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Polishing chrome on outside door handles
#1
Hi all,

Been picking everyones brain on how to do things.  Now my turn to give back.  The following is my way of cleaning up the chrome on the outside door handles when the finger pocket is well worn. This process will remove what's left of the original factory dull color and give the pocket a high polish chrome look.

Figure about 30 to 60 minutes per handle depending on the degree of oxidation.  This can be done on or off the car. Hope this helps someone in the future.

Items needed - Dremel or similar - chrome polish - buffing wheels - several cloths.

[Image: Tools-Needed.jpg]

Inside of handle before starting - pull handle open and you can wedge a 12mm socket in the back to hold it open while you work.

[Image: Getting-started.jpg]


Apply polish and start buffing.  Use a slow speed around 5,000 to 10,000 rpm.  Work a small area at a time and only for about 5 to 10 seconds.  Wipe off old polish and reapply.  Note the socket slid in the corner holding the handle open.

[Image: Apply-polish.jpg]


Starting to see some shine.

[Image: Starting-to-see-some-shine.jpg]


For in the corners and reaching the far back use a cone shape buffer.

[Image: For-back-and-corners.jpg]


[Image: Corners.jpg]

Continue buffing until you get all the areas.

[Image: Working-toward-the-back.jpg]

Now that's what I call shinny!

[Image: Nice-shinny.jpg]


Now do the top outside of handle.

[Image: Top-of-handle.jpg]

[Image: Finish-top.jpg]


You can finish off by doing the texture area.
[Image: Finish-handle.jpg]


A few last tips.  Keep using fresh polish.  Wipe clean after every pass.  I put some in a bowl and apply with my finger. Change you buffer from time to time.  Keep moving and don't hover in one spot.  Do short burst of 5 to 10 seconds.  You can over heat the chrome and cause a little blueish color.  If it gets hot, stop and wait a second.

Kilgon


"The only dumb question is the one not asked"
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#2
nice one, looks good and saves original parts from the dreaded garage shelf, thanks for sharing...
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#3
Looks good! The original handles look much better than the repro ones so restoring these is well worth it!
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#4
I am going from memory. Is the finger pocket not a dull chrome finish from factory? Did you just like shine better?
I can zone out polishing stuff. I like doing trim, hub caps, wheels and such.


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#5
(08-15-2019, 12:26 PM)Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs Wrote: I am going from memory. Is the finger pocket not a dull chrome finish from factory? Did you just like shine better?
I can zone out polishing stuff. I like doing trim, hub caps, wheels and such.

That is correct. I have one NOS example here that has a dull chrome finish . The reproduction I have as well doesn’t have the dull chrome finish.
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#6
Very nice! Love to see old becoming new again! Smile

Still not sure how I'll handle my 71's. They are badly pitted/bubbly, so polishing alone is no longer an option.
Especially on the moving handle (flat part), where there is some texture that polishing/removing bubbles would ruin. The "cups" are kinda ok.
I have a spare looking good that was broken at the rotating location on one arm that I could solder back, but need two or find a way to restore that texture.
Haven't seen repops from close up, are they way off?

73 modified Grandé 351C. Almost done. 
71 429CJ. In progress
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#7
(08-15-2019, 01:12 PM)Fabrice Wrote: Very nice! Love to see old becoming new again! Smile

Still not sure how I'll handle my 71's. They are badly pitted/bubbly, so polishing alone is no longer an option.
Especially on the moving handle (flat part), where there is some texture that polishing/removing bubbles would ruin. The "cups" are kinda ok.
I have a spare looking good that was broken at the rotating location on one arm that I could solder back, but need two or find a way to restore that texture.
Haven't seen repops from close up, are they way off?



Small differences.... the handle of the original has more fine horizontal lines which looks much nicer. The rest of the original handle has a slightly smoother but noticable finish.



[Image: 20190815-203008.jpg]
Repro above
[Image: 20190815-202953.jpg]
Original above
[Image: 20190815-202501.jpg]
Repro in the front and original in the back

[Image: 20190815-202450.jpg]

Last photo is a repro handle
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#8
(08-15-2019, 12:26 PM)Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs Wrote: I am going from memory. Is the finger pocket not a dull chrome finish from factory? Did you just like shine better?
I can zone out polishing stuff. I like doing trim, hub caps, wheels and such.


Yes you are correct.  Thanks for pointing that out. My handles are well worn in the pocket and already had a shine as many of the older originals do as they wear from use.  If you look at the first picture you can see the worn areas.  I should have noted that in my original post.  I have edited the post to note it.   It's a way to bring a old dull looking handle back to life without replacing it. Adds a touch of bling to the doors.  LOL

Kilgon


"The only dumb question is the one not asked"
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