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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know what media is used in a vibratory
tumbler during aluminum re-skinning process? I'm restoring my
car and would like to re-skin the bellhousing and other aluminum pieces
I have access to a big tumbler at work. Any help is appreciated.
Thanks
Tom
 

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The niecest finish will be with plastic media. Do not use ceramic. But if you really want to make it look original, I would have it caustic etched. Tumbling will give you a uniform finish, not the factory finish.
Dann
 

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I think there may be a difference between cleaning and "re-skinning". I had some parts re-skinned by Jerry McNiesh and he used a proprietary process he developed and the parts turned out factory fresh. It just depends how original you really want to go (and if anyone will actually be able to tell the difference). Good luck.
 

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69NovaSS said:
there is a thread on here about cleaning up an intake manifold and I believe that someone posted that they contacted Edelbrock and they say if you want to make a used manifold look new I'm sure they said to blast it with walnut shells...possibly this would do what you want

EDIT: here is the thread...the comment is in the first post

http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39778&highlight=walnut+shells+edelbrock
I bought a 098 that had been glassbeaded and the guy told me to scrub it with carb cleaner and 00 steel wool. actually worked pretty good. I used plastic media instead of the walnut shells, it works better on aluminum.
 

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If you glass bead it with low pressure and high volume it will turn out like new, it takes a while - but well worth it in the end!
M
 
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manifold etching

I glass bead the intake with new , clean , #6 glass bead at low air presure (60 psi)and then treat with PPG aluminiun conditioner (DX501) . Use a brush and a scotch brite pad and rub it in for a bout 5 min. then rinse with water , blow off with air , and you have the factory finish . Frank
 

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Like I said, the caustic etch will bring your part to original condition. Any plater can do it for you. All caustic etch does to aluminum is etch the aluminum down to the parent material. I would have the dowel holes plugged off when doing it. Have them clean the housing first, and then etch. Very little material will be removed. They can leave in tank for 10 seconds or 10 hrs. If left for 10 hrs., there won't be much left though.
Caustic etch is a process used in the aircraft industry for NDT. I was in the business for many years. Everyone knows about magniflux. That is for steel and magnetic alloys. Penetrant is used for aluminum and non magnetic items to check for cracks. The etch will leave your bell housing with all the casting or forging lines like original. If you bead blast, tumble your part, it will smooth out all the original lines to a uniform finish. If you want the original look, a slight etch will do it. My two cents
Dann
 

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That's good to know about the caustic etch, I will probably give that a try next time. I didn't do anything to my Yenko Deuce bellhousing bec/ I didn't want to lose those hairline casting marks, so I just cleaned the heck out of it. But, on my '69 I would like to try some other resto techniques on a few things - the aluminum items specifically.
Thanks,
M
 
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