Are there any aftermarket valve covers available for the 240? And if not, what's a good way to dress it up / make it look better?


No. There are no aftermarket valve covers available for our cars. None that are marketed anyway. What I have done in the past is the following: first I stripped all the rough-finish paint off the cover with some paint stripper. I then put on black wrinkle-finish paint. (It may not look like wrinkle finish until you actually get it on the motor and let it heat up. This stuff works with heat.) After the paint cured, I then took fine sand paper and sanded the letters down to the aluminum. So I had a black rough-finish valve cover with polished aluminum letters. Pretty nice. This didn't suit ME however. The next weekend, I stripped off all that paint, and took it to a friend who has a beadblaster. I blasted the dog pee out of it. This left a very nice satiny aluminum finish. However since there was no coating (you could probably use a high-temp clearcoat paint on it..) it was very susceptible to grime and grease, which stained it. A good motor grease cleaner just st! ained it worse. I couldn't have that so.... I was browsing the internet for valve cover options, and came across a dealer called Mid-West Parts Group. They specialize only in Vettes, but they have a special valve cover paint for '97-'92 vettes. It's silver (brushed aluminum) and it looks totally awesome. It costs $11.95, but it is DEFINITELY worth it. So I bought the stuff and sprayed my valve cover -- and it couldn't look any better. Nice satin aluminum finish -- very smooth and all once nice color. Better yet, if you get something on it, you can take a rag and it wipes right off. I am very very satisfied, and it's really worth the money if your cover's starting to look crappy.

[email protected]

Faq: Is there any way to dress up my valve cover?

Go to the nearest auto parts store and pick up some paint stripper. Make sure it contains methyl chloride. And don't inhale the stuff;you are better off smoking crack! Take the valve cover off and soak it with the stuff. Wait about 15 min. then get a scraper and gently remove the paint. It may take several coats to get it all of. You will be surprised what lurks under neath! There are several ways to polish it. Then I used 600 grit,400 grit 800 grit then steel wool. But too my surprise the rusty old steel brush achieved the best shine. start with the rough sand paper then the steel wool then the steel brush and rub at different angles. I was totally amazed. Then maybe take a break and come at it again. Or try different brushes. With different stiffness and bristle size. The new valve cover cost me $3.67. Not bad for a guy with three project 240's! It doesn't look like glass but it does shine.  Oh and don't be afraid to hose it off before you brush and polish.

And I forgot the finishing touch. Get some clear ceramic engine enamel at the old auto store and make sure the entire surface is clean. Spray it a couple coats every 8min. If you want to come back at it again later don't. Spray it all in about 25 min. Otherwise you will have the shattered glass look. Sucked for me cause i had to re-do it over again. If you wait like two days you might be ok. Also the shine is like restaurant stainless steel but a little bit shinier. If you are lazy and rich send me the cover and I will do it for $50. E-mail me and let me know. I takes a good 3 hours to get the factory crap paint off, let alone the day of polishing. I have since invested in a orbital polishing kit which can make it look like polished rims. good luck! it is amazing what nissan was hiding under all the paint.don't forget you can polish the eccs unit.

Brett Sandstrom
Email: [email protected]