Jul 09

Casting Call

How to restore a cracked cast-aluminum intake manifold with a finish that looks like it came from the foundry.

By Jeff and Teresa Lilly

Photos by Teresa Lilly

This article is originally from the Aug. 1993 Classic Auto Restorer magazine

Picture, if you will, a scene: You’re walking alone through what appears to be an old salvage yard. Rusted iron motor parts are scattered everywhere. You seem to be drawn by some force toward a fenced area of the yard, where a sign on the gate reads NO B.O.S. (Bogus Old Stock). Trembling with excitement, you push open the gate and are blinded by the light illuminating a perfectly restored Corvette intake, perched on what appear to be storm drains and bolted atop a mammoth hunk of reciprocating engine displacing 427 cubic inches and producing 435 horsepower, bone stock.

You have entered the Casting Zone.

Here you will learn the secret ritual of restoring a cracked and welded aluminum Tri-Power manifold to the appearance of an original casting—magic that can also be practiced on similar manifolds and other cast aluminum parts once its mystery has been revealed.

1 The first step with this 1968 Corvette 427 Tri-Power intake, or any manifold, is to check for warping with a straightedge and feeler gauge. A gap of more than .008-inch means the gasket may not seal properly, so the intake should be milled at a good machine shop.

2 This intake had a crack in one of the bolt flanges, which was repaired with a MIG welder using aluminum wire. The finished weld is thorough but ugly, so it’s necessary to do some cosmetic reconstruction. (If you repair it yourself, use a welder that has infinite heat control and a timer, such as Century’s 11090. This will enable even a beginner to make deep, tight welds. Otherwise take the job to a competent shop and make sure they get penetration through the full thickness of the metal.)

3 Tools you will need include a variable-speed electric drill; an eye shield; round and cone-shaped burrs; a knotted-brush attachment; 80-grit sandpaper; ScotchBrite 7447 scuff pads; a tap and die set; a tub big enough to hold the intake; muriatic acid; Ditzler metal prep acid; a spray bottle; an air-impact hammer with needle scaler attachment; and some baking soda.

4 Set the drill at about 600 rpm and use the round burr tool to cut down the metal of the weld. Aluminum cuts down quickly at this speed, so be careful and keep the burr moving slowly back and forth, to avoid making ant grooves in the metal.

5 Finish with the cone-shaped burr tool, smoothing the edges and blending in the welded area as well as you can.

6 If the weld has penetrated effectively it may have left dimples like this one inside the port. File them down.

7 Mount the knotted brush on your drill and go over the work lightly at 1500 rpm to clean up the aluminum. Blend any marks left by the burr tools and smooth any ridges left by the cutting action.

8 Use 80-grit sandpaper to smooth out the wire brush marks. The intake should now be shaped correctly, with some scratches left by the sandpaper.

9 Tap out all the existing holes in the intake and make sure all the threads are clean. If not, repair them with a Heli-coil. Or if you’re a perfectionist, weld the hole solid and then drill and tap a hole the correct size.


10 Put the intake into the large tub. If the water and vacuum nipples are good, pour muriatic acid over them to remove rust quickly. If the nipples are bad, replace them.

11 Mix the metal conditioner (one part to two parts water), pour it into the spray bottle and squirt it onto the intake. After it’s been in the intake for 10 minutes, take a ScotchBrite pad and agitate the acid with a circular scrubbing motion. Then spray the intake again and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing off.

12 Remove the needles from your needle scaler and grind them individually almost to a point. (Note that this profile is suitable for duplicating the casting texture common to all GM Tri-Power intakes. The profile of the needle scaler tips may vary depending on the original texture found on different make vehicles.) The flat needle on the left has not been ground, while the one on the right has. Note how the ground needle is rounded, not sharp. Once you have the profile right, reassemble the needle scaler and place the intake in your workbench.

At this point, STOP. It is very important to turn the intake upside-down so that you can practice making imitation casting marks at a spot on the intake where they will not be seen. Only after you have practiced with various hand movements and air pressures should you move on to the top surface. When you’re satisfied with the texture you are achieving, turn the intake back over to expose the area to be restored.

13 Use the needle scaler at 25-35 psi, moving it around like Woody Woodpecker with 10 beaks. Don’t press hard; let the air hammer do the work.

This is how your imitation casting marks should look.

14 Now return the intake to the tub and blend the restored area with the original manifold surface by pouring full-strength muriatic acid over the needle-scaled section. After 15-20 seconds it will bubble. The acid eats the aluminum rapidly, smoothing out the marks you made with the needle scaler and blending them with the original casting marks. Rinse off the acid and scuff the area again with a ScotchBrite pad. If it does not match the original texture, use acid again to blend it more.

15 Because muriatic acid is strong, it will keep eating away at the surface unless it is neutralized. Put the intake into a tun full of water (about four gallons) and add about a quarter of a large box of baking soda. It will bubble for five to 10 minutes as the acid is being neutralized. Halfway through, turn the intake over so that both sides are equally exposed. Once the bubbling has subsided you can empty the tub, then refill it with clean water and rinse the intake

16 Eagle One mag wheel cleaner will finish off the intake by giving it the correct finish as it came from the factory. Spray an even pattern over the whole intake and let it stand for five minutes at room temperature. The white boiling action of the wheel cleaner’s phosphoric acid will deep-clean the surface. Note that it is not necessary to neutralize this acid. All you need to do is rinse it in clear, cool water and blow the intake dry with compressed air.

17 Spray the intake thoroughly with lacquer thinner, inside and out. This will remove any remnants of contamination and give it a consistent finish. Again, blow it dry.

A painting note for purists: The Tri-Power intake was bolted to the motor at the factory, then a mask was dropped over the intake to cover all but its outside edges before the motor was sprayed Chevy orange. When the mask was removed, the intake was left paint-free except for a strip around the edge. The intake can also be painted this way off the motor, if you touch up the bolt heads after it’s attached.

18 To duplicate the original paint pattern, fabricate a tent-shaped cardboard mask that covers the entire intake except for the edges, then apply Chevy orange paint (acrylic enamel or urethane with hardener) to the edges. When the mask is removed after spraying, your intake is cosmetically as good as new, and it can leave the Casting Zone.

The Casting Zone is located in San Antonio, Texas, where it is commonly known as Jeff Lilly Restorations. You can call Jeff with questions at 512/522-9016.

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2016/07/casting-call/

May 02

Incredible ‘time capsule’ of vintage Chevy cars discovered locked-away in dealer’s garage for 17 years – some with only ONE mile on them | Daily Mail Online

They may be over 50-year-old and covered in dust, but the vintage Chevy cars of Lambrecht dealers in Pierce, Nebraska, are young at heart – and they have the mileage to prove it.

Source: Incredible ‘time capsule’ of vintage Chevy cars discovered locked-away in dealer’s garage for 17 years – some with only ONE mile on them | Daily Mail Online

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2016/05/incredible-time-capsule-of-vintage-chevy-cars-discovered-locked-away-in-dealers-garage-for-17-years-some-with-only-one-mile-on-them-daily-mail-online/

Feb 13

Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan

2015-02-12

 

CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit.

GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”

Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.

The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging.

“We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.”

Start of production and additional details will be announced later.

$200-million investment

GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact,  and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies.

“As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.”

Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes.

“This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”

Orion Assembly is the first GM facility to receive the Clean Corporate Citizen designation by the State of Michigan, and the Pontiac plant has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry three times.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

Source: Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2015/02/chevrolet-commits-to-bolt-ev-production/

Jul 19

Judged Show 6/23/2013

On Sunday, June 23, 2013 our Queens County Region put on the Northeast National meet once again held at the historic Rock Hall Museum in Lawrence, NY. The grounds included craft and food vendors and free admission to tour the eighteenth century homestead of the Hewlett-Martin families. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2013/07/judged-show-6232013/

Oct 04

Remembering 9/11

by Docair Jerry Malkes

I remember that tragic day so vividly. I was at home and neighbor Stuart Light called. “Did you see the TV, a small plane hit the World Trade Center.”

I instantly watched the television and saw the horrific moments when the buildings fell. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2012/10/remembering-911/

Oct 04

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

by Docair Jerry Malkes

After canceling this car show on September 5th due to precipitation, the festivities on September 7th were just perfect. Various clubs such as the Centurian Cruisers, Long Island Dreamboats, Greater New York Region, ACCA (GNYR), Vintage Chevrolet Club of America (VCCA) and especially the Southside Boys of Long Island were present. About 70 cars were counted to honor the Veterans at the St. Albans Veterans’ Home. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2012/10/the-sun-will-come-out-tomorrow/

Oct 04

Queens County Region – Area 11 Judged Meet

by Rich Pokorny

On 8/12/2012, The Queens County Region of Area 11 held their first national judged meet at the grounds of
the historic Rock Hall Museum in Lawrence, LI, NY.

The show was a huge success!

In attendance were thirty eight (38) members for judging and thirty (30) additional non-judged cars. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2012/10/queens-county-region-area-11-judged-meet/

Oct 04

Don’t Rain On My Parade

by Jerry Malkes

Not even Mother Nature could dampen a magnificent display of antique cars at the North Hempstead Beach Park on August 27, 2012. This was the second annual Fun Day Monday Hometown U.S.A. promoted by the Town of North Hempstead and The Vintage Chevrolet Club of America Queens County Region. Included in this presentation was a special salute to the Armed Forces. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2012/10/dont-rain-on-my-parade/

Sep 18

The Fabulous ’50’s: The Years 1956 – 1957

By Genie Feminella
When 1956 showed up, it brought with it Cavalcade of Sports that included women competing in roller derby.
Playhouse 90 became famous for showing Rod Serling’s Requiem for a Heavyweight. In the Still of the Night by the five Satins played over the airwaves and has always been voted an all time favorite. Elvis had
two hits with Love me Tender and Don’t be Cruel during this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2012/09/the-fabulous-50s-the-years-1956-1957/

Sep 18

Wonderful Woodies

By John Linhardt

California surfers adopted old wood station wagons to haul their boards to the beaches and were immortalized by the Beach Boys’ “Surfin USA”. But, what happened to those beach buggies? Wagons got used hard both as family cars and businesses. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://antiquechevyclubofqueens.org/2012/09/wonderful-woodies/

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