Pearl Export Restoration Help


New Member
Jul 5, 2020
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Hello all,

I have a few questions regarding a pearl export that I recently bought.

1. Does anyone know what year this export could be from?
2. What do you recommend for cleaning rust off the tension rod threads? I have taken off all hardware from the shells and have been using a wire brush and am having a little trouble. I tried the coca cola method and it has worked for the most part in terms of removing the external corrosion and dirt but some of the threads are still giving me trouble. It is better to just replace the tension rods... if so, is it a once size fits all type of deal or do I have to look for sizing based off the model? (first time restoring)
3. Some of the shells have a orangish/brown residue on the top where the hoops lay. Is this damaging the drums? What should I use to wipe it off (if it wipes off)?
4. Most pieces of metal have "black tiny dots" on them, even after cleaning the rust. Is there anything that would remove this or is it just oxidation damage?
5. Any idea what size nuts/bolts/screws to buy to replace the super corroded pieces? (I have no experience with this, apologizes ahead of time if it's a stupid question)

Notes: I think measurements are 13 inch tom, 14 inch tom, 16 inch floor tom, and 22 inch bass drum. I bought this set for $160 which included a snare, hardware, entry level cymbals, 1 double bass drum pedal and 1 single pedal.
At full restoration, what would you sell the shells with brand new heads on them for?

Thanks ahead of time for any insight!


Jordan Blue

Very well Known Member
Jan 19, 2013
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pre ISS mid-80's exports. They went for about $450-ish new for 5 pc. back then. decent solid gigging kit in it's day. the lugs are a dime a dozen you can find just about anywhere. Probably be lucky if you can get $200 now even if restored.

Old Dog

Very well Known Member
Jan 22, 2019
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Wire brush drill bits will help you clean the t-rods. Nevr Dull is a great polishing product. The black spots are probably the metal pitting. Not much you can do about pitting. Be careful with the coke soak. Sometimes that will turn a LOT of the metal black. WD40 will dissolve "some" rust. NOT SURE, about your residue. Environmental? Sun? Hopefully someone can help with that.
I also use a product I found on amazon,
Great stuff for general cleaning and keeping everything on your kit dust free and shiny.

Before you replace ALL T.rods, try the drill bit wire brushes. Good luck :thumbup:

Sorry! I know squat about Pearl exports.


DFO Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
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It's pre-1988, which is when I got mine with the next-generation lug casings.
I'd say if it's a labour of love, clean it up, if not, there are more worthwhile projects.


DFO Master
Aug 7, 2005
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Middletown Ohio
Those are great kits and using some of the tips above will yield great results. Money wise you got a pretty good deal. Even cleaned up the won’t bring a lot, but they are solid drums