Many of us still have stock parts and not a lot of cash. Polishing can be accomplished with a little cash and a lot of elbow grease. So if you have the time and the patients, your parts can look amazing.
220,400 & 800 Grit Sand Paper
Black & White Jewelers Rouge
Elbow Grease (Palm Sander)
1: First thing you want to do if get out all of the imperfections, such as bumps, casting bubbles and uneven metal. You should be able to remove most imperfections with 220 girt sand paper, except for heavy castings such as an intake manifold. If the surface is really ruff, you may have to start with 120 grit, but I’d recommend power sanding tools.
2: Make sure everything is sanded to an even surface. I’d recommend block sanding flat surfaces so you don’t get hills and valleys. Sand at 220 grit till the grain looks consistent. The main thing is to remove imperfections. Sanded to 220 grit should look like this.
3: Next move on to 400 grit. At this stage, I usually start wet sanding. The purpose of wet sanding is to keep the sandpaper clean from metal dust so it does it’s job. The finer the paper, the easier it gets clogged up. Sand at 400 grit till the grain looks consistent. Sanded to 400grit should look like this.
4: Continue wet sanding at 800 grit. Sand at 800 grit till the grain looks consistent. Sanded to 800grit should look like this.
5: Go ahead and wash off all the debris and dry the part. Apply the black jewelers rouge to a buffing wheel. I usually just have the buffing wheel on a power drill and spin the buffing wheel on the jewelers rouge. Next, with medium pressure, spin the buffing wheel with black jewelers rouge compound over the part. When level of polish has been achieved, apply white jewelers rouge to a different buffing wheel and finish the part. You can see the effectiveness of jewelers rouge in the picture.
The results? Amazing! Each part will require slightly different techniques. Good luck!
Want another picture?
Many stock parts shine from the factory but have oxidized from being in different weather conditions. An easy way to shine ac lines and fuel rails is to use metal polishing compound. You can find it in the wheel and tire care area of automotive stores.