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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys, whats your secrets to keeping the headers clean? I know when I bought my fz6 they were a shiny bronze. Over two years, even with regular cleanings and metal polish, they turned to a dull dirty bronze that I couldn't clean off. These stainless pipes look so good and I don't want them looking like my old pipes because it really takes away from the look of the bike. So anyone have any tips and tricks to cleaning them up after getting caught in rain ect? I'm hoping the nano coating these headers have helps prevent that build up, but time will tell.
 

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Someone told me to use 0000 steel wool to clean up chrome or stainless, not sure maby some other members can chime in on using steel wool
 

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+1 on 0000 steel wool. If you have gunk stuck to the pipe, try Easy-off oven cleaner on a cool exhaust 1st.
Rinse and dry afterward, of course. ;)
After the steel wool, I've taken a cotton buffing wheel in a hand drill and polished pipes up with
Meguire's "Hot Rims" mag and wheel polish paste: GREAT stuff!
Here's a shot of a 2001 SV650 I bought in 07'. The header had not been taken care of.
This is after I attacked it with the 0000 steel wool and polish.
090307b.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I used never dull on the fz6 pipes but this was after they started looking brown. It helped but couldn't bring back the original shine. I guess ill just really stay on top of cleaning them so nothing gets burned on. I will give the steel wool a go as well. With the weather in pa thouugh, I don't think the bike will be coming out of the shed for quite some time so at least they'll stay clean for now.
 

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the discoloration is oxide that builds up at temperature that stainless otherwise wouldn't get. The only way to remove oxide is abrasion, get back to bare metal (or you could use some gnarly acids). The only way to get the abrasion is elbow grease, and lots of it.

Dunno what the 'nano-coating' is, sounds like a bunch of marketing bs. The natural passive layer is nanometers thick. Get scrubbin' fellas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So never dull or other polish products will not remove the oxidation even if cleaned regularly? I assume water increases the rate of oxidation so its probably most important to clean them after being caught in the rain?
 

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Someone on here said the headers have an anti-corrosion coating on them, whatever that is, so anything abrasive will probably eventually take the coating off. Then they would corrode even faster.:D
 

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Someone on here said the headers have an anti-corrosion coating on them, whatever that is, so anything abrasive will probably eventually take the coating off. Then they would corrode even faster.:D
Yes and no... They do have some sort of protective coating. But like others mentioned, stainless doesn't "corrode" exactly, it forms a thin layer of oxidation when it hits a high enough temperature. As far as I know, the coating is purely cosmetic, it's not exactly prolonging the life of your exhaust system. They're only coated on the outside, not the inside where the exhaust gas actually can cause corrosion.
 

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I have no idea what the coating is... It may be as simple as a passivation process, which does make some stainless better at resisting salt spray, or it could be something added. My Bonnie has stainless pipes that started out looking nice, but blued very quickly. They went thru all the colors of the rainbow and ended up a dull grey up near the head.
I didn't really like that color change so I got them Jet Hot coated silver, back when they had a plant in Tempe. Not seeing it on their website now. The pipes retained their silver color although they have dulled a little over the 12 years I've had the bike. That could be a low maintenance solution for you.

Here is their maintenance tips. I agree about never using an oven cleaner. I tried that to get of some melted plastic and it messed up the finish.

They have a stack of colors now - very interesting. To do our stock pipe, they would have to plug up the pipe so it wouldn't mess with the cat converter, which may or may not be tricky.

I remember seeing a car intake manifold they had done in matt black and put in their showroom. It just sucked up the light - couldn't really tell it had a shape.

My Bandit pipes went a nice shade of gold, which I thought looked good, so I never polished them off. If the FZ does that, it won't be so bad.

 

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The Triumph is gorgeous. They look like the same bike, just one from way back when and the other from the future!
 

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i use borla exhaust cleaner & polish & 0000 bronze wool. takes about 20 min. per header rail but well worth the time
 

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Wenol Metal Polish is the best product I've used for removing discoloration from pipes. Never Dull works ok but not as well as Wenol.
 

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Only use abrasive polishes as a last resort.It is likely that ,unless you have professional polishing equipment,you will never get the same polish as the factory achieved.
To remove the gold oxide I use what the stainless steel fabricators use - a 5 to 20% solution of phosphoric acid.Just wipe on and hose off.You must take care to thoroughly hose it all off because if any residual acid is left and the exhaust is allowed to heat up it will leave black stains on the pipe. Avoid getting the acid on aluminium.
 

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Went to the store and bought some 0000 steel wool and never dull. Being in Hawaii, the red clay/dirt stains and is very hard to get off. Washed it off with a sponge/rag/steel wool. 95% of the grime came off. Hit it with the never dull and looks pretty good. Noticed around the first weld, coming from the front, it was impossible to get the oxidation/dirt/whatever the hell it is off. Thanks for the advice.
 

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I cleaned my headers again today and noticed some black spots that wont come off. What is this and how do I remove?
 

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I've noticed my tires look different after riding hard on them too. I don't really miss the smooth shiny look, and I'm not concerned about the headers turning colors unless one turns less than the others...
 

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Sorry To be late, but what about yoshimura work finish headers ? Mine got some shitty spot on it thanks to the dealer that didnt clean it after install
 
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