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Old 01-03-2019, 10:10 PM   #11
chevman57
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I glass beaded my last one and the painted it with the POR high heat aluminum paint. It looked good and lasted quite well.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:30 PM   #12
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If you want a natural finish with no paint, powder coat, or ceramic coating, take it to an automotive machine shop or transmission rebuilder that has a setup for doing aluminum heads, blocks, or transmission cases. You'll get it back with the same finish it was born with. Basically this is a high pressure/high temperature chemical wash in a cabinet.

If you want to coat it, ceramic coating like used on headers and other exhaust items gives you a nice durable somewhat shiny surface that is easy to clean.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rustaddict View Post
I bought a used Edelbrock intake for one of my other projects yesterday. It needs a good cleaning. Previously I've sand blasted intakes and sometimes painted them afterwards but I can never get a look that resembles the way they look when new. Do you guys have any good advice on how to clean used cast aluminum ?
I've cleaned several aluminum engine cases on classic English motorcycles. I turned the air pressure on the sand blaster down to 2-3psi and more or less "scrubbed" the aluminum with the resulting air/sand "brush". Takes longer but cleans the oxidation and stains from the surface but most importantly leaves the aluminum with it's original as cast brightness and original surface texture.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:32 AM   #14
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The thing currently isn't greasy, its just oxidized a lot from sitting out in the weather. I'm gonna try some aluminum wheel cleaner on it possibly tomorrow just to see what it does. I have no idea if I'm gonna paint it or not when done at this time. I'm gonna see how clean I can get it and decide on paint after that.
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:21 PM   #15
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Because of the fins, it's tough to use a polishing wheel, so...

Mothers aluminum polish and lot's of elbow grease...
It's a bit easier now that they came out with those balls that attach to a drill for cleaning wheels... should get between the fins... best with a variable speed drill or you will have polish all over you and the workshop...


In the spring, when I had my Harleys, I would work the polish in until it was black, wipe it off with a clean rag, and go over it with another clean rag until there was no more black on the rag, then start over again... About the 5th time, the aluminum started to look like chrome.
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:27 PM   #16
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:46 PM   #17
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Clean with alumbrite or other acid it will look like new. You can get a gal at any large truck prts house or truck stop. They use it to clean traielrs.

I cleaned several for customers before powder coat. But I back in oven at 500* this cleans all oils off them. Then acid wash. Then I blast for powder. Just acid washing will make it look loke new casting.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:59 PM   #18
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The products that B0185 mentioned are similar to what's in aluminum wheel cleaners. (Not wheel polish.) And the process is similar to what's used to commercially clean aluminum blocks, heads, and transmission cases.

And as he said, that's also the foundation for putting any kind of coating on the manifold.
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:27 PM   #19
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I tried some wheel cleaner tonight and while it did clean it some iIm not satisfied. A buddy of mine that drives trucks said I need to rinse it with hot water before I use the wheel cleaner. I will try that maybe tomorrow
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I tried some wheel cleaner tonight and while it did clean it some iIm not satisfied. A buddy of mine that drives trucks said I need to rinse it with hot water before I use the wheel cleaner. I will try that maybe tomorrow
They stuff I said use is WAY stronger than wheel cleaner. You have to wear gloves and eye protection with it and will burn you works WAY better than wheel cleaner its not cheap either.
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