COR­RECT-LOOK­ING ALU­MINUM

Mustang Monthly - - BEYOND THE BASICS -

For years I have been search­ing for a re­ally good coat­ing for pro­tect­ing alu­minum in­take man­i­folds, and I think I have fi­nally found one that doesn’t look like the in­take has been coated. Spray paint alu­minum looks awful, clear pow­der and sprays look awful right af­ter the en­gine has heat cy­cled, and pow­der­coats are of­ten too bright and stand out way too much.

As you know, alu­minum is very por­ous, and the first time you touch it with a greasy fin­ger you are done. Like­wise, gas drips stain and sat­u­rate the metal and do not come off. There used to be clear seal­ers, but they needed refurbishing ev­ery cou­ple of years.

I re­cently vis­ited Pro-Kote Indy [(317) 872-0001; prokoteindy.com] and fi­nally found a bare alu­minum pow­der that looks like, well, bare alu­minum—not a bi­cy­cle re­flec­tor. It is a pro­pri­etary color used in the aerospace in­dus­try so they can’t give out the code (or so they say), but it re­ally is the clos­est I have come to real repli­ca­tion of alu­minum in­takes. It is an epoxy hy­brid pow­der, which means it has higher-temp re­sis­tance, and it has a slightly coarse fin­ish that ac­tu­ally repli­cates the as-cast look. The hy­brid pow­der also al­lows for bet­ter color over straight epox­ies. I have seen ma­jor sup­pli­ers’ “alu­minum” pow­ders, and they don’t get it right; they look like the man­i­fold has been painted. This one gets it right. I could see this be­ing used for all man­ner of alu­minum en­gine and driv­e­train parts for that as-new and cor­rect fin­ish for your restora­tion.

An­other great tech tip from your Un­cle Dave.

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