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  #201  
Old 01-02-2018, 05:24 AM
Cardiffrob Cardiffrob is offline
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I'm not sure if this is of any interest but when I needed to fabricate a valve cover for a rare 1950s British engine I etched the design onto the ali with Ferric Chloride using a design that was printed onto self-adhesive plastic that is normally used for sign writing on the sides of small Vans and trucks.

If the top face of the covers is thick enough then you'd be able to etch out the design more akin to the original GTO shape.

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Last edited by Steve Hamilton; 01-02-2018 at 09:18 AM.
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  #202  
Old 01-02-2018, 06:17 AM
Richard Lennard Richard Lennard is offline
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Probably asking / stating the obvious but I will ask it anyway!
I assume once printed, you then cut out the relevant bits, stuck it down and used as a stencil?
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  #203  
Old 01-02-2018, 09:07 AM
Cardiffrob Cardiffrob is offline
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The 'lettering' comes ready stuck to a sheet of sticky stuff so that all you need to do is remove the backing, place it onto the surface, press it down and then remove the sticky stuff sheet. A bit like those 'speed stripes' you get for running along the sides of your car. Here is one of my Old Vans with some self-adhesive signs on it. I drew the designs as a JPEG file and got them printed off for just a few pennies.

The Ferric Chloride eats ali like crazy so you can dunk the ali piece in the liquid (or sponge it on) so that it eats away the unprotected part, leaving a lightly roughened surface.

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Last edited by Steve Hamilton; 01-02-2018 at 09:19 AM.
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  #204  
Old 01-02-2018, 01:38 PM
Richard Lennard Richard Lennard is offline
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I see, the etching is done around the stick on letters, ie the letters remain proud once plastic removed.
Stupidly I thought the etching was all within the letters, ie lower.
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  #205  
Old 01-02-2018, 02:39 PM
ozcad ozcad is offline
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As shown, excellent results can be had with ferric chloride etching. Just be mindful of the hydrogen gas produced by this process and the residual aluminium chloride (explosive) left behind. This is one of those processes where just one breath of the acidic gasses produced can permanently damage your lungs. Exercise good work practices and results such as this absolutely magnificent valve cover can be produced.
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  #206  
Old 01-03-2018, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardiffrob View Post
I'm not sure if this is of any interest but when I needed to fabricate a valve cover for a rare 1950s British engine I etched the design onto the ali with Ferric Chloride using a design that was printed onto self-adhesive plastic that is normally used for sign writing on the sides of small Vans and trucks.

If the top face of the covers is thick enough then you'd be able to etch out the design more akin to the original GTO shape.

Rob (Beginner)
Rob: Thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to keep this technique in mind for future purposes as it looks to provide a very "professional" result with simple tooling. I really do like the look you have achieved with the samples you've shared.
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  #207  
Old 01-03-2018, 05:18 PM
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Post Engine covers – Drivers Side (continued)

The additional details needed for this cover are two notches to provide clearance for a fuel hose and supercharger intercooler coolant pipe. I marked and cut out openings and then verified the notched areas would provide adequate clearance.





Filler pieces are cut, formed to fit, and then welded in place. I used TIG with very proud beads on top and bottom surfaces to ensure there would be plenty of metal for a nice edge.



The two notches cleaned up nice after filing and metal finishing.



I then dressed out the welds on the remaining 3 corners and here’s the finished cover.



A final test fit to ensure it still fits well.



Here’s before…



… and after pictures with the new engine covers in place.



It’s amazing how a little bit for shaped sheet aluminum can really clean up a bunch of ugly bits on the top of an engine
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  #208  
Old 01-03-2018, 05:42 PM
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Very nice. They really do clean it up.

I am, curious though, how you get them set into place. Do you need to disconnect everything that's in the way?
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  #209  
Old 01-03-2018, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 123pugsy View Post
Very nice. They really do clean it up.

I am, curious though, how you get them set into place. Do you need to disconnect everything that's in the way?
The answer is pretty much, Yes.

For the passenger side, it's just the spark plug wires that need to be disconnected, so that's not too bad. For the drivers side, it's the spark plug wires, fuel hose, intercooler pipe, oil filler cap, and the brake fluid reservoir closest to the engine needs it's mounting bolts removed so it can shift to the side a bit. Needless to say, I hope to not have to remove the drivers side cover very often at all

I'm still trying to decide what the final finish should be. My original plan was to paint them with red wrinkle paint. I've had some feedback that some people think they'll look better in polished aluminum with the Ferrari script painted red. I'm starting to warm up the the idea for the polished finish now that I see them in place. Also, it will likely be easier to clean the covers with a polished finish versus paint. Given the pain to remove the drivers side cover, ease of cleaning will be important.

What's your opinion? Polished or paint?
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  #210  
Old 01-03-2018, 06:38 PM
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Painted is easier to keep clean IMHO.
Aluminum oxidizes badly.

I will be remote installing my coil packs below the engine to keep them hidden. They are quite ugly, aren't they.
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