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After asking my question for someone else below, I got to thinking about possibly polishing a set of my aluminum valve covers for my car, and the best way to go about it.

So what is the best procedure (Step by Step) to take on the task, and is there any special tools, compounds, buffers, etc. that will make the job easier?

Second Question, I have one set of aluminum covers I have had for many years, and which have always been painted. I stripped them a few months a go, and thought about polishing them out, and noticed a color change in the aluminum in varies spots like a stain or possibly heat has distorted the color in the natural aluminum. Can this be buffed out?

Thanks
 

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Well, at your first post I was going to recommend Mothers polish but figured after about an hour or so the word mother would probably precede another word. I haven't tried one yet but I would think a dremmel tool with a buffing wheel might work down in the hard to reach spots around the fins. Just a suggestion.
 
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The simplist approach is a wire wheel. A small 4 1/2 right angle grinder with a wire wheel is by far the fastest approach and does a nice job. It won't yeld a high shine like buffing it out, but it will shine them up considerable and it takes very little time. I decide I would polish my new edlebrock intake and spent hours on one area with sandpaper, then mothers. Then I wished I hadn't even started so I grabed the wire wheel and 10 minutes later I was happy again. Not the highly polished intake, but much nicer than out of the box.
 

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It's not hard, but it definitely is labor intensive. You can get the compounds and buff materials at better hardware stores, or you can visit Caswell Plating and buy their aluminum polishing kit.

Basically, if the surface is already pretty smooth (i.e. you've sanded out the cast finish and the mold marks) then you use a variety of buffing compounds with cotton wheels, felt bobs, and other various accessories that you can chuck into your Dremel, die grinder, or even drill. It all depends on how much area you need to do and how intricate.

I've done a thermostat housing, and am currently tackling a timing cover. Like I said, it's labor more than anything, but it's certainly not rocket science.
 

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Eastwood sells a polishing kit for $50 that includes buffs, rouge and polishing wheels, as well as instructions. Dickson
 

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Best way to polishe alum valve covers is to use a grinding twin wheel tool (the mounted on bench type)

on one side get the scotchbrite style wheels of different grits....
on the other get a polishing wheel

go down the finer grits until the pourous surface of alum is almost gone.....and smooth.

purchase some polishing grit tubes rub them against the wheel till hot and pad on wheel absorbs them....rub the valve cover on the wheel until nice shine appears....

final buff hit it with mothers....(this will take awhile but results are astounding)

This is how I did my Cobra powered by ford valve covers.
and they look shiny!!!! The more you hit em the shinier they get!!!
 
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