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4/27/12 5:57am - Original Message: 'How to clean up Valve Covers'
manget1 Lifetime Member
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Indianapolis, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Silver 1974 Convertible - L82 4 speed Low miles (was only 8,900 when I bought it in March 2006) - Now 42K miles. Original owner bought it as an investment for son's college expenses. 2008 Jetstream Blue Convertible - DAILY DRIVER!!

Joined: 9/3/2006
Posts: 2383
I've had my L-82 Valve Covers bead blasted, but they don't have any luster and there are still a few places (between the fins) where there's some pitting.
 
I'm going to order replacements and compare them to the originals to see which look better.  In the meantime, I would like to try to clean up the old ones a bit.  Any suggestions?  Anything anyone can think of to give these a bit of the original luster?  I'm not looking for a shine per se, just for them to look sharp.
 
I do have an orbital buffer I use for waxing the car.  Not sure if using this with some special polish might get me somewhere.
 
Regardless of which ones I use, don't worry, I will hold on to the originals...


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4/27/12 6:57am - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
Marshal, were they "Glass Beaded" some times that will roll up or pit aluminum.
Soda blast would be better. You should look at Eastwoods buffing kit and a small hand held buffer or grinder to polish them back up. Eastwoods kit comes with a range of compounds.
Evil Smileebo


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Evil Smileebo
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4/27/12 11:35am - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19456
If memory serves(does it ever?), blasting using crushed walnut shells works really well on aluminuminum...gives it a nice sheen, with very little, if any, surface texture. Sandblasting, or glass beads will clean it, but it also leaves the surface pretty rough. You'd have to do a LOT  of sanding before polishing to make them look as nice as the early covers, like the LT-1s.

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Joel Adams
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4/27/12 1:37pm - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
Joel are you asking Marshal to crush his walnuts?  I'm shell shocked!
Evil Smileebo


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4/27/12 1:45pm - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
The Rook Lifetime Member
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Pittsburgh, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1979 L-82, 3 spd auto, car was originally Lt. Beige currently painted Sportsman Red, Doeskin leather interior, 103,000 miles......

Joined: 12/4/2002
Posts: 600
I used mothers aluminum polish on th fins on mine an they turned out pretty nice.....

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5/2/12 5:28am - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
manget1 Lifetime Member
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Indianapolis, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Silver 1974 Convertible - L82 4 speed Low miles (was only 8,900 when I bought it in March 2006) - Now 42K miles. Original owner bought it as an investment for son's college expenses. 2008 Jetstream Blue Convertible - DAILY DRIVER!!

Joined: 9/3/2006
Posts: 2383
Update:
 
I tried 2 routes.
1.  I ordered replacements from Corvette Central
2.  I got some Mother's Polish
 
The replacements from CC arrived yesterday and, while some might have been thrilled, I was not.  The ones I got are aluminum, but they are also chromed.  They do not look original at all, and that's what I'm going for here.  They'll be going back
 
The Mother's provided a better look on the original than was had with the blasting alone.  They now have (what I would consider) a look that is closer to the original patina.  Unfortunately, there are still a few rough sports here and there, but overall, they are a 100% improvement over what they were before the blasting.
 
Pictures will be coming soon


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I wanted a Corvette my whole life, but I never dreamed of all the wonderful people I would meet because of it!

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5/4/12 8:45pm - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
I would sure like to see those...I polished mine today with my port tool with a 3m headlight buffer kit...worked great...just can't figure out how to clean or polish inside the fins...oh well..pop up a pic of what yours turned out to look like!!..needs ta see it!!

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5/4/12 10:38pm - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
danascar
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Germansville, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 Coupe 358ci 4 speed Black w/Medium Saddle interior w/79 custom leather seats. 1999 Covertible, 6 speed, Atomic orange, Oak interior

Joined: 1/28/2010
Posts: 763
yostusota said: I would sure like to see those...I polished mine today with my port tool with a 3m headlight buffer kit...worked great...just can't figure out how to clean or polish inside the fins...oh well..pop up a pic of what yours turned out to look like!!..needs ta see it!!


Try a toothbrush, Rich.

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5/4/12 10:50pm - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
yostusota
Former Member
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
That would get in there and clean it...I need it polished though to match the rest of the valve cover..not a big deal though.

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My first parade at Carlisle 2010
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5/5/12 9:20am - Reply: 'Re: How to clean up Valve Covers'
gellisvette Lifetime Member
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PERRYSBURG, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 T-Tops,Lite Custom work,Many engine mod. 700R4 trans. body is shaved,17" wheels bf goodrich g-force tires,heavy sway bars front&rear rack&pinion steering,550 slolom springs with gas shocks.

Joined: 4/23/2004
Posts: 317
Goto a tool and die shop they have small buffing tools that fit perfectly. Run them off a drill motor or dremmel tool. Did mine and they worked great.

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gellisvette


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