Step by Step Polishing of Front Valve Cover:

    Updated 12/24/05

    I have polished 2 valve covers and took almost enough pictures between them to demonstrate how I polished
    them step by step.

    1. Figure out how much you are going to polish:
      I decide to keep a spark plug cover plate so i did not polish the valley in the valve cover.
      I am also keeping the timing belt covers so I did not polish the drivers side of the valve cover either.

      Stock Cover1

    2. First step is to strip the paint.
      I learned the hard way that paint will gum up files and sandpaper. Use aircraft paint stripper.
      Please be careful, this is nasty stuff. I left paint on just to show what areas I was working on.


    3. I like the letters shaved off of the valve cover so I carefully filed them off.
      Use the file to also file off all of the casting lines and any large rough edges.


    4. Use a Mouse sander, or random orbit sander, or just a block of wood and some elbow grease, to flatten out
      any large relatively flat surfaces. There are not many large flat surfaces so you may skip this step if you
      don't already have a sander.


    5. Use a die grinder to smooth out all of the corners, you can do this by hand but a die grinder.
      will really speed things up. You can use a sandpaper roll but you will have to sand by hand a lot,
      This is the best application I found for greasless abrasives on a felt roll.
      Using greasless abrasives this way is fast cutting with a fairly smooth finish.

    6. Use 320 grit wet sandpaper everywere. I like to do this by hand to really get a feel for how smooth
      The surface is getting. Sand in one direction then try to remove all sanding marks by sanding in other direction.
      This is what will put blisters on your fingertips but makes parts look so good afterwards.

    7. Use 400 grit wet sandpaper by hand over whole valve cover to look for scratches.
      Any scratches that can not be removed with 400 grit will not be buffed out.
      This step can be skipped, 320 grit will get it smooth enough but 400 grit makes it easier to find deep Scratches
      Note: I no longer suggest using 600 grit sandpaper
      400 grit is as fine as you need to get. Finer paper just takes longer to use.


    8. Use dremmel tool to polish nooks and crannies with Red Tripoli, normally suggested for rough polishing
      aluminum. It is VERY tempting to polish big surfaces first but when you polish the nooks and crannies you
      will scuff up the big surfaces and have to re-polish them.

    9. Finally use a Bench grinder with a buffing pad to polish the rest of the valve coverwith Red Tripoli.
      Please bolt your grinder to a bench or stand so you don't loose a finger

    10. I just recently started using White rouge as a finaly polishing step.
      It is hard to see a difference the day you polish your parts, but polished parts seem to keep thier shine
      longer when polished with white rouge. My theory is there is less microscopic scratches for corrosion to start in.

    11. Apply a coat of wax finish it off. Aluminum polishes do not seem to have much protection
      This is what the Valve Cover I am selling on Ebay looks like whne finished.


    PolishedValveCover5 PolishedValveCover6


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