I decided to start a new thread, so that this information wouldn't get lost in the "Thanks!!!" thread. Fast Italian asked how you can polish the ZF and keep it that way, and made me smile with his story of his efforts.

Mine isn't polished, per se, but I read a great tip a few years ago that is worth repeating. If you don't want to spend the literally thousands of dollars it costs to do this right, you can do it "almost right" for about $3.

Go to a hobby shop and buy yourself a tube of a product called "Run 'n Buff". The original wax metallic finish. It's supposed to be used for picture frames or wood stuff, to give is a nice silvery color. I can send you a photo if you'd like to see what the tube looks like - I have one hear.

Clean up the ZF and rub this stuff on with your fingers. It is basically the same silver color as a ZF and covers well. It dries quickly and can be buffed for more shine. It appears to last for a long time (I applied mine 2 years ago and it still looks really clean). If you are preparing for Pebble Beach, the experts will be able to tell the difference, but 95% of those won't, and it really helps restore a uniform, clean, and shiny surface to your ZF.

Try it and see what you think. It'll cost you all of $3 and an hour, which makes it a cheap experiment. I drive my car an awful lot so I'm not interested in plating or polishing my transaxle, but this product made it look like I had a brand new ZF in my engine bay...

Hope this helps.
Original Post
Wow, that sounds like my kind of process Charlie! Any chance of posting a photo of the result? Did you just use a de-greaser to clean the ZF? Thanks for the great tip! If you have an equally easy way of getting that undercoationg off... Smiler
What, nobody's askin' me for more tips on polishing the ZF with finer and finer grits of sandblasting media? Actually I was thinking of sandblasting the ZF again with some baking poweder. That stuff is really fine grit and maybe I can discover the secret the pro's have been using. What a mess that would be.

Charlie, can't you just buy a case of that stuff and sell it to us, I'd rather send you $20 than look all around town. I already got $30 and 20 hours in the deal, what's $20 and another hour to me now? Thanks for the tip. I'm the kinda guy that's gonna try it, but I think you know that already.....

Hey, I was gonna try toothpaste to polish it up all shiny.... What's the real secret?

I was watching one of those biker build-off shows on TV and I learned a secret. The shop was putting the aluminum parts in a machine that "agitates" these large aluminum oxide white pellets around in the machine with the part all bathed in the pellets. Take it out in a few days and it's really shiny.

Maybe take a washing machine from the curb next time someone's throwing theirs away, and modify that machine so it's got one cyle: "agitate" and plug up the drain hole to keep the pellets inside.... But my ZF is too big for that. The machine in the program was just burping these pellets up and down 1/2 an inch all around the part, and after a while, the part was polished. A friend of mine polished some small parts in a jewelry polishing cannister with peanut shells and took some small parts and really made them shine. I could polish my water pump or my Campys in a washing machine rig but not a ZF.
R McCall, the dented helmet thread was the funniest thing! Now, I saved some time. The Hobby Lobby is right on the way to work. If they can plate plastic and make it chrome, then I'm sure they can plate aluminum, but I'm not going to prime it first. My ZF's going to look like a show car, but I'm going to put a rope around it, like at the bank teller, so the judges at Sonic on Saturday nite can't tell it's RnB.

My lips are sealed, and unless some one else is going to Battlestar Galactica events in their costume then the secret about RnB is a closely held one. What type of "event" were they talking about? That just seemed really funny. The more I realized they were serious, the funnier it got. Then when I really got curious and stared at it, the joke was on me. They are serious, and they are a circle of wizards that make props for Hollywood movies and knock down far bigger bucks than I could imagine. I stopped laughing....

And, gee, I don't want this to sound dirty or anything, but I guess I'm going to use the "palm method" too
Thanks Kevin. Glad to be back, missed you guys. After all these years, this has become a family to me.

I was mad at the world and had my head up my butt for a couple of days and took it out on brother Dave. It was a STUPID thing to do.

All is well....finally finished painting my car this morning and it's coming home on Friday.
Yahoo !!
Kevin is correct - it will make it look like a brand new, factory original unit - nice and clean, but not necessarily a mirror-like chromed job. But at $3, you can try it and see how you like it.

That Dented Helmet thread was awesome! Like you, I started reading it thinking they were kidding... there truly is something for everyone out there on the Internet! You'll probably need to use the "finger method" as well in some places to get into corners, particularly in the ribbing. You'll figure it out. I don't have any before and after photos, so if someone does this perhaps they could take some?

Originally posted by daleyracing:
I have done some calling around and no one seems to know what I am talking about, could you send picture and where it is made. maybe they have a web site.

Just in case you can't find it, here's a photo of the product:


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Back on the subject of cheaply spiffing up the ZF, in chassis, what do you think about a cheap little experiment:

Fire up the compressor and attach the hand held sandblaster that has the hopper fixed on top. Load the hopper up with cornstarch or talcum powder and shoot the ZF again. Cornstarch and talcum powder are smooth as a baby's behind, and maybe that's the next step to a "polished" ZF.

What do you think? Is it worth it to try it? It'll be a major mess to clean up, but how many times did Edison try before he perfected the light bulb. Anybody tried this?

Actually, it's pretty spiffy looking now, but not mirror smooth. I'm going to pull the ZF next year to install the taller fifth gear, and the cost of polishing is under a grand, so I'll do it then, the right way. But I want to put it in a car show or two, at the local charity events here, and that's my cheap-out way to get to the interim goal of the 'in-situ' polished ZF. Have a little fun.

Anyone have an opinion whether I do this in the driveway and send a cloud over the neighborhood or close the garage and do it inside and deal with the mess. We're not talking toxicity here, just manners. Wait for a windy day? Rain on the horizon? Or let it rip and tell them to bring the car by for a wash if it bugs them?
Thanks for the tip. I tried this last night and it turned out GREAT! The more I buffed the better it looked. The ZF case turned out the best, but the bellhousing ended up looking like it was painted. I guess I'll have to buff it some more. Those little ribs and grooves are a pain.
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