Unfortunately there is no one sure-fire method of removing all forms of melted plastic off of Harley pipes. The problem stems from the fact that different kinds of plastic bond differently with chrome when they melt.The other part of the problem is that you do not want to damage your pipes in any way.While there is no sure-fire way to salvage you pipes 100 percent of the time, there are several methods you can use that will restore the shine to those pipes in the majority of cases. If one method does not do the trick, move on to the next method until you find the one that works for your situation.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic Scraper
- Large Spoon
- Easy-Off Oven Cleaner
- Scouring Pad (Teflon Safe Variety)
- White Vinegar
- Aluminum Foil
Start with the engine and pipes cold. Place a bag of ice on the area that needs cleaning and allow the plastic to freeze. If you have access to dry ice this would be even better, but do not place the dry ice directly on the chrome. Once the plastic is cold, strike it sharply with a large spoon in order to crack it away from the pipes. Look for any areas that have broken away from the surface of the pipe and begin prying up the plastic there.It may be necessary to freeze and crack the plastic several times, depending on the severity of the problem.If icing does not work then try the next step.
Spray oven cleaner on a clean rag and then wipe generously on the area of melted plastic with the engine off and the pipes cold. Allow the spray to penetrate around the edges of the plastic for at least an hour. Then use a household dish sponge, the type that is Teflon safe, to wipe the plastic. Focus on any edge that shows a weakness. Continue wiping as long as any plastic comes off.Spray with more oven cleaner if necessary and wait another 20 minutes. Then wipe vigorously with a piece of aluminum foil that is wrapped around your hand with the shiny side out.If this does not work go to the next step.
Spray oven cleaner onto a clean rag and wipe it onto the melted plastic and then start your engine and allow to run for five minutes or until the pipes get hot. Allow your pipes to cool slightly then scrape the warm plastic with a plastic or wooden scraper. Be aware that the scraper will be ruined. While the pipes are still warm, wipe additional oven cleaner onto the area and scrub with a household dish scrubber.Wipe the pipes vigorously with a piece of aluminum foil, the shiny side out.If this does not work go to the next step.
Wipe on a solution of white vinegar and water (one cup vinegar to two cups of water). Run the engine to warm the pipes and while the pipes are warm rub on more of the white vinegar solution. Allow it to penetrate then scrub vigorously with a household dish scrubbing pad.
Wipe a commercial chrome cleaner/polish onto your pipes and follow the manufacturer's instructions for bringing out the shine of your chrome.
Tips & Warnings
- Be sure to wipe down your pipes with a clean rag and clean water after trying any of these cleaning methods. You do not want to leave oven cleaner or white vinegar on your chrome for more than an hour or two.
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