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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.

I'm polishing the throttle body on my 2008 Mustang GT. It's a cast aluminum piece with lots of little nooks and crannies to get into. I've never polished anything before, so I'm kind of learning as I go along. I've got 4 hours or so into it right now, and I'm just trying to get through the roughness of the casting down to a smooth surface. I'm using a Dremel as my tool of choice, but will likely have to hand sand to get all of the surfaces smooth.

Anyway, here are a few pictures of my progress so far. Most of the sanding was done with the course sanding drum of the dremel. Other sanding was done with those sanding discs (they work well, but wear out very quickly).

I cant wait until I get down to a smooth surface and then I can really begin working up the grits to get a mirror finish.













Here is one final photo that best shows the type of surface I'm starting with, and how much of a pain it is to get down to smooth aluminum:
 

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Wow, you're taking on quite the detailed piece for a first time dremel polishing job. Good for you! Just be careful how long you spend in one area, I haven't handled the newer throttle bodies so I don't know for sure but typically they aren't too thick of castings in certain areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah. I'm finding that it is very tricky to get into some of those areas. But, it should be fun. I enjoy challenging tasks, and it gives me something to do when I have free time.

I picked up this throttle body as a spare on ebay for $26 bucks! I figure, it was cheap enough that I can play around with it and I don't have to worry about screwing it up or having my car be down while I work on it.

Eventually, I'm going to powder coat it with a black chrome top coat. At least that is my plan. I think it would look pretty sick under the hood like that. Valve covers may eventually follow. Or I might just powder coat them with a chrome base coat first. From what I hear, they are a ***** to polish and they don't look the best.
 

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After you're done use clear engine enamel to coat it or you'll be doing it again in 6 months. Here's my distributor for my '64 Bird. I'm going with the natural casting look, not polished.

 

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What did that look like to begin with?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, you're taking on quite the detailed piece for a first time dremel polishing job. Good for you! Just be careful how long you spend in one area, I haven't handled the newer throttle bodies so I don't know for sure but typically they aren't too thick of castings in certain areas.
I'm not applying mutch pressure at all when sanding. I want to get down just far enough to get to a smooth, non-porous surface. There were a couple areas where I had to take of a little more because of the casting seams. So far though, I think I'm doing pretty good on thickness.

Once i get the outside done, smooth, I think I'll try tackling the inside. It makes me a little nervous to go in there just because I don't wan to mess anything up. But I did notice there is a ridge where the casting transitions into the machined surface where the butterflies are. I may try to smooth that ridge out. I'm assuming that changes I make to the inside of the throttle body won't require a tune so long as I don't go and increase the diameter where the butterflies are (which I wouldn't be doing).
 

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What did that look like to begin with?
White corrosion where the grease was not: 48 years of crud.

I de-greased it with kerosene, then simple green, then "painted" it three times with 'aluminum jelly' (an acid product), then scrubbed it with a blue scotch brite with dish detergent and hot water, and finally went at it with my dremel and a steel brush.

The parts on a classic are worth a lot more "numbers matching" and of course, polishing will remove the numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
White corrosion where the grease was not: 48 years of crud.

I de-greased it with kerosene, then simple green, then "painted" it three times with 'aluminum jelly' (an acid product), then scrubbed it with a blue scotch brite with dish detergent and hot water, and finally went at it with my dremel and a steel brush.

The parts on a classic are worth a lot more "numbers matching" and of course, polishing will remove the numbers.
Looks good. Looks very original. I couldn't tell what you had done to it because it looked like you would expect it to look.
 

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Looks good. Looks very original. I couldn't tell what you had done to it because it looked like you would expect it to look.
Thanks. That's the whole idea. Once I get it all running I'll take a green scotch-brite and dull up the gloss from the clear coat so it will look even more original.

You're going more for the "show car" look with polish and gloss, which is cool to.
 

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Stock Covers

I polished the Stock Covers. I started with steel wool. Then a little metal polish. Magnesium is what they are casted in and come out to a mirror finish.

T Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I polished the Stock Covers. I started with steel wool. Then a little metal polish. Magnesium is what they are casted in and come out to a mirror finish.

T Wayne
I've thought about polishing mine. When I painted mine, I used steel wool and wire brushes to clean the surface down. I had already had a decent amount of the white corrosion on them at the time. I used the steel wool and wire brushes to get all that crap off, and then painted them. If I choose to do my covers, I'm going to have to strip / sandblast the paint off, and then start the polishing process.
 

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Look

Maybe look for some Take Off's like the TB your working now.
I would say if the corrosion is kept in check, it will not have pitted.
The painted ones maybe the best bet.

My friend has a 1927 Model "A" Truck/ Rat Van and they sat the aluminum covers out in the weather. Then the process you used before painting yours, to get the patina with a little polish.
It was spot on for this type of build.

T Wayne
 

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I'd really like to see you do the inside to smooth out the airflow. Fun little project you got going and no hurry since it's a spare. Take a look at Eastwoods polishing compounds: you can make that thing chrome like with the right stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah. I keep looking for second hand ones, but they just don't pop up for sale that often. When I painted mine, I was looking for a second set, but couldn't find a pair at a reasonable price.

It's nice to have a spare piece when doing something like this. It means I don't have to have the project done in a weekend, and if it doesn't work out, I'm not ruining my stock parts. Valve covers are pretty low risk, but still, I like the idea of having all my original parts untouched.
 
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I've had my OEM throttle body of the car for a couple years now and started working on polishing it a long time ago. It then got passed around for project mock ups and has finally made its way back to me. I think I've decided to pass on polishing and instead have been working on trying to "knife" edge the inner divider. Right side is what I have started working on and have removed material already. Left is pretty much factory specs but I did take out most of the rough casting. I am also going to edge the butterflies and see about getting some other fasteners for them that do not protrude into the airstream like the OEM stuff.
 

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