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Does anyone know a way to refinish Carbon?
 

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I'm looking into this myself. There's some good info in the FAQ area. It seems not all CF is created equal. I'm no expert, but from my perspective there are a few different possible goals:

- clean an maintain (as in with every wash)
- refresh (say every few years)
- refinish (as opposed to replace or toss)

For the first task, I've read the following:

- Plexus
- 303 Aerospace Protectant
- suntan lotion
- WD-40 (??)
- Lemon Pledge

For the second (refresh) task things a bit vague. I'm unclear on whether or not it's appropriate to use conventional paint polishing compounds/products. Or are "fiberglass" products more appropriate? How about plastic scratch removal systems that are a step beyond Plexus, for example some of the Meguires offerings? Some of the answers might depend on whether or not the piece is clear coated and whether or not it's an exhaust piece.

Yesterday I carefully wet sanded some DP pieces with 1500 wet/dry paper. Some original scratches were not too easy to remove and I was worried about going too far or getting into the weave (not good so I hear). I was left with uniform hazy appearance that would have been a great candidate for a polishing compound. It looked fantastic when wet!! I was unsure if paint compounds were appropriate for CF so I soaked the pieces in 303 for a few hours and then buffed them up. I figured that was a safe path forward. Wow - outstanding results!! A nice dark color and bright shine returned. Still, I'd like to go back and deal with the underlying haze as I suspect the shine will only be temporary. Any suggestions??

For a total refinish it seems the best thing is to wet sand and then apply several coats of clear coat that contains UV protection. This might not be available in a rattle can and may require a trip to a paint guy. If the pieces are for exhaust, make sure the clear can also take the heat.

BK
 

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My experiences so far. I had a nicely made CF rear hugger that had suffered some scratches and jsut was so shiney any more.

I had at it with some fine girt wet sand... Started w/ 400 on the nasty spots for jstu a few swipes and worked smoother. Up to 1800 or 2000 I think. From there I used a paint polishing compound - McGuires to be exact on a foam buffer pad and one of the 'power balls'

This resulted in a 'See myself in it' shine that lasted. I was fixing up up for a firend, who opted not to buy it. So it was sold to another local. In the sale photos, you can see me, my house and the ske quick cleary in the reflection.

Right now I don't know how long that shine will keep. But in the couple weeks it was sitting around before it was sold it looked great.

I had another older rear hugger, circa 2000 that was well worse off. The weave was starting to come to the surface, so no amount of buffing would make it liek new. I went to a local body shop and was quoted $130 for a respray. The painter was quite frank as let on that he didn't think that the refinihsed result would be all that great.

Oh and what's 303? I'm not familier w/ that product.
 

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303 = Aerospace Protectant 303

See here: http://www.303products.com/tech/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=428

Billed as "spf 40 for your stuff". It's a water-based milky white material.

I use it on automotive exterior rubber/plastic. Works great for that. Saw it endorsed here for CF and gave it a try, mostly for it's UV blocking properties, and it seemed to work well [clap]

Was the CF hugger that you polished clear coated?

I have an arsenal of paint polishing products and tools. Anyone want to volunteer some ragged CF in the name of science??

BK
 

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I have sanded and clear coated (automotive 3 part paint) a few pieces and never had to deal with them again. Just wash, wax and they look perfect. It will last a long time like that also. [thumbsup]
 

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BK_856er said:
Was the CF hugger that you polished clear coated?

I have an arsenal of paint polishing products and tools. Anyone want to volunteer some ragged CF in the name of science??
Beyond the factory finish - not that I know of. Fairly sure i was working on the resin and not any clear coat. It was a 2nd hand part to me... so I cant' be 100% sure.

The older (2000) hugger got the same treatment. It did improve the look of it a lot. It was hazy and looked alomst oxidized. But since the resin was a lot thinner around the edges, it does have a series of duller spots around the edges. The center, where the resin seem thicker shined up to a high gloss.

I might let you have a go at that rear hugger... I'll ahve to look at it again when I see the bike again. She's at a firends for the winter/ mods.
 

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the first link wouldn't work for me, but the second one rocks. [thumbsup] thanks for the info, the pics help a lot. ;D
 

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That's the way to do it - get a bunch of folks together with someone who knows what they're doing.

Wow - that link with the CF hood was impressive. I think I'd be intimidated by a task like that. Not something you'd want to practice on.

I dug around a bit more and had some communications with a technical guy at 303. Seems a safe approach is to lightly wet sand and then polish out the haze with a rubbing compound that's free of silicones and waxes. 3M seems to carry some good ones, including some marine products formulated primarily for fiberglass. I spent some time reviewing the online MSDS sheets to verify the absence of silicones/waxes - interesting what you can learn from those sheets. With the surface properly prepped the 303 (or something else) will be able to a better job as a protectant and I won't be asking it to hide the 1500 sanding haze, which it'll do, but not forever. BTW, 303 is approved by one particular maker of high-end "naked" carbon fiber bicyle frames.

I'll update when I finish the project in a few weeks.

BK
 

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The best method I have seen is simply to let a good painter give carbon multiple coats of clearcoat...each one sanded before the next coat...12-15 times over. I have seen it and it is beautiful. [thumbsup]
 

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JBT said:
The best method I have seen is simply to let a good painter give carbon multiple coats of clearcoat...each one sanded before the next coat...12-15 times over. I have seen it and it is beautiful. [thumbsup]
Depending on the carbon, it can be beautiful well before 12 coats.
 
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I have been reading this with some interest... I am wondering if anyone has tried spray paint clear coat?

I have used primer, base coat, clear coat spray paint on car and motorcycle wheels with GREAT results, but the Duc is in another level. Not ready to experiment with it as much as my other bikes...

So fess up anyone tried this?

I may do it after I cut my clutch cover... but still have to get the courage up..
 
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