Polishing Al. Bull Bars

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 17:54
ThreadID: 15504 Views:6091 Replies:12 FollowUps:2
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Just spent 2 1/2 hours polishing my ECB aluminium bar. We used Autosol cream. Although it does an excellent job it is very labour intensive. What are you guys using? Thanks Stan
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 18:32

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 18:32
Steel painted black.

Got better things to do with my time than spend 2 1/2 hours polishing a coke can.
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Reply By: Nudenut - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 18:39

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 18:39
thinking of painting mine......have never cleaned it otherwise (other than wash)...have better things to do with daylight hours than clean a ruddy polished alloybull bar....
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Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 18:43

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 18:43
Yeah Stan,

This is my first (and possibly last) alloy bar. Looked fantastic for the first two weeks till I went thru some mud and it seemed to tarnish quite easy. Hard to wash off.

Bought a tube of metal polish (Reflections) and gave it a good going over. Looked pretty good, for about a month. Dull again now.

Might be a once a year job when feeling enthused with nothing else to do. As far as I know there is no substitute for a bit of elbow grease and polishing cream. No shortcuts!

Mine is the Toyota Genuine bar on the Prado which is mostly bare alloy/aluminium (not sure exactly what it is) and some powder coated areas. The painted areas at the bottom seem much more low maintenance and easier to keep clean than the alloy parts so if I ever have to replace it after an animal strike or accident I'll probably specify the powder coated version.

If I ever scrape together the cash to do a suspension upgrade then maybe I'll go a steel one.

Cheers
Muddy 'doe
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Reply By: locallaw - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 19:25

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 19:25
Gidday,Just a thought why not get it powder coated to match your 4BY.Mine is powder coated black and looks good.It can also take a bit of a hiding on the tracks.
Seeya Locallaw
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Reply By: Stuart - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 20:44

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 20:44
Hi Stan, I can understand your frustration as I have the same problem but unlike the others I insist on polishing the dam thing. Here's my procedure. First remove the bar. If it's never been polished or is badly tarnished I use BLITZ by Chemtec. Repco has it. It's a mild acid rinse. This gets rid of the tarnish and makes the job much easier. Then it's time to polish. I use Autosol but also use a proper polisher/sander (it's like an angle grinder only much slower) and a firm buffing pad and then a quick buff by hand. It's a lot of work (about 4-5 hours all up) but the result is worth it. However the buffer will not remove the little pinhole marks from stones. I normally do this (without the acid rinse) every 18months to 2 years with a hand polish every 9-12 months in between. After reading all that I think I've made it worse for you. It's nice to know I'm not the only one that's fussy about keeping the Bullbar polished but they look bloody awful when the're dull. Cheers.
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Reply By: GO_OFFROAD - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 21:09

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 21:09
That would be an oxymoron wouldnt it?

alloy bull bar......

alloy bumperette maybe ;-)

And try a buffer pad in the drill to polish alloy rather than by hand next time, might do it in 15 minutes.
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Reply By: Member - Brian (WA) - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 21:16

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 21:16
What about ALI-BRIGHT from supercheap. I do not use it for that, But I have herd
that Shell (I think) use it to clean & brighten there tankers. It also has a acid
formular.
cheers brian
AnswerID: 72386

Reply By: rock hoper - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 21:31

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 21:31
i polished my bull bar . then i got it painted with clear 2-pak paint.
2 years later it still shines.
i used altex paint. as used on quintrex boats ....
this is a marine paint..
if you require any more info e-mail : tuff4by@dodo.com.au
AnswerID: 72389

Reply By: Member - Stephen (WA) - Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 22:46

Thursday, Aug 12, 2004 at 22:46
I don't bother - Shiny alloy is low on my list of priorities. Now that you've informed me it takes 2 to 3 hrs to polish an alloy bullbar - shiny alloy has dropped even further down the list to just above preparing tax returns and root canal work.

All I do is soak the bugs embedded in the bullbar for a bit and then scrub 'em off. It only takes a few minutes. Bullbar is clean but not shiny.

It's amazing what you can acheive through sheer neglect.....

Salud

Stephen J.

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Follow Up By: Member - PatC - Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 08:50

Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 08:50
I'm with you...
Wash the car...yes
Polish the car...sometimes
Clean the inside...yes
Polish the bull bar... no way

Much better things to do
(Like getting it dirty again ;-} )

See Ya
PatC
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Reply By: banjodog - Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 03:55

Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 03:55
The initial polishing of the alloy bar is done by a lambs wool buffing pad on the 9" angle grinder with the polish / cutting compound painted on with is then buffed off. But the cheapest and easiest product to use to bring back the new look is the steel wool soap pads.

Just buy a box, good brand ones, have a bucket of clean water, keep dipping the pads (changing often as required) in the water to keep wet and rub rub rub - comes up bright and shiny.

Good for alloy side steps and roof racks too.
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Reply By: Bazza - Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 08:53

Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 08:53
G'Day all,
Come on guys, life's to short to be polishing bull bars!? What's next ... using tyre black on your muddies? LOL
Regards,
Bazza.
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Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 09:31

Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 09:31
Bazza,
Don't yu do the tyre wall black on the muddies? They look great, hour a wheel.......................LOL
Keep the shiny side up

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Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 14:45

Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 14:45
Stan,
personally I haven't got an ally bar I prefer steel & paint, on my ally wheels which would be the same as your bull bar I spent a long time cleaning them once and then bought some spray on clear laquer, this kept things shiney for ages, looked pretty average after they had some scratches on them but they still looked alright. Other than that paint it, there's no real way to keep things like that as new once they hit the open road the ally is to soft and prone to oxidisation. My views.
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