How Do You Paint An Engine?

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Anonymous

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So I'm looking for tips & advice on how to paint an engine properly.

Brands of paint that seem to be more durable than others?

Do you use a Primer before you paint?

How about surface prep?

Haven't decided on color yet. If I go Cadillac Blue what is it called and where can I find some?

What ever I use has to be out of a Spray Can.

Thanks
~JM~
 

pageboy

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Eastwood has the Cadillac engine dark blue in spray cans. I think MTS might also have the right color. The only place I might use a primer is the oil pan and valve covers. That's if I wanted to make them look show pretty. But I've never used primer even on these pieces. Just clean them up good and scuff them with a red scotch brite pad. Last time I sprayed the thing down with disc brake cleaner before painting it, as it had oil drips and smudges on it from assembling.

One thing I did do was to paint the heads and the crossover passage on the intake with gray high temperature exhaust paint before painting them blue. This way when the blue paint burns off the areas where exhaust goes the gray will show through instead of bare rusty iron color. So far it's working well. I also painted the exhaust manifolds with it, but without the blue.
 

POTTER

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I only used plasti-cote for many many moons, until they gave me some for the Engine Masters. It was duplicolor. I actually prefer it a little over plasti-cote. They are both great paints. I have tried about every one you can imagine as we averaged 3 engines a week for about 20 years. Most of em, you can wash off with varsol a week later. Your basic prep is on a clean, dry block- warmer the better up to about 120 degrees. Right out of the hot tank if you can , otherwise final clean it with hot of water as you can get through a hose with a de-greaser such as puple stuff or any other non-oily cleaner. The trick is the heat followed by imediate blowing off with an air hose. If it ain't hot, it'll rust where I am AND where you are. As soon as you have it dry, take some wd-40 and spray it on a clean rag and wipe down the cylinder walls asap. Don't get it anywhere else for now. You will final wipe your deck surfaces down with laqquer thinner prior to installing the heads. Spray a tack coat on, enough so that you get some coverage, but enough to where you can see through it. Wait about 10 min., then spray a heavier coat on. When doing the exhaust ports, keep it as thin as possible on the port tops. A dust coat on the very hottest parts won't tend to come off like a thick sheet when it heats up. That is the top and both sides of the exhaust port. No primer neccesary. Make sure it's hi temp engine enamel. Make sure the final coat is on before it all dries....tacky to tacky ,sticky much better. Adding another coat later ain't reccomended.
 
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I use either duplicolor or velspar if i can get it.
Velspar has a dark blue that is close enough to caddy blue to suit me.
Richard has great ideas as far as painting all i really make sure of is clean and dry and paint it asap.
On my own engines I take a paper towel and jam it in the exhaust port as far as needed to protect the guide and valvestem and take some VHT high heat white and paint the inside roof of the exhaust port with 2-3 light coats.
It seems to help keep the paint on the outside from burning off for quite a while.

The guy who does some of my machine work uses Sikkens Paint to paint his engines.
As far as i know they only make it in black/grey/chevy blue and some darker gray color and its mixed up and sprayed thru a reg old automotive spray gun.
It seems to last forever and even after lots of miles it is still pretty shiney.
engine in his truck is spray bombed black and it looks just like it did other than a few scratches and i know he puts alot of road miles on the truck .
 

jim

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All the smaller parts can be painted with any of the above paints. but to make them last bake them in an oven after dry to the touch. About 110 deg. make sure the wife is gone for awhile!  All my pulleys, brackets, valve covers(when painted), anything I can get in the oven gets baked.  It last much longer,& is harder. I have a guy that is doing powder coating close to me here, that is the ultimate, harder than chrome!!!
 
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Anonymous

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Ive used both
seem about the same to me

valspar makes a cadillac color too ...good luck finding any
probably some GM place bought it all
 

Paris

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The "GM Blue" is probably the light blue that they used on the 368/425.

The VHT Cadillac dark blue is what is on my engine.

I just painted the sbc that I'm putting in my truck. I just sealed it up and sprayed it with some brake cleaner. Took all the oils and what little paint was left on it, off. I'm hoping it holds up.
 

Boogiemanz1

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  Has anyone had the intake and exhaust ports ceramic (thermal barrier coating) coated?  I have done them on sidevalve (flathead) HD and Indian engines, it contains more of the heat in the exhaust port, and helps keep the intake a bit cooler.  The big reason on those engines was to keep the cylinder straighter to enable me to run less endgap. 

  The painting discussion just made me think of it....should make the paint stay on better if nothing else............... wonder what it would do for water temps?  I have the portion of the guide that is exposed in the port coated as well....why not............jb
 

Wasted

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i've used  dupli-color on 4 engines with no problems.

sherwin-williams makes dupli-color so it's a pretty good paint.
 

Necromancer

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My block comes home from Fowler Engine tomorrow. I want to paint it more of a blood red. Who mixes colors for engine paint?
Thanks, Al
 

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You'll have to call a magazine OR computer research it, BUT there is a company who will custom mix colors and put em in a spray can for $25 per. I think the second and so forth is much less. I seen it with me own eyes......somewhere.
 
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