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1981 GL500 Silver Wing
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Trying to salvage my pipes and tried something new to me. I scrubbed the rusty exhaust pipes with fine steel wool with liberal amounts of Mothers aluminum/mag polish. Cleaned it off and finished with Flitz polish and a micro fiber rag. It stripps off surface rust really fast! I should have less than an hour in both pipes when done. There is a set of pipes on Ebay right now that look really good and wondering if they did something similar. Bummer that I have a hole in one but will try some sort of JB Weld repair.
 

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They have come up good....
Helped a lil by thicker Oem chrome.......
 

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What about the hole? :)
 

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I would also think a sleeve might be the best but more work.

But sometimes, the easiest option IS the best depending on what time/tools you have available when you do it :)
 

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If its outta sight onced fixed, even a basic repair will be functional... and "forgotten"
 

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1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition - 1995 Honda Goldwing GL1500 SE - 2012 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000
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Cleaning rust off the chrome, use aluminum foil and water, works well.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Why did you use aluminum/magnesium polish instead of chrome cleaner?

I've seen lots of posts about similar methods that basically fill the breaks in the chrome (every rust spot is a break in the plating) and I sometimes wonder what happens when they have been at operating temperature long enough for the polish to melt and then exposed to water again.

At least when you rub the chrome with aluminum it fills the breaks in the chrome are filled with something that has a higher melting point but I think I would use a phosphoric acid rust converter to stabilize the oxidization first.

BTW: Unless you remove every trace of rust around the hole (= enlarge the hole to clean steel) any repair will be temporary at best. Epoxy won't hold on chrome unless you grind the surface and even then may not withstand the temperatures involved (that's not far from the header so pretty warm) so it wouldn't be my first choice.
If I was determined to get more life out of those mufflers I'd probably either do the pop can and band clamp trick (if I felt lazy) or cut a patch of suitable steel and attach it with screws with a layer of muffler cement under the patches.
Note that I said "patches". The one that doesn't have a hole yet looks like it soon will so I would seriously consider removing the corroded area and patching it now.
But then again, I'd probably shop for some good original Harley mufflers instead of patching those ones anyway. A lot of people order Harleys and have the dealer change the mufflers before they even try it with the original ones so you can often find good deals on original ones that are virtually new and they almost always sound much better on a Honda they they ever could on a Harley ;-)

Now if someone would come up with a way to keep the headers on a bike used on salted roads from rusting that isn't expensive and can be applied at home that would really get my attention....
 

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I also have good luck with Quick Glo, either regular or fine. Here are some headers from a GS650. Didn't get them perfect, but good enough that I stopped looking for replacements.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Musical instrument Automotive lighting Automotive design
 

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1981 GL500 Silver Wing
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why did you use aluminum/magnesium polish instead of chrome cleaner?

I've seen lots of posts about similar methods that basically fill the breaks in the chrome (every rust spot is a break in the plating) and I sometimes wonder what happens when they have been at operating temperature long enough for the polish to melt and then exposed to water again.

At least when you rub the chrome with aluminum it fills the breaks in the chrome are filled with something that has a higher melting point but I think I would use a phosphoric acid rust converter to stabilize the oxidization first.

BTW: Unless you remove every trace of rust around the hole (= enlarge the hole to clean steel) any repair will be temporary at best. Epoxy won't hold on chrome unless you grind the surface and even then may not withstand the temperatures involved (that's not far from the header so pretty warm) so it wouldn't be my first choice.
If I was determined to get more life out of those mufflers I'd probably either do the pop can and band clamp trick (if I felt lazy) or cut a patch of suitable steel and attach it with screws with a layer of muffler cement under the patches.
Note that I said "patches". The one that doesn't have a hole yet looks like it soon will so I would seriously consider removing the corroded area and patching it now.
But then again, I'd probably shop for some good original Harley mufflers instead of patching those ones anyway. A lot of people order Harleys and have the dealer change the mufflers before they even try it with the original ones so you can often find good deals on original ones that are virtually new and they almost always sound much better on a Honda they they ever could on a Harley ;-)

Now if someone would come up with a way to keep the headers on a bike used on salted roads from rusting that isn't expensive and can be applied at home that would really get my attention....
Very helpful info! I am completely new to most of what I am doing to this bike. I honestly am just trying things and seeing what kind of results I get. I have no money in the bike so not afraid to experiment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Very helpful info! I am completely new to most of what I am doing to this bike. I honestly am just trying things and seeing what kind of results I get. I have no money in the bike so not afraid to experiment.
Also, I used polish that I had on hand. Figured it was worth a go.
 

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1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition - 1995 Honda Goldwing GL1500 SE - 2012 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000
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Used the aluminum/water process after reading it on line. Worked well. Used a good chrome polish after such as Flitz and it has worked well.
 
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