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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished up with my valve cover on my 2.0. this is completely done in my media blast cabinet using crushed glass followed by glass bead. Does a good job removing oxidation and any oil or grease stains. Cast aluminum is somewhat porous like cast iron. If you look at cast aluminum or iron under a electron microscope you can easily see how porous they really are. That's why you season cast iron skillets before you use them, the pores fill with oil and get baked in providing a stick free surface. If you look at 304 stainless steel under a microscope you can see a big difference. Anyway, here's before and after pictures of the piece
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I forgot to remove the studs that hold the plastic engine cover on. I prefer to go topless., That's how I prefer women too. (There I go being mysoginistic again) 馃お From this point you could put a mirror finish on using a lot of elbow grease, multiple grits of sandpaper and hard polishing compound and a variety of buffing wheel to get in all the nooks and crannies and finish with different grits of liquid polishing compounds. I'm fine with the brand new look myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not sure if there is a clear coat that will withstand engine temps for a long period of time. If the clear coat on 15 year old vehicles is any indication it's probably not going to hold up in the long run. My 2014 Silverado has some clear coat starting to flake off.
 

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06 solstice sliver.wicked coupe,dirtbike,4wheeler
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just beware that if any glass gets inside,thrugh the tube or from undeneeth and disloges it will dystroy the engine. I wash all my stuff like that in the dish washer, it usuelay comes out looking almost like new. or if croded baddely blast with baking soda as it will disolve with H2o. so blastt with baking soda then stick in the dish washer...or dish washer first then blast then back in the dish washer again., it works perfect. but glass beeds or crushed glass, sand, any abraisive thats not h2o soluiable...aint the way to go. sorry. and those baffels in the vc will hold lots of that stuff and release it with every heat cycle.
 

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06 solstice sliver.wicked coupe,dirtbike,4wheeler
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before painting I also go over the VC with a small fine file to remove any little sharp casting boogers, as the paint usualy wont stay on them and it looks much better too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I masked the entire bottom with poster board and gorilla tape and plugged everything that would let the glass into the baffles on the bottom. Silicone plugs work great, the media doesn't hurt them and they stay put. I'm not going to paint it, I like the bare aluminum. I'm pulling the motor and all the visible aluminum is getting cleaned up, basically the timing chain cover and intake manifold. I'll also polish the turbo heat shield and exhaust manifold cover. I've got a brand new complete head enroute. I'm doing a balance shaft delete and mechanical water pump delete also. Going with a electric water pump, new duel core radiator and possibly a bigger intercooler. A new tune to get rid of the trifecta tune. Bought a OBDLINKMX+ dongle and dash mount for my cell phone so I can have some gauges. Planning on getting PAW's WR2 turbo kit in the future so I'm building the engine in prep for that. To get good access to the rear bearings so that I can properly install the required plugs for the balance shaft delete the entire bottom end of the engine has to be dismantled plus I'll replace the main and rod bearings. I plan on being buried in my gxp so I'm making sure it's ready to last the rest of my life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Marksbug, I've tried running soda in my blast cabinet to remove old paint on a antique picture frame and it plugged the filter my dust collector within a couple minutes so I'm not a big fan of soda plus the glass bead tends to consolidate the topmost aluminum so it's less susceptible to staining. I use the blast cabinet all the time, it's probably the most used tool in my shop. If you do any restoration work at all it's indispensable, rust removal, paint removal, surface prep for paint, general cleaning of parts. With all the different media's and grit sizes available it can do a lot of different jobs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I broke the inside glass pane today turning the valve cover and the last time I replaced it glass prices were through the roof. A major glass producer in Canada was shut down for maintenance and I had to pay $36.00 for a 12"x18" pane of single strength glass. Ouch
 

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2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
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That's not polished!!!

This is polished.

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and why are you not using laminated glass in your blasting cabinet? or even polycarbonate




You cleaned your valve cover.

Here is one that is new.
Cylinder Auto part Nickel Metal Composite material
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not a fan of chrome or highly polished metel on my engine but I do like nice clean aluminum. And in my opinion plastic covers on engines look terrible. I want to see the motor, their like sculpted works of art, especially aluminum. The valve or cam cover, whichever you want to call it, on the solstice is beautifully crafted. GM did it right.
 

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agreed on the appearance covers or dust collectors I like to call them. Nothing better to cause an engine to have to work harder then it should by slapping a fur coat on it.

I have a cement mixer that can handle 3 80 lb bags of concrete. and I have a 55 gallon drum. I was thinking I could take the bowl off of the mixer and mount the 55 gallon drum to it supporting the end of the drum with a couple of small inflated wheels I have kicking about. Have it pitched so the media wouldn't come pouring out. as it runs. I have some restaurant kitchen floor mats that I could contact cement to the inside of the drum to quiet it down and also keep parts from banging into the metal drum. Use walnut media and I would be able to mirror polish all kinds of car parts in it. I would love to blast the casted exhaust manifold and then put it into a tumbler for a few hours and have it come out looking like a mirror.
 

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I love building things to accomplish a task I think more then I like actually accomplishing the task.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't use laminated glass because I have to change the glass around every 8-10 hours of use because of pitting. Polycarbonate is way to soft it would pit even faster. I use single strength for the inner sacrificial piece and double strength on the outside. I could use polycarbonate for the outer piece but the problem with that is my garage is always dusty and if I wiped the dust off the polycarbonate it would scratch. My reading glasses are poly, I have to run them under water to get any dust off before I can clean them with soap and water and dry them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think the drum idea is awesome plus you walk away and do something else while it does the work for you. I spent 1 1/2 hours cleaning the valve cover, half of that time is changing media, the cabinet has to have all the media blown into the funnel and out the bottom which doesn't take long, the time consuming part is cleaning the filter in the reclaimer. It's a cyclone type dust collector with a 13" tall, 7" diameter filter. I use a 12 inch air nozzle with a angled tip to blow the crushed media out of the pleated filter then I blow the outside of the filter off and then the inside again. As the media breaks into finer and finer pieces it gets too light to fall down and gets pulled out of the cabinet into the filter plus you don't want to cross contaminate the media so you have to clean everything with each change. So it's labor intensive. The actual blasting is pretty fast it's all the cleaning that takes time. Like you I love fabricating, the process of it. The end result is nice but taking raw material and making something useful is the fun and challenging part. I really do appreciate all your advice and you sharing your vast knowledge across many fields with me. Like I've said before, you're the smartest guy on the block when it comes to the gxp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This old Buick straight eight with overhead valves was a work of art. Those early cars were built with style that you seldom see nowadays. I love the lines on the solstice, it's a beautiful design. Most of the cars built today all look the same to me
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I bought a secondhand valve cover to polish it off the car. It was a huge dirty, filthy task to do, but it came out great. I then painted the trough in the middle black to reduce the contrast with those ugly coil packs. Anyway, that cover still sits in a box after several years, as I never found the time or energy to replace the factory one! Aggh.
 
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