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Yeah, this does take a while. It definitely IS a pain in the a$$, and yeah, I'd do it again in a heartbeat! I took pretty much the same route as the other posts here: Strapped the bike down real good on a borrowed table lift... broke everything out of the way... coarse filed flat...smooth filed too... sanded from 220 to 1000...small polish wheels in a Milwaukee angle drill... scotchbrited all the other surfaces.... cleaned well with solvent-prep on rags... and with a phillips head in-between the fins.... lots of taping, and 1/8" wide on the fin edges.... then almost 2 cans of VHT 500d satin black Barrel Paint (UP-angle first/then straight-on/then DOWN-angle)...then start peeling away the tape and watch it come to LIFE!)
It really came out perfect, and I wish I'd had it all the time!



http://users.adelphia.net/~blairpga/Polished_left_2.jpg

Now, to answer some basic questions:
1) I used VHT BARREL PAINT from caswellplating.com, and I do believe this finish will hold up extremely well. They also have VHT CASE PAINT in satin black too, but couldn't tell me the difference. They're both 500 degree, and I've read on another post, where an owner had used this paint, and it stuck for 10 years or more, on a dirt bike, and under repeated pressure washings! $10 or $11 a can...good stuff.
2) I haven't noticed any temperature difference (rode all weekend). Don't think the fan ever kicked on. don't really think increased temps. with this paint is any issue at all...
3) Yes, people do notice, and I love to explain the work I put into it. I caught total strangers wondering how I did the engine this weekend...very cool...
4) Yeah, MAYBE I could do it AGAIN....in 15 hours or so, having done it once already, and knowing how much you need to bear down on the files to start with, but it took me LONGER (I'm old and slow.......).
5) I think it'll hold up wonderfully, but what if it wears after a while?.....SO FRIGGIN WHAT! 10 minutes worth of masking, a couple shots of Barrel Paint, and good-as-new! What's the problem?
6) The satin black is PERFECT! And the fin edges will shine like CHROME with a 1-1/2" buff wheel and white compound.
7) Buffing all the edges with a Dremel would be a HUGE joke!!!! But it does get into some tight areas... For the most part, I used the Milwaukee 45 degree drill with a Home Depot or Caswell small wheel & white compound.... instant chrome!!!!!
8) Yes, it definitely is a central feature on the bike, and it does add a lot of richness IMO...
Now.....chrome wheels....or a Proton 4...????????????????????
 

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Dammit Man!

That looks great!
Now I'm going to tear down my bike and polish my fins!!

Thanks allot Bro! :evil:
 
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I am going to use PPG Concept. Its a lil pricey but I can get it mixed here with the hardener added and put into a spray can. Also I'm going to use Concept High Heat Clear Coat so I dont have to keep polishing fins all of the time. I looked at a 427 Corvette engine that was done a few years ago and it looks like it was done yesterday. No yellowing on the valve cover fins either which were cleared.
 

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GA_VTXTC said:
It really came out perfect, and I wish I'd had it all the time!
Hey Neighbor, great job! Let's take a cruise sometime. I'm just off Hwy 20 @ the Chattahoochee.
 

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Looks sweet, I did mine over the Winter and almost left it all black. But it looks really good with the fins polished, just takes a lot of work.
 

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Nice Job! Ours came that way, its a spec 2 bike. We didn't even notice it until we started comparing the bike with other local riders bikes and we said hey look ours IS different and I like it!
 

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That is SHARP! I was on the fence about painting my motor and polishing the fins. The way that turned out, I am definately going to give it a try.

You might want to start a thread in tech with these pics and your method as well.
 

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Looks great..... you did an awesome job on that....that is my project this weekend also. (was to be last weekend but just to nice out not to ride!)
Funny thing though, I went to Central High Performance's site last night and they showed 8 cans of the barrel paint in stock ( they are only $4.38 per can) but just now when I went to the site to order the paint they show as out of stock. I guess you created a demand for the paint! I called and they said they will have more in the next day or so but also gave me some local distributors so I can get the paint now and with no shipping.
If anyone is interested in the paint at a great price here is the site:
http://www.centralhp.com/viewitem.php?productID=VHT-SP903
 

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wow...that's the best looking painted engine i've seen so far. Makes me definitely want to try doing it. The one part I'm not real sure on is the whole filing and polishing part with the fins. Can you elaborate on this at all?
 

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Super Job

You did a super job on that project. Now I've got another project to think about!
Are those leather covers on your forks? I like. I'm just trying to picture how far down my windshield mounts attach to my bike
 

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Very nice. Now I know how it'll look on my ride. I've been considering doing it all winter after some other posts. Won't be done in time for Honda Homecoming though.

George
 

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Looks very sharp. It was worth the effort. This is one of those "all in the details" projects. The satin finish was most definitely THE choice over flat. Nice work. I know this was not at all easy. Good prep is what it is all about.
First class!
Boz
 

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Thanks much for all the replies!!!

I really do appreciate it. To answer a few more of your questions, for me, it all started here with TennTwin 's post on how he did it:

http://vtxoa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t ... highlight=

I pretty much followed the same procedure, except after the filing, went 220/320/600/800/1000 and stopped, completely sick of sanding, and grabbed the Milwaukee and the small polish wheel. Shined it right up at that point. You do have to BEAR DOWN on the file initially, because you're going for a good, very uniform 1/8" at the fin edges. This takes a little more pressure than you'll be tending to do at first. The hardest fins to file are the lowest, ESPECIALLY on the right side. Also a pain are the sharp turns near the spark plug cavities on the right side. A smaller file will help in these areas. As far as the paper sanding, I wrapped a 1/4 sheet around a fairly stiff strip of rubber, about an inch wide by maybe 5 inches long, and about 3/16" thick. This helped keep things FLAT, but still followed the sweeping curves. I didn't even keep the paper and engine wet during this process, but kept turning the paper and slapping the dust off to keep the paper as fresh as possible. Keeping things soaking wet might speed this up quite a bit...not sure....didn't really try it. Any Paint & Body guys speak up here?
On a side note: I did look at the newer models with the black engines and machined edges. The black satin finish looks identical. The Honda-machined edges are obviously very quickly machined, with vertical machining marks, and VERY inconsistent on a couple of the bikes I looked at- They were very skinny in some places, almost 1/16", and were very thick in other places, maybe 1/8" to 3/16". THE INCONSISTENCY WAS VERY NOTICEABLE TO THE NAKED EYE, AND THE EVEN-NESS OF HAND FILING AND POLISHING COMES OUT WAY ABOVE THE QUICK JOB HONDA IS DOING ON THE FIN EDGES. The new engines STILL look better than the old, but Honda really should do a cleaner job in some areas where it's so noticeable......
Enough for the fins..........
Yes, those are nice thick buffalo leather fork wraps (and lever wraps too), from Chilhowee Leather. Going with the 'blacked out' theme! I also did the right-inside of the rear wheel, AND the left final drive, with VHT GLOSS BLACK WHEEL PAINT.
Hope this helps some of you get this done, but don't cuss me halfway through- it's PITA work!
 
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