View Full Version : TR2/3/3A Best way to clean TR3 Bakelite horn button?

04-23-2011, 03:46 PM
and maybe even shine it up?

04-23-2011, 05:30 PM
Try plastic polish and a soft cloth, or if it is really "patinated" use 4/0 steel wool with polish first.

04-23-2011, 06:36 PM
Sounds like it would work. Thanks Jesse 64 Chrysler Newport wagon! Now thre's an example of huge American iron. Probably bigger than the 57 Buick I used to have. :-) Did they have the Slant 6 back then?

04-23-2011, 08:52 PM
I used Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish I bought at CTC (Canadian Tire). It is a paste and worked quite well (a very mild abrasive). I've not reassembled everything yet, but the horn push is still looks good after a couple of months of sitting. Cheers, Mike

04-23-2011, 09:45 PM
Brasso works wonders as long as it's not really dried up and porous. Very similar to the above mentioned Mothers product, maybe even a bit milder.

Don Elliott
04-24-2011, 06:48 AM
I cleaned mine up with 1000 grit sandpaper and had it sprayed black with the same 2-pack black paint that the paint shop was using for the rest of my black 1958 TR3A. This was in 2007 and it still looks super.

04-24-2011, 08:13 AM
Some of the antique radio guys use Brasso like Banjo does. The antique telephone restorers (I'm not kidding) have this to say:

04-24-2011, 01:32 PM
and maybe even shine it up?

Karl: Its easy to clean Bakelite, but you can't replace the resin that's gone. That's why the surface becomes rough with age and looks brown. As others have suggested you can have it painted it with a good quality urethane. However if you use a clear coat be sure the painter selects one of the u/v resistant types.

good luck, T

04-25-2011, 08:35 AM
and maybe even shine it up?

Karl: Its easy to clean Bakelite, but you can't replace the resin that's gone.
good luck, T

It's possible that the makers of the Bakelite products used more resin on the surface or the process somehow "floated" the resin to the surface but even so, the samples I've worked on had uniform color throughout the piece and could be sanded and re-polished to the original (I think) sheen, or at least to look quite good. The cloudiness that polishing takes off is UV degraded resin and I tend to think the brown color may be too. Bakelite is not at all resistant to UV.
Most, if not all, modern automotive finishes have a very high degree of UV resistance, so I agree that paint would be a good option.