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Polishing Aluminum (Engine intake)

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  • Polishing Aluminum (Engine intake)

    Hi, I have been thinking of doing some polishing under the hood of my car. I would really like to try and polish the engines upper intake and valve covers to as near a chrome finish as possible and from what im reading, with aluminum its quite possible.

    Anyway, before i buy anything id like to make sure im thinking about buying the right stuff, andmaybe get some feedback on other peoples experiences with aluminum polishing.

    here is what i plan:
    - Start off with a coarse sandpaper and work my way from 200 grit up to 1200 grit for a very smooth surface.
    - Use abrasive nylon wheel with brown tripoli compound to buff and remove any small leftover scratches.
    - Use either canton flannel or loose cotton wheel with either white compound or jewellers rouge (leaning toward canton with rouge, but not 100% sure yet).

    Sound good? or would there be a better way of approaching this?

    here is a picture of the engine ill be working on so you can see what shape and surface ill be working with:

  • #2
    Whoops, i just noticed the start here and your suggestion for aluminum polishing. However, i do still welcome feedback on the plan i posted.


    • #3
      I would strongly advise not trying to put the tripoli on an abrasive nylon wheel. That would be pointless. I also would advise getting a tube of 80 grit greaseless compound or use all of the grits, MUCH better than hand sanding(especially for initial cut). I would stop at 800 grit wetsand and go to tripoli if you choose to handsand. Or you could use emery after say 240 or 320. Your choice. You have many options.


      • #4
        yeah, i just looked at the nylon wheel again, i dont know what i was thinking there. Blame it on a sleepless night

        Ill probbaly just end up buying the aluminum polishing kit since it includes the wheels i need as well as an arbor and 2 of the three polishing compounds i should need. Ill also grab the third compound as well, which as i said before will likely be either white or jewellers rouge.

        Thanks for your input marsfrogie, i appreciate it. Ill maybe try and get some before and after pictures on here for when i go through with this.