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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to pretty up my valve cover and thought it would respond well to glass bead blasting. Does anybody know of a shop that does glass beading in the Los Angeles area? Or has a blast cabinet I can use for ten minutes? :clown:
 

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I polished my own. Ok job but not great. My advice is to send it to a shop. It 's a tremendous amount of hard work.
 

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I was going to clean aluminum using an aluminum cleaner instead of media blasting. The original Alfa valve covers were cast aluminum. They were not painted or polished. I purchased some aluminum cleaner which was recommended by a well known automobile restorer. The cleaner is Aluma-Brite and is sold by EnviroTech. I purchased one gallon and will clean an old 750 intake manifold.
 

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I'd like to pretty up my valve cover and thought it would respond well to glass bead blasting.
You really want to be careful when using abrasive around engine components. The lore is that glass (or carborundum) abrasive will lodge into soft materials like aluminum and then break loose when exposed to heat cycles. That's OK on the outside of your cam cover, but it's a no-no inside.

So if you do media blast it, be scrupulous about masking off the inside. Or polish it with a wheel, rather than blasting.
 

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I've heard that soda blasting is a good application for this kind of job -- no imbedded particles, but does leave a residue that must be removed.

Unfortunately, I've also heard that it's hard to find a shop doing the process.

Gene
 

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I was told that soda blasting can be used on external engine parts. I was also told that some mechanics immerse engine parts in carb cleaner. The old carb cleaners used phenol, but environmental regulations prohibit the use of many chemicals used in the workplace.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
kuni123456, how did your manifold turn out after using Aluma-Brite? Photo?

I agree from the factory the valve cover wasn't polished, and would accept it fully cleaned. Should I try Aluma-Brite on the valve cover?
 

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I polished mine by hand but then, I was in my late 20's at the time. I also did the intake manifold, throttle bodies and even the brake/clutch pedal box. It's not quite as mirror finished as it once was, like I said it was a long time ago. Bringing it back to a mirror look would not require much work at this stage, nothing like the original amount of labor.



Not being satisfied with that I started to polish one of my airplanes. It can turn into a compulsive disorder if you're not careful.



There are many products out there but I've found that the best for aluminum is Nuvite which comes in many different grades for the the various stages of the process. If you're going to do it you need to be aware that it doesn't happen in half an hour, it's a lot of work. For the cam cover you will have to start out with sandpaper and getting all of the curves and corners will be tedious. You'll also need a dremel and other power driven polishing tools. You used to be able to buy one that's already polished but all they have nowadays are powder coated ones.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
kcabpilot: Your car's engine compartment looks great. I'll look into Nuvite, thanks.

Would detailing my car's engine be good therapy for you?;)
 

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The place was called New World Metal Polishing I think... but I cannot find them listed anymore... Cost me about $100... but that was maybe 8 years ago..

Nice work Kcab!

I second the comment on Nuvite... I have used it a bit too...
 

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Be carefull with polishing outfits. I have seen cam covers that had the Alfa Romeo script polished away and they didn't even ask the owner if he wanted them to remove it ! !
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Never-Dull

After removing and cleaning the valve cover with carburetor cleaner and brake parts cleaner, Nevr-Dull was applied. This product does remove some dirt the other steps left, reduced the discoloration and gives the valve cover some shine. A good value for $8.00, but not a substitute for industrial metal polishing or bead blasting.
 

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Anyone familiar with FLITZ metal polish?
I had some and used it until it ran out. Seems to do a fabulous job! Is there any better?
 

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Anyone familiar with FLITZ metal polish?
I had some and used it until it ran out. Seems to do a fabulous job! Is there any better?
I am and nope, I don't think there is much better in spite of all the hype and claims. You have to work up a good sweat or use a polishing wheel to make it work, but it does do a fine job! I have seen it at Walmart and AutoZone.....
 
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