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Old 05-15-2006, 11:31 PM
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polishing aluminum intake

Im trying to polish my intake manifold to match polished aluminum heads. Two questions - Could I use a sand blaster to do the initial rough sanding, then switch to hand paper with fine grit? And, what grit would be recommended for the final pass to match "pro" quality polished aluminum? (finest paper I have is 120).

Thanks alot.

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Old 05-16-2006, 11:31 AM
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I would not think you would want to touch the intake with a sand blaster. There are several steps with various grits of abrasives required to polish the intake and 120 grit sand paper will not get you there. Go on line and do a search. You will undoubtedly get a number of hits that will direct you to a supplier of the polishing kits you will need. Good luck David
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:20 PM
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Here are a few links to my own experiences trying to polish a manifold. Also the final link shows RCastle's experiences with polishing.

My advice: be very wary of tackling this job. It took me well over 240 hours to do my manifold and it was a challenge every step of the way.

Not only will 120 grit paper not do the job...you'll need 80, 120, 200, 400, 600, and 1200. And THEN you move to the polishing grits and the polishing rouges. You'll also need polishing and sanding heads or all shapes and sizes along with the equipment to drive them (drills, dremel tools, die grinders etc etc.). I hate to say it but my advice is to either have the manifold powder coated or have a shop do the polishing for you. And no, sandblasting does not work (as explained in one of the links below).

Obviously, some guys like Ron Castle have a knack and love for this sort of work. But be warned. It ain't for sissy's.




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Old 05-16-2006, 01:56 PM
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As stated polishing an intake will be a long rough dirty process that tests your mind and patience. Is this a special intake of some kind or do you just want to have the satisfaction of saying you did it?? There are several manufacturers that sell polished intakes so I would think a long time before attempting to do my own. I also like to do everything I can in house so to speak, but I can get a lot done on the truck in 240 hours. Just my .02

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