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Discussion Starter #1
The head is still on the block, and I don't want to remove it. I have used a wire wheel on a cordless drill to knock off a lot of stuff, but it is still a long way from looking nice.

All I care about is the portions that will show once manifolds, etc., are back on.

I have a Dremel type tool with a lot of bits, along with some jeweler's rouge and some cotton cloth polishing wheels I could attach to a drill.

Sad thing is I don't know what I am doing. I want it to look nice and polished, but I don't really know where to start. I'd hate to spend a lot of time doing this and not get anywhere.

Any tips?
 

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Buff it up with the wire wheel.

I think you will find that pollishing the head is an exercise in futillity! It is so rough to begin with. You have to sand it smooth first and there are just too many nooks and crannys to get at. Try buffing it with a brass wire wheel, it will give the head a light golden colour or tint that looks good. Otherwise just buff it with the wire wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Buff it up with the wire wheel.

Graham, I've been buffing and buffing and buffing with two different wire wheels on my cordless DeWalt drill. It still looks dingey. I don't care if it is a high polished look, I just want to get it so that it looks presentable.

I'm Dying here!
 

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Why don't you call up a mechanic and ask them what they do when they rebuild engines? I know that my mechanics' rebuilt engines look brand new. Maybe they sand blast them or hot tank them or something? You could probably get it cleaned up for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That would be the best thing, but then I'd have to remove it from the block and I don't want to do that.

Most of the time they sand or bead blast items like this. You don't want those little particles getting into the nooks and crannies and in the moving parts.

A bead-blasted cyl head looks really nice. Trouble is, I don't want to dismantle mine -- not to mention "remantle" (??) it either.

But thanks for the thought.....
 

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Polishing

You can go the drill route w/ buffing wheels, but I would suggest a good high speed corded drill. The cordless doesn't have high enough RPM to make this a very managable task. I did mine w/ a good corded drill and some emery compound. It took several hours, but it does look real nice. The emery compound will make the work much faster and on a rough surface you won't see any difference in the polish.
 

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Better life through Chemestry

Now that I know what your doing, I thought you were looking for the mirror finnish deal. Here's what you do, go to a detailing shop and ask them if you can buy some "wheel acid" there are some brands that are very caustic and will literally burn the surface of the aluminum giving it a uniform kind of finnish. They use it for brightening up crusty aluminum mags. Be sure to rinse it off, don't get any in your eyes, don't breath the vapours and for Chriiiise sakes if you have any cuts on your hands wear gloves, the stuff stings like you wouldn't believe. I did a pair of the aluminum 5 slot mags that were at the bottom of the ocean for ten years, at least that's what they looked like. They came up very clean, they're still pitted as **** but oh are they clean!
 

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wheel cleaner

I used the Eagle-one Mag Cleaner on mine... it's pretty much the same stuff that Graham is speaking of, but you can get it on the shelf at the local parts store. I can't see myself in the reflection or anything, but it did clean up nice. Careful though... like Graham said, the stuff is nasty!! It contains hydroflouric acid!!

Shayne
 

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Problem is....

Usually you have to prime aluminum with zinc chromate primer before you paint it and I don't ever recall seeing it in high heat paint. The head is the hottest part of the engine and being aluminum it expands and contracts a lot. I doubt you would get any paint to stick for very long.
 

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Something else I remembered.

Get some tin foil and rub the head with the shiney side of the foil, that will bring up a shine. If that doesn't work get some "alumaslip" which is a petroleum/aluminum based no seize compound. Put some on a rag and rub it in as you would with car polish. It will also shine it up and it seems to last a while as well.
 

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Re: Better life through Chemestry

Easy-Off oven cleaner works well for me.

Wayne Monteath
Masham, Quebec.
 
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