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Can anyone tell me the proper way to clean/refurbish my aluminium valve covers? They are the originals from the 69 Q code car and have never been cleaned.
 

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I use aluminum wheel cleaner, spray heavy and rinse with water.
 

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It all kind of depends on the look you want when finished. For stock, most people can just clean them in solvent and they look good. My Boss 302 on my Mustang had a little to much oxide to do that, so I glass bead blast them and used satin clear. If you want them shinny any alum polish with some polishing will work.

Before & after:
 

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Brain - did you have problem with the clear turning yellow over time? I did my manifold that way and now wish I hadn't. I think you are better off hitting it with a good aluminum cleaner (has acid in it) and begin the process of buffing/polishing. Especially on smooth cast. That will make it easier to clean and keep clean until the oxidation catches up to you. If you clear it - and decide to redo it, you will have to blast it to get the clear off. Some guys use Easy Off on them....
 

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As Brian stated; It depends on what you want them to look like. If you want an original type finish then do not blast them. Soak them in a solvent, such as carb cleaner and lots of elbow grease. They were not "polished" from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Aluminum Valve Covers

As Brian stated; It depends on what you want them to look like. If you want an original type finish then do not blast them. Soak them in a solvent, such as carb cleaner and lots of elbow grease. They were not "polished" from the factory.
This is best (not to blast them)... I want them to look original but not perfect.

This is the theme for this car. I've always done ground up resto's in the past. This one will be different and (69 XR-7 Q-code/C-6) is not about the looks. It's about driving, reliability, some power and having fun for now. I'm restoring all mechanical that needs it and leaving the body/interior alone.

Thanks
 

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Yes, best not to blast them to retain a stock look. Mine were in poor condition and wouldn't clean up to look presentable. I went ahead and glass bead blast them lightly to remove the oxidation and then went over them with a scotchbrite pad to even out the look and then satin clear. I have had no yellowing issues using the Eastwood diomond satin clear which is good for 300 F. I did the manifold on the Boss 302 Eliminator back in 2001 and it still has no yellowing on the manifold.

http://www.eastwood.com/ew-diamond-clear-satin-bare-metal-aerosol-11-oz.html
 

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Using "Easy Off" oven cleaner is the best way to "restore" original look to them. I do not use a cover coat, but the eatwood Diamond clear is the best product for clearing items and it does NOT yellow!
 
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