Author Topic: Aluminum valve covers  (Read 8960 times)

Bjv69ss

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
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

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4261
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
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

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4261
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
    • TheMuscleCarGuys.com
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"

www.TheMuscleCarGuys.com

JohnZ

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4261
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
    • TheMuscleCarGuys.com
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"

www.TheMuscleCarGuys.com

Bjv69ss

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 363
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
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

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
    • TheMuscleCarGuys.com
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

69Z28X33

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2007, 02:05:29 PM »
Thanks Dave, You're a find fellow.
Your intake looks nice, is it powder coated, and if it is how does it react to a small fuel leakage.

P.S. Maybe if I'm close to Little Rock sometimes I'll come by your place to chat awhile.
      I heard there was a good chrome shop there, I need my bumpers redone.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 02:24:59 PM by 69Z28X33 »

Jerry@CHP

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2007, 02:46:50 PM »
I am back from my road trip. 

We use a vibratory tumbler system do restore all amuminum parts.  This gives you the best results and will last the longest in appearance too.  Once they're restored, you only need a can of syray brake clean and a paper towel to clean them.  Just wipe them down every once and a while.  That is the other great part of having valve covers restored by us.  Very easy maintainance for years to come and they will look perfect for a long time.  And the price is very reasonable in today's world of $3.00 a gallon gas, $95 plus shipping to restore a pair of any small block valve covers.

I should also point out that when parts are glass beaded, they look good for a very short time.  Dust, dirt and finger prints will stick to the parts because the media disturbs the original petina of the surface.  Even using scotch brite pads and steel wool will not correct these issues or make them whole again.  We have done thousands of valve covers over the years and never had an unsatisified customer.  Our process is also NCRS accepted.  We actually restore more Corvette valve covers than we do Camaro covers!

Jerry 




69Z28X33

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2007, 03:09:21 PM »
Thanks for the info Jerry
I also have a alu. intake that is in good shape except the front passenger side bolting ear was cracked and me being a welder with a alu. mig gun, repaired it about 1985. My engine is completly restored so I test ran it last month and I checked the repair area out on my intake and it seemed to have a little white chalkie apparence. I beleive it is a leak. I've seen your work on repairing intakes and it is fantastic. I would like to have some sort of idea of the cost to restore it.
I have a 4779-2 holley carb, I havn't desided what to do about it yet.
Thanks
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 03:26:51 PM by 69Z28X33 »

Bjv69ss

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2007, 06:39:55 PM »
Jerry, could you give the shipping address, and how you want to be paid?  Also what's the time frame?  I'm packing them this weekend.
Joe
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

Jerry@CHP

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2007, 08:06:24 PM »
Joe,

TAR is running about two weeks now due to the holidays.  We will bill you when the job is done.  Just make sure that you send your name, address and phone number.  Link for address is listed here below.

Jerry

http://www.z28camaro.com/restosvcs.html

Bjv69ss

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2007, 08:09:33 PM »
Thanks Jerry!  They will go out before the week is out.  Joe
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

RamAirDave

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
    • TheMuscleCarGuys.com
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2007, 07:23:45 AM »
I should also point out that when parts are glass beaded, they look good for a very short time.  Dust, dirt and finger prints will stick to the parts because the media disturbs the original petina of the surface.  Even using scotch brite pads and steel wool will not correct these issues or make them whole again.

Just thought I would mention that all the parts I have done over the years have stayed clean.  In the event of fuel/oil/coolant leaks, cleanup has always been very easy.

My torq-thrusts have been driven on regularly for a few years now.  Dirt, gravel, mud, rain, they still look good.  Maybe Ive just been lucky.

Jerry: what media do you use in your tumbler for VCs and intakes?
"Build them how the designers and engineers envisioned them to be"

www.TheMuscleCarGuys.com

Bjv69ss

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2007, 04:22:54 PM »
I just got my Valve covers back from Jerry!  WoW!  They are just the prettiest things!  What a complement to the rest of the detail on the engine!  Thanks Jerry!!!
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

Jerry@CHP

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1457
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2007, 06:12:26 PM »
Thanks!  We appreciate the comments.

Jerry

Bjv69ss

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 287
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2008, 01:48:50 AM »
I just got my covers on that Jerry restored for me!  The crowning touch don't you think?
1969 Fathom Green
SS 350 Coupe 
71 Impala Sport Coupe

Ron C.

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 436
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum valve covers
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2008, 10:13:31 PM »
Jerry does nice work!!
67Z/28,67RSZ/28,71SS454CHEVELLE.