Polished Swingarm?

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Jun 6, 2003
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#1
I've got the KDX apart for the winter overhaul, and while I have the swingarm off I was contemplating polishing it. I have seen some pictures of KDX's with this done and it looks pretty slick. Anybody try it? Anyone got any Tips? Or am I opening a can of Whoop***?
 
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May 31, 2003
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#3
I was ging to do the same thing. A friend of mine said he used really fine sand paper with a polishing compound for his street bike and it came out really nice. I'm going to try that myself starting with 400 grit. He said just finish off with the finest paper you can get.
 

G. Gearloose

Pigment of ur imagination
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#4
Don't use sandpaper, you'll put scratches in it and quadruple the length of the project. Just use a chemical stripper then wash, its ready for compound, clean, and clearcoat.
 

KDXFreestyle

Damn Yankees
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#5
I believe the KDX swing arm is aluminum. For a stripped aluminum swing arm, it shouldnt even have to be clear coated. you couls just sand the paint off with like 100 grit paper, then work your waiy up... then go to like 500, then 1000, then mabey to 2000. depending on how it looks.
 
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#6
It's been awhile (about 4 yrs. ago) since I done this so I may be a little off with my info. There have been threads posted on this site about doing this, that is how I found the info.
I bought some paint stripper at AutoZone, I think the paint stripper was actually called Airline aluminum paint remover?. It comes in an aeresol can. I found it in the paint section. That stuff is potent, it burns like a son of a #***! I sprayed this on the swingarm. Let it dry a few minutes and then the paint peeled right off with your fingers or rag. I then cleaned the swingarm with wadding polish (bought at AutoZone). Buffed with aluminum polish and walah!
Be careful where you spray the cleaner. It would be rough on seals and bearings I imagine. The hardest part was getting the paint off of the small cracks and crevices. Do a search for threads on this subject.
It looked great when I got finished. Much better than that scratched up paint. I was also going to do the front forks. That was before I rode an orange (KTM) bike and decided to just trade in the KDX and go to the orange side where things come already polished.
 
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Jul 2, 2002
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#7
My race bikes swingarm is polished. All I did was take the angled die grinder with a scotch brit pad (red one) to it. it took all of the paint off, then i took a finer pad (green one). after this is used a regualr scotch brit pad with some mothers mag and aluminim polish on it, and then a rag with the same polish.Looks great and took me less then 1 hr. On my practice bike i did the same but got sick of polishing it, so i just use a lil wd-40 and a scotch brit pad, and it looks like brushed AL....it also looks good.
 
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#8
Thanks Guys, Louis I gotta tell ya I busted a gut with your reply, Believe it or not I have a wife and a 3yr old Typhoon who helps me wrench alot.....Yea right. But they are both off to Grams house for the holiday and I got some serious GARAGE time to kill.
KX 693 I think I like your method the best, I got alot of RED, Green and Gray scotchbrites around. You must be a Aircraft AMT? . I will let you know how it turns out.
 
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#9
No aircraft AMT, I just graduated college, and am curently running out bike shop, and racing alot......But my dad, and my self both have engineering degrees, and my lil brother is a freshman in mech. eng. right now, and we have too many tools (if that can happen). So with the dirt bikes, and skid steer and everything else i have alot of time to try diff stuff on my bikes. Glad that my advise helped you out.
 
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#10
Enjoy your free time. It doesn't come very often. Use anything but sandpaper,it'll take a long time to work out scratches. Get that little rugrat started soon. My son and I have a great time riding. I started him when he was 5 on a Z50. He's 17 now,we both have 200's & all I see is dust.
 
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#11
Like kx_693 already said use scotchbrite pads on a grinder or buffer to remove small scratches and paint. Then get a wool wheel for polishing stainless steel and get the rouge / compound for aluminium. Make sure you use alot of the rouge on the wool wheel cos it works better. Just put the wool wheel on your 100mm grinder, turn it on and hit it onto the rouge for a few seconds until the rouge starts flicking off. Beleive me you will not get a better finish if you do it right. Mirror finish. I am a stainless steel welder (tig) / polisher by trade.
 
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#12
I'm a canidate for the treatment no doubt. I've got lots of time, and that would look sweet. but........................

It seems to me a polished arm would show everything and get scratched up pretty bad every ride. I imagine it lloking stellar before the first ride, but never as good again.

Have any of you guys that own a polished SA seen this to be true or no....?
 
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#13
yea you are right it looks great the first time and first ride, then every ride u have to clean it up again.......Thats why my race bike is polished and my practice bike is only striped, and i just spray some WD-40 on it, and use a scoth brit pad, and it looks like brushed AL. I have all week to polish the race bike up before the next weekend. But it does look great
 
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#15
yea i can get some, I'll have to look becaseu all of the pics i have are of me racing i think.....But I'll see if my mom has any of just the bike, and I'll post them for you guys.