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Thread: Anodizing Panhead Valve Covers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Alps of America (CO)
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    144

    Default Anodizing Panhead Valve Covers

    Anybody know of a good source for correct finishing of the valve covers? I'm told they are anodized, which gives them that look that is duller than polished or chromed, but still shiny.

    Phoenix area is most convenient for me, since I visit each winter, but I can mail them anywhere.

    Thanks in advance...
    Ride it like you can fix it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Ohio
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    540

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    I can tell you my experience with this just recently. Took a set of covers and removed all the dents, scratches, and sanded them smooth to what I thought was good. 600 grit. Took them to my plater in the Dayton, OH area. The covers came back more of a grey in color. After my depression wore off, I took another set of covers, same dent removing process but sanded finer and buffed as bright and smooth as I could. Went to the same plater with an original cover, the grey ones and now my polished covers. Told them what finish I needed, the orig look not the grey look. He took the time right then to go over the process and do them for me step by step. First, different from the first time, we did not etch them first, which is common on aluminum parts. Very important, turns them darker in color. Next, the normal time for anodizing is 15 min., we agreed to do it in 5 minutes intervals and check color as we went. When a part is anodized to the correct depth, about .0002 into the metal and about .0002 buildup the part is not conductive. After 5 minutes, color change but not right, still continuity, 5 more minutes same, 15 minutes total color was damn near perfect and no continuity, so part is protected against the elements. So, in a nut shell, polish the best you can, NO etch, and regular cycle time in tank. Any clear anodizing place should be able to help but if you want I can give you the name of who I used, they are just more commercial and in my opinion a local place you can walk into and discuss all of this might serve you better. Good luck.
    Bob Rice #6738
    He that conquereth his own soul is greater than he who taketh a city.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Alps of America (CO)
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    Wow ... thanks for that very detailed reply, Bob. I guess Flitz and I are going to be spending some quality time together, and then I'll see if I can find a plater in the Phoenix area and hope that with a printed copy of your instructions, they can get it right. I have no idea how to describe the "correct" color.
    Ride it like you can fix it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,473

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    Bob's reply is what makes this hobby so great, and why I wish this forum had more activity. There are very talented members in the AMCA, and a vast wealth of knowledge. None of us are getting younger so it is time to share the wealth.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
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    Thanks Eric, hopefully my learning curve with this subject will help here, as others' learning curves on different subjects have helped me with my projects. Good luck JSB55, I've related pretty much everything I did on the covers, but any more questions just ask. To add, I just want to stress as it was told to me by other's and the plater after my first go around, smoothness and polishing the best you can is the key, anodize only enhances your finish it doesn't 'create' a better finish.
    Last edited by BigLakeBob; 10-26-2017 at 09:11 PM.
    Bob Rice #6738
    He that conquereth his own soul is greater than he who taketh a city.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    539

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    Seems that way with EVERYthing, Bob; it's all about the prep, whatever the finish is.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Alps of America (CO)
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    144

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    Cad, Parkerizing, Anodizing, polished Aluminum ... those old boys made it tough ... but what fun would it be if it was all just chrome and polished stainless?

    So box #1 is blasted and ready to go to the cad guy, box #2 is blasted and ready for my inaugural attempt at Parkerizing, and now box #3 is gonna require a few hours with the buffer and a big bottle of Flitz ... tedious as hell when you're doing it, but the finished product is well worth it.
    Ride it like you can fix it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    Default

    Specify "BRIGHT ANODIZING" to the plater.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Ohio
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    WOW! Woke up this morning with the light bulb over the mind thoughts, forgot the very first step. Go to the plater and have the original anodize stripped before you do anything.

    Don't know if there is a difference between bright and clear anodizing, but I had mine clear anodized, would be a good question to ask the plater though.
    Bob Rice #6738
    He that conquereth his own soul is greater than he who taketh a city.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Seaford, NY
    Posts
    373

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    Most plating shops do not do clear anodizing. My plater, which does all of the color anodizings on aluminum says that clear anodizing has problems with EPA and won't do it.

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