Author Topic: Grill polishing techniques  (Read 635 times)

Offline MidModCad

  • Posts: 147
  • Name: L. Gay
Grill polishing techniques
« on: August 12, 2021, 12:09:32 PM »
The grill on my '61 has some stubborn stains that just will not come out (see pic). I'd like to polish the entire grill and get rid of these spots, but I'm not sure what technique to use.  The finish is very smooth making the usual multi grades of wet sandpaper technique a little scary.  I'd hate to do something that damages the stainless. Anyone have a method that works?  Dremel tool?  Compund that's just abrasive enough?  So many nooks and crannies!

Offline 55 CDV Fan 82

  • Posts: 1129
  • CLC Number: 30850
  • Name: Tim Neumann
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2021, 12:34:52 PM »

It looks as if the plating is thin.  Probably not much you'll be able to do with that.
Tim

CLC Member #30850

1955 Cadillac Coupe Deville "Evelyn"
1967 Buick Wildcat Convertible "Joyce"

Past Cars

1937 LaSalle Opera Coupe "Adeline"
1940 Chevrolet Coupe "Scarlett"
1941 Ford 11Y truck
1954 Buick Special 48D
1955 Packard Clipper Super Panama
1957 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe
1962 VW Bug
1962 Dodge 880
1966 Mercury Montclair
1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
1968 Plymouth Barracuda
1977 Lincoln

Offline 6Fleetwood6

  • Posts: 24
  • CLC Number: CLC# 33401
  • Name: P Piscitelli
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2021, 12:39:17 PM »
Just spent a day cleaning the grill on my 66 Fleetwood.  The chemicals all worked to dissolve all of the 55 year old grime and stuff that accumulates in the edges an corners.  I used 3M, Maguires and Quickglow.  First I used 0000 steel wool, then some quick glow on a toothbrush + time and patience.  Remove cleaner with soft cotton and polish with microfiber cloth.
Current
1966 Fleetwood Brougham
Past
1999 Deville Concours
2006 STS4

Offline MidModCad

  • Posts: 147
  • Name: L. Gay
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2021, 12:53:05 PM »
Thanks, Fleetwood. Which versions of the 3M and Maguires did you use?  I tried Maguires polishing compound but it didn't really do much.

Offline Roger Zimmermann

  • Posts: 4557
  • Switzerland
  • CLC Number: 21015
  • Name: Roger Zimmermann
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2021, 01:26:19 PM »
The grille is made with anodized aluminum. If you intend to sand it, you will get a disaster.
1956 Sedan de Ville (sold)
1956 Eldorado Biarritz
1957 Eldorado Brougham (sold)
1972 Coupe de Ville
2011 DTS
CLCMRC benefactor #101

Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2021, 01:31:02 PM »
I used WD-40 on my 1969 grille & it worked great.

George
George D. Mukalian
CLC #10047

Offline MidModCad

  • Posts: 147
  • Name: L. Gay
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2021, 02:15:23 PM »
Just tried the WD.  It does a nice job of polishing, but unfortunately doesn't have any impact on the stains.  I wonder what the pro restorers do to get those perfect grills.  Maybe disassemble and re-adonize?

Offline 6Fleetwood6

  • Posts: 24
  • CLC Number: CLC# 33401
  • Name: P Piscitelli
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2021, 02:51:39 PM »
Thanks, Fleetwood. Which versions of the 3M and Maguires did you use?  I tried Maguires polishing compound but it didn't really do much.

None of them worked any better than the other, 3M # 39527, Maguires chrome polish.
They really helped desolve the grime, then I  just polished the rest.
Current
1966 Fleetwood Brougham
Past
1999 Deville Concours
2006 STS4

Offline David Greenburg

  • CLC #3830
  • Posts: 1997
  • CLC Number: 3830
  • Name: David Greenburg
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2021, 03:43:36 PM »
Reanodizing is not that big of a deal.  You can get it done for a lot less than what you see on eBay.  I had my ‘60 about 4 years ago (bigger and more pieces than a ‘61), and it was about $1700, including disassembly/reassembly. And it still looks great.
David Greenburg
'60 Eldorado Seville
'61 Fleetwood Sixty Special

Offline MidModCad

  • Posts: 147
  • Name: L. Gay
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2021, 04:01:39 PM »
Yes, worth the price with a '60 (conv.?).  A bit rich for a '61 coupe.

Offline Michael Petti

  • Posts: 276
  • Name: M Petti
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2021, 03:20:55 PM »
I just did the grill on my 60 CDV. I had spots exactly like yours. Mine were from water dripping on the grill and leaving deposits of soap, calcium or lime. I used Mother's chrome cleaner a tooth brush a rag and my index finger.  Also used a small jewelers screw driver to get the rag into the corners. BE CAREFUL. It came out good for me.  It took some time, but from a cost benefit basis it worked out very well. Good luck.

Offline cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 3438
  • Still crusin'
  • CLC Number: 15823
  • Name: M Santos
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2021, 12:28:29 AM »
Reanodizing is not that big of a deal.  You can get it done for a lot less than what you see on eBay.  I had my ‘60 about 4 years ago (bigger and more pieces than a ‘61), and it was about $1700, including disassembly/reassembly. And it still looks great.
 

$1,700 to re-anodize a grill??  :o

I'll live with mine as it is.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2433
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2021, 09:21:58 AM »
Not sure which "stains" you're referring to, but I see some red-orange blushes indicative of iron staining.   Other whitish could be water spots, as mentioned.   Steel fasteners rust and drip water when rain, etc then dry and leave a "rust" stain.   You need to practice thoroughly wipe vehicle dry after washing.  Don't let anything air dry.   I still use a chamois, but have a wringer now, and don't wash in the sun shine or when surface is very hot.   If you have hard water, get a treatment system.   I find blowing with air takes longer but useful around trim.   Water spots are the #1 issue for surface appearance.   I just bought a used boat and it looked "bad" in spots and after I cleaned off the water spots, it's as good as new.   [Also, happens a lot on windshields.   Mother's has a product I use with 0000(rub lightly with lots of paste) for that.]
Aluminum is tough because you can easily over polish it and break through the anodize/change appearance.   
If commercial preparations listed don't work, but should, I like citric acid specifically for iron stains.  (Readily available in food grade.)   Make a paste and apply with a wet rag or finger, letting it sit.   You can make a concentrated solution and spray but it'll run off if there's no material/dam over the stain.   A little(10%) rubbing alcohol or few drops of detergent won't hurt to reduce surface tension.  CLR or lime away are other similar commercial treatments for water spots/rust stains.  They contain a little more aggressive acid, hydroxyacetic.  Not recommended for painted / chromed / copper surfaces!
The pits and other scrapes won't be helped with surface preps.   Vinegar is useful but not as fast/effective.

Offline StevenTuck

  • Posts: 1055
  • CLC Member # 16507
  • Name: Steven M. Tuck
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2021, 05:50:14 AM »
Some of the stains or spots came from the old tar top acid filled batteries that overflowed onto the grills. These will never improve no matter what you use. Another culprit is bird poop or similar which is highly acidic. It will eat through the anodized coating quickly. The only solution to these stains is to blend them in with a chrome paint similar in color. The best cleaner and polish I have used is Autosol. It's great on aluminum. The ultimate solution is to have the grill anodized again. Your pocket book will determine your choice.
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
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Offline TomJudd

  • Posts: 133
  • Name: T Judd
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2021, 10:14:14 PM »
General comment, theres a place down by  New york city, I called for a 58 caddy grill. They said ship the grill  w $5000 to get started.......OMG...no way. So I bought 5 used grills, used the best bulletts and bars, de annodized in lye, had polished perfect. Took to plater to brite annodize and he industrial annodized them all and ruined everything. They went from perfect polished to dull bead blast look. Think I was just a little peeved ???!!!   PS I got lots of perfect but dulled bars and bulletts, need any ??
Torque it til it breaks , then back er off 1/4 turn !!

Offline MidModCad

  • Posts: 147
  • Name: L. Gay
Re: Grill polishing techniques
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2021, 03:34:30 PM »
It's really only the white spots that are egregious. There is not much in the way of rust damage showing. I've tried 0000 and various polishes, but no effect on those spots. They're away from the battery area so maybe someone dripped some sort of chemical.  Thanks all for the tips.  I'll definitely give some of them a try.  And I never wash my car - only wipe with microfiber towels then spot check the hard to reach areas. There's too much originality to risk rustification.

 

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