I recently decided to sell my T-Maxx. While breaking it down to parts and cleaning everything up, I noticed that some of the parts I had would not make the truck very attractive to a buyer. See, I had a basher truck and it was a rainbow of various colored aluminum parts. While I was okay with this, I figured the average buyer would like the truck they might purchase to be color coordinated.
So, I conducted a search of RCNT for information on removing anodized color from my aluminum parts. I found a few threads that addressed it, but they were squirreled away where only a search engine would be able to locate them. I’ll credit NitroAddict with using a great title (search engine nailed it immediately) and NCNitro for great information.
What You Need: Easy-Off (yellow can)
– Can of Easy-Off™ Heavy Duty Original Oven Cleaner (the one in the yellow can). Do not get any of the other varieties.
– Glass dish or suitably sized glass tray (I used a glass oven dish)
– An old tooth brush
– Parts you desire to “strip”
– Aluminum polishing compound (note: Brasso eats aluminum in bad ways).
– Well ventilated room
Before you start, be certain to follow any saftey recommendations included on the label of the can and get permission from your parents or your better half prior to using one of their good glass dishes, Easy-Off, and the kitchen sink (if you plan to do this indoors as I did).
1. Clean the aluminum part with some dish soap and a scrub brush or the tooth brush. The goal is to get as much dirt off as possible. Yes, the oven cleaner will remove the dirt…but it will also remove the anodizing in an uneven fashion that might mar the look of the finished product (voice of experience speaking here).
2. Place the glass dish in the sink and place the part to be “stripped” in the glass dish. If you have multiple parts, it is best to place them all in at the same time (if they will fit). This will save on fumes and reduce the wasted oven cleaner.
3. Spray a nice even coating of the oven cleaner over the parts. The parts should start to foam up and you may even see some of the anodizing starting to bleed off.
4. Wait no more than three minutes and then rinse the parts thoroughly. I used the toothbrush here again to help the oven cleaner remove some anodizing during the rinse.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have a nice raw looking piece of aluminum.
Note, the longer you leave the oven cleaner on, the higher the chance you will pit the aluminum.
Also, note that the metal might take on a blackened look if it takes too many baths in the oven cleaner. This slight oxidation of the metal comes off with a bit of Comet cleaner and a scrub.
6. The final step is to polish the metal until you are satisfied with its “shine.” You may not get a bright chrome-like polish without using a proper polishing wheel, polish, and buffer. What you will end up with is a good brushed aluminum look.
Without attempting to get a chrome shine, the parts I “stripped” of anodizing all came out with a good raw aluminum look. I did use a polish cloth to give it some shine, but the end result still looked good. I took about an hour to do a steering servo skid, two chassis braces, and the two shock towers. The T-Maxx looks much nicer in a mix of black, anodized blue and raw silver aluminum.
If the only color you can get your part in is something you would not rather put on your truck, a $3.50 can of oven cleaner and some time can give you a nice silver part (which goes well with any other color). Give it a try and you might be able to save yourself the time it would take the LHS to order the part.
Before removing anodizing
After removing anodizing
Doesn’t look half bad the way it is now, but with a little polishing the shock tower would clean up even better.