Author Topic: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...  (Read 7188 times)

BlackoutSteve

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396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« on: June 10, 2011, 06:56:03 AM »
Hi guys, just wondering what the general quality was like on the OE 396 chrome valve covers..

Did they show all the dimples from there the drippers were spot-welded underneath?


Did they show huge ripples in the corners of the gasket ledge?


Was the copper plating revealed where the chrome plate was missing in some spots?


Was the chrome not polished in some areas?


Was the overall quality of the chrome lousy?


These are $500 a pair, USA made reproductions..
My mate has the much cheaper Asian ones, and they look a heap better than this for a fraction of the price.
Naturally, I was expecting exceptionally high quality pieces of art for what I just spent.
Are they at least accurate in quality and apperance to the original GM ones?
Did I get ripped off? ???
Restoring my RHD 69 Jane in Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.usmuscle.com.au/Forum/showthread.php?t=2840

bertfam

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 02:04:55 PM »
Original valve covers were chromed using what was called "Factory Chrome". This was a process where the chrome layer was added directly to the raw steel without the normal copper plating done first. It lasted a few years if you were lucky and then rusted. It was cheap and looked nice on the showroom floor.

Reproductions have several issues, one being a full or "Show Chrome" process (WITH the copper plating), and another issue being just totally incorrect for the first generation Camaro! Although not completed, we're currently working on a big block valve cover report, but in the meantime you can READ THIS to give you a general idea of what the correct valve covers look like.

Note that while all three years are similar in appearance, there are minor differences between each year (like the location of the clips that hold the temperature sender wire, and the location of the spark plug wire stands), and in 1967 a difference between "with smog" and "without smog" on the right side cover! We're still a couple of pictures short, but I'm hoping we can finish the report soon.

Also note that I've been told that CRANE'S CORVETTES in San Diego have a "correct" reproduction, but I haven't seen them personally, so I can't comment.

Ed
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 02:24:23 PM by bertfam »

Steve68

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 09:28:21 PM »
Quote
Original valve covers were chromed using what was called "Factory Chrome". This was a process where the chrome layer was added directly to the raw steel without the normal copper plating done first. It lasted a few years if you were lucky and then rusted. It was cheap and looked nice on the showroom floor.

My 68 chrome valve covers are original and still on the car/engine.  I guess I must be lucky because the chrome is still in very good shape.  Over the years I have taken time to keep them clean and would from time to time put some paste wax on them.....that may be why they still look good and don't show any signs of rust.  The dimples are evident.  I am out of town right now so I can't look to see about the ripples.  I don' t recall there being that much though.  Will look when I get home.

Steve

BlackoutSteve

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2011, 12:21:51 AM »
Thanks Guys..
Ed, this is the box they came in, so yes, you have just seen them.
Also, for the money I spent, I would expect it done properly with copper, nickel, and then chrome.
Restoring my RHD 69 Jane in Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.usmuscle.com.au/Forum/showthread.php?t=2840

Jerry@CHP

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 01:02:49 AM »
Steve,

They are the best available and right on the money.  We have installed several pairs on ZL1 cars and L78's too.  All high end restos use them.  Also just installed them on my buddy's L78 Nova SS.

They are suppose to have the spot weld marks, you just have to rubber coat the wire tab and you're good to go.

Jerry

BlackoutSteve

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2011, 11:27:57 AM »
Thanks Jerry, but there is a very noticeable missed spot in the chrome (where the copper shows through), which, with the price, is the main issue I have with mine.
I don't mind the accurate details ..if they are accurate, however, I find it hard to justify paying the huge price tag for a very average overall appearance. If GM then, and the repro guys today are just slapping them together, the price should be much cheaper.

I know the labor rates are quite different but my mate's $120 repros look like a heap more work went into them. No dimples, no ripples, better chrome..

I guess I'm saying I'd be happy with these accurate USA repros, but not at all for their price tag.
Very hard to justify. :)
Restoring my RHD 69 Jane in Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.usmuscle.com.au/Forum/showthread.php?t=2840

big iron

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 03:39:40 PM »
I do not think American chrome company's can compete with Asian company's in cost with the EPA doing everything they can to make American company's non-completive in the world market.
If originality is not of great importance then the Asian covers would be your best choice, but as others have indicated, the finish on Asian covers is more overly restored then the originals.
Bob

x77-69z28

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2011, 04:07:32 PM »
you get what you pay for. do it once, do it right and dont worry about it.
69 Z/28 X77 burnished brown, 711 int 05A bought in 78
70 Z28 forrest green, green int, M40, bk vinyl roof PROJECT
99 SS hugger orange 6spd NO TTOPS bought new 1 of 54
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Jerry@CHP

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 08:09:58 PM »
Steve,

Sounds like you might have got a defective set.  Call them and ask them about it.  Every set that we have bought has been very good.

Sounds like you might have a plating issue too with yours.  I'm sure they will take care of you.

Good luck,

Jerry

L78 steve

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2011, 04:51:05 PM »
The only problem I have run across with these covers are the  bolt holes are stamped too close to the metal so even a cheap 7/16 socket wont fit without marking the chrome, meaning the covers are too wide.
69 Z/28 Dover White. SOLD
67 SS/RS Mt. Green 1W,2LGSR,3SL,4K,5BY,07C. SOLD
70 Nova L78 Blk. Cherry,Sandalwood,M21,02B

BlackoutSteve

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Re: 396 Chrome Valve Covers...
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2011, 11:46:46 PM »
Thanks, I am waiting on a response from my supplier. I am sure they will come good. I was sure disappointed when I opened the box.

you get what you pay for. do it once, do it right and dont worry about it.

 ??? Um.. the $500 pair is worse!
Restoring my RHD 69 Jane in Melbourne, Australia.
http://www.usmuscle.com.au/Forum/showthread.php?t=2840