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DeesZ

Media Blasting Resurrection of the Horns

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I've been having a lot of fun lately cleaning up piles of parts with my media blaster. My focus has been on mostly doing cast aluminum parts and nuts & bolts, and experimenting with different media. Today I looked at my horns and they were horrible, so I took them off, gave them a cleaning, and reinstalled them. If anyone is interested, I've attached a few pictures of 'before' & 'after'.

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nasty, nasty....

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but they cleaned up real well....

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Nice work! So when can I send my horns to you for restoration?

-Mike

Thanks, Mike!

Drop yours in Parcel Post tomorrow and I'll have them done for you next weekend! (Not kidding..... ) Does the semi-gloss black work for you? I am guessing that is how they came new. Can anyone verify that or tell me otherwise?

Check out my gallery and albums for other items that have been cleaned up.... it may inspire you to send more than just the horns.

Edited by DeesZ

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Looks great! My horns were redone in a satin black by the PO, and look good enough for me but I have heard the original color was a drab dark greenish color. Maybe that is a year specific thing? Someone will know about that.

What kind of media did you find worked the best for blasting cast aluminum? I would be interested in finding what works the best on various parts.

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Looks great! My horns were redone in a satin black by the PO, and look good enough for me but I have heard the original color was a drab dark greenish color. Maybe that is a year specific thing? Someone will know about that.

What kind of media did you find worked the best for blasting cast aluminum? I would be interested in finding what works the best on various parts.

Thanks, Geezer. Hopefully more will chime in with the "correct color" issue.

As for media on cast aluminum, it depends what you are starting with and looking for as an end result. For really dirty, stained parts, I use a medium or fine grit coal slag. It cuts nicely just about anything (also etches glass nicely!) This stuff is great for removing scratches, file marks (like those that remain after filing off some casting marks), etc. You'll find it marketed under various names, usually with the word "black" incorporated (e.g. Black Magic, Black Beauty, Black Diamond, etc.). Also, it's dirt cheap if you can find it locally and avoid shipping costs. A smoother finish can be had with fine glass beads. Often I will do two passes; first with coal slag, second with glass beads. In the blaster right now I am using a mixture of about 50~50% coal slag and glass beads. This gives me the convenience of being able to deep clean quickly and have a reasonably smooth finish (but not as smooth as glass beads alone). The picture of the blasted horn is an example what this media mixture does. I've found beads great for finishing, but not very good at removing (quickly) heavier rust, paint, etc. Coal slag is quick at that. Aluminum oxide and garnet are also great, but my sources make those prohibitively expensive. (If anyone knows a cheap source, please let me know!)

There is also room to get creative if you have different media at your disposal. Here's a picture of a cam cover that was finished overall with fine glass bead media, then I hand cut a resist of a "Z" and hit it with coal slag for about three seconds.... I call it the 'ghost Z'. I am looking for a good source of graphics for additional potential etchings, as a friend of mine has a plotter set up to cut resist material from good digital images (this will save me a ton of time with the X-acto knives!). This one was done by transferring the image (pencil etching) from the "Z" on the hatch of my '72, so it's an 'authentic' shape/font.

Generally I finalize everything with a coat of hi-temp clear coat. This mutes the 'sparkle' that you'll have after blasting and darkens thing up a bit, but the surface won't pick up stains and dirt nearly as quickly. There are other pictures of my tinkering in my gallery.

Thanks for your interest. I guess you can tell I enjoy the time that I spend at the media cabinet. I'm glad I got a big one, or I'd be out there looking to upgrade.

Attached: several shots of the cam cover with the two types of media used. I think that this is a good way to show the difference between glass beads and coal slag media as well.... Note that the lettering and lands on the top of the cover were mildly polished with a very fine grit wet paper, and also clear coated.

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That is one unique cam cover! Black Beauty, I am familiar with and I find it to be one of the fastest cutting media I've used. I've been blasting for many decades but never had a cabinet and have only attacked rust on steel and experimented on aluminum. I've talked with someone who does the 3D images by using 3 pieces of glass with the corresponding images and he said he uses varying grits of Black Beauty to achieve different finish textures. He says he gets more sense of accomplishment doing creative blasting than any other home hobby. I'm going to look at your gallery now...Nice work!

I figured out where I heard about the horn color, but I still don't know if that is year specific.

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19895&highlight=radiator+support&page=2

Go to post #29

Mikewags, did you see the 1st post?

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Geezer: Yes. I wasn't sure if those are the horns (for honking) or some other part...

Edited by mikewags

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Ah ok, cool. I wondered where the horns went in the S30's. Anyone ever replace the stock horns with something a little louder...like an air horn or something as equally loud?

I've considered it just to get the attention of dumbass drivers on their cellphone so they don't merge into my beautiful paintjob. :)

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That is one unique cam cover! Black Beauty, I am familiar with and I find it to be one of the fastest cutting media I've used. I've been blasting for many decades but never had a cabinet and have only attacked rust on steel and experimented on aluminum. I've talked with someone who does the 3D images by using 3 pieces of glass with the corresponding images and he said he uses varying grits of Black Beauty to achieve different finish textures. He says he gets more sense of accomplishment doing creative blasting than any other home hobby. I'm going to look at your gallery now...Nice work!

I figured out where I heard about the horn color, but I still don't know if that is year specific.

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19895&highlight=radiator+support&page=2

Go to post #29

Mikewags, did you see the 1st post?

Thanks for the compliment, Geezer! I appreciate that..... have been thinking about how to supplement my income with this hobby, as I do enjoy it very much and have the equipment to at least start-up production. I've got to give some serious thought to how to 'price' a service, taking in to consideration making a good deal while at the same time getting reimbursed for the materials, other overhead (like long-run needing a new compressor, media, time). I have a friend at work who has started a business doing glass, stone, plexiglass, etc., but no car parts. He loves the work and it shows in his end products. He's got the equipment to make me the resists that I would need for creative work, so I wouldn't have that cost, up front, anyway.... It's a thought that I may pursue. I never knew what "clean" and "refreshed" meant until I got the cabinet! I'm certain others would like the results, so I may think about marketing a service. Anybody got any good ideas?

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Ah ok, cool. I wondered where the horns went in the S30's. Anyone ever replace the stock horns with something a little louder...like an air horn or something as equally loud?

I've considered it just to get the attention of dumbass drivers on their cellphone so they don't merge into my beautiful paintjob. :)

I've been considering something louder, too, for the same reasons. (I'll just box up the stock horns and shelve them with the 1,000 other parts I have sitting around.)

What has anyone else done? I don't really want to go with air horns (at least I don't think so right at the moment) or ones that play "Dixie", just something louder.... Suggestions?

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It's a thought that I may pursue. I never knew what "clean" and "refreshed" meant until I got the cabinet! I'm certain others would like the results, so I may think about marketing a service. Anybody got any good ideas?

I may be able to help increase your inventory of cam covers. I'll send you a PM.

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Ah ok, cool. I wondered where the horns went in the S30's. Anyone ever replace the stock horns with something a little louder...like an air horn or something as equally loud?

I've considered it just to get the attention of dumbass drivers on their cellphone so they don't merge into my beautiful paintjob. :)

I added the same airhorns that can be found on many Ferraris- made by FIAMM- (NOT the cheap chinese copies!!!) along with a switch allowing a choice of either the "neep neep" or "BLAMMO". BTW, these great compressor-driven horns are cheap, under $30 if you can believe that!! Search for Fiamm Series 2000, I believe, with the metal horns.

I'll add a picture later. I put a high-quality Cole-Hersee brass "pull A, pull more for B" marine switch in the hole above the hazard switch. I was going to reuse an old hazard switch, but I liked the look of the C/H switch better. I bought longer and better quality tubing at an aquarium store, and fabricated a mount using that punched soft metal strapping. Horns went vertically up front to the right of the regular horns, compressor and relays mounted on strut tower in front of the battery. VERY effective, 135 db, which is plenty loud.

After almost becoming a red furry smudge with 920 Gold highlights after nearly being run over by an Excursion (among others) I decided to not be a victim anymore. My old Mercedes 6.9 had a momentary floor switch for the windshield washer system that I used in much the same way, except I rewired the relays to fire up the airhorns and my Cibie aircraft landing light/driving lights at the same time. I called it my "Honey, I'm home" switch. :D I'm looking for one of those and will then rewire again. I already have my horn switch rewired on the end of the turn signal- I find it much faster to reach there when fractions of a second count. Plus I've found that you can always have a pinky at the ready in dangerous situations.

Meanwhile I would LOVE to have my old horns media blasted! They look fantastic. More great work by DeesZ!!! You certainly have the touch.

PS- From the Ferrari348 users website-

"The best way to get the authentic sound of Ferrari airhorns is to buy some from a Ferrari salvage yard. FIAMM "Serie 2000" trumpets are made of a light metal and have their own distinct tone which is not duplicated by any aftermarket FIAMM plastic horns or Stebel. Nothing does it better than the real thing.

If salvaged horns cannot be acquired, the absolute closest sound to Ferrari horns you are going to get is with FIAMM, Hella, or Stebel airhorns. The tone is just slightly higher than the Ferrari horns. Only two horn frequencies make that distinct tone: 795Hz and 840Hz. Hella sells these two horns in a package. As for the other two(FIAMM/Stebel), my search came up empty, so I ended up buying the Stebel 3 horn kit and tossed out the longest "3rd" horn (630Hz) during the install for my own car."

Edited by Poindexter

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Deesz, what other parts would you consider blasting? My master brake cylinder is in need of a blasting, but would you consider actually doing this for pay? I wonder if it would even be worth blasting the surface rust of the MBC.

Let me know.

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I don't want to muddy the waters with what I can remember, but, I, along with geezer, think that at least part of the horns were a dark army green. If you look at the seat fore and aft adjust rod below the seat cushion, it should be that same green color, and I think that the turn signal stalk was also originally the same green.

Someone has to have an unrestored horn to confirm the color.

Dan

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Deesz, what other parts would you consider blasting? My master brake cylinder is in need of a blasting, but would you consider actually doing this for pay? I wonder if it would even be worth blasting the surface rust of the MBC.

Let me know.

Mikewags, I'm open to doing just about anything in the cabinet as long as it fits. (Thought I'd so my grille today but got sidetracked... must measure to be sure it'll fit! It'll be tight.)

Let me dig out some crusty master and or slave cylinders that I should have sitting around, give them a shot in the cabinet, and see what kind of results I can get. I'll post before & after pix then you can think about what you'd wish to have done. It won't be right away, but I'll get to it.

Thanks for the compliment! We'll be in touch.

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Poindexter, thanks for the information on air horns. I may change my thinking about that. The switch sounds interesting... any pix?

geezer, I sent a PM but didn't get into the "increase my inventory" issue.... just saw that post, and am interested in doing so. Spares sitting around, folks???

AZ 240z, thanks for the additional information. This is not muddying the waters at all, rather trying to clear them up. We have the potential to find out the facts on this, so I hope that we do. That way I could do a refresh on these things that would be faithful to originality. It wouldn't be much more work, if any at all, to do it "right". You're right, there are certainly some fantastic 'originals' out there waiting to make a contribution to our knowledge base.... hopefully some will surface for us to see.

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Here ya go- a few pix-

1) compressor mounted- I used a spare chrome ignition coil mounting.

2) horns- direct view

3) horns as seen thru grille

4) A/B switch- position B- it looks like it almost belongs there!

Above the horn switch is the remote annunciator for my radar detector- mounted in the perfect place so I can mute with the touch of one finger, without taking my hands off the wheel.

Hope this helps some of you. It really is great to be able to roar, and get someone's attention every once in a while when you need it. People really are asleep at the wheel most of the time.

The mounting is certainly not the prettiest, but with so much "stuff" getting mounted, and in such an awkward position, the metal strapping provides a lot of flexibility- and holds everything in place rather well.

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Edited by Poindexter

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DeeZ,

I'll PM you about the horns. I have an excellent example of what original unrestored horns should look like on my 72 with 38,000 miles. I'll take some pictures and post them tomorrow. As I recall they were a flat black and had an orignal stamp or some kind of marking on them.

-Mike

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Hey DeesZ, Do you have a "professional" model blaster or a home "do it yourself" job?

Since my restoration has just started I was looking into some soda blasters that can also use beads to help with the messy task of cleaning up my car.

I have seen some for under $500.(Eastwood), but haven't researched in detail yet. Is it worth it to buy or save all my stuff and rent one and spend a weekend doing it all?

Mike

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I've got a Snap-on blaster cabinet (made by Dee-Blast) the box size is about 44"X30"X20", and it's mounted on legs, with dual dust collectors, so it's a "stand alone in the corner" unit. I power it with a DeVilbiss two-stage oil lubricated compressor with an 80 gallon tank that puts out about 16.9 SCFM @ 175 psi. They are fairly well matched up with about a 50/50 work cycle for the compressor. Depending upon the media, the weather, and the subject, I run at pressures between 50 & 90 psi.

I'm still looking for a ratty slave cylinder that I replaced on my '71, but it just won't surface... can't believe that I pitched it, pack rat that I am... I want to show some good before & after results... I found a really ratty looking 280Z brake master that I'll get to soon...

Here are a few more before & after pictures from the other day....

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Hey all. My 71 has the original horns. They are a dark olive drab.
Mine are the same. Same color as used on the seat sliders.

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