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This is my latest distraction. There are a million other things I should be doing instead, both at work and at home, but this is what I've been up to today instead.

As I mentioned to a few of you at the BAMA show, I'm on a campaign to replace the chrome parts on my engine with polished aluminum. My eventual goal is to have a very shiny engine without the benefit of chrome. Why? Well, I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess. Or I just gotta be different.

I looked around for a billet or polished aluminum thermostat housing, but the only one I could find was $100, and it was blue. After doing some "research" (read that as surfing) on the web, I discovered that polishing aluminum wasn't really rocket science. Labor intensive, maybe, but certainly not challenging.

So, I bought a cast aluminum thermostat housing from M+ (about $20) and set to work with my Dremel tool. I removed the cast finish and the molding marks, softened some of the edges, and polished. As you can see in the picture, it's still not done, but it's just about to the "good enough" point, as most of what's left will be covered by hoses anyway.

http://www.darkbox.com/mustang/misc/therm_housing.jpg

Now, I've got this timing cover I bought at the BAMA show for $5.... /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
 

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to what address shall we send you things to try out

Well, I'd especially like to try my hand at a pair of TT2s. Armed only with a Dremel, though, it'll take me awhile, maybe as long as a year. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

Oh wait, those are already polished...

Heck, Mark, why don't you just send me your whole car? I'll polish it right up for you. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
 

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WOW!! Looks great.

I know how much work it is to take a cast piece of metal and polish it.

Using power tools is cheating. Not really, but imagine how much work it
is to do it all by hand like I have done in the past. I thought a wire wheel
on a drill was a big help.

I don't like chrome either. Nice paint or polish. The older I get, the more
parts get paint instead of polished.
 

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I used a dremel and compound to get a shiny finish but was dissapointed. Then I found the Mothers Mag polish. It does a great job of putting a mirror finish to Aluminum. So far it's the best I have found. It ruins about $8 for a little can.
 

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Then I found the Mothers Mag polish. It does a great job of putting a mirror finish to Aluminum

I'll check that out. I've been impressed so far, though. If I get too shiny, then it'll become indistinguishable from chrome, and then I'll be right back where I started. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

For me, the key is to do it gradually, getting the surface finer and finer with different tools until I get to the polishing compound stage. Otherwise, I found I was just ending up with well-polished scratches. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
 

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I remember some posting about this idea a while back. I'm glad to see you've proved that it can be done. A neat solution to the "leaky" chrome housings. I like polished aluminum too, but it's hard to keep up (on a Harley at least). I'll add polishing a thermostat housing to my to-do list anyway, now that you've led the way.
 

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well, technicly its not a rim shot, a rim shot is when one takes the stick (usual on the snare drum) and hits the drum head and the rim of the drum at the same time. it makes an incredibly loud noise that sounds alot like a small gun

anyways, nice job on the thermostat housing. what attachments to the dremel did you use? i have been looking for an easier way to polish stuff.

also, you probably know this already, but make sure you wax it or protect it in some way, otherwise it will only take a couple of weeks to begin to oxidise again. also if it ever gets wet, make sure you dry it imeaditly, when the water dries, it will leave big really nasty spots that are hard to remove. ask me how i know.
 
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