polishing aluminum - Honda Civic Forum


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Old 08-08-2005   #1  
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polishing aluminum

I got a valve cover for my D17A2 and i want to make it shiny should i polish aluminum it or have it chromed? what steps should i take if i want to polish aluminum it? Or does anyone know of a good chromer?




Thanks hope soemone can give me the steps
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Old 08-08-2005   #2  
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Are you looking for recommendations to someone who does it or just asking how it is done? Just ask around, getting stuff chromed isn't cheap either, i would go with the polished aluminum.
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Old 08-08-2005   #3  
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where can i get ti done?
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Old 08-08-2005   #4  
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You would have to go somewhere that deals with chroming, hard to say who would do it for you, you could send it away and have it coated?
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Old 08-08-2005   #5  
 
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I googled it and found this http://www.bronsonplating.com/ check it out. dunno if its what your looking for.
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Old 08-08-2005   #6  
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i think i am going chrome? Not sure yet?
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Old 08-08-2005   #7  
 
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chrome looks good. but if its your daily driver you may run into some problems. a chrome plated peice does not dissapate heat very well, meaning that the valve cover will become significantly hotter than it would otherwise. obviously this causes excess stress and wear on the parts.
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Old 08-09-2005   #8  
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I had a polished valve cover on my 94 civic ex that I polished my self. I bought a used valve cover from the junk yard and I went to town on it myself.

If you are using the one that is on the engine, make sure you remove it from the car first, it can get really messy while you are sanding it.

I first cleaned the valve cover with a strong degreaser to get any grease off that was on the ouside and inside of the cover

Start sanding, use 240 grit until you don't see ANY dark little dots in the finish, just lots of scratches.

Go to 400 grit, start sanding. Sand until the first rough scratches are TOTALLY gone and new, finer scratches are left. At this point, you may see some little dots (dimples in the cast). If there are a lot it will mar the finish, just like bubbles in paint, so go back to those spots with 240 again and then 400 until you're satisfied that they're gone.

Now sand with 800 grit. Keep in mind, what ever surface flaws (like deep visible scratches) that are there after you're done with this will still be there when you're done, so be thorough.

Now use a wool pad or a tool that you can buff the valve cover to a bright shine. I used Mothers Aluminum polish, and I used my regular car polisher, and then I used my Dremel with a polishing pad on the end. It took a little longer but I was able to get into the nooks and the crannys.

It came out awesome - and was well worth the small investment of sandpaper and aluminum polish
Scott
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Old 08-09-2005   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civicdude
I had a polished valve cover on my 94 civic ex that I polished my self. I bought a used valve cover from the junk yard and I went to town on it myself.

If you are using the one that is on the engine, make sure you remove it from the car first, it can get really messy while you are sanding it.

I first cleaned the valve cover with a strong degreaser to get any grease off that was on the ouside and inside of the cover

Start sanding, use 240 grit until you don't see ANY dark little dots in the finish, just lots of scratches.

Go to 400 grit, start sanding. Sand until the first rough scratches are TOTALLY gone and new, finer scratches are left. At this point, you may see some little dots (dimples in the cast). If there are a lot it will mar the finish, just like bubbles in paint, so go back to those spots with 240 again and then 400 until you're satisfied that they're gone.

Now sand with 800 grit. Keep in mind, what ever surface flaws (like deep visible scratches) that are there after you're done with this will still be there when you're done, so be thorough.

Now use a wool pad or a tool that you can buff the valve cover to a bright shine. I used Mothers Aluminum polish, and I used my regular car polisher, and then I used my Dremel with a polishing pad on the end. It took a little longer but I was able to get into the nooks and the crannys.

It came out awesome - and was well worth the small investment of sandpaper and aluminum polish
Scott
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Old 08-10-2005   #10  
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so i need 240 grit first. Then i go over that with a 400 grit then finally before i put mothers polish on it I us a 800 grit?
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Old 08-10-2005   #11  
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I am going to be polishing my valve cover too. I thought about that the other day
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Old 08-10-2005   #12  
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strip the paint off it with aircraft paint stripper it comes in a can? U can get it at autozone?

How u going to sand it? Like what grit and the steps?
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Old 08-11-2005   #13  
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bump
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Old 08-11-2005   #14  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civicman1988
strip the paint off it with aircraft paint stripper it comes in a can? U can get it at autozone?

How u going to sand it? Like what grit and the steps?
You can buy paint stripper at probably any autozone or pepboys. Yes, they make it in a can. You will want to start with something harsh, like 220-240 grit and then work your way down until the surface is smooth. After you have the quality that want in the surface, you break out the aluminum polish and go at it.
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Old 08-11-2005   #15  
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bump

dood, use civicdudes post - its all there. go to the store and get the stuff.
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Old 08-12-2005   #16  
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just got all my stuff now its time to finish it?
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