This guide can be used by anyone who intends to refurb their Genuine Honda Alloy gearknob. Its a fairly basic process but just posting the guide so you visually see the results.
- Difficulty Level:
Accord Type-Rs, Integra Type-Rs, Civic Type-Rs all came with different versions of alloy knobs. Other than Integra's titanium one, the rest are made of alloy with very durable paint like coating on top which gets damaged over time with rings etc and look pretty aweful so most people put aftermarket knobs on. Using this guide you can simply refurb the genuine one.
Also, if you are like me who owns a car that didn't come with one of these, you can pick one of these knobs on eBay for £15-£20 but they are all marked so using this method you can refrub them and end up with something that is OEM looking but not as expensive as Skunk2 etc.
I am sure most, if not all modern Hondas use the same gearknob thread pitch of 10 x 1.5mm. Only ATR comes in 5 speed so its quite rare to find one. CTRs 6 speed are everywhere by comparison.
* M10 bolt of reasonable length
* Metal saw or Angle Grinder
* Variable speed drill
* Various grades of sand paper (150 - 1000)
* Dust Mask (otherwise you will inhale all the fine powder)
* C Clamps
So here is the offending which I picked off eBay.
You can see how badly marked it is..
Thankfully most of the marks are really the enamel like coating and only the deepest one is actually down to the metal.
What we are going to do is to sand off the enamel coating completely and go down to the bare metal which will give you a nice brushed metal look.
First of all get a M10 bolt and chop its head off.. then screw the gear on to it, it will help you alot if you can find a matching nut which will act as a lock so the doesn't come off.
We mounted the on to the bolt so it can be used in a drill. Mount the contraption securely, and test it out. I mounted the drill onto a bench using C Clamps so I can concentrate on sanding properly but you can do it with drill in your hand too just be very careful.
Once you are sure everything is nice and secure.. start off with 150 grit sandpaper. Reason being the enamel paint is very durable and thick at the bottom of the . The top side coating will come off really easily due to wear making it thinner.
A few light passes by 150 grit followed by 400 grit will wear off the top part quickly. You must make sure to take breaks in order to allow the to cool down and also if you press the sandpaper too hard you will burn your fingers so be very vigilant.
Don't be put off by how horrible the looks at this point.. good things come to those who wait..most top scratches gone yet deeper ones remain.. keep sanding
Still using 150 Grit put the drill on high speed and just grind through the as evenly as you can.. you will see bands appearing.. try to not let that happen as it just means the metal is not wearing evenly.
A flatter positioning of sandpaper will ensure more coverage and reduce banding. You can see the top part being nice and shiny yet bottom still has plenty of coating left.
After wearing down the coating with 150, follow up with 400, 800 and then 1000. I went upto 2000 but it just made everything quite dull so I was quite happy with 1000 for the last pass. You can experiment with finishes using different grades.. Also, using wet and dry paper and spraying the while sanding yielded completely different and almost flat finish which I didn't like but you might like it. Just make sure you don't spray on the drill and get electrocuted.
This is the contraption I made holding the drill in place and the drill button being pressed by another smaller clamp.. Patience is key.. just try and make even passes and get rid of bands by folding the paper and pushing it hard into affected area.
And once you are happy with even-ness of the finish, Stop.. allow the to cool down, unscrew the M10 bolt and wipe it with a clean microfibre....and Ta-da!!
Yes the gear markings look like they are grey now as opposed to red but that is just dust.. I washed the under tap water and let it air dry and...
Isn't that beautiful?
Make sure the threads are clean before you screw it back on.. and that's it.. Refurb complete.
Simple really but please remember its metal so continuous sanding will make it very hot and if you press the sandpaper too hard in it will burn your finger so take plenty of time to do this..
Hope you like this guide and if you like to ask questions or suggest a better way to do things let me know and I will update.
Many thanks to @SpeedyGee for the idea of doing this refurb.