EasyOff won't remove Aluminum Oxide from Aluminum; what you removed was the plastic coating & wax that was on the bare brushed Aluminum. It's not anodized. Sandpaper would have done the same thing faster, and if you work it inline with the original brushing, it would have been like remanufacturing the panel's surface. Then I'd spray some clear over it to keep it looking original.
I don't believe it was cleared from the factory. I am fairly certain after doing lots of research that they are in fact hard anodized as is much of the other brushed aluminum trim pieces on these trucks like the windshield moldings. I've been in the aircraft industry for years and I know what etching and anodizing looks (and more importantly) feels like.
I tried sanding it, but it didn't want to come off too easy. I probably could have used a coarser grade, but it would still have been a bitch to get out of certain areas.
The lye in the yellow Easy Off or Draino does remove the .001 +/- of anodizing according to what I have read.
In any case, after 3 applications of the oven cleaner it is now one solid matte aluminum. I took some sandpaper to it going with the grain and it's coming out very nice.
Now I just need to spray some clear on it once I'm done.
This is a before pic of the one that I'm working on right now:
I also need to find some of the missing letters, but I'm not going to pay $25 each from LMC or another aftermarket vendor. I'm pretty sure I already have the "F" from another panel, just need the other two.