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Hot Rods Finned valve covers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tfeverfred, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Got bored today and found myself in my auto parts store. Scored a cheap buffing wheel and figured I'd try to polish an old set of valve covers I had. Nothing special, just tall finned covers.

    Wow! I had forgotten how cool finned covers are. Guess I'll run them for a while and maybe get some quality polish to make the shine a little better.

    Here's a pic of the Edelbrock signature covers.


    And the finned with a decent polishing job.


    Can anyone recommend a good polish for the do-it-yourselfer? I don't have a work bench, so it would have to be something I can hook up to a good drill. They aren't as good looking as they seem. I'd like to take them to the next level.

    Don't finned covers kick ass?
  2. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,330

    from South Indy

    The finned covers look waaay better.
  3. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,583

    from Quincy, IL

    Simi Chrome, Flitz are two good products.........

  4. They look sooo much better. HRP

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

    Larry T

    I usually sand the aluminum, starting with 220 and working down to 600. Then use regular ol polishing compound (unless you have access to polishing rouge, Eastwood probably sells it.) Then I finish up with Happich Semi-Chrome.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  6. oldnuts
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 355

    from nebraska

    Love finned valve covers. Im gonna take some tips from here and try to make mine shine
  7. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Thanks! I've got some 220, so I'll stop and get some 600 and oil polishing compound.

    Thanks again guys!
  8. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T

    That regular ol' (old) polishing compound,--the white DuPont stuff.
  9. Pinstriper40
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,334


    Two thumbs up! I agree- way way better!
  10. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,559


    Mother's mag & aluminum metal polish do a nice job with the final buffing.
  11. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    Much better... I scored a nice set at a swap this past summer, gonna replace the el-cheapo Chinese chrome ones this winter.
  12. Winmon
    Joined: Oct 6, 2012
    Posts: 46


    Wenol is also great when you get to the final stages of the polish. Works wonders just by it self too...
  13. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Ohhhhhhh. Thanks.:D
  14. thewishartkid
    Joined: Jun 23, 2006
    Posts: 876


    Absolutly beautiful.
  15. Shane Spencer
    Joined: Oct 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,159

    Shane Spencer

    10x better with the finned
  16. Next level or not -
    Way better than the chromeed tin.
  17. Nick Flores
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,357

    Nick Flores

    That Simi-Chrome stuff could polish an egg. If you haven't tried it, do yourself a favor and find a tube.
  18. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,417


  19. hopped up
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 401

    hopped up
    from So Cal

    Yep! Finned valve covers are like the cherry on top
  20. mastergun1980
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 1,095

    from Alva OK

    I think your car would look cool with a cal custom finned scoop...
    like one of these... With the recess painted red...
    But anyway.. The valve covers are a big improvement !
  21. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    man, Iwaited for one to show up on Ebay and when it did it was $150!!! But it was mint. I like the one OTB has, but it's not in my budget yet.
  22. Nice Fred, some people don't realize how much work it takes to take a rough casting to mirror shine by hand. I've did the last few pairs and lost all my finger prints in the process ha ha
  23. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    You ain't kidding! I tried using elbow grease about 2 months ago and all I did was get shiney elbows!:D So, the cheap pad was an experiment that yielded satisfactory results, but could be better. I'll work on them again this weekend.
  24. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,665


    I polished for years when I was in business (Classic Fabrication Inc); I built a polishing machine to do stainless using a 220 motor.I don't think
    a drill will give you the right RPMs to do much good as it turns way too slow. Just my 2 cents.
  25. I've been using Mothers and Mothers Powerball with excellent results on my bike and the wheels I had on my car.

    Yea, you just can't beat a nice set of fins! :cool:

    I also picked up this at Carlisle years ago:,79_3and4-HP-BALDOR®-Buffer-and-Packages.html
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  26. LongJohn
    Joined: Mar 2, 2006
    Posts: 16

    from SW MN

    Fred - looking at your pics, I think that starting with 220 grit would be a step backward. I would go right to the 600 to remove any scratches - and then maybe some 1000 (both wet).

  27. cakes
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 564


    Looks great, I think I would stick with the finned aluminum ones, I just polished some slot mags last night that hadn't been done since the 70s when the car they were on went into storage. I didnt even scuff them, just hit them with some rouge and a buffing wheel. They came out alright
  28. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,314


    Here is what I have been using for several years with fantastic results:
    You need TWO buffing wheels and a $20 bench grinder. Take off the grinding wheels and mount the buffing wheels on instead (and remove all the guards).
    Use ONE wheel with course or medium rouge only, and the other wheel with fine rouge only. (You can use rubbing compound and polishing compound instead of the rouge. It just makes a lot more mess.)
    I did all the stainless on my '53 this way and some of it was smashed and I filed on it then sanded it with 80 grit, 120 grit, and 400 grit and you can see in my avatar how it shines. (That was only the damaged stuff - I don't sand smooth aluminum or stainless at all unless it is scratched!)

    My cheapo grinder is mounted on a cheapo tool stand (Harbor Freight or Eastwood, I can't remember) and I drag it out into my driveway when I buff anything for more than 20 seconds so all that dust isn't flying around my shop.

    It's also a good idea to wear a mask but I never do and just get black every time I blow my nose for a day or two after any big buffing job.

    Finish by hand with Wenol or Simi Chrome or a swirl mark remover and you will be amazed.
  29. Mr. Jean
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 604

    Mr. Jean

    Another fan of the fins here. Looks much better with those on.:cool:
  30. apache matt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 55

    apache matt

    Eastwood's sells a good metal polish but I can't think of the name of it.

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