Polishing Emma’s Nuts

With Emma’s XS400 frame and tank at the powder coaters getting all churched up, we have been going through all of her nuts, bolts, springs & other miscellaneous items getting them cleaned up and ready for re-installation.  A combo of wire wheel, dremel tool, simple green and some elbow grease has resulted in most of her parts looking pretty darned good.  We still need to tackle a couple of the large items; her fork lowers, her engine, and the top triple clamp.

We started cleaning the engine, but it’s not quite ready for prime time yet.  We considered several options; bead blasting, wire brushing, polishing, but we really don’t want to take the cases apart.  We’re trying to do this bike on a bit tighter budget, so full engine dis-assembly and re-finishing is not in the cards.  But still, we needed to figure out how to make it look as good as possible.  We tried some odd concoctions; Marvel Mystery Oil, which some hillbilly on you tube swears is the cure-all for removing aluminum oxidation.  It kind of works, but its not easy rubbing between the fins. The whole point (along with making it look good) is to figure out how to get it done with as little effort on our part as possible!!  We tried a cleaning solution that I bought from a door to door salesman who refers to himself as the comedian salesman (as seen on the Ellen show).  The stuff worked great on my Vans, but not so great on the engine fins.  Oh well, at least the dude entertained us with some very off color jokes as we let him clean Emma’s engine in an attempt to sell us some product.

We re-painted the footpeg holders, as they were looking pretty ratty:

Before we took the tank to the powder coaters we wire brushed it to prepare the areas that will remain raw steel.  It cleaned up nicely.  We also masked off the areas where we want them to apply the white paint on the sides of the tank.  We’re super excited to see the tank finished; we picked up the gold pin striping as well. It’s going to be pretty rad, if all goes well.

Finally we sent the carbs over to Jaxon for some cleaning & a mild re-build in preparation to get it all re-assembled.  As usual, Jaxon did a bang-up job for us, not only did he clean them, but he re-finished the top & bottom covers for us. Jaxon is awesome.

We should have the powder coated items back in a few days.  Once those parts are in our hands, there will be quite a flurry of activity on this blog as we quickly re-assemble the 400 and wrap up the last bit of wiring.


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