When it comes to engines, I appreciate factory performance options that deliver outstanding power straight from the factory. However, that’s just a jumping-off point for hot-rodders and tuners, so I really love aftermarket speed parts. Valve covers themselves have a simple job: keep the oil inside and debris outside. Aside from providing more room for larger rockers or a stud girdle, they are almost totally cosmetic. Why not pick some that lend the right tone to your engine bay? Here are five of my favorite styles of aftermarket valve covers for domestic V-8 engines.
Read the entire article on Hagerty.com:
Quality aftermarket valve covers tend to be built stronger,specially cast aluminum. These seem to torque better which allows them to seal better. And of course those decorative fins help to dissipate heat a little more efficiently. But they still look cool!
When I bought my 79 Jaguar with a Chevy 305 it had aluminum valve covers. The problem is that there is no oil filler provisions. And there's not one on the engine either. If your engine has the oil fill hole on the valve cover make sure you get a set with that feature or you'll be filling the oil through the PVC hole.
The Larsen Engineering two-piece rocker covers were eye candy for small block Chevy's. And the Rodeck 481 set for a big block told everyone that you were serious! Now, the cool thing is the fabricated type with "stack of dimes" weld beads.
Wouldn't it be cool if there was a valve cover manufacturerer that would make custom "personalized" covers!!!??? One would open his/her engine bay only to reveal "Customized
CONTRERAS" (any first or last name)!!!
I've been looking long and hard for aftermarket "dress up" valve covers for my 2004 5.7 Liter HEMI motor. The factory shroud is nice but I sure would like to dress up the engine further. Any suggestions?
There are several aftermarket vendors out there, here's just one of them.
One of the coolest set of valve covers I have seen was on a replica with a Chevy small black. Simple grey sheet metal cover, but with a little sticker saying,"TRACO".
OK, so I got most of that stuff already but having 20K miles and about 10 years use on these finned aluminum items, I see lots of crud and staining going on in the dulled areas between in the valleys below the polished fins. I have used many different solvents and polishes plus varied methods to clean these areas with only marginal looking results. Does anyone out there know a good way to do this without removing these items for cleaning and getting a nice appearance afterward without spending all day to "Get 'er done" ? Grumpy's Ride" is not a trailered show car but a very presentable street rod which goes a whole bunch of places when my health and this virus will let us do so. Grumpy would sure like to have some help on this one because Grumpy's wife is getting tired of breaking her finger nails while doing it, lately. Thanks...
An 8-or-10 to 1 ratio of distilled water and pool acid (WEAR GLOVES AND GOGGLES!) in a squirt bottle and a small tire brush works great for me. Hit 'em with some Simichrome polish and they'll look nice!
RickB, …… How do I break this to you. If your "HEMI'' has four valves per cylinder.....it's not a HEMI. It's a PENT ROOF combustion chamber...… and an advertising campaign from Chrysler. Apparently , real Hemi combustion chambers are dome shaped.... and I was corrected by an old fart standing beside me at a club meet looking at cylinder heads. Physics won't let you put four valves in a dome head , only two.
If you want to see what your cylinder heads look like inside take a look outside your kitchen window at you sons tent in the backyard.
For my ‘60 Corvette, the factory imperfect ribbed aluminum covers are a must.
I’m not a fan of jewelry under the hood. An exposed engine is the exception. Even back in the day, I’ve always gone for the sleeper look, so the less showy the better (painted aluminum manifolds included). I tended to have rats before that became a “thing”. I liked understated; factory performance covers or plain die cast covers, not ribbed. Even fabricated covers at times. Rigid aluminum covers do a much better job at sealing things up. The older covers made in any fashion are usually thicker material. The stamped steel and aluminum covers nowadays are thin as all heck and have no place on a street engine.
Cal Customs are indeed the best. Some of the "dress" OEMs are hard to beat too. Chevy big block chrome stockers are in my top 5. So much so, didn't want to give em up on my racer so used B&B valve cover risers to clear my roller cam valve train. I smoothed and blended them into the head area (engine was black) and all my fellow racers wondered how I cleared roller rockers with stock covers. I never told, and if I'm being really candid here that motor was actually slated for street racing. Nothing to fret when you see stock valve covers, right? 😉