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Metal finishing Q&As since 1989

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Polishing Silver Eagle Stainless Buses and Coaches




Q. I have a Model 15 Silver Eagle bus that has a dull, almost milky appearance on the stainless siding. I do not want a mirror finish but I want to remove the milky appearance and give the stainless a nice new look. I used Noxon 7 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] with a random orbital at slow speed and had some success. Can the stainless be cleaned with a grinder equipped with a buffing wheel and polishing media? Please advise.

Floyd M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]

2006


A. Floyd,
I doubt that you have stainless. I have two eagles and both have anodized aluminum siding. I've seen older eagles that look bad because of the chalking. I don't know a way to change this. Maybe someone will post an answer.
I'm in the process of removing paint from a 1984 model 10 now - a real pain. You really can't polish the aluminum without first sanding off the anodizing which is not practical. I did just that and it took me 4 days solid just to do the tailgate!

Brian M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]

2006



Q. Thanks for your response to my inquiry about polishing my Model 15 Eagle coach. I managed to have some positive results using a Makita hand held grinder with a canvas polishing wheel at 7,000 RPM and a stainless rouge on the siding. The silver looks like new again after two complete passes. What a difference. I am somewhat alarmed to hear that after all this work I may have damaged the metal because some experts believe that this is actually anodized aluminum and NOT stainless. I still believe the siding is stainless due to the hardness and extreme difficulty in polishing it out. Which is it?

Floyd M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]

2007


A. Hi. It can be hard to tell aluminum from stainless steel without instruments or a way to weigh it, Floyd. Stainless is almost 3x heavier than aluminum and unlikely to be used on a trailer. Further, "milky" and "chalking" are not typical of stainless steel, which is mostly iron and is more likely to have a rusty color.

The anodized layer on aluminum is actually harder than stainless steel: it's aluminum oxide, sandpaper. If it is aluminum it won't stay bright without clearcoating, but will quickly dull again. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
July 2012



July 25, 2012

I have an 05 Eagle conversion.

Q1. Does anyone know anything (materials) that will remove chemical stains from the Aluminum?

Q2. Do you know if there is anyone who sells aluminum siding for Eagle busses?

Sincere thanks for any information.

Joseph thornton




A1. Hi Joseph.

Hydrofluoric acid, the nastiest chemical I know, can probably remove the stain. But I wouldn't let it near my house.

I hear that truck washes clean aluminum tanker trucks with diluted HF. You might look one up and see if they can do the "aluminum brightening" process for you.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
June , 2012




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