Cleaning/painting aluminum

Hello everyone,

I am restoring a 1972 XL 250 and I wondering about cleaning the engine and cases. I am having trouble getting everything clean and I am thinking of using a brass wire brush, any thoughts on this?

Also, the side cases are pretty scuffed looking and I think that were originally painted but I can't be sure....?



Hmmm.... I've done a lot of aluminum polishing and have what I think is a pretty good process. But, didn't the early XL's have an odd-ish green cast to 'em? And, weren't they not even aluminum, but magnesium? I seem to recall that my '74 XL175 had 'magnesium' cast right in to the cover down near the bottom. Ya gotta be really careful with that.


My technique, with pictures, is about 1/2 way down the first page:

Yeah, the side cases are Magnesium and maybe that is why they look like they were painted once upon a time...?

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