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Old 04-13-2022, 06:29 PM   #1
Waiex191
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Default Aluminum valve cover 99+

So my kid built a little CNC machine for educational and fun purposes.
https://youtu.be/HOlFnjqXTfk

He is going to buy a real machine this summer. I'm curious what the demand would be for a narrow head aluminum valve cover and what price the market would bear. Any feedback?
...
Bryan Cotton
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Old 04-13-2022, 06:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Aluminum valve cover 99+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
So my kid built a little CNC machine for educational and fun purposes.
https://youtu.be/HOlFnjqXTfk

He is going to buy a real machine this summer. I'm curious what the demand would be for a narrow head aluminum valve cover and what price the market would bear. Any feedback?
i certainly wouldn't mind having the option of an aluminium cover for the roller-rocker head, although i don't have an abundance of funds.

however, there is one thing i'd be quite happy to pay for, so long as it's less than sunroof doctor charges... that'd be aluminium replacement sunroof guides! it seems they're out of stock anyway, so you might be the only one in the market! i think they used to sell ones for the 1st gen cars, but they don't even list those on their site anymore. i have a couple of friends with 1st gen coupes whose sunroofs are inoperative due to similarly broken plastic guides, and i need replacements for both janus and pandora, so there definitely is demand for them for both 1st and 2nd/3rd gen cars.
...
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Old 04-13-2022, 09:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Aluminum valve cover 99+

That's good feedback. Those parts should require a lot less material and time.
...
Bryan Cotton
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Old 04-14-2022, 10:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Aluminum valve cover 99+

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultravioletnk View Post
i certainly wouldn't mind having the option of an aluminium cover for the roller-rocker head, although i don't have an abundance of funds.

however, there is one thing i'd be quite happy to pay for, so long as it's less than sunroof doctor charges... that'd be aluminium replacement sunroof guides! it seems they're out of stock anyway, so you might be the only one in the market! i think they used to sell ones for the 1st gen cars, but they don't even list those on their site anymore. i have a couple of friends with 1st gen coupes whose sunroofs are inoperative due to similarly broken plastic guides, and i need replacements for both janus and pandora, so there definitely is demand for them for both 1st and 2nd/3rd gen cars.
I talked with the owner from Sunroof Doctor at the beginning of March 2022... Apparently there was a ton of confusion... they (Sunroof Doctor); have only ever made replacement parts for the 2nd/3rd Generation Sunroofs.. They've never made them for the First Gen Sunroofs because the design is obviously different.

But- throw my vote and need for replacement guides on a First Gen Sunroof as well- for my Homecoming Edition Project, which is the first gen Sedan.

In regards to the Aluminum Cam Cover- one would have to make sure that the Bolt Patterns are correct. Saturn did have 2 or 3 different Aluminum Cam Cover designs- which also included a different bolt pattern. I'm going off of memory here- I think there was an 8 bolt pattern, and a 10 bolt pattern on the Cam Covers. I know when I owned my 91 Sport Coupe, the bolt pattern was different, then it was on my 94 Sedans, as well as my 97 SW2 when I owned that as well.
...
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Old 04-14-2022, 10:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Aluminum valve cover 99+

Have you looked at how much everyone else doing machined aluminum valve covers is charging for them? LS ones are over $400 per head and those, I think, have less venting/porting than the LLO.
The "cheap" under $200 pairs are not machined, they're molded. The major cost is that you start with a chunk of aluminum bigger than the VC, then machine out over 80% of it.

If you made sand-cast molds for the VC you might have a chance at keeping the cost reasonable, but there's probably even a smaller market for them than there is for the EGR adapters.

The DOHC VC bolt pattern was '91-'92ish, '93ish-'98 and '99-'02. '91-'95 were all cast aluminum, '96-'98 all warping plastic, '99-'02 good plastic and less common '94's got a plastic cover in the shape of the aluminum one. Interchangeable '93ish-'98 as long as you keep the bolts with the cover style.

Oh, that's another thing that'll make creating another VC interesting...getting the right bolt lengths to hold it down.
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Old 04-14-2022, 12:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Aluminum valve cover 99+

I see no point in making an aluminum cover for '98 or older. I can find those in the junkyard. I do have a buddy who does aluminum sand casting. Could be an option.

Not sure if my kid will actually do this or not, but if he buys a machine he will probably look for a way to make it pay for itself.
...
Bryan Cotton
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
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Old 04-14-2022, 12:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Aluminum valve cover 99+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
I see no point in making an aluminum cover for '98 or older. I can find those in the junkyard. I do have a buddy who does aluminum sand casting. Could be an option.

Not sure if my kid will actually do this or not, but if he buys a machine he will probably look for a way to make it pay for itself.
If he buys a CNC machine and is looking for some revenue, I may have a few projects if he is interested. Mainly things like intake manifold flanges and maybe a few brackets/ plates.
...
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Old 04-14-2022, 06:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Aluminum valve cover 99+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
That's good feedback. Those parts should require a lot less material and time.
that was my thought exactly, and i think there's much more practical demand for them. i prefer the aluminium 1st gen cover, but i've never had any issues with the composite ones warping or cracking, whether it be on a 2nd gen or a 3rd gen. i have, on the other hand, observed that basically every sunroof seems to end up with those damn plastic guides broken, and hence totally inoperative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
I talked with the owner from Sunroof Doctor at the beginning of March 2022... Apparently there was a ton of confusion... they (Sunroof Doctor); have only ever made replacement parts for the 2nd/3rd Generation Sunroofs.. They've never made them for the First Gen Sunroofs because the design is obviously different.
the design is definitely different, but i have seen some old posts (mid-'00s) where people were talking about having gotten replacement parts for the 1st gen sunroof from sunroof doctor. given their lacking communication and out of stock parts on their site, i tend to suspect the confusion is actually on sunroof doctor's end, regarding parts they used to make. i've observed the same trend from other aftermarket parts companies that used to make performance parts for our cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
In regards to the Aluminum Cam Cover- one would have to make sure that the Bolt Patterns are correct. Saturn did have 2 or 3 different Aluminum Cam Cover designs- which also included a different bolt pattern. I'm going off of memory here- I think there was an 8 bolt pattern, and a 10 bolt pattern on the Cam Covers. I know when I owned my 91 Sport Coupe, the bolt pattern was different, then it was on my 94 Sedans, as well as my 97 SW2 when I owned that as well.
the bolt pattern is a bit different for the different years of 1st gen cam cover, but they all do bolt up to all 1st/2nd gen heads. you just omit the bolts that don't have a flange on the cover, or for which there is a flange on the cover but not a mounting boss on the head. it will still seal well if you ensure the mating surfaces and gasket are clean.
...
rings-1996 sl2 ~215k mi
phoebe-1995 sl1 ~250k mi
janus-2000 sohc2 ~190k mi
tethys-1994 sw2 ~302k mi
rip mimas-wrecked 1996 sw1-trailer
pandora-1999 sc2
dione-1998 sw2
penny [iapetus]-1997 sw2
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