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Quicksilver Restoration

LaPorta

Well-known member
With many, many thanks to the generosity of @Torbar, I am now the proud owner of a 2003 Quicksilver G4. I can't say how much I have always wanted one of these. I was at Macworld NY the summer the Quicksilvers were introduced, and I have had the poster of one from then ever since. This is not just a Quicksilver, but a dual 1.0 GHz model: the top of the line!

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The machine, while wholly intact, left much to be desired cosmetically, especially on the door-side plastic:

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The nice thing about these machines versus the textured, beige machines is that their finish is completely smooth. To me, a cosmetic restoration is as important as the insides. Since I have sanded and buffed paint jobs before, I decided to try using these skills to work out the scratches on the plastic. While not 100% perfect, I was absolutely pleased with the results. I also removed and polished the opening tab. A little dry-based lubricant on the mechanism makes for a completely smooth opening:

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With that completed, I blew out the inside with my air gun, cleaned out the other remaining dust, and proceeded to put some new heat sink grease on. I used MX-5, it was recommended somewhere for use with these machines specifically due to the fact that they have mylar over the processor, and the silver-based grease can get trapped under there and can cause shorts. I cleaned the processors off, re-pasted them, and re-installed the heat sink:

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It must have worked, because I didn't fry the machine and it was on all night, and somewhat cool air was coming out the back.

I am now in the process of removing and polishing the handles, and then I will get to the other side panel, which is not nearly as scratched. I also installed a spare SATA drive I had with an SATA to ATA converter. Stay tuned for more!
 

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CC_333

Well-known member
With many, many thanks to the generosity of @Torbar, I am now the proud owner of a 2003 Quicksilver G4.
Congratulations! I guess this means I'm off the hook for finding my extra, which I never remembered to do....

if you had panels on yours that you need restored...
If I weren't on the wrong coast, I might take you up on that, for pretty much all my glossy plastic G4s (Sawtooth, Quicksilver(s) and MDD) all have scratched up side panels. They don't bother me much as is, but if I ever had the opportunity improve them, I totally would because why not?

c
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
Sorry for the silence! First step is to use sandpaper/sanding pads through successive grits. I do not recommend these particular pads since they wore out on me so quickly (not the best quality), but something like this:


Use the successive grits one by one. Since these scratches were pretty deep, I also got 1200, 1000, 800, 500, and 400 grit sandpaper. You can find all those at the auto parts store locally where you are. You start with the lowest grit you have and work your way up. Make no mistake; this is a laborious task. If this was some flat piece of plastic, i'd say hook up the sander and go for it. But, being curved, the Apple being raised, etc, I did not trust it to anything but my hands.

Next is to use a bench buffing wheel (or even a drill-based wheel if that is all you can get) and brown buffing compound. Time and patience are your friend. Once you get to the 12000 or so grit pad, you can switch to the buffing wheel. You want a loose wheel, and not a sewn wheel. The sewn one is much harder, and stands a chance of wearing a rut in the plastic. Here is an example of a loose wheel:


As for the buffing compounds, you can get bars of it from a local store or on Amazon for fairly cheap. Here is a good guide for what compounds to use on what materials:


My plan is to make a video doing just this on the other side of the machine, which is not as badly scratched. Hope this makes it a bit clearer for everyone.

Another key here is that you can only do this on surfaces that are not textured. You will bring the texture to a mirror surface, ruining how it originally was, if you do this.
 

Torbar

Well-known member
No take backs! Of course, if you had panels on yours that you need restored...
I might take you up on that, looked at mine yesterday, and while it's no where near as bad as yours, it's got a couple of scuffs on the side.
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
Here is the video on how to restore the panels:

EDIT: Non-HD version uploaded for some reason, I am re-uploading the video now.
 
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LaPorta

Well-known member
I got a pair of Apple Pro Speakers on order to complement this beauty. Radeon 9000 on the way as well. Gonna be gaming like it’s 2002!
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
Managed to score a pair of Apple Pro Speakers for a good price. They really sound great: I've used the ones on my iMac G4 just a bit (though I had them since the machine was new, I always used it with my SoundSticks when I used it daily). I was somewhat dismayed, however, that it disabled the internal speaker...I thought it would turn into a semi-bass speaker or something.
 

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