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Cam Cover Patina

Discussion in '308/328' started by Lowell, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Lowell

    Lowell Formula Junior
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    Apr 17, 2005
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    Lowell Brown
    Recently I cleaned the cam covers on my 1984 308 QV. Perhaps I did this too vigorously. At any rate, the result was a blotchy finish. This blotchy finish could, of course, always have been there and just hidden by the oily dirt.

    So I am looking for some way to bring back the original surface finish on the cam covers. I do not want a shiny finish, just the original, rather subtle, finish. Any suggestions would certainly be appreciated.
     
  2. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Brian Crall
    A picture would help some. I suspect what you are experiencing is what I have seen many times and is a real problem if you are really trying for a new and original look. The covers are an alloy that discolors and can be a real problem if you really want to preserve the original looking finish. Bead blasting makes it uniform but in an unmistakably bead blasted looking finish which I really do not care for. You could find someone who does walnut shell blasting though from direct experience I suspect it will make it better but not what you really want. I have wanted to try soda blasting but have not yet done that so I cannot tell you the outcome of doing that. I suspect like most aluminum it will make it brighter but may or may not change the blotchyness.
     
  3. Lowell

    Lowell Formula Junior
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    Lowell Brown
     
  4. Lowell

    Lowell Formula Junior
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  5. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Pretty typical and a real issue if restoration of the original look is desired. To be honest I don't think you'll be able to make them look like new. I have considered experimenting with various powder coat colors to try and do that. If you can't live with it try soda blasting and see what happens. They can be better with walnut shell blasting but it will not be a huge improvement.
     
  6. absostone

    absostone F1 Rookie
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  7. absostone

    absostone F1 Rookie
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    Oh then lightly sand with grey scotchbrite pad to smooth finish. Real easy to do
     
  8. Michael Call

    Michael Call Formula Junior
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    Two words. VAPOR BLASTING. This will achieve the finish you want.
     
  9. Saabguy

    Saabguy Formula 3
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    Mar 28, 2012
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    Shreveport, LA
    Ya know, I have been looking at Vapor / Liquid blasting recently for just that reason. It seems to make the pot metal and aluminum parts like they should, smooth and a little shiny. I am more prone to purchase a small unit than to send stuff off. the small units are REALLY small, benchtop size. The larger units are REALLY expensive and take up a lot of space. Maybe I could get rid of my dry blaster...


     
  10. Michael Call

    Michael Call Formula Junior
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  11. John F

    John F Rookie

    Jun 24, 2010
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    East Lothian, UK
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    Before and after vapour blasting. The natural patina will return over time.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Saabguy

    Saabguy Formula 3
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    Anyone doing vapor blasting at home?
     
  13. Michael Call

    Michael Call Formula Junior
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    Here is a photo of the finished engine compartment with the vapor blasted cam covers. I think it looks the business..
    View attachment 3078271
     
  14. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    Jun 11, 2004
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    Those don't look right, but I don't recall the cam covers on my 85, bought new, ever having a uniform color to them. They were never polished. Pretty much looked like they were pulled from the die cast mold, machined as necessary and installed. Never looked like those vapor blasted in posts 10 & 11.
     
  15. Michael Call

    Michael Call Formula Junior
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  16. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
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    Jun 11, 2004
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    No, my 85 didn't look anything like that from the factory. I remember because I thought about pulling the covers off and cleaning them up right after I got the car, but never did.
     
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  17. offtheworkigo

    offtheworkigo Karting
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    Feb 23, 2016
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    Water blasting is the only way to go. Tim Taylor did my painting and water blasting on the aluminium valve covers and intake. Image Unavailable, Please Login Call him for a price very nice guy. 214-317-2762
     
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  18. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Not what I would call a correct finish.
     
  19. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Agree 100%
     
  20. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Not a single one of those looks original.
     
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  21. pappy.72

    pappy.72 Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2010
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    As long as you are not painting them red...
     
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  22. Martin308GTB

    Martin308GTB F1 Rookie
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    'Better' looking than what came from the factory. Is this really desired that much?
    Each time I have my covers off I clean them with a chemical aluminium cleaner stuff, which just cleans and brightens the metal, and think, that's what I remember seeing Ferrari V8s back in the 70s at car shows. Good enough for me.

    Best from Germany
    Martin
     
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  23. Iain

    Iain F1 Rookie

    Jan 21, 2005
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  24. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Karting

    Jun 16, 2013
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  25. Martin308GTB

    Martin308GTB F1 Rookie
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    JuLiTrO and Saabguy like this.

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