Brook R, says something in his recent rebuild thread on MOA about Auto sol solution. I may give it a try. I have also seen an internet post about vinegar water solution. Hey, it is cheap and I have enough to try a spot check. St.
I appreciate the replies, maybe I am just getting too carried away. After all, what do I expect from a 36 year old bike with 214K miles which is ridden in all kinds of weather including winter with salt on the roads?
I guess I am fussy, LOL. What has started out as a minor cosmetic rebuild is now a full blown overhaul. Stuff that looked OKAY while on the bike hidden, doesn't look so good off the bike. To add to it is Brook Ream's thread on the BMWMOA site of his rebuild of an 83 bike. The before and after pictures are amazing.
Oh well, it will be what it will be when I get done, not as pretty as Brook's bike but far better looking than it was and not as bad as some. Cheery bye, St.
If the motor is out of the frame I soda blast them.
Long Island, New York
Needs a lot of elbow grease though.
FYI, the soda blasting experiment was a nightmare, that stuff got everywhere in the engine requiring a complete tear down to bare block in order to clean it all out. Some of it dissolved with parts cleaner, some didn't but caked into places in the block. Bottom line for me was I was dumb and lazy and it cost me big time. DON"T blow an abrasive powder into your engine thinking it will flush out easily, it won't! Next time I blast with any kind of medium, the parts will be down to the bare block or shell. I think I will make a sign for on my tool box for that. Cheers, St.
Simple Green Heavy Duty Barbecue & Grill Cleaner. It's in an aerosol can.
Don't let it sit for long, rinse it off with water, and use it on cool parts.
I have a new to me 1988 R100GS which will need a good cleaning so I've been experimenting with various "polish." My experimental surface is a peanut valve cover (it's always good to check something new on an extra part first, just in case it totally screws up the surface). So by way of comparison here are my opinions on four solutions I've tried so far:
1) Pumice Hand Cleaner. Yep, someone recommended this on ADVRider...didn't seem to do anything for me.
2) Rub 'n Buff Wax Metallic Finish, Pewter. This stuff just rubs on, it's a wax with some coloring in it which matches the airhead pretty well. My take on it is that is completely covers over any of the black oxidation spots, and the color is very close to the stock airhead engine finish. Having said that, it is not my top choice. It looks great in the sunlight, but moving the valve cover to the shade you can notice a waxy finish (for lack of a better term) which I don't like. It's also seems to dull the finish ever so slightly.
3) WD-40, and Scotch-Brite stainless steel scrubbers. My old standby from back in the day -- it works well and the stainless steel scrubbers leave less micro scratching than the green Scotch-Brite pads most recommend in my opinion.
4) Cream of Tatar, mixed to a paste, with toothbrush or Stainless Steel Scroth-Brite scrubbers. Thanks to the OP for this tip. This is my new choice based on the peanut cover experiment so far. It seems to leave the brightest, but true aluminum finish. Black spots do remain in between the valve cover fins, but this works the best for me so far on the valve cover. I think I'll still hit the aluminum with some WD-40 afterwards as a protectorant since this stuff might be slightly acidic and invite more oxidation later.
Cheers...again, thanks to the OP for the tip...