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Chrome / Stainless trim restoration tips sought

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MarineRusset View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarineRusset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Chrome / Stainless trim restoration tips sought
    Posted: Mar/16/2017 at 4:34pm
1965 Rambler Classic 660 4 door - restoration project.  I've got all the exterior trim off.  Seeking products / techniques for cleaning and restoring surface shine.  I have a parts car as which I will use to replace anything that's too far gone.

Are those pieces polished stainless, chrome plated ?

Thanks
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-65 Rambler Classic 660 - 4dr AT
-68 Rebel 770 - 4 dr AT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hassyfoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/16/2017 at 9:26pm
Techniques to clean and restoring run from minor cleaning materials and a little polish ( may not make much of difference) to complete restoration which is time consuming and expensive when completed by a professional service. 

Not sure exactly what your question is. Maybe some photos and an explanation of the condition of your moldings and what you want to correct or improve upon.

Dents, dings and scrapes can be removed if the substrate is not thinned out from the damage Much more expensive repairs are possible with fill welding and repair. Decomposition of the substrate can be repaired with a multi level repair process. Aluminum must be de-anodized, repaired and a multi-step process to sand the imperfections and repairs from a course grit to a fine grit. Then multiple steps of buffing and finally polishing. Once that is complete anodizing the aluminum is needed.

Stainless trim has the same steps except for the de-anodizing and re-anodizing steps.
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Any given mechanical job you decide to solve alone will imminently require a third hand, at its most critical moment

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tufcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/16/2017 at 10:42pm
If you're doing a show restoration. Definitely send it out to a professional. Most of the pieces on your car are stainless, the only way to get the shine back is polishing, and lots of it. I bought a polisher and several different surfacing wheels and started to do the pieces on my AMX (over $200). I read a lot on how to do it before starting, and after spending literally 40-50 hours and not getting the results I wanted and only having a few pieces done(and kinking one piece with a very slight slip). I sent it out to "The Finishing Touch" in Chicago. One of the drip rails on my AMX looked like someone had attacked it with a ball peen hammer. They quoted $35/linear foot, and to have every piece on the AMX done (hood, headlight J-trim, drip rails, front/rear window surrounds, door tops) ran just under $1800. Every piece looked like the day it left the factory when I got them back. I figured that since I already had over $25K invested in the restore, it was less than 10% more to make the trim perfect.

Bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarineRusset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/17/2017 at 7:54pm
I'm not planning to make it into a prize winner. I'd just like to get it looking as good as possible given what is available, and not ruin it in the process      For example, I have read steel wool is NOT the way to go, as it will leave behind microscopic bits of steel which will rust. I'll add photos of what I've got.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CamJam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/17/2017 at 10:40pm
Most trim is stainless, which is a love/hate affair for me.  I love it because it's forgiving, you can fix dents in it and make it look better than new if you know what you're doing.  Hate, because it's hard as nails so it takes forever to do it right. 

Polishing is not that hard... repairing dents is another matter. There are several good YouTube videos on repairing dents and refinishing.  I've done many of the pieces on my car two or three times because it took me that many tries to get good at it.  I still have a couple pieces that aren't great.  Once you get the dents out you have to get any sandpaper/file scratches you've made out, and that seems to take forever, and after that you go to the polishing wheel and hope you don't bend the piece (that you've possibly spent hours on) into a pretzel.  

Stainless drip rails that aren't dented can be polished on the car.  Much easier than getting them off and back on the car.  I bought a little 3" air sander for this purpose at Harbor Freight for about $40, and 3M hook/loop pads (I get mine at NAPA) work great with it and are available in grits up to 3,000 or so. 

Tip:  When repairing dents, don't get any more aggressive with the sandpaper grit than you have to.  You can spend hours and hours later getting deep scratches out.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarineRusset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/20/2017 at 4:23pm
Here are the items that I'd like to brighten up:

1) Side trim - joins





2)  Side Trim - Scratches




and dinged:





3)  Trunk trim - corroded ?





4) Front trim - dinged






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-65 Rambler Classic 660 - 4dr AT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pacerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/20/2017 at 7:06pm
There are lots of Youtube videos on how to polish stainless trim and removing dents and dings from it.  You will not be able to do it successfully without having the proper tools (a good high speed buffer and the proper pads for it as well as the buffing compounds).  A power drill will not do it.    You will need patience.  I have been successful (with my buffer), having watched lots of videos for guidance, in removing some fairly deep scratches, but my work is not show quality.  It did really improve the looks of my trim pieces though. 

In short, I agree with Tufc above.  Use a professional for the trim that must be done to show quality.  Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarineRusset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar/22/2017 at 12:24pm
Ok. What about the (I presume) aluminium door sill plates ? They're surprising not corroded for a car that has seen at least a few Canadian winters, but they are dinged up and badly scuffed. Can a pro restore those as well?

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-65 Rambler Classic 660 - 4dr AT
-68 Rebel 770 - 4 dr AT
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