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cast aluminum finish

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Larry T, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T

    It's been talked about some, but I wanted a natural aluminum finish on an intake that had been modified and this one worked for me.
    I bought a Weiand Team G manifold as a "baseline intake". I really like the way they work (for their intended application), but man they have a lot of extra stuff cast into them. I don't mind folks knowing what it is but Team G in three different places on the intake is a little much. And since this intake won't ever see nitrous the bosses are kinda over the top.
    So to clean the intake up (simpler looking is ALWAYS better), I ground the extra advertising and lumps off of the runners. I worked them down about like I would have if I were going to polish the intake. Then I bought a cheap Harbor Freight needle scaler and went to town on the runners. I was kind of puckered up at first, but found out that you just need to get after it. After I worked at it a little, I was real happy with the results. The shine is a little too much right now, but I figure time will take care of that. Or I might try some sort of aluminum cleaner to even everything out.
    I know this intake is kind of off topic, but it was just an experiment to see if I could "naturalize" aluminum.
    Think of the possibilities!
    Larry T


    Attached Files:

  2. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    Cool - glad that worked well...
  3. Ricks57
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Posts: 76

    from San Diego

    I have an old mopar intake I want to do the same thing. So, what is a needle scaler?
  4. claymore
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 896


    Looks much better than it originally did.

  5. kelzweld
    Joined: Jul 25, 2007
    Posts: 295


    This. You can also screw the needle attachment onto all the air chisels I've ever come across.

    Attached Files:

  6. Definitely. [​IMG]

    Nice work.
  7. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,498


    If you hit that with glass bead now I reckon you'd about have it.

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,059


    There's another way but you need to be very conservative with it. A decent sized carbide burr on a medium speed die grinder. The trick is to let it just "dance" around the ground area, letting the weight of the grinder be the only pressure, or even lighter. Once done you get the same shiney effect as the scaler but it looks as cast. To kill the shine w/out blasting you can apply some high strength wheel cleaner or even some full strength Wesleys Bleech White and let it sit, re-apply and rinse well. If you know someone that can do it cheap enough, you can also shotpeen the outer surfaces and it comes back looking like a new part, but again it's a conservative approach that works best.

    You're right man, plain and clean is the way home on that stuff. Did a Dart intake on a stealthy street racer. To make it look lower I used some old B&B valve cover risers blended into the heads then topped it off with some stock BBC valve covers. I painted everything semi-gloss black and at night you just couldn't see the "money", hell during the day it was real hard to detect. Man that was fun. Good stuff...
  9. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,133

    RAY With

    I have used close to the same process when making repairs to aluminum intakes. Bottom line is when finished they look as new.
  10. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T

    Thanks guys,
    I'm thinking about some "Double Hump" Dart Pro Ones painted orange next. (G)
    Larry T
  11. I agree. I used one on an old Eddy intake that I cleaned up to sell and that worked wonders. It was pretty ratty and corroded. I hit it with a scaler and then a quick blast and it looked brand new.
  12. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Neat tool that a lot of people don't know about. Good writeup!

    I've always wondered if this isn't the tool to use on a stuck engine. Like work the external cast surfaces of the engine for half an hour to remove all the rust and paint while there's penetrant in the cylinder.
  13. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,684

    dirty old man

    If you use a blaster and the manifold has a tin shield on the bottom to keep oil off the exhaust heat riser passage across the bottom of the manifold similar to a sbc or sbf stock manifold, be sure to remove the shield before you blast.
    It's usually held on by 2 drive in rivets that can be removed by careful use of a sharp chisel (to start lifting, not cut), then pry them out. They usually have a spiral OD that sort of screws the rivets in.
    Once removed, clean this piece seperately from the manufold. Any engine part cleaned with a blaster that will be exposed to the interior of the emgine must be scrubbed with hot, soapy water, rinsed thoroughly and then blown dry with compressed air. This shit will eat the bearings and journals right out of an engine before a cat can lick it's ass!

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