By Allanfox
#87352
Hi, the fork legs on my Electra X are factory painted/coated a very pale green colour, I can see a few chips and the aluminium showing through here and there, just while I have it off the road doing the sprag clutch I would like to remove this paint and polish the legs, anyone have any advice on how to remove the paint?

If possible want to do it in situ with the front wheel removed, will a normal paint stripper do it (nitromors etc)? Want to avoid any mechanical methods as don't want to risk any deep scratches. I have the Hitchcock's polishing kit (and very good too).
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By Adrian
#87353
Unfortunately our Indian friends seem hooked on powder-coating as many alloy components as possible. I took and Electra-X head and barrel to my local bike vapour-blasters, and the blaster would only shift the powder coating it if it had been chemically softened-up! If you're using paint stripper be aware that the old fashioned variety has now been withdrawn from DIY stores' shelves as we can apparently no longer be trusted to use it safely. The proper stuff that our Nanny State doesn't want us to use can still be found on a certain auction web site, however.

The current formulation of Nitromors in the YELLOW can might still work - just. Using a rotary wire brush on the end of an electric drill won't damage the alloy when you clean it off, you will want the appropriate protective gear though.

There shouldn't be a problem doing this with the forks in place, the mudguard is only held on by four M8 set screws.

On the later Electra-EFI bikes the factory went back to polished fork legs...

A.
By Allanfox
#87355
Thank you, just worth asking before I got stuck in and made a mess! My late iron 350 (2008) has polished legs and looks a lot nicer than the painted ones on the bike parked next to it!
By PeteF
#87358
If you have the wheel out and the mudguard off it's a quick job to whip the forks out. It would make things easier.
You need the old Methylene Chloride stripper.
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By stinkwheel
#87361
You can buy the missing DCM (dichloromethane) from the nitromorse on ebay in litre bottles.

That said, I have posted on here before about the resilience of the finish applied to some indian cycle parts. When I stripped my chainguard, I had to double soak it in nitromorse (with DCM) then hit it with the rotary wire brush while still wet... Most unpleasant.

A second word of caution, there is no garauntee what the alloy looks like under that paint/powdercoat. The finish could be very poor requiring polishing anyway.

As others have said, I also feel this would be a much easier job to do with it off the bike. Especially if you then need to polish.
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By Adrian
#87364
My latest Electra had some corrosion working its way under the powder coating on the fork sliders, I didn't strip the whole things, but just using the rotry wire brush on the flaky stuff over the white corrosion still bought up the underlying alloy OK.

A.
User avatar
By Adrian
#87973
Since this first came up a month ago I thought I'd try and see if the yellow can Nitromors still has enough va-va-voom chemically speaking to shift the powder coating. Take your time and use the previously mentioned rotary wire brush on the end of an electric drill and it will shift it, the underlying alloy actually comes up to quite a decent finish in the process.

A.
By Allanfox
#87985
Cheers, bike will be off the road for a while due to engine work so plenty of time for fork leg polishing !!!

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