Funny you should mention this. Last time I checked, a junkyard in my area had 3 cars with the HO engine, which means they have the chrome valve covers. I'm actually going back in a couple of days to pick one up for myself, and I can certianly check out some prices for you. If the price is reasonable then I'm going to buy one to install on my car, and I can pick one up for you if you are interested.
So once I go there to check a price then I'll let you know what we're looking at.
Oh hey thanks G.... I though it was only the HO engines that had the aluminum covers. Another question for you. How would you go about polishing the aluminum to make it shine? Is there any product or method that you would recommend?
Oh and by the way, for some reason I kept calling them "Chrome valve covers" even though I knew they were aluminum.
Polishing aluminum is pretty easy. I did it to my wheels. You have to wet sand with 200, 400, 600 grit. Then buff with 3 grades of buffing compound. It's a very time consuming process. it took me about 4-5 hours per wheel. But the result is a chrome like finish.
You can use a palm sander on the flat areas to make things easier. Use a dish soap bottle to squirt the water accurately to keep water out of the sander. The 6" buffing wheels(you need 3, one for each compound) and compound kit I got from princess auto. I used a bolts, nuts and washers to make arbors for the wheels so I could attach them to a drill.
Here's a link to the instructions for polishing wheels. Doing a valve cover would be similar. They say to only use 2 buffing compounds, but using 3 makes it easier. http://www.fieroproject.com/wheel.htm
for the ? of how to polish it, there is a much easier way then what olympic suggests. not saying his way doesnt, but there is an easier way. Mothers makes a product called aluminum/mag polish. its in a small round jar. that is all you need, and a rag. if they are in half decent condition, this is all you need. just put some polish on the rag, and polish till shine comes through. the polish is white, but will turn almost black, a real dark grey, once clean. try that if you arent into olympics way. although his way probably will last longer or make it a little nicer.
I was over at my uncles house this afternoon, and we got into the topic of cars. I was telling him that I intended to get an aluminum valve cover and polish it real well so it shines like chrome. He told me that he's got this miracle polish that he uses on aluminim and it makes it shine like the sun! He's got a classic Model T which he restored and he uses this stuff on his car. He showed me what it can do.... Sh!t it's pretty good!
My uncle's a charter pilot and apparently they use this stuff to polish the aluminum parts on the aircraft so that they resist drag and oxidation.
Unfortunatly this stuff is not avalible to the civilian market, but he told me that once I got the cover to bring it by his place and he'll take it into work and get it polished.
Mother mag polish is what you use to maintain the finish achieved after polishing like I described above(I use it on my rims). The Mothers paste will not polish raw cast aluminum to a chrome like shine. The purpose of the wet sanding is to remove the grain and imperfections from the surface of the cast aluminum. Then the buffing process is what makes the chrome like finish.
It's a very labor intensive process so that's why it's alot more money when you buy anything that is polished aluminum .