Before removing the windows on my 1971 Sovereign
to refurbish them I had to remove the support rods. I found the easiest way to remove the clips that hold the rods in place was to use a cut-off wheel in my Dremel. I just cut off part of the clip and used a hammer and screw driver to pop the clip off. Took about 20 minutes to remove all 8 windows.
Anyway...the support rods looked pretty bad after 45 years. I cleaned them up with a 1" belt sander from Harbor Freight using a cloth belt. As you can see from the before and after photo, this technique worked well.
I think paying attention to the small details like this is important IMHO.