Author Topic: Aluminum bell housing restoration  (Read 1377 times)

Offline kcodecoupe

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 245
Aluminum bell housing restoration
« on: September 08, 2014, 08:23:44 AM »
Looking for ideas to clean and restore an aluminum bell housing without meadia blasting to retain the factory smooth look ,the bell has your normal oxidation ,dirt & grime,  thanks.

Online 67gta289

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1540
Re: Aluminum bell housing restoration
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 12:30:16 PM »
I had mine tumbled and it looks brand new.
John
67 289 GTA Dec 20 1966 San Jose
MCA 74660

Offline drummingrocks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1245
Re: Aluminum bell housing restoration
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 12:31:37 PM »
I had mine tumbled and it looks brand new.

After tumbling, did you clearcoat it or anything to protect it?  I'm curious as to how the finish would stand up to regular usage without being protected; would the aluminum just start staining and oxidizing again?
--1965 fastback, 289/4-spd, built Feb. '65 at Dearborn
--1965 convertible, 289/4-spd, built Mar. '65 at Dearborn
--1966 GT fastback, 289/4-spd, built Dec. '65 at Dearborn
--1966 coupe, 200/3-spd, built Dec. '65 at NJ (in the family since 1968)
--1967 coupe, 289/C4, built Dec. '66 at NJ
--2017 GT

Online 67gta289

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1540
Re: Aluminum bell housing restoration
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2014, 01:51:03 PM »
It is still in a "clean room" ;)

Have not thought about clear coat.  As with everything in life, I'm sure there are pros and cons to that.
John
67 289 GTA Dec 20 1966 San Jose
MCA 74660

Offline jwc66k

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3654
Re: Aluminum bell housing restoration
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 03:30:58 PM »
Aluminum when exposed to the elements forms aluminum oxide on the surface, similar to iron oxide, aka rust. The big difference is that, while iron rust will allow additional moisture that causes more rust, aluminum oxide "seals" the surface stopping (or slowing down) any more oxidation. That's the good news, if you clean the aluminum surface you will be OK, if you scratch the surface don't worry (a lot). Don't apply any paint or other sealer. Do pay attention to steel permanently attached to the bell housing.
That being said, one local restorer type took his aluminum bell housing to a steam cleaner business. He recommended that procedure to me, I didn't take mine yet and I don't know the cost. It did look good. A second restorer type used his portable home pressure washer on his bell housing and C-4 transmission and he recommended that method. (And, you can also use the pressure washer to clean your cement walks and driveway if you borrow one. Wow!)
Jim
 
I promise to be politically correct in all my posts to keep the BBBB from vociferating.

Offline Bob Gaines

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4322
Re: Aluminum bell housing restoration
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 09:07:00 PM »
I used to have a steam cleaner (old age problems,pump, coil on and on) but while it worked many years it was wonderful on how well it cleaned things. The steam (sounded like freight train when steaming) would get out dirt and grim incredibly well on parts that were not oxidized already. Small block bell housings and C4,C6 transmissions too.
Bob Gaines,Shelby enthusiast, Shelby collector , Shelby concours judge SAAC,MCA,Mid America Shelby