The following post comes to us courtesy of Mugen aficionado Jerimiah Styles! In this post he shares his experience cleaning up his new-to-him Mugen header. Many thanks to him for another contribution of his time and insight!
I recently picked up a pre-owned Mugen B16A 4-2-1 header from a buddy of mine. He'd offered this header to me many times, but I had until recently declined, as the header needed a little bit of work (cleaning and welding a crack on the bracket). I had always been intimidated to attempt such a project until I received this header. I did a bit of research and decided I was going to sand it up and attempt to polish it. However, I didn't want a high polished "chrome" look, I opted for the original polished raw metal route, the way this beauty came from Mugen.
Here's how it looked when I first picked it up.
One of my good friends is a woodworker and suggested that I try synthetic sand paper. It lasts much longer than conventional sand paper and is easier to use. Unfortunately the finest grit I could find it was 350, but this is needed to really get all of the oxidization off. As you can see just seconds into wet sanding and I was already seeing results. (below)
For this project I wet sanded the entire time. Here is with the 350 grit. Make sure the residue (seen pictured) is constantly wiped down with a rag and kept clean. This not only allows you to see your results, and where you need to sand, but also assures that you aren't damaging the header by getting any pieces of dirt in there that could potentially scratch the surface of the header. (below)
I used a small spray bottle to keep the sand paper wet, and also to keep the header clean throughout the process. This is about halfway through. You can take each step as far as you would like per your own personal preference. (below)
Next I switched to 1500 fine grit, again repeating the same process as above getting progressively finer with 2000, grit, and then 3000. This was as far as I wanted to take it. Again if you'd like a higher polished header go for it, and keep on sanding. After you're happy with the luster that you have achieved, you can take a metal polishing compound and add as much gleam as you'd like. (below)
Here is after sanding. Again repeating the steps and taking each as far as you'd like, 350 fine grit, 1500, 2000, 3000 Before doing any kind of polishing.(below)
A critical step in making sure that your header turns out beautiful is to wipe it down with 99% rubbing alcohol: after polishing, after installation, and before starting your engine. This will remove any remaining polishing materials and oil from the fingers of whom ever installed it. As the header ages it takes on a gorgeous golden hue that adds a touch of Mugen class to any engine bay.
The following post comes to us courtesy of Mugen aficionado Jerimiah Styles! Many thanks to him for another contribution of his time and insight!
In this post Jerimiah covers some of the differences he's observed with the Mugen Hi-Pressure Radiator Cap. Note that there are two genuine versions of this cap:
Del Sol (1993-1997)
RSX Type-S (02-04)
RSX Base (02-06)
RSX Type-S (05-06)
(this version displays "B2" on the decal and fits Koyo radiators)
This is the way the part is described in our King Motorsports / Mugen 1999 Mugen Pricelist for Integra (19045-XGER-0000):
This radiator cap is a high-pressure type that increases the pressure inside the radiator, thus raising the coolant boiling point and increasing the cooling efficiency. The open valve pressure is 1.3 kg/cm2 compared to the normal 1.1 kg/cm2. It demonstrates its power under high-load situations such as circuit driving.
The genuine Mugen cap comes in the traditional Mugen window box with Mugen stripes across the top, and high quality foam to protect the product. Printed Japanese instructions are included.
The back of the genuine part has the typical characteristics of all genuine Mugen parts, kanji in the top left corner and sticker with part number and M-Tec information.
In this below image, this fake window box is entirely different from its genuine counterpart. These knock off companies are always evolving and continually getting better at their packaging, getting closer and closer to the authentic Mugen boxes. Always look at the part itself and its distinguishing signs to discern if the part you are buying is indeed real.
Here is a close up of the genuine cap. The authentic Mugen cap is high quality metal, nicely polished, but not a chrome finish. There are no indentations or stampings on this cap. The decal has a metallic foil quality with golden letters in the red area along with "NEVER OPEN WHEN HOT" printed in white, and a brushed metal look to the script in the black portion.
Now here are a sample of the many fakes that are out there. Fonts, font colors, printing quality, decal size, decal placement, and stamping on the metal are all indicators of a fake. We recently discovered a company on eBay selling just the decal!
Here are a few pictures of the genuine cap's bottom and the included instruction sheet:
Why does it matter?
The Mugen Hi-Pressure Radiator Cap is more than just engine dress-up. It's a functioning part that increases your open valve pressure to a specific 1.3 kg/cm2 for performance reasons. Those that use fakes are not only missing out on performance benefits, but have no idea if the cap has even been manufactured to meet OEM standards. The open valve pressure can be too high, too low, or inconsistent. Fakes can come apart due to bad seals and assembly, causing nasty spills and other headaches.
Visit the King Motorsports store for genuine Mugen hi-pressure radiator caps!