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Re: italian-cars-digest V7 #24

>I am taking the heads off of a Mazerati V-6, and would like to take the
>opportunity to polish parts up. Does anyone have a favorite method for
>a.) cleaning grime off all kinds of aluminum

Immerse and let soak in diesel.
Clean with a good engine cleaner.
Use a stiff plastic brush. (Don't throw away your old toothbrushes/nailbrushes)
Don't use steel or brass brushes.
Use hot water.
If you use caustic solutions, be very careful. They *eat* aluminum.

>b.) polishing smooth aluminum castings

Don't. They look awful if you don't commit to continually polishing.
And remember you're talking about an engine where you cannot access
all areas that you can see.

>c.) cleaning bumpy aluminum castings or even polishing them somehow

Dont! (Want more of these?: !!!!!)

>d.) - a pipe-dream, I'm sure, keeping these shiny things shiny while in use.

Yes! I did a horrible mistake once of polishing one small alu part in
the engine. Kept polishing it for a couple of months, then gave up.
In short time it looked much worse than a raw casting.

>I intend to use this car (a Citroen SM) daily but this seems like an
>opportune moment to polish things up.

No polish, but a good cleaning. That leaves an already oxidised surface
that will stay nice looking if you keep salty water and dirt off it.
This oxidation protects further oxidation, which is very rapid for
aluminum. Unfortunately it will not be as nice looking as the one
that was left by the casting process and many years of use. That's
why I also try to avoid glass blasting visible alu components. The
patina is lost, and dirt sticks to it like mad.

>I don't have as much time as I would like, so I'm open to quick methods too.

Clean thoroughly. Not quick, but looking good.

BTW: It's "Maserati".

Einar Sjaavik

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