Home Tips & Tricks How to Restore Cast Aluminum Intake Manifolds

How to Restore Cast Aluminum Intake Manifolds

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Aluminum intakes are a study in functional art, but keeping them beautiful requires a bit of work. Cast-aluminum intake manifolds have a lot going for them in terms of function and production, but they do have at least one major flaw. Like engine blocks, aluminum manifolds are investment cast by pouring liquid aluminum onto a mold made of sand. This process leaves the manifold’s surface slightly rough to the touch and likely to absorb fluids such as oil and antifreeze. Combined with the powder-like oxidation that forms on the aluminum’s surface, and cracks that may form during use, these kinds of stains and contaminants can visually and functionally ruin an otherwise-fine intake manifold.

Things You’ll Need

Shallow container large enough to hold the manifold, Dish detergent, Stiff-bristle paintbrush, Oxidation remover, Duct tape, Razor,  Sandblaster, 200- and 400-grit equivalent sand, Sanding board, 1000-grit wet/dry sandpaper