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  #1  
Old 11-10-2013, 12:43 AM
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A Little Polishing

Decided to tackle the valve cover on my spare engine and see if I could get it to shine up a bit. Turned out sort of OK...




I learned a lot in the process and did some things that cost a bunch of time in the long run and compromised the overall appearance, but it was very rough to start with so it's OK.

On my current engine, I cleaned up and painted and cleared the valve cover. It looked really good for about a year, but it's now starting to look a little tired, chipped and discolored. I need to figure out what to do about the linkage before I install the valve cover on the car. It's a shame to put an ugly linkage on the polished valve cover.

I'll probably do the oil filter cover and the vacuum pump next.

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A Little Polishing-valvecover1.jpg  
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:24 AM
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Plating Kits Electroplating Kits Aluminum Anodizing Kits Powder Coating Systems Metal Polishing And Buffing Supplies - Caswell Inc
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach4 View Post
I learned a lot in the process and did some things that cost a bunch of time in the long run and compromised the overall appearance, but it was very rough to start with so it's OK.
Mind sharing what those "mistakes" were?

Know when I did the mono-valve plate, I didn't degrease it enough, so there is haze in the pores.

John, very cool! I like the Copy Cad, though not now of course! Squreback has a lot that needs recading, and last time I looked while in Sandy Eggo was no longer available. Plus, if one can find it, bet a few parts come to the same cost as the kit which I would figure do more than a few.
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2013, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Adriel View Post
Mind sharing what those "mistakes" were?
The biggest mistake was doing the initial cut with a nylon "wire brush" that was way too coarse. I never could get the scratches out that that left. I also should have started with a better valve cover. This one had some serious scarring around the injectors that was impossible to get out and some casting blemishes that were difficult. If you start out with a good cover, you should be able to start with 200 grit.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2013, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mach4 View Post
The biggest mistake was doing the initial cut with a nylon "wire brush" that was way too coarse. I never could get the scratches out that that left. I also should have started with a better valve cover. This one had some serious scarring around the injectors that was impossible to get out and some casting blemishes that were difficult. If you start out with a good cover, you should be able to start with 200 grit.
Thank you so very much for the reply!

Oh! Yep, those scratches can be a pain. I am surprised a wheel is courser than 200 grit. I be tempted to start with 600 and see how that went. If bad, can go back to courser paper?

I too have scratches by the injectors, wonder why? Don't think I would have the guts to do the whole cover in a high polish though!
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1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD - Parted out.

1964 Volkswgen Beetle - Vater's since September 1968 and undergoing a restoration.

1971 Volkswagen Sunroof Squareback with F.I. - in need of full restoration.

1971 Volkswagen Squareback automatic with F.I. - Vacationing with her caretaker until he is in better health.
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2013, 02:24 AM
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How are you planning on keeping it that shiny?
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2013, 10:59 AM
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How are you planning on keeping it that shiny?
Not exactly sure what's going to work, but I'm going to start with just a good coat of wax. I live in southern CA so the kinds of corrosion that exist in other areas won't be a problem. Then a simple repolish at each valve adjustment should work to keep it looking ok.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2013, 11:24 AM
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they simply paint wheels to keep them shiny...

maybe a clear coat would keep it nice and clean?
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"as I ride with my a/c on... I have fond memories of sweaty oily saturdays and spewing R12 into the air. THANKS for all you do!

My drivers:
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5Turbo
1987 190D 2.5-5SPEED!!!

1987 300TD
1987 300TD
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2013, 04:35 PM
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I think they can do clear powdercoat, that would be super easy to keep clean
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2013, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sassparilla_kid View Post
I think they can do clear powdercoat, that would be super easy to keep clean
Yep they can

Simpler DIY options are provided by Eastwoods too - I think they call it detailing spray stuff (or summit like that)
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  #11  
Old 11-15-2013, 03:56 PM
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As someone who does a lot of powder coating, I discourage clear powder coating large surfaces of polished metal whenever I can, as a polished finish doesn't leave much for powder to grab hold of, and once the finish is broken, it's not easy to fix without stripping, repolishing, and recoating. The end user is almost always better off just polishing the raw finish occasionally with one of the many products that leave a thin layer of anti-tarnish sealer behind. The defunct Zoop system comes to mind.

The only part of my cover that I polished was the star, which I then masked off for the base coat of a charcoal metallic powder coat. Clear coat was applied over the entire cover, including the polished star, so it is sealed completely. I have to say it looks pretty good, but seeing as how it is the only part under my hood that is even remotely nice looking, I don't exactly show it off much.
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2013, 04:13 PM
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There was discussion of this on a Mopar site I visit, relative to aluminum intake manifolds. Most said that clear engine paint yellows over time. Drats, I used that on my intake but haven't driven that car much. Most recommend a colored "aluminum" powder coat. Many guys there use Leonna (seach posts on A Body Mopar Forum - Home of Vintage Mopars like the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda). I ran across a photo of a Jeep w/ a M-B diesel that used red powder coat. That valve cover really stands out, probably too much. Maybe blue or yellow would look interesting. If you don't do anything, bare aluminum will corrode to pits and white powder (Al2O3), especially in humid areas. Not only is it ugly, but the last thing you want getting in your engine is aluminum oxide, which is 2nd hardest to diamond. I expect the factory had some coating on the valve covers.
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  #13  
Old 11-15-2013, 04:40 PM
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Remove the rubber seal from the oilcap, or leave the PCV hose open. The oily coating will keep it shiny forever

Seriously though, just wax it
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adriel View Post
Thank you so very much for the reply!

Oh! Yep, those scratches can be a pain. I am surprised a wheel is courser than 200 grit. I be tempted to start with 600 and see how that went. If bad, can go back to courser paper?

I too have scratches by the injectors, wonder why? Don't think I would have the guts to do the whole cover in a high polish though!
They come that way from the factory-- they have to quickly grind off the casting flash and cant spend time going finer and finer grit.
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  #15  
Old 11-15-2013, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BillGrissom View Post
There was discussion of this on a Mopar site I visit, relative to aluminum intake manifolds. Most said that clear engine paint yellows over time. Drats, I used that on my intake but haven't driven that car much. Most recommend a colored "aluminum" powder coat. Many guys there use Leonna (seach posts on A Body Mopar Forum - Home of Vintage Mopars like the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda). I ran across a photo of a Jeep w/ a M-B diesel that used red powder coat. That valve cover really stands out, probably too much. Maybe blue or yellow would look interesting. If you don't do anything, bare aluminum will corrode to pits and white powder (Al2O3), especially in humid areas. Not only is it ugly, but the last thing you want getting in your engine is aluminum oxide, which is 2nd hardest to diamond. I expect the factory had some coating on the valve covers.
I do not subscribe to the intergranular corrosion (aluminum rust) belief you posted above just fir a humid area--a few coats of cleaner wax is all its needed to protect it. if you are in a costal area either use the zoops aluminum treatment or double up -triple up on the cleaner wax.

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