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1984 300TD
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 84 300TD had ratty looking windshield reveal mold, the anodized aluminum embedded in the windshield frame deeply pitted, no bright flash left in it.

I had to replace the windsheld , didn't have the stomach to install the crappy looking pitted trim so I took a few weeks to refurbish it to look far better.

This is the recipe
1. Trim must be off the car. These trim pieces are pretty flimsy and you do not want to bend them at all. The process of bending them back for installation is painstaking. I had each on the bench with a drill press vice and supported at intervals with blocks of wood so you can use some pressure without bendng them. Also I used vice grips along each with matchstick bits of wood to protec the barb on the part that inserts into the rubber windshield frame and engages with the rubber to keep the trim solidly in place. Ie do not crush that barb.
2. sodium hydroxide dissolves the adodized layer, pro's use 50% solution, I used Super Clean degreaser, its 5%, its slower but easily available and in spray bottle. Then wet sant to remove smut, ie with dissolved anodized part
3. go at it with wet sanding started at 240 grit and in small steps all the way to 7000 grit. Be careful to not cross contaminate grit and debris from the prior step. Either of those wll add new coarser scratches.
4. Compound and polish, I used Maguiars Ultimate.
5. normal buffing wheel with progressive grits. Harbor freight has a $20 kit that works OK>
6. Protectaclear as a clear coat to sustain the bright look.

I saw demonstrations of people bringing bare aluminum to a buffed out state that has mirror finish like chrome. That seems to take serious force with the buffing wheel and buffing compound and you would need a very special setup to apply that kind of pressure to these flimsy pieces of aluminum without bending them a lot.
 

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Nice post Rocket99, thanks for sharing.
That’s what makes restoring these cars so satisfying, putting in our labour for free to enjoy them.
 

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1984 300TD
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
In the end I stripped off the protectaclear and leave them without anything, occasional Mothers mag aluminum polish is GREAT
 
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