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Old 12-21-2010, 09:56 PM   #1
Six_Gun OP
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Sydney
Oddometer: 8
Airhead Chrome care - (... or, have I buggered my pipes)?

Long time lurker - first post.

I ride a recently immaculate '89 BMW R80.

Recently, I melted my cover on to the header pipes (the part of the exhaust that comes out of the engine at the front - headers right?). So I cleaned them off and decided the chrome could do with a polish, as it was bluing / becoming very dull. I used Brasso.

In retrospect, this appears to have been a mistake as it seems I have taken some protective coating off the chrome and they now have a light, but growing, covering of rust - which they never had before.

So my question to you guys is... what can I do about this?

Can I get the rust off and polish the chrome back up and coat it with something to protect it?

Or is it buggered?
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:54 AM   #2
fine beer sampler
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Bothell, Washington
Oddometer: 1,796
There is not a "protective coating" on chrome, to rust you would have to sand through the chrome. I suspect you just need to clean the chrome with something that will whatever is on the surface, that is corroding.

I recommend using steel wool (fine) and soft scrub cleanser, yes seriously, these will not scratch the chrome, and will in fact polish it. It is also aggressive enough to remove almost anything on the surface. Hope that helps
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:16 AM   #3
pommie john
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Brisvegas, Australia
Oddometer: 1,477
Have you got any pictures?

I'd be surprised if brasso damaged the pipes. It's a mild metal polish. I usually use Solvol metal polish on chrome and aluminium. It's available at most bike shops.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:35 AM   #4
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Susanville, CA
Oddometer: 252
I have used Simichrome for years to clean chrome with excellent results. As has been said, there is no coating on pipes. It is possible that you left some residue on them after you cleaned them, and that is what you are seeing.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:54 AM   #5
Six_Gun OP
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Sydney
Oddometer: 8
Thanks - pics to follow.

Thanks for your replies... I thought maybe I was being a goose thinking that it was a protective coating but I couldn't figure why just that area had started rusting. Maybe it is residue or something as Lokey suggested.

Anyway - I'll take some pics tomorrow but will probably just follow the advice, soft steel wool etc.

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