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Projects Firewall and Vinyl? Anyone?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by porkchop4464, May 31, 2016.

  1. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 739

    porkchop4464
    Member

    Hey all,
    Just finished cutting out my firewall from a slab of alum. I was going to buff it up, but then I saw that 3M is making a glass vinyl that is pretty solid. Thing is, my wife's dad used to own a vinyl shop and she can lay it flawlessly. Any takers or people who have done it?

    Porkchop
     
  2. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 15,144

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    what is glass vinyl?
     
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Here's my opinion of it. Dumb. I mean, true the vinyl will look just like polished metal, but it'll scratch easily. Probably when you go to fit it in. Aluminum will scratch, but you could buff it out.

    Second, the name of the part itself. FIREWALL. A barrier between the engine and passenger compartment, in the event of a fire. Why would a piece of vinyl be a good thing?

    "Vinyl.... not good for fire protection or underwear." Fireman Bob
     
  4. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 739

    porkchop4464
    Member

    Ouch! Dumb! No need for starting with aggression.

    Firstly, the heat point is inaccurate and "dumb," as so many folks place vinyl on the hoods of cars with big blocks with five core rads. The heat coming directly through the steel of the hood is a great deal hotter than that of an open-hooded and fenderless car.

    I agree that Alum can polish up, but it also dulls just as quick; I don't want to be "Never-Dulling" my firewall every two weeks or shooting a coat of clear over which will fog in two years from the same mentioned heat.

    Pork
     
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  5. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 739

    porkchop4464
    Member

    Another example is the checker flag stickers that a lot of guys place on there. I have seen many of them (some put on well/some very poorly). I think that has been done too much however; although I did think of doing it as well.
    Pork
     
  6. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,103

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Engine turn it and soak it in lemon pledge. it will hold its color for ever and all it will take to clean it is a good hosing. You may have to repeat the lemon pledge every couple of years.

    Sounds like you have made up your mind and I am sure that if it doesn't work you can always remove it right? I just threw that our there because it is an option.
     
  7. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 739

    porkchop4464
    Member

    P and B!
    I love the Engine Turn! How the hell do you do it well?
    Pork
     
  8. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,103

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Thee is a little stick that I can never remember the name of (someone will remember it for me) that is mildly abrasive. You lay out your pattern I like to overlap my swirls by about 1/8 to 3/16 the diameter of the swirl. Then you chuck the stick up in the drill press and start moving and bumping.

    it can also be done with a cup brush and a hand drill or drill press if you are interested in larger swirls and I have also done small jobs with a hardwood dowel, but you have to keep going back and cleaning the dowel.

    it is not difficult no more than laying out a grid and working with it. You may want to experiment on a piece o0f scrap to get your method down prior to trying your finished piece.

    Another thing I like to do but is not essential is I like to do my engine turning prior to cutting the piece.
     
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  9. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Whoa, Pork. That was my opinion of the idea, not the person. So, chill out, man. I didn't say anything about "heat". My word was "fire". Hence the term, "firewall". A firewall is the barrier between the engine compartment and the passenger cabin. It's used to keep passengers from BURNING not getting warm. But I already said that too.

    Vinyl in this application, is IMO, faking it. And after the first scratch that's what it'll look like. I'm going to do a firewall on my T one day and while a flat piece of vinyl would be cheap and easy, I'm going with either a sheet of aluminum or stainless steel.
     
  10. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    what the heck is glass vinyl:confused::confused::confused:
     
  11. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 739

    porkchop4464
    Member

    It is a vinyl that has a chrome finish or finish of glass/mirror (reflective).
     
  12. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 739

    porkchop4464
    Member

    I agree with the cheating feel of it. I just dread dealing with the alum. Every time I buff up alum, whether valve covers or one other firewall I did in Alum, they just start looking shabby in a month or so. I am really digging the idea of Engine Turned; just not sure how to go about it well enough for it to look right.
     
  13. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Practice on some small stuff till it feels right and you get it right.
     
  14. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    Thanks Porkchop:)
     
  15. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,529

    Deuced Up!
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Okay, here is the final word on chrome vinyl from an expert. We have been in the vinyl wrap business for 25 years as a 3M shop. I have concerns about the chrome vinyl especially since 3M pulled it from the market. There are other brands still available but it mars easily and I believe it will under heat become milky looking after a while. As for any of the other current 3M specialty vinyls from the 1080 line such as all the brushed aluminum colors etc. I would have no issue wrapping a fire wall with them. If you do decide to use one of the other brand of chrome, I would suggest hitting a sign shop up that sells it and have them at least but a high quality clear laminate on it before you install it. In the 3M world that would be an 8518 Clear Gloss Laminate. AND...there are some really nice Engine turn vinyls both silver and gold leaf...
     
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  16. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,231

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    You're talking about putting the shiny vinyl on top of the aluminum sheet and wrapping it around to hide the edges, correct?
    Whats it gonna hurt?
    Thats just as fireproof as bare aluminum.
    My personal fear with fire is it will be more likely to flow up and over the firewall/windshield area and you are smoked regardless.
    Won't need to wait till it smolders thru that tiny "firewall"!
    It's just a way for the firewall to shine and if at some point it doesn't...peel it off and polish the aluminum...or brush finish it for that matter.

    Engine turning is absolutely beautiful in moderation, but easily overdone...and not too easy to correct IF overdone.
     
  17. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    No.
     
  18. porkchop4464
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 739

    porkchop4464
    Member

    Thanks fro the Advice all. I think I am gonna mess with Machine turning; if it doesn't work out, I will just sand clear and buff. I am now off the idea of stickering any of it. Maybe so bright grey paint?
     
  19. If I remember right, I think the stick P&B referred to is "Cratex" or something similar.
    Edit: Ah, here it is www.cratex.com
     
  20. It's hard to go wrong with engine turned metal. Just ask any 54 Ford owner.
     
  21. '52 F-3
    Joined: Sep 30, 2007
    Posts: 845

    '52 F-3
    Member

    I don't know your budget, but you could get the aluminum chrome plated.

    or try this let durable cheaper alternative I've been wanting to experiment with......
     
  22. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,231

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    I was referring to the original post by "Porkchop 4464" and questioning him on it.
     
  23. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Yea, I was too. I should have wrote it all out, when I quoted you I meant, "No." As in "Still not a great idea." Seems like a waste of vinyl and time. Just like that spray on chrome stuff. I think sometimes, folks spend more time looking for short cuts, than just doing the job right the first time.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
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  24. If you're lazy like me or don't think you can engine turn a large firewall size area, you can get engine turned aluminum from FPM metals. I believe they are still a Hamb Alliance vendor and are quite reasonable on their pricing.
    This is my firewall in my coupe done by FPM.

    Mick 09-05-10d.jpg
     
    jckc, dana barlow, BradinNC and 2 others like this.
  25. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,306

    dumprat
    Member
    from b.c.

    Gm made some sweet pink, orange and black vinyl wrapped valve covers for some shitty V6. If I ever see another set in a junk yard I am gonna get them just to hang on the wall in all their chevy awesomeness.
     
  26. I have a polished aluminum fire wall on my coupe. It was made and put in over 20 years ago. I only clean -polish it maybe once a year, always has looked great. Not bad at all to keep shiny.:D WIN_20150412_144412.JPG
     
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  27. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,536

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    I'd go ahead an try your vinyl,nothing said it had to stay if it dosen't hold up or look like you want
    . Maybe you could even roll n pleat it with that?. Seen some cool firewalls done over the years.

    There is more then a few ways to skin this firewall cat!,
    I had alum firewall that I repolished too,every 6 months or when I got to it,but I've had my same hotrod,from when I built it in 1959. Its gone through a few firewalls an other things LOL.
    Anyway on one of my restore's,some years back,I good buddy {Rosh}knows I love shiny stuff to make things with,he calls me an said he has some shiny junk he just got. He was working out at Miami Int. Airport an saw they were tearing down one of the older buildings,it had a wall of stainless steel panels with a art deco rivit design in the panels. They had ripped it out an placed it on trash pile,so my buddy put as many of the panels that had the fewist bends in them in his truck. So cool,I just had to replace my firewall with this stuff,its a chrome like finish with the art deco cool. It so shiny,even looks like I have extra engine under cowel ,,LOL. Best part is only need wiping off,no hard polishing.

    016a.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
    tb33anda3rd likes this.

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