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Similar to the wheels, the aluminum valve cover on my 280ZX has that coating to protect it. Bead blasting is alright, but someone a long time ago posted how you could spray something on the wheels (and I'm hoping valve cover too) to dissolve that coating, then you can polish wheels and cover. I'd look in the archives, but since they are gone for now, I'm out of luck. Does anybody know what the stuff is you would use to dissolve it?
Also, after I get that stuff off, what should I get to polish the valve cover, and get it looking shiny? I don't really want to have to take it off the motor, or else I'll have to buy another valve cover gasket. Also, what should I coat it with afterwards to protect it from oxidization, like the yellowish stuff that's on there right now?
 

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<b>RE: Polishing the valve cover for an 82</b>

You'll probably get a lot more up-to-date posts on this subject, but here' s a starter. I used to play around with Japanese motorcycles, and most of them had that same clear coating on the engine cases that eventually would flake off. What was left came off easily with whatever household paint remover I had laying around. I then used Simichrome polish with a wool buffer on an angle grinder and went at the cases. It doesn't take much to get them looking really good. I never coated them with a new clearcoat, so can't recommend one. I also did this to an L18 motor valve cover on an old Datsun truck I had.

I always did the major polishing with the pieces off the bike or engine and clamped in my little Workmate foldable bench. It would be tough to get at all the spaces otherwise (and tough on your back). When I put the bikes together, of course the cases would be all smeared up, but they polished easily by hand then. I just did that every so often and they looked killer. The 620 truck I had required even less frequent polishing, probably because it was farther away from road gunk.

As far as polishing the valve cover while it's still on the car, it can be done, but it's going to make such a mess under your hood (wool tufts, splattered polish) that you'll probably wish you hadn't done it. Hope this helps!
 

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I used a spray-on paint stripper to get the coating off of my 83 turbo wheels. If your valve cover is still greasy or discolored, make a thick paste with ajax and water and use a good scouring pad to remove any blemishes left. However I came acrossed one valve cover that was particulary nasty and stuborn to clean up, so I used muratic acid (aluminium wheel cleaners are esentially watered down versions of this.)
For a good shine, steel wool and 3M aluminium polish, and plenty of elbow grease will do wonders. If you want a crome like shine get a buffing pad for a power drill and the polish and have at it. I spent 4-5 hours working on my turbo wheels and you could pick your teeth in them! A freind of mine asked where I got the money for the wheels the day I polished them, before doing a double take and realizing I had resurrected the stock ones. Hope this helps.
Tony Rohn
 
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