Swingarm cleaning/polishing

OK guys I need some expert advice on how to clean and polish my swingarm back to it’s original glory.

Has anyone had any success with this? I’ve given it a good scrub but it is discoloured in a few places and has had some leaking battery acid damage to the surface as well.

Any and all advice appreciated!![:D]

The swinging arms were all finished in a rough cast surface with a raised rib along their length which was machined smooth, as were each end for the chain adjusters and pivot bearings. They were painted in a dull siver metallic finish. If you want to restore the original finish then a vapour blast followed by powdercoat should bring it up a treat. A cheaper option may be to strip all the old stuff off with paint stripper and use aerosol spray paint, but the results may not last as long.

Most Jap bikes used something like Polyurethane based paints for frames and parts which was cheap and cheerful but would’nt last long, the swinging arms on these had a thin coat of Aluminium colour, by getting it blasted and powder coated it should look better and last longer, two pack paint with a good etching primer will be just as good with a better chance of getting a closer colour match to original if thats what you want, powdercoaters can be restricted on colours depending on what they usually work with.

Thanks for the info chaps, I couldn’t work out if it was painted, thinly plated or polished,I might hit it with some stripper and see what happens!

Having just cleaned mine, the best solution is an aluminium cleaner, not sure of the name of it, but it removes the oxidisation that happens on aluminium over time.

Before you use this on it you should remove all the grease and dirt off the swingarm first. Then you brush it on to get a nice uniform finish. Also great on bullbars and propeller spinners, then hit polished items with the Solvol Autosol and finish with a clear coat like Tectyl 151, or any heat proof clear.

Email me on pc1958@dodo.com.au for further details.

Thanks for the info, I used paint stripper and cleaned the old paint off, so I might go and have a look for some aluminium cleaner and autosol and have a play around.

Don’t use Autosol on the swingarm - that’s not polished aluminium. Only use it when the part is polished.


Alloy wheel cleaner that most car accessory shops sell works well as it is mild acid based. As good as any aluminium cleaner and easy to find.

The original coating is something like a polyurethane single coat aluminium, applied direct onto bare ally, Alumunium self hardens on the surface through oxidization, which can cause any coating to eventually flake or let corrosion spread easy, I heavily scrubbed mine with green scotchbrite, gave it a thin coat of acid etch primer, then a coat of similarly matched two pack, it seems to have fared well because I used the bike through a salty wet british winter (or was that summer? whats the difference?)
I also polished a swinging arm up to a smooth bright finish, never again!!![B)]

Was thinking about polishing mine. Obviously quite a lot of work, but would look good. When you say “never again” I take you mean because of the time it took and not because of a problem?

Polishing aluminium is a dirty job, so in future, I will use more protective gear, I started by removing all the moulding marks and joints with a 4 inch angle grinder and a combo of 80 and 120 grit sanding discs, the dark red industrial type, sounds harsh but the swinging arm casting is rough as a bears arse as standard, I followed this with a 150mm or 6 inch orbital sander (body shop)working through 120, 180, 320, 500 grit discs, for the nooks & crannies I used A die grinder with various grinding bits and scotchbrite mini-bobs and also some hand finishing with wet and dry using 240, 400 and 600 grit, then I started with the polishing, using a bench grinder and power drill with buffing heads from machine mart, if I remember right it took me around twenty hours…[xx(]

Sounds like a job for next winter, then I can do bit at a time. I expected it to be pretty time consuming, having already polished some ally bits. Even small items take quite a bit of patience! Definitely need to use some of those latex gloves cos your’e right about it being dirty!!

I used a soft wire brush on a grinder to remove oxidation and old paint.a wipe down with thinners and several coats of five wheel silver from halfords later we have a Boldor swingarm like new.this finish has kept well for over two years of very mixed weather riding.BIF

I ended up stripping the paint off and cleaning with aluminium cleaner, then applied three coats of VHT high temp wheel paint in ‘aluminium’.

It gave a very nice finish although it’s slightly darker than original.

If somebody is doing a BolD’or, this is good substitute for the dirty job : http://www.davidsilverspares.co.uk/VF1000F/part_21573/ . I had a worn rubber protector, and when surfed the net for new one, I noticed that with 30 Euros more I coud get the whole swingarm, with protector and new bearings.

The link is for anyone that’s interested in shipping their parts to me. Of course, you Brits may be able to find someone a bit closer to you! [:D]</font id=“red”>