My OCD had a bit of a flare up around a month ago, when I found myself inspecting the purple heat tarnishing on the top of my exhaust manifolds. I managed to rein it in, and quite liking the purple look I decided not to have the manifold re-polished.
We then went to France for a track day at Folembray Circuit (last weekend), and on the way back the heavens opened... For hours! With the car in the garage (and dried) I took stock of the situation and freaked! It was a mess! A week long partial dismantling project, cleaning and rebuild later the car is now looking like new... and in the cleaning process I decided to get the whole exhaust re-polished.
I took the exhaust to a local polishing company, and suggested to them this could well become a 'once a year thing' and left it with them. Thinking with my sales pitch I could get a good price, but it that wasn't the case... the quote was astronomical and the lead time was huge, so I decided I could do it myself - being the 'polisher' I clearly am :-(
|Exhaust, cat bypass pipe and manifold prior to polishing|
The polishing machine is a bench grinder with the grinding wheels removed, two spindles and interchangeable polishing mops fitted at either end. The kit included the bench grinder, mop spindles, three polishing mops, six differing grade compounds and general protective wear.
|Draper 550w bench grinder with polishing mops attached|
The first stage was to use a sisal mop with the black compound. This process is the longest part of the polishing cycle, and took around three hours, but the results are very impressive.
|Caterham R500 full exhaust polished using sisal mop and black compound|
|Caterham R500 full exhaust polished with cloth mop and green compound|
|Caterham R500 full exhaust final polish with cotton mop and white compound|
|Polished manifold pipes on Caterham R500|
Another picture below, showing the full polished system.
|Caterham R500 full polished exhaust system - looking brand new|