Author Topic: Aluminum valve covers  (Read 9030 times)

Bjv69ss

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Aluminum valve covers
« on: November 10, 2007, 12:01:20 PM »
Anyone try to get a dull tired looking set of aluminum valve covers back to life?  My car has the engine dressup.  I'd like to reuse the original covers but everything I've tried so far will polish the aluminum...sort of, but there is no brightness to them and no shine.  What did they look like originally?  Joe
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

JohnZ

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2007, 04:36:33 PM »
They looked like this (on a Z/28 only) - they weren't polished or shiny. Jerry MacNeish can re-skin them for you, as he did these on my Z.

'69 Z/28
Fathom Green
CRG

Bjv69ss

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2007, 11:03:40 PM »
More info please!!!!  What does he do glass bead and powder coat?  Nice engine compartment!
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

JohnZ

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2007, 03:20:32 PM »
More info please!!!!  What does he do glass bead and powder coat?  Nice engine compartment!

"Re-skinning" is a proprietary process you can't do at home - makes anything aluminum look like new; Jerry did my intake too, and restored my brake booster.
'69 Z/28
Fathom Green
CRG

Bjv69ss

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 12:42:28 AM »
I found Jerry's web site and sent an email last week.  No answer yet.  Does he answer email or is it better to call.
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

RamAirDave

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007, 04:36:42 AM »
Earlier this evening I posted some pics on TC of some Ive done myself.

http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=120865

I'm not trying to compare mine to JM's, as he does very nice work.  I would think theyre pretty close to the original appearance, though.
"Build them how the designers and engineers envisioned them to be"

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JohnZ

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 08:17:30 PM »
I found Jerry's web site and sent an email last week.  No answer yet.  Does he answer email or is it better to call.

Better to call - he may be on the road.
'69 Z/28
Fathom Green
CRG

Bjv69ss

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2007, 12:16:37 AM »
I'll see if I can give him a call tomorrow
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

jeff68

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2007, 01:22:46 AM »
Earlier this evening I posted some pics on TC of some Ive done myself.
What process did you use?
68 L30 / M20 Convertible
Ash Gold

Bjv69ss

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2007, 01:40:53 AM »
If you go to http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=120865 at Team Camaro you can read his process.  I might try it but want to talk with Jerry first.
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

RamAirDave

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2007, 04:46:45 AM »
If you go to http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=120865 at Team Camaro you can read his process.  I might try it but want to talk with Jerry first.

The processes that are described in that thread are for full-polish, not for the original dull finish.
"Build them how the designers and engineers envisioned them to be"

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Bjv69ss

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2007, 11:01:15 AM »
Your right I forgot to mention that.
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

jeff68

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2007, 12:59:01 PM »
The processes that are described in that thread are for full-polish, not for the original dull finish.
OK, so what process did you use to achieve the original dull finish?
68 L30 / M20 Convertible
Ash Gold

69Z28X33

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2007, 02:13:02 AM »
RamAirDave please respond, I to would like to know. Because my pockets aren't very deep, I need to save wherever possible. But you know, I really enjoy doing as much of the restoration as I can. It seams to me that I should be able to learn the process to achive the "dull" finish here on crg or tc.
Thanks
Larry

RamAirDave

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Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2007, 04:51:18 AM »
Its something I learned a few years back when I decided to restore a set of old torq-thrust wheels.  Wasnt necessarily trying to, but found that I could achieve a nice satin finish to the aluminum and it translated well to the valve covers.

Light bead blast, 20-30 psi in a siphon cabinet.  That will give you a nice, clean base to work from without harming the surface of the aluminum (i.e. pitting).

Then I work my way slowly back up.  Grey scotch-brite followed with a fine steel wool will smooth it out pretty well.  Then an application of Mother's mag polish by hand to even out the surface and give some sheen, but it wont be much.  I finish with an aluminum/mag wheel sealer.

I cant guarantee it will work perfectly for you.  Its something Ive been doing for several years, so I have gotten a feel for it.

The last set I did (the last two pics in the TC thread) were abused previously by someone who shouldnt have been trying to clean them up.  They didnt respond as I expected, and were more work than usual.  Took more time and varying methods that I have used in the past on other things to get them where I wanted them.

Give it a try if you want.  You wont ruin them, and if you get frustrated and give up you can always send them to JM.
"Build them how the designers and engineers envisioned them to be"

www.TheMuscleCarGuys.com