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I'd like to start off by saying that this was the worst conditioned part that I ever began a restoration on. (roughly 60 hours total investment) So many years of use and abuse. Multiple large deep scratches and gouges, extremely rough and porous casting surfaces, along with numerous oil/ coolant stains and grime build up. So, the first step was to give it a serious chemical bath to remove all the stains and grime so we could achieve good adhesion with the primer. The 2nd step was to begin sanding a number of troubled areas. The main area being the raised ribs on the plenum. As shown on the left, a large deep gouge spanned across the front of all the ribs. The only way to remove this was to "deck" the top surface on all the ribs. The deepest portion of the gouge was around 0.200" so a good amount of material needed to be removed. Roughly 4 hours of sanding later...the finished result shown on the right
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Close up of the embossed Holley on the intake manifold. Shown on the right after decking. This surface along with the ribs on the plenum will be polished so a number of sanding steps on these surfaces will occur after prime and paint.
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Fully sanded manifold in preparation for primer. All machine surfaces were sanded and will be polished
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Final sanding (left) and polishing (right) on the bottom of the intake plenum. Unfortunately the aluminum after the casting process was extremely porous which is the reason a mirror like finish could not be achieved. Think of it like trying to sand or skim off the top layer of a sponge. No matter how fine the process is, the outer surface of the sponge will still look the same due to the porosity.
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All machined surfaces were templated and scanned into Adobe Illustrator where vector art was created for each surface to develop custom paint masks.
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All machined surfaces were templated and scanned into Adobe Illustrator where vector art was created for each surface to develop custom paint masks.
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Shown after the 1st coat of primer
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Shown after the 1st coat of primer
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Parts shown after the final sanding on the 2nd coat of primer. Parts were re-masked in preparation for paint
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Parts shown after receiving a fresh coat of maroon....yes, maroon.
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Shown here are the parts getting the final sanding (removing the paint) and polishing on the plenum ribs and the manifold "Holley"

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