Author Topic: Polished Valve Cover ?  (Read 5407 times)


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Polished Valve Cover ?
« on: February 28, 2003, 06:15:32 »
I know these were non-standard but having spent a considerable amount of money and time on my engines internals I would like to make it look more special and atrtractive too !

Has anybody done this themselves, as I dont want to send it to a specialist !

Any did you do it and how did it turn out ?

Ben in Ireland.
'64 230SL 4sp.

Cees Klumper

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Re: Polished Valve Cover ?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2003, 16:21:49 »
At the German Veterama event last fall (this is one huge car jumble) I picked up a metal polishing set for something like $60 (3 different cloth/leather/felt wheels, polishing compounds etc) and I also have an extra valve cover. I will be trying this out soon, but one warning: I read in I believe the Meredith book, is that the polished cover actually cools less well. Don't know if we really need to be concerned about this, I have seen it done on several engines.
Did you do the engine work yourself and, if so, do you have any tips for the group?


'69 white 280 SL
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic cream white
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600 red
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3 Rosso Corsa "Luigi"
1983 Porsche 944 2.5 Pasadena Yellow
1990 Ford Bronco II 2WD colonial white


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Re: Polished Valve Cover ?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2003, 17:21:00 »
Hello Ben,
Mercedes did do some extra polishing and plating on some of their show cars,( although I am not sure if they did this also on the 113's). There are a lot of ways to achieve a polished even mirror surface. The thing to remember about polishing aluminum is that it will tarnish or oxidize after a time. So this will become a maintenance item keeping it brite! The alternative is to clear coat it. However getting a clear paint to stick to polished aluminum is a trick in  itself. A clear coat may have a tendency to turn yellow or be degraded by engine fumes and leaks. Using some special clear paints for this will increase your chances.
The theory is fairly simple. Remove all surface dirt defects with fine sandpaper in steps. Progressively finer buffing compounds are used to finish off the surface. Power buffing equipment make the job go much faster, although I have seen them done by hand. You probably can get an extra valve cover inexpensively from a donor sedan to practice on and it will not disable your car during the process. There is lots of information available on the internet. Do a little research also visit The Eastwood Co. site to see what they reccomend.
If you want to try a little experiment get some wet dry 600 then 1200 sandpaper and work a spot with it wet, then take some aluiminum mag wheel polish to the area several times. You'll be amazed. Of coarse there are a lot of other professional compounds and procedures available if you really want to get into it.
I used to strip the paint off the inside of the aluminum hoods, and polish it to a mirror finish! It was pretty dramatic, being able to see the engines reflection clearly in the mirrored hood. These days I prefer to keep it as original (painted). Whatever enhances your enjoyment of the car is what counts I guess.

Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
1969 Dark Olive 280SL
2002 ML55 AMG (tow vehicle)
2002 SLK32 AMG (350 hp)
1982 300TD Wagon turbo 4spd.
1963 404 Mercedes Unimog (Swedish Army)
1989 flu419 Mercedes Unimog (US Army)
1998 E430
1974 450SLC Rally
1965 220SE Finback