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How to restore aluminum tags????

Discussion in 'Early Jeep Restoration and Research' started by wheelie, Jun 15, 2014.

  1. Jun 15, 2014
    wheelie

    wheelie beeg dummy 2019 Sponsor

    York, PA
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    Anybody have a tip on how to remove corrosion from aluminum dash tags, engine tags, etc., without removing the black painted letters or backgrounds? I'm trying ketchup now since it works on copper. Hoping to not have to scrub and damage the painted surface.
     
  2. Jun 15, 2014
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Dunno... aluminum oxide is very stable. I doubt you'll find anything chemical that attacks the oxide blooms and not the aluminum.
     
  3. Jun 15, 2014
    68BuickV6

    68BuickV6 Well-Known Member

    Norco, CA.
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    What Timgr said. Gotta be very careful with this things.

    I wonder if you could use an extremely fine polisher?

    I'd be very, very careful, don't want to damage them.
     
  4. Jun 15, 2014
    wheelie

    wheelie beeg dummy 2019 Sponsor

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    Hmmmmm. Drat. They dash tag for the twin PTO on the '56 is pretty rough. The "IN" and "OUT" are sort of raised letters and black. Maybe I could, when the time comes, make a new tag and use vinyl letters of the appropriate size. I'm just sort of a stickler for staying as original as possible when I'm trying to stay original. May not be possible in this case.
     
  5. Jun 15, 2014
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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  6. Jun 15, 2014
    Steve's 70-5

    Steve's 70-5 Member 2020 Sponsor

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    I read somewhere use the cleaner they use on Air Conditioner coils
     
  7. Jun 15, 2014
    Danefraz

    Danefraz Well-Known Member 2019 Sponsor

    Chico CA
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    I used Blue Magic on the trim tags and my VIN plate. Trim tags had paint left, so I went easy with an old t-shirt corner on the bench. The VIN plate, I used the dremmel and a cotton wheel, and the finish is almost chrome like. Start in a spot and go easy to see if it works.
    there are Picts in my build thread, don't remember which entry tho.

    http://www.earlycj5.net/forums/show...ntless-Project-the-Heep&p=1096506#post1096506
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  8. Jun 15, 2014
    Johns1967CJ5

    Johns1967CJ5 Sponsor

    Northern NJ
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    My pto tag has recessed letters. I used a soft wire wheel in a drill to get the tag clean and polished. Just going to spray it black then wipe it off leaving the black in the letters. If the letters are raised I would think you can do same then paint the letters or use a black sharpie ?
     
  9. Jun 18, 2014
    mdmeltdown

    mdmeltdown Member

    Bossier City,...
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    Brasso...or aluminum tool box polish.....sold at LOWE's
     
  10. Jun 18, 2014
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
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    Do you have a woodstove or fireplace? Wood ashes can work as a polishing medium. Have used it on brass with good success. Brasso and the like works better but still...
     
  11. Jun 20, 2014
    TexasBlues

    TexasBlues JEEP-Hockey-Holic

    Marietta, GA
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    mothers aluminum wheel polish maybe?... test on the back would be my advice
     
  12. Jun 20, 2014
    wheelie

    wheelie beeg dummy 2019 Sponsor

    York, PA
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    Here's the tag in question. It's pretty rough. The lettering seems to be painted on, like silk screen or something. Not sure I'll be able to polish it with success and no damage the lettering. May be better off to find a replacement or have someone duplicate it for me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jun 20, 2014
    68BuickV6

    68BuickV6 Well-Known Member

    Norco, CA.
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    I have that same plate, honestly I feel like cleaning it would ruin the lettering. I left mine as is and figured when I got around to the winch, I would see about having a decal made with the same diagram.
     
  14. Jun 20, 2014
    Rondog

    Rondog just hangin' out

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    Interesting. I bet it can be done safely, but I don't know how. Got any aircraft mechanic shops or restoration places at your local airport? That would be probably be a safe source of info, car restoration places too. I'd probably even try Crest toothpaste and an old toothbrush.
     
  15. Jun 20, 2014
    nickmil

    nickmil In mothballs.

    Happy Valley, OR
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    How about a new plate laser etched?
     
  16. Jun 21, 2014
    wheelie

    wheelie beeg dummy 2019 Sponsor

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    I tried tooth paste on another tag from the same JEEP ( a Mico Lock tag ) in similar condition. Didn't seem to do much. I might get the Dremel out and play around with that.

    Nick, laser etching sounds cool but, to keep it as original looking as possible, I think applying the lettering to a tag would look more correct than etching them down into the tag. 95% of the people would likely never see the difference or know the difference but, I tend to be a stickler if I'm "restoring" something.
     
  17. Jun 21, 2014
    Rondog

    Rondog just hangin' out

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    I can relate! Witness my obsessive search for freakin' wheels.....
     
  18. Jun 23, 2014
    Johns1967CJ5

    Johns1967CJ5 Sponsor

    Northern NJ
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    What about aluminum mag wheel cleaner? Spray it on, let sit a minute and wash off. I used it on my pto housing to clean it and it worked good
     
  19. Jul 3, 2014
    mdmeltdown

    mdmeltdown Member

    Bossier City,...
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    Theres a guy on here that lives in Hotsprings, AR that has some kind of printing company. He made up a whole bunch of vinyl decals for several of us on here. I got a Ramsey Winch sticker and Warn Hub sticker I put on my dash from him. you could always cut out a copy of the plate out of sheet metal and put a printed metallic vinyl sticker on top. Unless you got up real close, you wouldn't know it was just a sticker over a plate. I'm about to do that for all the data plates for my dad's Studebaker Weasel.
     
  20. Jul 3, 2014
    PeteL

    PeteL Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
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    I'm thinking some kind of photo-silkscreen etching could make an all new aluminum plate. The original was made by somebody somehow...

    Press-n-Peel Blue and some Drano???
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014

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