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I am working on various parts with a similar condition, the one pictured is an exhaust heat shield which is I believe Stainless(it is non magnetic and the condition as pictured is after 17 years of being driven).

Methods I attempted so far to remove the contamination:

  • steel wool and metal polish, followed up with wool drill polisher (highlighted in red)
  • steel wool, metal polish, and a scuff pad, followed up with wool drill polisher (highlighted in purple)
  • metal polish, and goo gone with a wool drill polisher attachment (Highlighted in yellow)

I am not exactly sure what the contamination is, possibly road grime, or just really caked on dirt. How would I go about removing the grime off of this part?

The most successful of the 3 methods I tried was the scuff pad, but that left the surface scratched. So to get a non-scratched surface I'd have to work up through the grit levels and finish with a polish. I'd like to avoid this as it is very time consuming.

enter image description here

  • If it is stainless, what you want to do is just leave it alone. The key part of stainless which makes stainless not rust is chromium. Chromium oxidizes with a clear oxidation layer, which then protects the part. Without the layer, it will corrode. Just my suggestion. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jun 2 at 1:22
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Just remove the crud, dust, dirt and grease then fit it.

The stainless will be fine. Trying to get it to a poloished mirror type finish is not worth the effort, especially as it is an exhaust heat shield.

Do make sure it does not have any stress cracks in or around the fixing points.

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