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Discussion Starter #1
I'm re-doing my engine bay. I'm thinking of re-plating all the various bolts and other small bits in Zinc via electrolytic plating.
But my understanding is this will only work well on parts made of steel.
And that for anything made of aluminum, I should look at anodizing instead.
Can anyone tell me what parts under the hood are made of aluminum?

I know the Radiator and coolers might be. Not sure of any other parts.

'94 Bronco 351W/E40D
 

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Eric
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Aluminum is already rust proof as it doesn't contain iron. It will, however, oxidize. If you're looking to build a show-truck it would be worth anodizing the "permanent" parts. The main parts are the timing cover, water pump housing, front dress brackets, intake, throttle body, etc. Outside of the front dress brackets and intake, the other parts will likely need to be rebuilt/replaced eventually and would kinda defeat the purpose of having them anodized. Some light reading, if you care to: Does Aluminum Rust? | All Metals Fabrication

Just my $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I probably won't do anodizing as it looks super expensive compared to zinc plating. I actually just noticed that a few minutes ago.

But it is helpful to know what not to try and zinc plate.
Very helpful, thanks!
 

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I probably won't do anodizing as it looks super expensive compared to zinc plating. I actually just noticed that a few minutes ago.

But it is helpful to know what not to try and zinc plate.
Very helpful, thanks!
You can learn to anodize parts by watching YouTube videos, it's not as expensive as you might think.

Sent from my XP8800 using Tapatalk
 

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Get a cheap magnet and try the part, if the magnet sticks, the part is iron based metal, if not, it could be aluminum, zinc die cast, plastic, but NOT iron based metal. Some stainless steel is nonmagnetic, but you wouldn't have to be concerned with it rusting anyway.
 

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I saw videos of soda blasting aluminum transfer and transmission cases. They were then clear coated. Seemed to look brand new. Not sure if there is any high heat clear coating out there but there just has to be man. There just has to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Get a cheap magnet and try the part, if the magnet sticks, the part is iron based metal, if not, it could be aluminum, zinc die cast, plastic, but NOT iron based metal.
lol I feel like slapping myself on the forehead. thanks.
 

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I saw videos of soda blasting aluminum transfer and transmission cases. They were then clear coated. Seemed to look brand new. Not sure if there is any high heat clear coating out there but there just has to be man. There just has to be.
That would be nice.
So far, all the clear coat reviews I've read have been mostly people complaining about it turning yellow when it got hot.
 

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My Colts are both alloy and steel frames. Several are electroless nickel plated. This used to be very common coating for certain parts in the oil industry and you can still find shops that will do it along with other more trendy higher tech coatings. This will keep the aluminum part looking great for at least two decades, in my experience as these 1911s get carried IWB in hot humid Houston. Cleanup and polish is done with low buck toothpaste or Flitz metal polish and a soft toothbrush. Nothing like a pistol that smells like peppermint.

A simple cleanup with mild abrasive such as walnut shells or soda blasting will leave the aluminum looking great and it will take sometime for it to revert back to looking like a turd. You can also use a commercialy available mild acid wash to take care of the parts without blasting. marine or aircraft supply companies stock this. This options would have the lowest cost and most bang for your buck. Before any paints or coatings I would remove all aluminum parts and scrub
How to Use Alumabrite - Aurora Marine Product Directions
 
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