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Aluminum finish

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  • Aluminum finish

    I'm building a flat bed aluminum body for my wifes's new super duty and was wondering how to keep it shiny. At least just the band around the outside. I've done alot of aluminum repairs but this is the first thing I've built that I would like to stay some what shiney. Everything else I've built out of aluminum, ramps, railings etc didnt matter if they dulled or turned a little gray. Everything else I've repaired was already gray or anodized.
    So far all the guys who build truck bodys, what do you put on them to stay looking nice??
    I took some pics so far and I'll post a little later

  • #2
    You could just clear coat it like they do polished wheels. Thats the only way I could think of. it will be a continuous battle otherwise trying to keep it shiny as you probly know already aluminum almost starts oxidizing as soon as you are done cleaning it.


    • #3
      I thought about that and wondered how long it would last. I would only do the outer band since the deck is diamond plate and going to get scratched up anyway. I wondered if a body shop could put on clear coat, like over paint?


      • #4
        Walter Abrasives makes a product line called Quick Step. It uses a hook/loop design backing pad. You can push on and peel off different types of abrasive products from flap discs to felt polishing disc's with 2 different type polishing compounds. I have provided a link for you below.


        • #5
          We used to use 'Semichrome Polish' from Happisch on our Flat Trackers, pink soft abrasive available in most bike shops I believe, Hope this is of some use, Paul


          • #6
            Hey HMW

            With your wifes truck to soften the ride of the deck will you be using vibration mounts sandwiched between two pieces of steel and then bolted between the frame and the deck?

            O ya Polishing aluminum very labour intensive but I can tell ya but to do the piece that you are talking about could take you or your wife about 3 hours to complete.
            Last edited by Darmik; 08-01-2007, 09:35 PM.


            • #7
              After giving it alot of thought, I'm mounting the front of the bed solid and spring mounting the rear. Worked on lots of bodys over the years and have seen many different configurations. As far as how to soften the ride, the bed frame [2 rails] the lenght of the trucks frame sits on a piece of oak the whole length. A picture is worth a thousand words so maybe latter today il post one
              Of all the trucks we have where i work, [1800 vehicles in the fleet with 400+ out of my shop] of which most are bucket trucks i have not seen the mounting description you mentioned, although it sounds great, sorta like factory cab mounts. The factory bed is mounted directly to the frame with no bushings. Most bodies we have are mounted solid both ends and some have spring mounts at the front or the rear. I am amazed at how little is used to hold a service body on


              • #8
                Service Bodies

                There is only 4 5/8" Grade 8 Bolts holding the body on.

                The first pic is the front bracket and the second pic is the rear.This is pretty common for the smaller bodies.But there still is a good better best and this falls in the good Category.
                Attached Files


                • #9

                  You might want to call Mike Rupp at Rupp Marine (the guys who make outriggers and other marine products). They make a product, think it's called Aluma Guard, that has worked quite well for me.

                  Another option would be to call Strataglas in Ft. Lauderdale. They have a product called GlasCoat which we've had excellent luck with. They have a procedure for prepping the aluminum prior to application but it's really no secret, just a little fine scotchbrite and a lot of elbow grease. They may be willing to sell it to you for your application. If not let me know and I'll get you some. (The guy who runs the company, Edison Irving, is a very good friend of mine. He also, just happens to be the best alum. tig welder I have ever seen. He used to run the Cape May facility (at the Canyon Club) for Pipewelders--(which his dad owns ).


                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I took some more pics over the weekend then forgot to bring the camera to work [ineternet here way faster] Got all the cross members on and one side piece. Ran out of tips for the spool gun, I seem to be hard on them. aluminum likes to weld it self to the tip and then almost impossible to get out.


                    • #11

                      I do not recall ever seeing a service body or deck mounted in the manner you described - hard mounted in front, and spring mounted at rear. I have my reservations, but am open minded and interested in seeing the pictures.

                      Anything will be better than the shop that I went to in June. Very disappointing. You guys will L-O-V-E how THEY mount decks.

                      4 pieces of 4" x 1/4" angle iron about 3-1/2" long placed down each frame rail, so 8 pieces total. Each piece of angle has a single 5/8" GRADE 5 bolt in it, and then the deck is sized up for fit. They cut any old piece of garbage they can find (c-channel, square or rectangular tubing, etc) to make up the height difference, string it over both frame rails and stitch weld it on with the deck sitting on the frame. No consideration is given to reinforcing these stanchions (sp?) front to rear, no matter the height. Most of the decks have tow aprons and are used for farm or light industrial applications. I can't imagine the force exerted on the stanchions or "filler blocks" where they contact the deck, trying to twist and tear them off. Shoddy, REALLY shoddy.

                      Last edited by Black Wolf; 08-06-2007, 02:24 PM. Reason: Unneccessary info


                      • #12
                        By spring mounting I mean its 2 brackets with a bolt through both with a heavy spring under the nut or bolt head. Lots of our service bodies we have mounted this way. It allows the body to flex a little to help with cracking. I have the brackets made but still gotta find springs or a nice rubber bushing. I have got to post the pics, hopefully tommorrow i'll rememebr the camera


                        • #13

                          That makes a little more sense.



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