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Manifold Polishing

1373 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Dave A.
I was polishing the stock intake manifold (outside) the other day for looks and to clean up the engine bay. I was removing all the forging marks as I was doing this. I was wondering if anyone has any secrets to getting that mirror finish.

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I bought a blast cabinet at Harbor Freight and out of curiosity I inquired the same at a local supplier when I went to get blast media. They said use finer and finer grits of aluminum oxide media and finish with ground walnut shell. Then go to the buffing wheel w/polishing compounds. I haven't tried this yet, but I bought the materials and waiting to try it. I intented to leave the cast finish but give it a bright sparkling appearance and do a mirror polish only on the flat machine surfaces. I've got another car to finish body and interior first tho so lmk if you get to try it before I do and post some pics.

Phil D.
Polishing is a very very labor intensive process. Plan on sanding for hours with 180, 222, 320, 400, 600, 1000, 1500 paper. If you've done it right the part should look polished before you actual polish. If you start polishing with any deep sanding scratches they'll stick out badly once you polish it. One of the buffing motors (the ones that look like overgrown bench grinder) with a sanding wheel and buffing wheel on the other side are a big timesaver.
Yeh I have spent countless hours with my dremel and the small sanding disks. It works really well, but I go through countless disks and lose hours at a time.

Just wondered if anyone had any secrets to bring out.

Thanks Anyways,
Boy do I know what you mean I've spent the last coupple of weeks polishing my valve covers. Lots of dremmel work and hand sanding.

I wish I had a sand blasting booth...

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Beautiful Work supra Toy. It looks like it paid off. Now try not to open your hood around noon, to avoid blinding yourself :shock: . lol

Yes soon the pure gleem of the engine will make my competition cower in my direction and collapse when they hear my blow off valve when I get my turbo setup all put together.

its not all that difficult. the sanding is the hardest part. i usually sand with 400grit,then 1k grit. then i fixed a 5in buffing wheel in a grinder without the gaurd and used tripoli compound. i turned the grinder on and helf the buffing wheel to the bar of tripoli till it was black, then started polishing the wheel.\had to put more compound on the buffing wheel a few times. the took a polishing cloth and buffed it out.

first pic is before refinishing, the rest are after.'s&.view=t


so far

I noticed that my bored out TB has a larger opening than either the gasket or the opening where it fits to the intake pleunm should I also port the TB to intake plenum opening?
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I noticed that my bored out TB has a larger opening than either the gasket or the opening where it fits to the intake pleunm should I also port the TB to intake plenum opening?
I would. Also, I'd try to make a bellmouth out of the entrance to the
intake plenum if possible.
Tripoli compound and a high speed buffer works great for polishing aluminum and other types of metal. Finish with some White Rouge compound and you'll be able to see yourself in the mirror finish. Just be sure to use seperate buffing wheels for the different compounds and keep the buffing wheels from clogging up with excess compound.
Maybe a small diameter tapered body sanding disc could be used inside the plenum to remove the inside edge on the TB opening. Take say a 3" rubber body sanding disc, put the sandpaper on the tapered side instead of the flat side, fold the rubber disc enough to allow it to go through the hole in the plenum, and then attach a drill to the disc and sand a taper on the inside edge of the opening. Just a thought anyway. 8)
Oh, and most definitely do not use a sanding disc with the intake plenum still mounted on the engine! Strictly a bench project!
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