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Author Topic: Non dripper valve cover questions.  (Read 1489 times)
69Z28
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« on: May 05, 2013, 03:24:35 PM »

Hey guys. Needs some help here please. I've been doing a search on the non dripper valve covers and found loads of info here, TC and online. I picked up a set of non drippers, both #418 and have 3" notches for the intake. Did all the 418 covers have a dull finish? Looking at my set there seems to be a slight shine to them but not like the new ones I see offered online, ebay and so on. Did the dull finish get lost in the aging process? I'm just curious. I'm not sure if I want to leave them as is or send them out for reskinning. They are really stained and after reading most of the search stuff I found I don't think I want to touch them.

I'm trying to find pricing on having them reskinned as well, but it seems like that is not noted anywhere I have looked. I want to compare prices before I commit to sending them to anyone. So, if anyone can clue me in on prices and who has the best price I can at least make an educated guess who gets to do them. There must be a high end price and a low end price and what they look like. My car is unrestored so I really don't think the high price reskinning is what I need.   
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GaryC

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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 04:07:05 PM »

Not sure about how much the reskinning costs, but maybe a previous owner gave your valve covers a buff/polish? I don't think reskinned covers would detract from an otherwise unrestored car, JMHO, in fact pretty sure that i read somewhere that JohnZ's were reskinned too. If you go down that path, Jerry M is the go-to guy.
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Tim - New South Wales, Australia
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69Z28
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 05:01:54 PM »

Hi Tim. Yeah, someone knows what it cost to do this and I think JM isn't the only one who does it. Would be nice if anybody that has had it done would speak up. I kind of think the ones I have may have been buffed. There was some kind of tub that vibrated that had these light gray stone looking things in it at one place I worked at years ago, but I don't think they have it anymore. I remember seeing it back in the 80's. I wonder if that is what reskins these things.
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GaryC

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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 05:05:30 PM »

A friend of mine had an electrical repair shop a long time ago, and he had a huge machine (tumbler) that he put the alternator bodies, etc.. into that cleaned and 'renewed' the parts.   He let me put a Z28 intake in it once, and the intake came out very nice (but it made a helluva racket) while it was being tumbled.   He told me that his machine had 'steel balls' and a cleaning solvent in it..  that did the cleaning, and I suppose the steel balls pushed the aluminum pores closed and tightened up the aluminum surfaces...
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 06:40:23 PM »

There was some kind of tub that vibrated that had these light gray stone looking things in it at one place I worked at years ago, but I don't think they have it anymore. I remember seeing it back in the 80's. I wonder if that is what reskins these things.

Gary,

Good description of an accelerated tumbling process, which uses ceramic media and a chemical accelerant to deflash/deburr and clean the castings. Other media types are available to lessen the debrading action, or make it more aggressive, depending on the need. The "steel ball" process may actually be a Wheelabrator, which i have seen used more on steel and cast iron parts because it does "peen" the surface, smoothing it out in the process. Most of the commercial rebuilders I have seen (or been in their shops), use the ceramic accelerated process - I suppose you could use either. Not sure of Jerry's process, but I have seen his end result (and signature) on several restored '69's, and he did my '68 intake with great results. Whatever he does it with, it's absolutely the best one to use IMO.

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 07:07:37 PM »

Did all the 418 covers have a dull finish?

I forgot to chime in on the first part of the question - my originals and all of the unrestored cars I have ever seen had "mill" finish cosmetics - they are smooth, but not polished. IMO bead blasting ruins the finish - about the only way I have ever seen as an effective way to clean them is dip them in carb cleaner, but you have to be carefull with that as well (some cleaners are so aggressive they can open up or pit the surface). True, they get worse with age and oxidation, but polishing them is not correct, nor is bead blasting. I will have Jerry restore mine when I get to the point where I need them done.
I sold a set of mid-80's NOS dripper covers a while back - they were polished covers, and you could really see the heat cracks were showing up in the casting dies. Shortly after I bought them, GM superceded the part number again, making that the third part number away from the original 418's that I know of. BTW, as you know, both original L&R covers did have the same casting number, as any number of posts will mention. Took me years to get word on that - I thought somebody had replaced one of mine with a duplicate side for a long time.

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 07:28:32 PM »

My first thought was there was a left and a right as far as the drippers, so I assumed the non drippers were too. What I have seen the past month on 2 sets I have bought there was probably one casting and the oil fill hole got punched out and the then they got clearanced for the intake left and right later.  There is a lot going on about these covers. I'd like to know how the dull finished ones were done versus the really polished ones that are being sold today.  

There is still some online stuff I'm reading about trying to restore the dull finish. Looks like a lot of work to do the dull finish AND the polished finish.




Did all the 418 covers have a dull finish?

I forgot to chime in on the first part of the question - my originals and all of the unrestored cars I have ever seen had "mill" finish cosmetics - they are smooth, but not polished. IMO bead blasting ruins the finish - about the only way I have ever seen as an effective way to clean them is dip them in carb cleaner, but you have to be carefull with that as well (some cleaners are so aggressive they can open up or pit the surface). True, they get worse with age and oxidation, but polishing them is not correct, nor is bead blasting. I will have Jerry restore mine when I get to the point where I need them done.
I sold a set of mid-80's NOS dripper covers a while back - they were polished covers, and you could really see the heat cracks were showing up in the casting dies. Shortly after I bought them, GM superceded the part number again, making that the third part number away from the original 418's that I know of. BTW, as you know, both original L&R covers did have the same casting number, as any number of posts will mention. Took me years to get word on that - I thought somebody had replaced one of mine with a duplicate side for a long time.

Regards,
Steve
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 08:26:50 PM by 69Z28 » Logged

GaryC

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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 04:07:16 PM »

FWIW - I have a set of NOS polished ones with the drippers that I had Jerry refinish for me.  They now look like the original '69 dull finish die cast covers but they DO have drippers for better rocker arm lubrication. GM redesigned them for a reason.

-Mark.
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69Z28
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 04:24:35 PM »

Hi Mark, I sent you a PM.


FWIW - I have a set of NOS polished ones with the drippers that I had Jerry refinish for me.  They now look like the original '69 dull finish die cast covers but they DO have drippers for better rocker arm lubrication. GM redesigned them for a reason.

-Mark.
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GaryC

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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 05:59:50 PM »

sorry if this has been discussed but, what's reskinned? is it a finish or chemical process? can someone post a pic?
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Dave, SoCal
1969 Camaro z/28 (x77) Cortez Silver, endura front bumper, deluxe black interior,Rosewood dash with no tach or console, m22, BV 4:10 rear
69Z28
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 06:23:55 PM »

Hi Dave. It's a process things like aluminum intakes, distributor housings and the Z28 valve covers are put through to restore the original dull like finish. Not exactly sure of what is done, but I have heard there is a tumbler of sorts involved. I'm curious myself. I have a set of non drippers I want to get done soon.


sorry if this has been discussed but, what's reskinned? is it a finish or chemical process? can someone post a pic?
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GaryC

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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 10:17:46 PM »

Hi Dave. It's a process things like aluminum intakes, distributor housings and the Z28 valve covers are put through to restore the original dull like finish. Not exactly sure of what is done, but I have heard there is a tumbler of sorts involved. I'm curious myself. I have a set of non drippers I want to get done soon.


Hey Gary

so the factory valve covers were raw aluminum with a dull/matte finish, no coating/paint?

and i see from your post about the front plate bracket we have something else in common I have a 79 FLT and also a Big Bear Chopper Merc with 44* and 18" over springer

Thanks
Dave
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Dave, SoCal
1969 Camaro z/28 (x77) Cortez Silver, endura front bumper, deluxe black interior,Rosewood dash with no tach or console, m22, BV 4:10 rear
69Z28
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 11:01:58 PM »

Not sure about the raw aluminum, but the early covers aren't supposed to be shiney like the new ones GM sells. So far there are several different methods used to finish them. One member here, LYNN was telling me he used a certain paint and then put them in the oven at 400 degrees.


Yeah. I'm a Harley addict too. Mine is an 81 FXS Lowrider 1340 with the all black wrinkle finish engine. Lowered 2 inches on the swing arm, 5 gal fatbobs, has the over and under speedo and tach dash and gauges on the tank, duck tail fender, wide glide forward controls, but still use the narrowglide front end with wide glide handlebars for the narrow front . It's all black front to back. I call it Black Bart. It's getting to my knees though its so low., but it's fun to drive. I love the 4 speed's and you can't beat that shovelhead sound. I did a retrofit 91 softail CV carb and woke it right up. The original Kehein was sloppy as heck. Better throttle responce as well.



Hi Dave. It's a process things like aluminum intakes, distributor housings and the Z28 valve covers are put through to restore the original dull like finish. Not exactly sure of what is done, but I have heard there is a tumbler of sorts involved. I'm curious myself. I have a set of non drippers I want to get done soon.


Hey Gary

so the factory valve covers were raw aluminum with a dull/matte finish, no coating/paint?

and i see from your post about the front plate bracket we have something else in common I have a 79 FLT and also a Big Bear Chopper Merc with 44* and 18" over springer

Thanks
Dave
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GaryC

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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 12:08:30 AM »

Not sure about the raw aluminum, but the early covers aren't supposed to be shiney like the new ones GM sells. So far there are several different methods used to finish them. One member here, LYNN was telling me he used a certain paint and then put them in the oven at 400 degrees.


Yeah. I'm a Harley addict too. Mine is an 81 FXS Lowrider 1340 with the all black wrinkle finish engine. Lowered 2 inches on the swing arm, 5 gal fatbobs, has the over and under speedo and tach dash and gauges on the tank, duck tail fender, wide glide forward controls, but still use the narrowglide front end with wide glide handlebars for the narrow front . It's all black front to back. I call it Black Bart. It's getting to my knees though its so low., but it's fun to drive. I love the 4 speed's and you can't beat that shovelhead sound. I did a retrofit 91 softail CV carb and woke it right up. The original Kehein was sloppy as heck. Better throttle responce as well.



ok, so they have some kind of coating on them, saw some on ebay that were painted with the "correct color paint" was just wondering.

yea my project tend to snow ball out of control, i has about 7k in chrome and polish, original cases were bored to fit a big bore stroker crank, S&S big bore cylinders i removed the S&S from and had power coated gloss black, and STD heads, S&S forged high comp pistons, and on and on.  I'm dropping of the tins to get painted this week.
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Dave, SoCal
1969 Camaro z/28 (x77) Cortez Silver, endura front bumper, deluxe black interior,Rosewood dash with no tach or console, m22, BV 4:10 rear
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