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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I picked up a brand new completely stock ZL1 lid last week, and since I enjoy a challenge, decided to try and mill it myself with regular old woodworking tools.

I built the milling box and the router support out of scraps I had kicking around. Using my variable speed Bosch 3 1/4HP plunge router with a 1/2" single flute 1/4" shank carbide bit, I removed just a hair over .26" off the top of the lid at the front. (Measuring down from the highest point on the front first rib) The milling is tapered towards the back, where only about .15" was removed.
I'd recommend a 1/2" shank router bit, but couldn't find one locally that had the single flute.

I ran the router at it's lowest speed of 8000 rpm, and used plenty of Walter "Coolcut" non ferrous paste to keep the router bit from getting gummed up from the aluminum.
I've read that soap works as well, but didn't try that.

The cuts were very shallow at .025" or less per pass, and for the final cuts, less than half that.

This process takes a good bit of time, as I was moving the router slowly in order not to have the router bit chatter or break.

To clean up the mill marks, I hand sanded with 120 grit adhesive backed sandpaper stuck to a flat wood block. I used the Coolcut paste to keep the sand paper from clogging. A bit messy!

The top front part of the manifold was beveled with a belt sander with 120 grit, just to gain a tiny bit more hood clearance. I also used the front part of the belt sander to contour the passenger side bosses to gain clearance for the hose.

Overall, the milling of the lid turned out really well.
While it was satisfying and fun to do, it'd be a hell of a lot faster with CNC equipment, or a milling machine.

Having spent a good bit of time making the jig and working on this lid, I'd say it's well worth buying the lid milled with the reinforced brick and the 12an bungs welded on the manifold from one of the vendors on this forum.

However, if you have the time to spare and a few decent tools, go for it........







 

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Looks great! Very nice work.
 

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That - is - awesome. Well done.

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the comments!

As for the tools, in theory they're similar in concept to a CNC or milling machine. Except you're controlling and moving the tool by hand.
Slow and steady is the key.

If a low-rent wood butcher like me can do it (aka - cabinetmaker), then the many skilled people on this forum would have no problem tackling this.
 

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Angle grinder, five minutes and some JB weld for the holes....

And it would sorta look like that!

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Discussion Starter #10
Angle grinder, five minutes and some JB weld for the holes....

And it would sorta look like that!

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Shit!!! Why didn't I think of that??? I wasted so much time!

If there's ever a next one, 3 minutes with a big ass concrete grinder should do the trick.
Give it the old distressed look.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Since you are a cabinet maker, just run it across the planer.
Ah yes, the good old planer, or even better, the jointer. The destruction would've been epic!

For a brief nanosecond I actually did consider running it through my 24" wide-belt thickness sander. Then I realized I was a dumbass for even considering that....

Yesterday I had the 12AN fittings welded on the manifold and had the brick reinforced/welded by a local machine shop (Quantum Machine Works). I think they did a great job for a very reasonable $50.
Unfortunately I don't have a TIG welder (yet), so I still have to outsource my aluminum welding.




And here it is all together and done.



I do have to admit that I borrowed some ideas from the pro's that modify these lids day in and day out (0FX2GV, DMS, etc...)
They know what they're doing.
 
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