouTube videos, since it's not going to work. Would have to do an expensive rechrome.

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            • #7
              Without seeing your bumpers in person it's only a guess what will and won't work. My suggestion is to go to your local auto store and buy some chrome polish. Try it on a couple different spots on your front and rear bumpers. If it looks better then do the whole bumper. If it doesn't then you're probably wasting your time and your bumpers need to be rechromed. Going by the pictures I've seen your bumpers look better than average and a good polishing should help.

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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              • #8
                Thank you!!

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