Author Topic: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?  (Read 5552 times)

mlplunkett

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Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« on: September 03, 2019, 01:22:17 PM »
I have collected original Shelby intakes for my two projects and need some input on restoring to the original aluminum finish. The C7ZX has had some minimal effort to polish the surface so I figure some media blasting can get it back to normal but what media is best? The S7MS has been painted black and I want it back to bare aluminum so I will probably start with chemical stripper and then finish with media blasting. On a related question has anyone found a method to preserve the fresh aluminum from grease and oil stains? I was wondering if a flat clear paint would work.
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Bob Gaines

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 01:46:42 PM »
I have collected original Shelby intakes for my two projects and need some input on restoring to the original aluminum finish. The C7ZX has had some minimal effort to polish the surface so I figure some media blasting can get it back to normal but what media is best? The S7MS has been painted black and I want it back to bare aluminum so I will probably start with chemical stripper and then finish with media blasting. On a related question has anyone found a method to preserve the fresh aluminum from grease and oil stains? I was wondering if a flat clear paint would work.
A clear coat will typically dramatically change the look of the aluminum compared to one with no clear.
Bob Gaines,Shelby Enthusiast, Shelby Collector , Shelby Concours judge SAAC,MCA,Mid America Shelby

csheff

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 02:34:19 PM »
clear and even a metal protectant will darken the manifold

Bob Gaines

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 02:39:35 PM »
Stains can typically be cleaned with spray carb cleaner . Not too much of a issue if you stay after it and don't let it build up over many months.
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Rickmustang

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 03:17:32 PM »
Vapor blasting looks good on intakes and valve covers. Does not mark the surface.
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Bob Gaines

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 03:21:50 PM »
Vapor blasting looks good on intakes and valve covers. Does not mark the surface.
It leaves them too shiny however.
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6s1640

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2019, 06:17:36 PM »
If you have an aluminum part that has had some repairs and now shiny spots, you can tone down the repair area to match the aged surrounding aluminum with Clorox Bleach.  It works best also in the sun.  The heat accelerates the oxidation, but the sun will tend to try out, so repeated applications with a brush will dull those shiny spots  to a nice aluminum gray.   I have also let sit over night to wake to a lot of whited oxidized aluminum easily brushed off.  Patients is the key to get to the right level of aging.   Rinse well with clean water when done.

If you have a freshly media blasted aluminum part, a spray bottle with Clorox Bleach might be in order to cover the entire part to tone down.  Be sure not to perform on your wife's favorite table cloth.   You will get in trouble.   Do it outside.

Best of luck

Cory
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 06:25:18 PM by 6s1640 »

papa scoops

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2019, 07:51:34 PM »
you can use an automotive urethane, prefer heat resistance, clear if you add 50% flattening agent to it. it will dry with no shine and be easy to keep clean. cleaners wont hurt it, and with no shine or yellowing! phred

Drew Pojedinec

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 09:05:26 PM »
I clean with carb or brake cleaner and soda blast them.
Glassbeads do leave it too shiny, and there is the possibility of the beads embeding.

If really really nasty, I will blast with garnet and reblast with soda.

sg66

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 09:26:18 PM »
Stains can typically be cleaned with spray carb cleaner . Not too much of a issue if you stay after it and don't let it build up over many months.
+1 on carb cleaner

I did this 30 years years ago by bead blasting then pressure washed at a self serve car wash and when dry, soaked it with WD-40. The claim is that WD-40 gets into the pores and seals the aluminum. 

I went to take a pic tonight and noticed some crud down by the bolt, I hit it with Brakeleen which cleaned it right up and wiped on some WD-40 circled in blue. The WD-40 should dry to the same color the next time the motor heats up.

This is also a fairly common practice for people who restore aluminum motorcycle heads.
 
Edit: added pic with better light and dried WD-40
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 01:28:05 PM by sg66 »

Bob Gaines

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 10:26:54 PM »
This is what a vintage intake looks like when it is new. Notice the dull somewhat porous texture. How you get to this point is the challenge.
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mlplunkett

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2019, 11:34:33 PM »
The new Blue Thunder intake looks just like that. If I can get the original intake to look like that I'll probably put it up for sale to someone who really needs an original and I'll use the BT item. Think soda blasting would do the trick?
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roddster

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2019, 10:13:07 AM »
  I've been through this.  Used to clear coat everything aluminum.  But, seems that glass beading, then leaving it like that works well.  Even after fuel spills and such, cleans up nice with no staining.  That is if it isn't laying there for months and months.

Drew Pojedinec

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2019, 11:25:55 AM »
This is what a vintage intake looks like when it is new. Notice the dull somewhat porous texture. How you get to this point is the challenge.

That is pretty much what blasting it with Garnet looks like.

About two year ago I bought a dozen different medias to try on a dozen intakes, trying to chase that look.

acman63

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Re: Best method for original finish on aluminum intakes?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2019, 01:04:36 PM »
Heres an intake that was sent to us for restoration.  was very very rough to start with.  getting the finish to look even is very difficult.  Its a many step process to get it to this point.  If anyone wants the steps we take in this email me,  I have it on my laptop   jim@shelbyparts.com
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