Author Topic: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP  (Read 771 times)

acbrock

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Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« on: April 10, 2024, 21:52:54 »
Trying to clean up my steering wheel.  Want to see how good I can get the metal to look before I dive into spending money on the wood.  It started pretty bad but I keep cleaning and it is not getting better.  I have tried to Metal Polish with buffing wheel.  I have tried to 1500 SandPaper.  Wet and Dry.  Steel Wool 0000 + WD40.  Is there something I am missing here?  Or do I just need to drop lower on the sandpaper and really take some of the metal off and then sand until smooth again?  I reached out to someone online that said they could clean it up for $160.  When I asked how they would do it they said "Special Chrome Solvients". Is there something "Special" I am missing or is he just saying that to get me to give it to him?  Any thoughts?
It is a 67 Nardi.
1966 230SL Automatic 717G Papyrus White "Minny"

GM

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2024, 03:25:57 »
Looks like you're fighting an anodized finish?
Gary
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LA280SL

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2024, 03:32:01 »
I agree, very well may be anodized.   Might require a type of acid bath to get to the bare aluminum. 

LA280SL

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2024, 03:38:56 »
Here’s one way to remove anodizing if that’s your culprit.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bNAB45zQUtk

WRe

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2024, 06:19:35 »
Hi,
anodized aluminium could be cleaned with glycerin. In your case I wouldn't use oven cleaner because it's too aggressive.
...WRe

JohnnyC

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2024, 11:35:37 »
Hi, Have you investigated the process of Water Honing. Similar to bead blast, but not as abrasive and uses liquid. Then do a polish on it. If perimeter wood is still attached, maybe not such a good process for you. Perhaps the wood can be protected if so.  I’ve never done the water hone process myself but a professional shop is the way to get it done. I have seen the results and it’s a very nice finish.

Cheers and God Bless
JohnnyC
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mdsalemi

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2024, 15:04:53 »
It looks like the perimeter wood HAS been removed, and you are dealing with just the aluminum frame of the Nardi wheel.
Anodizing, unlike plating, isn't a metal placed upon a different metal, it's a passivation process that increases the thickness of an oxide layer. On aluminum, it's really VERY easy to remove by simply soaking in a high[er] pH cleaner or degreaser. Products like ZEP Purple or similar can be used quite easily. I've used the commercial degreaser they sell in gallon jugs at Sam's Club (less than $10; it's the Member's Mark brand Commercial Degreaser). A couple of years ago, I had most of my bicycle parts, which had been black anodized back in 1973 but had since faded, restored. I did it all by myself with this cleaner by soaking the parts. Followed up with aluminum/metal polish and they came out fabulous.

If that doesn't help you, search out a commercial "aluminum brightener" in bulk. These are solutions containing some acids but the best of them contain mainly ammonium biflouride and or hydrofluoric acid. They do a spectacular job on cleaning and brightening aluminum. Here are some to look for:

https://a.co/d/3y7fiRO
https://a.co/d/4CXrB6v
https://a.co/d/9jEkWHo
Michael Salemi
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acbrock

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2024, 16:50:44 »
Awesome thanks everyone. The wood is off so I will try the soak with the Zep.   How long did you soak? I will keep an eye on it but is it 10 minute or 24 hour thing?  Can I leave it too long?
1966 230SL Automatic 717G Papyrus White "Minny"

mdsalemi

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2024, 17:56:30 »
Awesome thanks everyone. The wood is off so I will try the soak with the Zep.   How long did you soak? I will keep an eye on it but is it 10 minute or 24 hour thing?  Can I leave it too long?

My experience is mostly with the Member's Mark Professional Degreaser they sell at Sam's Club for this, but I suspect it's much the same as ZEP but less costly. You start with a 5-10 minute soak, it's important to cover everything completely. Use a pretty strong concentration, maybe 50/50 mix with water. When you first add the part, you'll notice the product start to work by some minor bubbling. Probably not a 24 hour thing, I think if you leave it in too long the parts will darken and then you need to get that darkness off! I think it took a few hours for my parts.

Be reminded that this is a water based DEGREASER. It's a high-pH detergent/solvent, it's NOT a lo pH acid. Still take the precautions as noted on the bottle, but it's a whole lot safer to use than any acid products. I always used nitrile gloves but that's about it. There are no vapors.

See photos. The only parts black anodized were the aluminum brake arms; but the brake is shown assembled with dozens of other parts. There is the before (black) and after (silver) photos. The after was not just fresh out of the degreasing and deanodizing solution, but after a bit of metal polish to really clean things up.

Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 18:14:24 by mdsalemi »
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid

acbrock

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2024, 21:41:00 »
Ok so soaking away.  I have pulled it out a few times and it looks like it is working.  So I will just let it sit for a little while.  Is there something I dip it in after to get all the black off?  I also soaked a bunch of screws from the car in an anti rust solution and forgot about them!  There was maybe 30 screws most came out looking brand new.  5 or 6 and jet black now!  I am sure I can probably slowly rub it off but some of the screws are tiny.  Anything out there that will take care of this issue...?  I was reading maybe a Citrus Solution?
1966 230SL Automatic 717G Papyrus White "Minny"

mdsalemi

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Re: Nardi Steering Wheel CleanUP
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2024, 13:28:59 »
Ok so soaking away.  I have pulled it out a few times and it looks like it is working.  So I will just let it sit for a little while.  Is there something I dip it in after to get all the black off?  I also soaked a bunch of screws from the car in an anti rust solution and forgot about them!  There was maybe 30 screws most came out looking brand new.  5 or 6 and jet black now!  I am sure I can probably slowly rub it off but some of the screws are tiny.  Anything out there that will take care of this issue...?  I was reading maybe a Citrus Solution?

Many (but not all I imagine) rust removal solutions use phosphoric acid in some concentration. One of the better known products, "Naval Jelly" by Loctite, uses a combination of phosphoric and sulfuric acids.

I've always used metal polish--usually the blue cream style you can get at most auto parts stores--for the final polish on metals. That should clean up your aluminum steering wheel frame of most of any remaining discolorations after you de-anodize it.
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2023 Ford Maverick Lariat Hybrid "Area 51"
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2023 Ford Escape Hybrid