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Restoring Silca Impero color?

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Restoring Silca Impero color?

Old 12-19-13, 01:50 PM
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Restoring Silca Impero color?

As a throw-in for a recent acquisition, I received a 30-year old Silca Impero frame pump.

I've been able to find great info here about restoring the innards (e.g. link), but I didn't see much about getting the original color back.It was originally white (I can see that where the handle covered the body), but the majority of the plastic is a light butterscotch blonde now.

Anyone have a trick to get it back to white?

I looked at Randy's site for hints, but didn't see anything.
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Old 12-19-13, 01:57 PM
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I just traded one to Rootboy that looked like that, it had a wonderful patina that looked like aged ivory. I liked it but other than repainting I'm not sure how you'd do it.

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Old 12-19-13, 03:52 PM
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Might try rubbing compound and wax, but I think they look nice with the aged look. I've gotten some of the washers on ebay... usually the leather one just needs spreading and a coating of grease to help it seal in the tube.
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Old 12-19-13, 04:24 PM
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Back in the day, when Silcas were available new, I bought a black one new and soon found that it had been painted black over blue plastic. I bet you could repaint yours with model car spray can paint if you made sure to remove all traces of oil and grease. Don't wipe it with lacquer thinner or use lacquer paint as they would certainly wrinkle the base plastic.
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Old 12-19-13, 04:39 PM
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Other than painting over the pump with white paint, I'd just leave it as it is as I agree the off-white patina just adds more "C&V character" to the pump. Be careful using stuff like rubbing compound and cleaners with solvents in it, as the old plastic might end up getting damaged as plastics back then weren't very resistant to chemicals. I'd rather just use the mildest cleaners/polish on such old plastic items like "Pledge".

Last edited by Chombi; 12-19-13 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 12-19-13, 05:40 PM
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Paint them to match.

(gratuitous bike shot inserted)

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Old 12-19-13, 05:49 PM
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^^^^ Every time you post that I (in the words of Jimmy Carter) lust in my heart.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperLJ View Post
^^^^ Every time you post that I (in the words of Jimmy Carter) lust in my heart.
Do we now have to have "period correct" quotes to go with our "period correct" componentry?


To the OP - the answer is paint. Many frame painters, then and now, would paint Silca pump bodies to match the frame.

The pump barrel itself is plastic - and no, that is not a euphemism for carbon fiber. It's the finest plastic that 1960's or 1970's materials science could produce, which means it absorbs stains and gets dull and stuff like that. Personally, i would not let any kind of solvent near it as I have no clue how any solvent would react with the plastic. I'm not so much concerned about fumes as I am weakening the plastic or making it brittle or otherwise compromising its structural integrity.

Finally, I loves me my Silca pumps, and have them adorning a couple of my bikes because a matching Silca pump looks so kewl, but let's face it - Zefal HPs work significantly better and are much more durable.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:18 PM
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I wonder if a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser would clean it up.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by CO_Hoya View Post
As a throw-in for a recent acquisition, I received a 30-year old Silca Impero frame pump.

I've been able to find great info here about restoring the innards (e.g. link), but I didn't see much about getting the original color back.It was originally white (I can see that where the handle covered the body),

Anyone have a trick to get it back to white? .
No. it can't be restored. The color shift is through and through.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:37 PM
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Oops.

Last edited by bconneraz; 12-19-13 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 12-19-13, 07:43 PM
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I'm wih the others; leave the delightful patina. If it drives you nuts, sell it, and use the money to offset the cost of an nos pump in bright white on ebay for less than your time and paint supplies would cost.
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Old 12-19-13, 10:33 PM
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I had a white Silca that had yellowed over the years that I scraped-down with the edge of a single-sided razor blade. That took the yellowed layer of plastic off and then sanded it with 600 wet or dry sandpaper and then polished it with Simichrome polish (metal polish that happens to polish plastics really well).

You have to work very carefully around the hot-stamped Silca logo.
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Old 12-19-13, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by confente View Post
I had a white Silca that had yellowed over the years that I scraped-down with the edge of a single-sided razor blade. That took the yellowed layer of plastic off and then sanded it with 600 wet or dry sandpaper and then polished it with Simichrome polish (metal polish that happens to polish plastics really well).

You have to work very carefully around the hot-stamped Silca logo.
More time required to the above than I could manage. I had some success with Novus Plastic polish, #2 and #3 , one cuts the other polishes more. They also have #1 for higher sheen. #3 is the heavy scratch remover and will cut pretty fast. But the above method is cheaper. The Novus polish is great for bringing modern plastic auto headlight lenses back to clear, think of it as an investment in safety.
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Old 12-20-13, 06:08 AM
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I just did the headlamps on my 9 year old truck, but I used Mequiar's Mirror Glaze products. Good stuff. Probably work on a Silca as well. But I'm not going to go trying to get into those intricate casting details on the handle on the one Scott traded me. I'm going to spray paint it.
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Old 12-20-13, 06:52 AM
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I have two in black of different lengths. One is at least 40 years old and has only had the gasket to the head replaced once. Both look very good with the sheen I remember them having. I would like them to be the same color as the frame but figure that since they travel from one frame to another, black goes with nearly every color! I just picked up my first Z HP. Really heavy compared to the Silca! Although I haven't used it yet, it feels like it could take a lot of abuse.
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Old 12-20-13, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
I just did the headlamps on my 9 year old truck, but I used Mequiar's Mirror Glaze products. Good stuff. Probably work on a Silca as well. But I'm not going to go trying to get into those intricate casting details on the handle on the one Scott traded me. I'm going to spray paint it.
Spray painting is effective but it leaves you with the problem of what you are going to do with the foil stamping on the barrel. The depth of the stamp varied greatly, so each one is almost a unique decision.
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Old 12-20-13, 08:27 AM
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That is an issue, for sure. I contemplated filling in the stamping on the one I painted, above, but decided it was painting legs on a snake. And the impression was very shallow. If the old ones with squared handle are in good condition, I try not to mess with them. But the one above was pretty ugly. I like the old ones.
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Old 12-20-13, 08:34 AM
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I like the yellowed look.
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Old 12-20-13, 09:28 AM
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This one is in none-too-good shape. But it is original.


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Old 12-20-13, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
This one is in none-too-good shape. But it is original.
Crest original toothpaste on the handle, then your choice on the barrel. You might get away with no paint.
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Old 12-20-13, 09:58 AM
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Ah, thanks. But I need it in another, non-original color.
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Old 12-20-13, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
This one is in none-too-good shape. But it is original.


I got rid of that? yeesh.

Another one that I have on my Paramount:





I think the yellowed look works good on a '66

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Old 12-20-13, 11:05 AM
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I also painted mine to match

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Old 12-20-13, 02:23 PM
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Too bad this post didn't come a few weeks ago. I recently bought a once-white silca in cream color to match the patina on my once-white Cilo Pacer which has also turned cream. I like the patina.
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