Has the anodiser messed this up?

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7/7/2017 3:51 PM

Building a very trick RM125, with lots of exotic parts. In the process, I had a brand new aluminium tank delivered to a friend of mine. We thought it would be a good idea to get it anodised gold to match the wheels, hubs and VHM cylinder head. Well, it's turned out like this and I'm extremely disappointed with the outcome. The colour is flat and more yellow than gold.

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There's no way it is going on the bike like this, so how easy is it to remove it and make it look like it was before? Alternatively, could someone else get it looking the way I wanted? Is it simply a case of my friend selecting the wrong colour gold at the anodising shop? Here's the wheels which have the finish I am looking for:

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7/7/2017 3:55 PM

Where do you live? If you are anywhere near Los Angeles, Danco Anodizing can strip and re-anodize. I know because I'm having them re-do a bunch of pieces for me at work.
44 La Porte St.
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 445-3303

I bet many anodizing shops can do this, but I don't know.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

7/7/2017 4:07 PM

Falcon wrote:

Where do you live? If you are anywhere near Los Angeles, Danco Anodizing can strip and re-anodize. I know because I'm having them re-do a bunch of pieces for me at work.
44 La Porte St.
Arcadia, CA 91006
(626) 445-3303

I bet many anodizing shops can do this, but I don't know.

Thanks for the pointer. I live in Manhattan and have my bike collection back in the UK, so that would be a last resort. Be good to hear people's opinions on it - if it's a quality issue, I will just find a better quality anodiser in the UK to have it re-done.

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7/7/2017 8:44 PM

Well your hubs are billet. The aluminum front he tank is a low grade aluminum. You will not get the same anodized color from one grade of aluminum to the next.

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7/7/2017 9:39 PM

Yellow is one of the hardest colors to match. My autobody shop gave me an earful when i took my truck in for repair. Drivers side fender still looks off.

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2009 Kawasaki KX450F
2009 Kawasaki KX250F
2002 Suzuki GSXR 600

7/7/2017 10:19 PM

I use a really good guy in arlesey uk going from previous conversations it will depend on the quality of the metal as to which result you end up with

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7/7/2017 11:45 PM

CrGuy2T wrote:

Well your hubs are billet. The aluminum front he tank is a low grade aluminum. You will not get the same anodized color from one grade of aluminum to the next.

This ^

Different types of Aluminium, will 'take up' anodizing in a different way to others.

Welded structures - different welding rods can give entirely different effects at the weld, to the base metal.

The finish of the base metal can be a major influence of final colour.

Any time I had some jobs that required perfect matching of final finishes, I had to do a fair bit of work in materials usage / application, and component finishes before anodizing. Then, what can be a Big part of the final finish quality and matching, is the observation and attendance time of the Anodizer. I had a great bloke years ago that could deliver fantastic finishes and matches, but, he's long since retired, and since then, it's been difficult to get anything near his work.

It might be a trick of the light, or my dodgy old eyes, but the underseat panel, looks to be a different hue to the rest of the tank. It's not an easy thing to find, a good anodizer that can give good results on varied items.

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7/8/2017 4:44 AM

As far as I'm concerned if you want the billet anodizing look the parts should be polished before anodizing. Otherwise it comes out with a dull finish.

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7/8/2017 5:04 AM

Thanks for all the info, it has been really helpful in helping me decide what to do. Decision made; it will be going back to the anodiser to have the gold stripped off and I will polish up the bare aluminium and leave it at that.

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7/8/2017 7:50 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/8/2017 7:51 AM

I do not think you will ever get all of the goldish out of it. I would black anodize to cover the goldish.

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7/8/2017 12:02 PM

That's a really good suggestion to turn it black and 'cover up' the current mess. It was a brand new tank, and fairly shiny so I was hoping for a more professional finish, but a matt black should look pretty decent. This is very frustrating as if I was there in person, I would be able to ask the basic questions myself and have hopefully avoided this. Live and learn.

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7/8/2017 12:43 PM

Anodizing is a complicated process with lots of aluminum variables that can affect the color. Even using the same material 2 batches will come out differently

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9/12/2017 4:26 AM

Just thought I would post an update on this. I got some time to work on this bike last week, so decided to tackle this job.

1. I bought a plastic tub and filled it with water, about 10 gallons, and added drain cleaner to make a sodium hydroxide solution.
2. I put the tank in and left it for about 40 minutes.
3. The anodising turned darker, and then went soft allowing me to remove the gold with a scotchbrite pad. It came off real easy.
4. Washed thoroughly with water and it looked like this:

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5. I wanted a better finish so used autosol metal polish, a buffing pad on my drill and a lot of elbow grease. A while later I had this:

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6. Washed it out with gas, fitted the fuel tap and mounted it up to my project (which is about 80% complete now):

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Pretty happy with the result! Just thought I'd share in case others need to do the same.

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9/12/2017 4:33 AM

Bruneval wrote:

Just thought I would post an update on this. I got some time to work on this bike last week, so decided to tackle this job.

1. I bought a plastic tub and filled it with water, about 10 gallons, and added drain cleaner to make a sodium hydroxide solution.
2. I put the tank in and left it for about 40 minutes.
3. The anodising turned darker, and then went soft allowing me to remove the gold with a scotchbrite pad. It came off real easy.
4. Washed thoroughly with water and it looked like this:

Photo

5. I wanted a better finish so used autosol metal polish, a buffing pad on my drill and a lot of elbow grease. A while later I had this:

Photo

Photo

6. Washed it out with gas, fitted the fuel tap and mounted it up to my project (which is about 80% complete now):

Photo

Pretty happy with the result! Just thought I'd share in case others need to do the same.

Sweet, do you have a build thread?

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9/12/2017 6:49 AM

Turbojez wrote:

Sweet, do you have a build thread?

I put a build thread together to show people how much that things cost, but I've completely blown the budget now and need to update or start a new one due to the amount of work and changing direction I have done. It's at the point whereI have so many spares I that I picked up another RM to build up out with the leftover parts.

Still have to add the carbon airbox/subframe, factory magnesium shock and PC clutch cover to this one, but that will have to wait a few months now.

I had a friend of mine machine a set of RG3 RMZ 250 clamps so I could mount up the A Kit and use the RMZ front plastics properly.

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9/13/2017 1:28 AM

Bruneval wrote:

I put a build thread together to show people how much that things cost, but I've completely blown the budget now and need to update or start a new one due to the amount of work and changing direction I have done. It's at the point whereI have so many spares I that I picked up another RM to build up out with the leftover parts.

Still have to add the carbon airbox/subframe, factory magnesium shock and PC clutch cover to this one, but that will have to wait a few months now.

I had a friend of mine machine a set of RG3 RMZ 250 clamps so I could mount up the A Kit and use the RMZ front plastics properly.

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Looks like he's a good friend to have, that is awesome. I like the tank polished better than the gold, I doubt black could beat polished either. Looks good.

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9/13/2017 11:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/14/2017 6:53 AM

MohMoto14 wrote:

Looks like he's a good friend to have, that is awesome. I like the tank polished better than the gold, I doubt black could beat polished either. Looks good.

Thank you. I will give it another polish at some point as there's more to be gained, but I'm really happy with how the tank has turned out. I'm itching to see what the bike looks like with the carbon fibre airbox and subframe which uses RMZ plastics. There won't be another one like it.

As for my friend the engineer, he's a really cool guy and loves what he does and this is a welcome challenge for him that's outside his normal 9-5 tasks. He won't get rid of me now; the next job I have for him is a bit of fabrication to fit 1992 Honda forks to a set of billet clamps from an ATK for a 1989 CR250 I have sat in boxes waiting to be built. That's one that will have to wait until next year...

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9/14/2017 6:05 AM

Bruneval wrote:

I put a build thread together to show people how much that things cost, but I've completely blown the budget now and need to update or start a new one due to the amount of work and changing direction I have done. It's at the point whereI have so many spares I that I picked up another RM to build up out with the leftover parts.

Still have to add the carbon airbox/subframe, factory magnesium shock and PC clutch cover to this one, but that will have to wait a few months now.

I had a friend of mine machine a set of RG3 RMZ 250 clamps so I could mount up the A Kit and use the RMZ front plastics properly.

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Did he just open up the holes to a larger diameter? If so why on the lathe vs a boring head in the mill so you
know the holes would be in perfect alignment? Just curious.
TM

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9/14/2017 6:48 AM

I'm not entirely sure why he used a lathe instead of a mill, as they have every possible tool in that shop. They build bridges, oil and gas structures, water treatment, highway and rail projects usually. I showed him what I wanted done and gave him the clamps and forks, and they came back fitting and aligning perfectly.

Both the top and bottom clamp needed to be opened out 1mm, so it was a straight enlargement of the existing holes. Here's my amateurish measurements done before I gave everything to him.

RG3 top clamp (RMZ 250 2013-16) prior to machining:

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Fork measurement at top clamp:

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RG3 bottom clamp prior to machining:

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Fork measurement at bottom clamp:

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