Home Tips & Tricks How to Restore Cast Aluminum Intake Manifolds

How to Restore Cast Aluminum Intake Manifolds


  • Remove the duct tape and use the flat sanding board and 1000-grit sandpaper on the mating surfaces. Use a sanding board at least 18 inches long, and keep an eye out for strange patterns appearing on the surface as you sand. Patterns on the surface indicate a wavy mating surface with low spots that may not seal properly. If the patterns are very distinct or you can’t get the surface flat with sandpaper, you may need to take the manifold to a machine shop to have it milled.
  • Thoroughly wash the manifold to remove any cleaner or sand inside; this step is crucial for keeping sand out of your engine and cooling system, so take your time.
  • Once you have the manifold clean and dry, spray it with a couple of light coats of clear-coat paint designed for intake manifolds or engine blocks. Don’t use a standard clear; it’s not designed for high temperatures, and quickly will burn and turn yellow or brown.