Boss 351 Aluminum Valve Covers Stuck

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So I am tearing down the externals on my engine getting ready to do some painting on the engine.  I am not going to remove the engine since it appears to be in good shape.  

Some context:

In preparation for getting my Mach back running again after sitting 25+ years I have been doing a bit of work.  I pulled the plugs and borescoped the cylinders and they are all rust free and thankfully appear to be in good shape.  With all the accessories & water pump off the front of the engine, the crankshaft turned easily and smoothly with a ratchet wrench.  I have not done a compression check, but at this point I have no reason to expect I have a problem.

My next step is to remove and refurbish the valve covers.  Back in 1975 I purchased and installed a set of the Ford aluminum Boss valve covers.  They have not been off the car since maybe 1980 or so.  Today after removing the valve cover bolts I attempted to remove the covers.  First a tap with my fist, then using a rubber mallet...no luck.  I used a thin gasket scraper and gently tapped it between the cork and the head on the front of the engine (see photo) and with a bit more tapping still no luck.

I am afraid of cracking the valve covers if I use too much persuasion.  Does anyone have any suggestions for getting these MFs off?  Thanks!

20200929_132945.jpg

 
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If you have a heat gun I would warm it up some, and then try to get a thin bladed putty knife between the gasket and head, and try to move it along the perimeter a little. It likely won't take much, just need to get it started pulling loose in one place.

 

kiko619

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I had this issue before. I took those plastic putty knifes you get a Lowes for sheetrock splatter. They're like $1 I just happened to have one laying around. took a rubber mallet and whacked it. Once you get a small section lose you can just pull it off.

 
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Thanks for the advice guys.  The heat gun with the thin putty knife did the trick!  As you can see things look pretty good under the covers.  Now I just need to figure out the best way to restore the covers themselves.  They did not come polished from Ford, they were just kind of a smooth cast finish.  Any suggestions?

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Use a sanding block with 120 grit to resurface the tops of the fins. Use 0000 steel wool on the main body. Make sure they are completely clean. Completely cover them with Eagle One Etching Mag Wheel Cleaner. Count to about 10 (not longer) and thoroughly rinse. They will look like just out of the box. Chuck

 
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One side done, one to go.  Photo to show the difference below.

I sprayed the cover down with Aircraft Paint Stripper (remove black paint between the top fins that I applied as a teenager in 1975).  Then 0000 steel wool and finally Eagle One Etching Mag Wheel Cleaner as recommended by c9zx.

Valve Covers.jpg

 
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