How to make cast aluminum look new? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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How to make cast aluminum look new?

I have a set of aluminum heads that are a bit dirty, greasy and have some paint on them. What is the best way to clean them up, get them looking new again and keep them looking new?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 03:42 PM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

I used mothers chrome/wire wheel cleaner on my cast aluminum intake and it removed rust and fuel stains. Edelbrock recommended that for cleaning my intake. Worked pretty good.

1969 Camaro 350, Trickflow heads, ST-10 4spd, Hotchkis suspension, Baer SS brake kit, moser 12bolt
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old May 9th, 10, 04:32 PM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

I have some old cast aluminum Holley valve covers that were grimy/dirty and had been painted at one time. I soaked them in my parts cleaner for a couple of days. Then I coated them with a citrus-based paint stripper from Wal-Mart. After that I shot them with brake cleaner and used towels and q-tips to clean them off.

Now they look really good but I need to buff them. I'm going to use a buffing wheel on my grinder along with some buffing compound. I expect them to look pretty good when I'm done.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old May 10th, 10, 08:48 AM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

Bead blasting works wonders.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old May 10th, 10, 01:26 PM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

Quote:
I soaked them in my parts cleaner for a couple of days. Then I coated them with a citrus-based paint stripper from Wal-Mart
Old school version, clean all paint and crap off...stripper etc
The soak in a soln of cirtic acid...1 teaspoon per cup warm water
Citric acid will be found in the wifes spice cupboard, or spice shelf at the supermarket

Painting on and keep damp for a couple hrs, wash off
Good for restoring old vintage carbs, bell housing, anything Aluminum
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old May 11th, 10, 04:45 AM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

I always use something to remove all the oil and residue first - a really good bath in the parts cleaner followed by an acetone bath. After that's all gone and rinsed, the citrus cleaners do a good job on anything water based. They're not effective on petroleum based residues, or at least the ones I've tried weren't.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old May 11th, 10, 04:50 PM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

The citric acid reacts with the top molecular layer of the Aluminium removing any oxidation.
One can use any acid, but the trouble with stronger acids like H2SO4 (battery acid) and HCL they are extremely reactive with aluminuim and corrode the surface way too deep.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old May 11th, 10, 08:36 PM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

After several attempts over the years to make aluminum intakes look new again and keep them looking that way, I finally figured it out. I painted it black. It looks good, plus I don't drive too much with the hood up.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 10, 05:38 PM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

What would the citric acid trick do to my Z28 finned valved covers?

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 10, 09:36 PM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

Gives them the orginal grey look
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 10, 04:49 AM
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Re: How to make cast aluminum look new?

Soda blasting.

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