1963 Wildcat, brushed aluminum trim?

Discussion in 'Color is everything!' started by 63-CAT, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. 63-CAT

    63-CAT Ron

    Here has been a real head scratcher for me.
    The door, fender and tail panel trim on my 63 Wildcat, commonly know as brushed aluminum is looking a little patchy because it has been polished so much that the brushed finish has been polished smooth and bright in places.

    I have no idea what to do with it. Is this annodized I wonder or something else.

    Does anyone have any experience with this. I would like to just do the door pieces as the rest is ok but it will need to match the fenders.

    Someone suggested sanding it but I am afraid of screwing it up. I really could use a practice piece if anyone has any extra. Thanks, Ron...
  2. Sergeant Major

    Sergeant Major Biggest Nut in the Can

    I took the aluminum off when I had mine painted. I had the painter match the color as best he could with paint and had it painted in. Reason being, I found quite a bit of rust underneath the aluminum when I took it off. Especially the rear panels. I still have the pieces. They aren't in bad shape at all. If you'd like 'em I'll sell them to ya for $100. I'll try and get some pics for you. Here's my Car Domain page. http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3050478/1963-buick-wildcat/ and my Motortopia page. http://www.motortopia.com/Sergeant_Major/cars
  3. roadrunnernz

    roadrunnernz Gold Level Contributor

  4. 63-CAT

    63-CAT Ron

    Sarge, thanks for the reply. Seems like a few people I have talked to have painted them in or painted over them. Trying to avoid that. I appreciate your offer but for now I am looking for older less expensive ones to pratice refinishing on. I really wouldn't want to buy good ones and screw them up. Any ideas on refinishing would be helpful but I guess if I could find a perfect used set I would consider that. They would have to be perfect.

    roadrunnerz, I emailed that one already,no reply. Thanks
  5. 63-CAT

    63-CAT Ron

    Just wanted to bring this thread to the top for another go.

    At this point I am going to scuff it with a scotch brite pad and wd40. I practiced on some aluminum flashing and it seems to work pretty good. I will have to do it all to make it look the same. It probably needs it anyway.

    I don't belive it is anodized because it does seem to have a very fine grain to it. Seems like no good way to maintian this stuff.

    Any last minute suggestions are greatly appreciated.:pray:
  6. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    I would sugggest making a wooden jig and a holder for the scotchbrite pad so you can keep the brushed lines pefectly straight.
  7. 63-CAT

    63-CAT Ron

    Yeah, keeping the grain straight will be the challange.
  8. chriswildcat

    chriswildcat 63 Wildcat conv.


    I have been luck enough to find good, useable inserts for my car. Not perfect, but not trashed either. I would not try to scuff them. You will take away the "brushed" finish and you will have a smooth, polished spot. I do not know how to achieve a dull, brushed finish. This finish is something that has to be produced by a machine, before die cutting, and forming to shape. This why a lot of people have painted them, or removed them completely and painted the metal.

    They often get a ground in kind of dirt in the edges. I would try something like a magic eraser to get the layer of dirt off. I can't say enough about how great magic erasers are for everything!!

    You would almost have to find a firm that would specialize in metal refinishing to restore the surface.

    This is where it would be great to have a popular car that has tons of reproduction parts produced. This would be the first part I would want to see reproduced. Second would be sheetmetal parts (doors, fenders, rear 1/4's). Third, interior door panels. Hey,I can dream........!!!!!

  9. 63-CAT

    63-CAT Ron

    Chris, thanks for the input. Mine are not trashed either but it is the smooth spots that are the problem. The magic eraser thing sounds like a good thought.

    I agree about owning a popular car. Easy to get parts but also easy to pass up at a car show. How many people walk right by that 63 Impala and fall all over your Wildcat?
  10. chriswildcat

    chriswildcat 63 Wildcat conv.

    So true!!!!
  11. 63-CAT

    63-CAT Ron

    Update if anyone is interested.
    I scuffed them with a extra fine Scotchbright pad. They look fantastic. I figured that if scuffing them didn't look good at least they would be preped for paint. I really didn't want to paint them. They now look like new. The only difference is that they are a little brighter and a little more shiney but still have that metal look. Although I will say they would look better if it could be done with the portholes removed. The hardest part is keeping it uniform in between the portholes. I can't seem to figure out how to easily remove the portholes without pulling the fenders.
    At least now it is a maintainable finish and still has that one of a kind 63 Wildcat look. Took out all those tiny little scratches and mars. The process went like this,

    Cleaned with wax and grease remover.
    Taped up all the chrome and portholes.
    Scuffed with dry Scotchbrite using long strokes one end to the other.
    Scuffed in between portholes with small piece and rescuffed the long parts to blend it in. At this point it looked good but I was curious what it would look like if I used oil.
    So I broke out the WD40 and repeated the process. Seems like it gave it a little finer grain and made it a little more satin finish.
    Cleaned with wax and grease remover.
    Polished lightly with wadding polish and a final dressing of Stainless Magic (for stainless appliances).

    I might play with it some more if need be. I had it out in the sun today and it looks fine. This is some really strange trim. Still haven't figured out just how it was done originally. The prosess did seem to expose a little more of the original grain. I can only guess that is was some sort of a machine grinding/etching process and then coated with something, maybe just some kind of paint.

    I guess thats it. BTW, I did purchase some aluminum flashing at Home Depot and did a considerable amout of practice on that first.

    Adding some pics.

    <a href="http://s1284.photobucket.com/user/zratbull/media/Misc/SAM_8374_zps13b76c90.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a561/zratbull/Misc/SAM_8374_zps13b76c90.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo SAM_8374_zps13b76c90.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1284.photobucket.com/user/zratbull/media/Misc/SAM_8376_zps62ac2169.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a561/zratbull/Misc/SAM_8376_zps62ac2169.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo SAM_8376_zps62ac2169.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://s1284.photobucket.com/user/zratbull/media/Misc/SAM_8378_zpsdbbe7938.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1284.photobucket.com/albums/a561/zratbull/Misc/SAM_8378_zpsdbbe7938.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo SAM_8378_zpsdbbe7938.jpg"/></a>
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  12. 63-CAT

    63-CAT Ron

    Just wanted to bring this to the top now that I added the above pics. Finally fingered out how to post a big pic.lol:kodak:

    JESUPERCAT No Slow Boat

    Looks good:TU:

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