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1998 SE 5 speed
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2,485 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I just finished polishing the valve cover and wanted to maintain the shine as well as make it durable.

Once the cover has been polished, can I use a high temp clear coat (for engine) to put a protective coat on the polished surface?

Or will it make the polished surface dull or may be even discolour it?

PICS of the finished cover (FYI - much more polished looking in real life):





Thanks in advance for your help.
Ken
 

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rawdmizle
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471 Posts
I'll be doing this in a few days, did you use a dremel?
 

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Registered
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424 Posts
Racing Gear,

you beat me to it... I was going to go looking for a spare V Cover.
Does that mean you have a spare cover now? Hummm.
 

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Mine's bigger than yours
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401 Posts

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1998 SE 5 speed
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2,485 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
bushdog said:
there's some stuff I saw on TNN the Truck show...forgot the products name, but it seals in the pores of the metal, not letting metal haze...forgot what is's called. search for polished aluminum sealer on google
edit* I did it for you. check this out:
http://www.stylinconcepts.com/parts.cfm?PartFamilyID=798&key_word=zoop
Thanks for the info.

Looks like a good product but it costs too much! $5 fo high temp clear or $99 for this product....

I may just try putting the high temp clear on a small section and tested it out. Worst case scenario, I have to resand & polish that section and I'm out $5.
 

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1998 SE 5 speed
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2,485 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Stan Hung said:
Racing Gear,

you beat me to it... I was going to go looking for a spare V Cover.
Does that mean you have a spare cover now? Hummm.
Hey Stan,

I won't have a spare one until I swap the polished one with the old one...I originally wanted to paint it blue with Duplicolor Metalcast paint but I ended up polishing this one. I think I'm going to paint the strut bar blue now instead.

Did you want to buy my original valve cover when I take it off? I may still decide keep it & paint it but if you are interested, I will definitely keep you in mind.

I really didn't want to put it on until the spring...may be in late March/April.

Let me know.
ken
 

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1998 SE 5 speed
Joined
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2,485 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
TPhelps155 said:
Defin. do a write up!!!
This is not my write up (courtesy of RX7 forum) but I used it to do my valve cover. I started at 80 grit and also added 800, 1000 & 1500 for better finish. I also did not use a dremel since I don't own one.

I have not tried clear coating the polished cover with high temp engine paint but it sounds like the 240SX forum guys are doing it already...

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How To Polish Your Manifold (and other aluminum)

When I pulled my manifold off to replace my rubber vacuum hoses with silicone I decided to polish the manifold (and rear turbo inlet pipe). It's not easy but it looks great and I got a lot of satisfaction in doing it myself. I'm now eyeing my GReddy intercooler and wondering how tough it would be to polish the top of it. Some safety notes: You must wear safety glasses and a dust mask (aluminum dust is bad for you). I also recommend wearing ear plugs because you will be using the drill for long periods of time to sand down the metal.



What You Need:

1. 40, 80, 180, 220, 320, 400 and 600 grit sandpaper (40, 80 & 180 were 5 inch power drill disks)

2. a drill

3. a mandrel for mounting polishing disks on the drill

4. two 6 inch polishing wheels

5. a Dremmel tool or high speed grinder to get at the hard-to-reach places

6. conical shaped sandpaper drums

7. 3/4 inch cylindrical sanding drums

8. conical shaped felt bobs for the Dremmel tool

9. tripoli and white metal polishing rouge

10. clean rags

Sanding
I started by using 40 grit (course) sandpaper on a 5 inch wheel in my drill. This will take off the rough sand cast finish on the manifold and remove the casting ridges from the sides of the two outboard intake tubes. I used a small 40 grit, 3/4 inch sandpaper drum to get to areas that I couldn't reach with the 5 inch disk.

I then moved up to 80 grit (medium) sandpaper and went over the entire manifold. Do the same with the 180 (fine) disk. If you encounter an imperfection that you can't remove with your current grit, go back to a heavier (lower number) grit sandpaper and remove the blemish. I used some conical sandpaper drums (available from Bright Works in many grits) to get to the hard to reach areas.

Next I used sandpaper sheets and hand smoothed the manifold by wrapping the sandpaper around a foam sanding block. You will need to step down from 120, 180, 240, 320, 420, and finally 600 to get the metal smooth enough for final polishing. This is time consuming. It took me about 5 hours for all of the sanding (drill and hand).

Polishing
Polishing the metal was easier than I expected. The key is to make sure you have a consistent 600 grit finish on your aluminum part before you start. Any scratches or imperfections visible will still be visible after polishing, it will just be a shiny imperfection.

I used two, 6 inch polishing wheels that I got from ACE hardware (Dico #26 for the tripoli, #36 for the white rouge). The back side of the Dico polishing wheel package has a list of suggested wheels for the two rouges. You must use two different wheels for the two rouges.

Keep the manifold at room temperature or warmer. This is important, the rouge will goop up if the part gets cool. I used a propane heater in the garage to keep the parts warm. Gently put the stick of tripoli rouge against the rotating polishing wheel for a few seconds to transfer the rouge to the wheel. Begin polishing the manifold with the polishing wheel. Don't push so hard that the wheel slows down a lot. Be careful here, the wheel will grab unexpectedly and can propel the part or the drill across the room. The polishing wheel will also grab onto sharp edges, so go easy.

Mounting the polishing wheels on a bench grinder is an option that works well but there are times when the drill mounted wheels are easier to maneuver. Reapply the rouge every couple of minutes. Keep going over the part until you get a good shine. I used my Dremmel tool with a conical shaped felt bob to polish the hard-to-reach areas. You will need two separate bobs for the two polishing rouges.

When you have a good, chrome-like shine, clean the part with a cloth and switch wheels/bobs and use the white rouge to bring out a mirror-like shine. You have to clean the part thoroughly before you move to the white rouge.

When you use a polishing wheel after it hasn't been used for a few hours you must "comb out" the wheel by rubbing it against a wire brush. If you don't do this you won't be able to polish the part to a shine.

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Clear coating the polished valve cover(Courtesy of 240SX Forum)

And I forgot the finishing touch. Get some clear ceramic engine enamel at the old auto store and make sure the entire surface is clean. Spray it a couple coats every 8min. If you want to come back at it again later don't. Spray it all in about 25 min. Otherwise you will have the shattered glass look. Sucked for me cause i had to re-do it over again. If you wait like two days you might be ok. Also the shine is like restaurant stainless steel but a little bit shinier. If you are lazy and rich send me the cover and I will do it for $50. E-mail me and let me know. I takes a good 3 hours to get the factory crap paint off, let alone the day of polishing. I have since invested in a orbital polishing kit which can make it look like polished rims. good luck! it is amazing what nissan was hiding under all the paint.don't forget you can polish the eccs unit.

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projected member
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919 Posts
i polished my rims and painted the center and spokes, then clear coated the whole wheel with clear coat from eastwood company. i also painted my valve cover the same color as the wheels and polished the letters then cleared it the same way. still looks good.
 

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1998 SE 5 speed
Joined
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2,485 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
smpolishing said:
Exactly. We use a clear powder coat.

Scott
www.SMPolishing.com
Hello Scott,

Is this clear powder coat material readily available to the DIY'ers like myself? Evevn if it was, would an average person able properly apply it?

If the regular high temp clear coat would turn yellow, I am probably going to leave it as is and just repolish it as needed unless your suggestion can be done easily...

By the way, why would the high temp clear coat turn yellow if it works just fine on a "painted" valve cover?
 
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