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 Cleaning exhaust headers

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Spaceknight
Carlotto
Carlotto


Posts : 35
Join date : 2014-09-02

PostSubject: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:30 pm

The new GRiSO has nearly 700 miles now and one of the header pipes has gotten a discoloration on it. Looks like something was on the pipe (oily hand print?) and it has heated and discolored some of the pipe.

Anyone know what to best clean this with? Chrome polish, Simchrome, Flitz? They are currently a mirror finish and I fear that something abrasive will give it a satin look which means I'd have to do both of them completely so they would match.

Thanks for any input...
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Oz1200Guzzi
Don Abbondio
Don Abbondio


Posts : 1783
Join date : 2014-03-13
Age : 62

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:26 pm

Purple polish and elbow grease! Or, you could just go ride...
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Spaceknight
Carlotto
Carlotto


Posts : 35
Join date : 2014-09-02

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:16 pm

Oz1200Guzzi wrote:
Purple polish and elbow grease! Or, you could just go ride...

Yes, I will just go ride. Somehow it doesn't bother me as much if I know I can get it back to new looking when I want to.

Thanks...
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Oz1200Guzzi
Don Abbondio
Don Abbondio


Posts : 1783
Join date : 2014-03-13
Age : 62

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:29 pm

Cleaning your headers is a thankless job, takes lots of effort and much time to get them right. Hell yeah, they look good when you get them mickey mouse shiny. One baked on bug, and the looks deteriorate quickly after that.

Riding brings a bigger grin than schmick headers...
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Grisonut
GRiSO
GRiSO


Posts : 1015
Join date : 2014-01-02

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:55 am

I just used 1200 grit sand paper with water going in the direction of the pipe, it gives it a satin look.
You have to repeat the process every few months or so but it's a 10 minutes job.
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keenerkeen07
Sfregiato
Sfregiato


Posts : 477
Join date : 2014-04-10
Age : 62

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:04 pm

OR  you could try this , i have and it worked great...Takes about 20 minutes
Penetrating oil and SUPER FINE scotch brite  6x9 inch hand pads ..
Get the pad pretty wet with the penetrating oil and work it "with'' the grain of the pipe , from the head to as far as you want to go "excluding" any aluminum pieces ...removes crap and polishes the headers ....when yer done clean with soap and water ..rinse well
Not my idea read about it somewhere , did my Duck and the GRiSO  and it works great
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ghezzi
Fra Cristoforo
Fra Cristoforo


Posts : 1699
Join date : 2014-05-22
Age : 59

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:38 pm

Bloody hell, did the duck just stand there while you polished his freckle or did you have to chase him round the paddock and hold him down with a few besser blocks?
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keenerkeen07
Sfregiato
Sfregiato


Posts : 477
Join date : 2014-04-10
Age : 62

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:22 am

ghezzi wrote:
Bloody hell, did the duck just stand there while you polished his freckle or did you have to chase him round the paddock and hold him down with a few besser blocks?

Laughing Laughing
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Triman023
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 178
Join date : 2014-06-05
Age : 66

PostSubject: Oven Cleaner Method   Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:51 am

I decided I needed to cover my new GRiSO when at work, so I used a short nylon bike cover and when I tried to place it over the front of the bike the wind blew it onto the headers. Both headers! It left a black crusty patch on my new pipes about 4 inches long, really looked awful.

After a search on the net I discovered this Harley method:

Take your bike out for a ride and get the pipes nice and hot.
Take a clean cotton rag, soak in water and squeeze it damp. Get far away from the bike and spray Easy Off Oven Cleaner on the rag. Build up a spot about an inch in diameter on the rag.
Gently apply dabs of the oven cleaner to the discolored spot on the header. Don't inhale!
Go away and think about something else for 10 minutes.
Take a different damp cotton rag and wipe the cleaner off.
The spot will be gone and the chrome will look new.

I have done this several times and the headers look like new. Just make sure it doesn't get on anything else, nasty stuff!
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Laker
Biondino
Biondino


Posts : 203
Join date : 2014-09-08
Age : 45

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:28 pm

I'm having my headers ceramic coated by Ricochet Customs in the next week or so. The stock Guzzi headers suck, suck, suck and I'm not having it, nor do I plan on spending much time scrubbing them on a regular basis. There's 4000 miles on my bike and the pipes are as yellow and blotchy as an old alcoholic. I'll post up some pics when it's done.
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CPB
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 144
Join date : 2014-09-25

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:34 am

I understand the desire to clean and polish. I am a recovering clean-aholic. Happy to report I just don't care that much about a shiny bike anymore. Will wash off the heavy dirt from time to time, but even that is rare.

Interesting stories on how to clean the headers tho.
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Josh.C
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 127
Join date : 2015-04-17
Age : 33

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 12:21 am

Spent some time on a Saturday afternoon cleaning up the headers and midpipe. Hasn't been done since new (early 2010) and after around 22,000km I'd forgotten what my GRiSO looked like wearing clean & polished pipes. I don't expect they'll stay clean for long but I feel it was well worth the time and effort and I'm going to try and do this more often now and not let them get so grubby.

As you can see, I didn't bother polishing the 1-to-2 Y at the end of the midpipe, as this is covered and would have been the hardest part to get at.

Before:

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Comparison:

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After:

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The Saint
Biondino
Biondino


Posts : 238
Join date : 2014-12-04

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 12:42 am

keenerkeen07 wrote:
OR  you could try this , i have and it worked great...Takes about 20 minutes
Penetrating oil and SUPER FINE scotch brite  6x9 inch hand pads ..
Get the pad pretty wet with the penetrating oil and work it "with'' the grain of the pipe , from the head to as far as you want to go "excluding" any aluminum pieces ...removes crap and polishes the headers ....when yer done clean with soap and water ..rinse well
Not my idea read about it somewhere , did my Duck and the GRiSO  and it works great

I do the same. Works really well.
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akshaydeo
Montanarolo
Montanarolo


Posts : 22
Join date : 2015-05-05

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 4:30 am

@ Josh -Awesome work. Those pipes look as good as new (are they? Shocked)
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tocino
Nibbio
Nibbio


Posts : 556
Join date : 2014-06-21

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 5:49 am

They do look great - if I hadn't known I'd say they'd been rechromed.
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Josh.C
Grignapoco
Grignapoco


Posts : 127
Join date : 2015-04-17
Age : 33

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 7:40 am

akshaydeo wrote:
@ Josh -Awesome work. Those pipes look as good as new (are they? Shocked)

Cheers. My first go at metal polishing. It's ezpz with the right tools and a bit of guidance. I was stoked with the results - better than I expected.

tocino wrote:
They do look great - if I hadn't known I'd say they'd been rechromed.

Thanks. AFAIK the pipes aren't chromed, they are simply polished steel. So it's not hard to bring back the mirror finish with a some polishing gear.

My Dad has a buffing machine and showed me how to use the sisals and polishing compounds (I used three different sisals and two compounds) and then it was simply a matter of adding some "elbow grease" and taking the time (couple of hours).

Here's the buffing machine I used:

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Last edited by Josh.C on Fri May 29, 2015 2:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jomartijr
Tanabuso
Tanabuso


Posts : 67
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 73

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 8:52 am

Josh C- You're lucky to have access to that professional grade buffing machine.

Cleaning exhaust pipes of melted plastic-  A couple months ago I had the misfortune to have a plastic shopping bag blow across the road and stick itself to the GRiSO exhaust pipe.  I spent  several hours scraping and cleaning to get that mess off and here's how to do it-

Easy Off does work as a previous poster stated, but I used a cheap disposable paint brush and carefully applied the stuff to the melted plastic ( cold pipe).  It softened enough so I could use a plastic scraper to remove the crud.  A long and tedious job which I followed up with SemiChrome and old denim cloths.  I had an old pair of jeans in the rag box, cut into strips, wrapped around the header pipe once and using a saw back and forth motion ( and SemiChrome) came out good as new.
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Canyon Carver
Sfregiato
Sfregiato


Posts : 457
Join date : 2014-06-13
Age : 66

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 9:10 am

mine have a lovely bronze tone that I admire daily. Laughing
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ghezzi
Fra Cristoforo
Fra Cristoforo


Posts : 1699
Join date : 2014-05-22
Age : 59

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Mon May 25, 2015 4:05 pm

Mine are ceramic coated Satin black, never needs cleaning.
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JohnA
Tanabuso
Tanabuso


Posts : 65
Join date : 2015-01-13
Age : 59

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Tue May 26, 2015 11:14 am

I was told shortly after I bought my GRiSO last year, that the best way to clean the headers was to use Flitz or Simichrome on a pad or if needed, 0000 Steel wool. This is very fine steel wool.
Mostly I use Flitz or Semi on a rag or sometimes I used a floam pad on a shaft -connected to a cordless drill. The cone shaped foam polisher is best. You can find these at automotive parts stores. The fine steel wool works well too.
I have 3,000 miles on the bike and discoloration shows up about every week. It's the one negative I have about the bike but that's about it.
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Fissionmaker
Tanabuso
Tanabuso


Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-03-30

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Wed May 27, 2015 7:45 am

Canyon Carver wrote:
mine have a lovely bronze tone that I admire daily. Laughing
Mine too, all the way back to the Termi. I like it, but have some stains on the leading edge of each header that could go away if I cared more.
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bioman
Tiradritto
Tiradritto


Posts : 348
Join date : 2014-05-06

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:39 pm

After maintaining for a long time that some patina is what sets my bike apart from the masses, I decided today that enough is enough, and took 30 minutes to polish my headers using some 1500 grit sandpaper and water & soap. The result is not perfect but still very satisfying.  

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Grisonut
GRiSO
GRiSO


Posts : 1015
Join date : 2014-01-02

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:02 am

That's what I've been doing.^^^^^^^
Wet sanding those pipes once in a while...
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PostSubject: Re: Cleaning exhaust headers   Today at 7:58 pm

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Cleaning exhaust headers
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