Determining condition of anodized aluminum

Shell/Exterior Maintenance, Windows, Gaskets, Awnings, Vent Lids/Covers, Rockguards
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:44 pm

Determining condition of anodized aluminum

Post by Innocent.Smith » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:51 pm

My 1971 T28 has a pretty consistent finish all around, currently looking very flat and bright in color. In reading about care for anodized aluminum, I am curious if my finish is uniformly in good condition, or if the anodization is worn off, and should be polished?

Any useful visual tips for determining this? Am I safe to polish with a product like the Diamond Truck Box product I've seen others recommend either way?


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Re: Determining condition of anodized aluminum

Post by RISK » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:30 pm

The anodized finish is electro-chemically achieved and won't really wear off except in extreme circumstances, like getting dipped in oven cleaner. If you want to see what it looked like, or close to it, off the factory floor, wipe a section down with WD-40. Or don't, because then you'll be for ever in search of that look.
Simple answer is if it is uniform in appearance, then it's in good condition. The WD-40 will wear off and attract dust (I prefer corrosion-x for this and all things lubricant/penetrant/inhibitant) but after a good washing a simple liquid paste wax will do a pretty good job of bringing some lustre back.

Curious about the Truck box polish though...

There is a whole rabbit hole over on Airforums about polishing anodized to a mirror shine (an exercise in futility imho) and some decent advice for products for bringing the original satin shine back to anodized aluminum. Me? I wash and wax. If I wanted to spend my time polishing I'd own an Airstream... oh wait, I do own an Airstream. I forgot, I was too busy camping in my Avion and not fixing my Airstream.


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