Posts Tagged ‘1987 Corvette’

Polishing Aluminum DIY Videos

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
 

Polishing Aluminum

 Here are a few videos I created to show how I polished the aluminum parts from the TPI intake of my 1987 Corvette convertible.  The methods used here can apply to any aluminum or metal part and not just car parts.  Remember, this is a very time consuming undertaking for optimum results.  If you wish to spend the time on a “Do It Yourself” or commonly referred to as a “DIY” project, I guarantee you will be pleased with the results.  Over the years I have polished many parts mostly by hand and even mounting a buffing wheel in the drill press. The only thing I would do different now that I finished polishing the TPI intake, value covers, and alternator bracket is to record the amount of time I spent on this project.  Once I completed the parts I wanted polished, it was time to clean the workshop.  I could not believe the black coating on everything around the two motors that I had mounted my Enkay buffing wheels on.  

1987 Corvette engine compartment before polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - Many of the parts on the engine was painted with a silver paint.  I suspect this was complete during the first engine re-build that did not go so well.

1987 Corvette engine compartment before polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - Many of the parts on the engine were painted with a silver paint. I suspect this was complete during the first engine re-build that did not go so well.

1987 Corvette engine compartment before polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - Much of the engine compartment was painted with a cheap clear coat.  That did not hold up do well and needed to be cleaned off with solvents.

1987 Corvette engine compartment before polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - Much of the engine compartment was painted with a cheap clear coat. That did not hold up do well and needed to be cleaned off with solvents.

At one point I thought that it would be nice to polish all of the aluminum suspension parts from the C4 Corvette that I am using on my 1929 Ford Roadster hot rod.  Now I am not so sure about that now that I know how much work it will be.  At most, I might polish the front upper and lower control arms but the jury is still not out on that one.  The polishing of the engine parts on my 1987 Corvette convertible was only feasible due to the engine re-build that was necessary due to a few problems with the previous engine re-build by the last owner.  Of course I just did not polish many of the aluminum engine parts, but I cleaned and painted every single part that went back on the engine.  While the engine was out of the Corvette, I also re-painted much of the engine compartment with medium gloss black paint.

1987 Corvette engine compartment after polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - This is a big improvement but was an incredible amount of work to polish the aluminum engine parts.

1987 Corvette engine compartment after polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - This is a big improvement but was an incredible amount of work to polish the aluminum engine parts.

1987 Corvette engine compartment after polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - Parts like the value covers are not manufactured to be polished.  There are many casting flaws that cannot be removed during the polishing process.

1987 Corvette engine compartment after polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - Parts like the value covers are not manufactured to be polished. There are many casting flaws that cannot be removed during the polishing process.

1987 Corvette engine compartment after polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - I cleaned and painted all of the engine parts with a high heat Dupli-Color aluminum color ceramic paint.  The paint is apparently rated for 1200 degrees F or 649 degrees C.  I will say that the paint burned off sand blasted headers in about the first 3 minutes on the initial starting and running of the freshly re-built engine.

1987 Corvette engine compartment after polishing many of the aluminum engine parts - I cleaned and painted all of the engine parts with a high heat Dupli-Color aluminum color ceramic paint. The paint is apparently rated for 1200 degrees F or 649 degrees C. I will say that the paint burned off sand blasted headers in about the first 3 minutes on the initial starting and running of the freshly re-built engine.

 

Aluminum polishing videos available on YouTube by 1929fordhotrod.com

 

Aluminum polishing equipment needed before you start – This is a short video showing the basic polishing equipment needed before you start to think about making anything shiny.  Having the right tools to do any job makes the job so much easier.  If you do not have the power sanding equipment then you can do everything by hand starting with a course grit of sandpaper and moving slowly to the finer grits of sandpaper.  I can remember polishing a set of aluminum rims totally by hand back in the 70’s.  The buffing wheels from Enkay are not too expensive and are most valuable in this exercise. 

Fast Tube
Fast Tube by Casper

 

Polishing Aluminum 2 is the next video showing how I moved through the steps of polishing the top flat section of the upper intake plenum of the TPI injection system. 

Fast Tube
Fast Tube by Casper
 

Polishing Aluminum 3 is the final video showing how I smoothed out the sides and more contoured areas of the upper intake plenum of the TPI injection system. 

Fast Tube
Fast Tube by Casper

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Aluminum Polishing – Basic equipment required

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

In order to polish aluminum parts for your hot rod, or custom car you will need some basic equipment. These are a few or the tools and supplies that I have for the job.

2- AC motors ½ hp 1725 rpm (I had a few given to me. They came out of old furnaces. I have seen them in second hand stores for as low as $5.)
2- arbours to fit the shafts of the motors
1 – 10 inch polishing kit with 4 polishing wheels for each compound used (Enkay #158-10k)
1 – polishing compound kit with black emery, brown tripoli, white diamond, & red rouge. (Enkay #150)
1- die grinder to be used with various attachments
1- drill press flex shaft with keyless chuck (use a lower speeds with 2 inch sanding disks and 3M abrasive pads)
1 – small pad sander
1- small dual action orbital sander
1- small detail sander with triangular sanding pads
Lots of sand paper for all sanders and to use by hand.

This is a labour of love and is very time consuming.

Here is a short video showing some of the tools required to polish aluminum on your hot rod, custom car, or in my case, engine parts from my 1987 Corvette convertible. This is the first in a series of how to polish aluminum.

Just push the play button on the viewer to start watching the 3 minute video.

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