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  1. #1
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    Default Nicotine VS Cleaner VS Paint

    Long story short....

    I have a bike that has been sitting in the garage for 3 years. My wife and I dont smoke in the house but do in the garage.

    I tried to do a quick clean and that shit is on there good.

    First up, Simple Green undiluted. Some but not all came off. Leaves a "gritty" feel behind.

    Next up, denatured alcohol. Same as above.


    So before I start soaking this thing in vinegar ( which I believe is way bad for paint), what does the brain trust at CC recommend ? I DO give a damn about the paint finish. It aint no new bike but the paint isn't bad.

    One wrinkle in the plan...harley wrinkle black cases for engine and trans. Thats gonna be a tough one.

  2. #2
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    "Fantastic" works well on smoke stains..

    Spray it on full wet.. Let it sit for a minute, then go after it.

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    Guess it's a good time to stop smoking all together,,,,,,,,

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    Chewing tobacco stains pretty bad too, can't win.

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    Maybe a clay bar? Not sure.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMaKiNxW7uQ

  6. #6
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    i think the "gritty" feel is when nicotine residue attracts dust, then another layer and so on and so on.

    I think I will try a gallon of de-greaser in a pump sprayer. Soak for awhile and pressure wash off. The pressure washer I have is electric and kinda weak so Im not worried about fucking anything up.

  7. #7

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    So you asked for help, but already new what you were going to do? hope you get it off.

  8. #8

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    TFR, ( traffic film remover ), correctly diluted as per manufacturers recommendation, will shift that goo in no time. Spray or brush on, agitate & rinse. Job done. Be sure not to use it too strong.

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    Main thing it needs is repeat washing until it's clean. I'd take it to a car wash if your pressure washer is weak. Hot water works better than cool water. Letting cleaner sit a while gives it time to work. Awesome is my go-to cleaner and I keep several around home and shop. Let sit, gently scrub off with a plastic bristle (to protect paint) brush, repeat. It dries out skin so wear gloves while scrubbing. https://www.dollartree.com/bulk/Awesome-Cleaner The pump sprayers it comes in are quite durable so I reuse them for other soaps, glass cleaner etc.

    Since it sat long enough to get laminated in tar I'd assume wet sumping and drain it (or blow it out the timing plug hole outdoors like I do) before attempting a start if you intend to use the bike. HDs aren't an investment (the very, very few exceptions are obvious) so rather than clean it up just to tar it over again ya might consider selling it. We all stop riding sooner or later so no shame in that game. I'm old too and when I stop riding I'll sell my fleet while I can still enjoy the money. I ain't gonna pretend I'll ride again "someday" when I'm too crippled and exhausted to do that.

    If you're gonna keep it I'd put a sheet over it. (Tarps trap moisture, sheets breathe.) Residue doesn't fall upwards. A coat of wax on exposed chrome, paint and alloy is a decent preservative.

    An oil change and lube is also a good idea.
    Last edited by farmall; 12-29-2019 at 10:33 AM.

  10. #10
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    Mix a little vinegar or ammonia in water or both and it will take it off..............

  11. #11

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    Maybe try WD 40. Takes road tar off car paint

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    Fantastic cleaner as suggested did OK. Had it in house. I tried it on the wrinkle black first as it was a little discolored due to age. No scrubbing, just let it sit for 5 minutes and sprayed off with 1350 PSI sprayer. Then tried some on paint that has some luggage rash and wasnt worried about finish. About the same as the first methods in original post. I looked at the fluids shelf and found Bug and Tar remover. Said it safe for paint I made sure to not let that sit too long either. Powerwash after a 2-5 minutes.

    After all that, there is still a bit of gritty feel to the shiny bits. Fuck it. Out comes the polishing compound. Hand rubbed. Paint and chrome on dash/front front end. Better but not great. Did I mention that Im not a big fan of washing/waxing/polishing? Its an 05 bagger with miles of shit to clean/polish. Its presentable. Not bad for a 13 yo bike with 60K miles. I may eventually do a real buff job on the whole bike.

    Thanks for everyone participation. Farmall is correct to suggest a cover.

  13. #13
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    HD has some stuff called "Engine Bright" (I think?) that works really well on the wrinkle black.. Helps bring it back when it gets that chalky look. Comes in a spray can.

    Even advertised not to smoke off on start up.

    Most paste wax contains a very mild abrasive.. Probably clean the paint up with that.
    Last edited by confab; 12-29-2019 at 3:50 PM.

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