I am at the beginning of doing an engine swap. Out with the 2.8, in with the 3800SC Series III from an 04 GTP. I currently have the engine on an engine stand, and have begun de-wiring, de-greasing, and getting rid of stuff no longer required.
Soon, it will be time for paint. I figured I would as for some ideas and opinions from others. I do know I am going to do the block, transmission and accessories in silver. I will do the pulleys, brackets and such in black. Lastly the super charger and valve covers I am doing body color (Vista Blue).
As far as the type of paint, I of course want something durable, and that can stand the heat in the engine compartment. I will be using a spray HPLV spray gun to apply the paint.
I have been debating between a gloss black, and a matte / satin black for the pulleys, brackets and such. My thinking is that the gloss black will be much harder to keep looking clean. Everything seems to show up on gloss black.
So any pointers on what type of paint (lacquers, urethane's), finish, or brand do people use for engines for the most part?
I used Duplicor engine enamel on the sc and valve covers over 8 years ago and are still holding up real well (aside from small chips and scratches I caused during the swap). I know you're intent is to use a spray gun, but this was a cheap and durable alternative for me so far.
Originally I did a silver block, silver blower, red valve covers, black brackets and accessories. However having a bright silver engine is not fun for a daily driver. The second time around I painted the block Pontiac blue. And the intake, exhaust and valve covers wrinkle black. I love it. I installed reflective insulation so my engine bay is very bright. Looks killer. Check out my build if you want.
Just thin out some rustoleum with mineral spirits and spray it. If you prep everything right, you don't need anything else. I have engine blocks I painted 10 years ago with a brush that still look new to this day
I've only ever painted blocks with rattle cans, but I will say this. The exhaust sees the majority of the heat. As long as your gaskets seal as intended, and you PREP the surfaces well, any paint should hold up well. The articles I've seen on engine rebuilds of show quality never seem to merit any particular paint, but they all detail proper surface prepping. As for color and dirt showing up, my mechanic suggested cleaning with Pledge brand cleaners. Yes, the home surface cleaner. It is surprisingly good at making one clean last much longer. Stuff just doesn't like to stick to it. Consider it your new engine wax
Yep, prep is 95% of any paint job, and at the top of my list. I have degreased the engine for the past 3 days straight LOL! As I work on the engine for an hour or two each day after work, I scrub, spray more degreaser, and pressure wash it off. The first time washing it, is when 85% of the grease came off, but when you go back, you find little areas, or remove more components, more seems to show up and needs to be removed.
Pledge... really? Interesting. I have always used it on my home electronics, keyboards, stereos and such to make them look new again, but never thought of it for an engine.... Will have to check it out, thanks for the tip!
I meant to add that prep also includes sanding all surfaces to promote adhesion. This will make it last as long as possible. Avoid prep time cleaners that leave a residue as well. I've been told that black paint helps dissipate heat better, but I can't confirm this.
I do plan on sanding where I can get to, after it is completely clean and ready. Then one final rinse with a dawn and water solution, and then just straight water to leave a completely clean surface. I am also going to buy a few rattle cans of "Adhesion Promoter" and go over everything lightly with that first.
Any suggestions on using primer or not? I surprisingly have not seen mention of primer in any of the threads, or comments in this one.
Rust inhibiting primer would be smart for anything that isn't aluminum. If you're prepping very well, primer isn't totally needed. Just my experience. High zinc paint can serve the same purpose for anything prone to rusting. Outside of that, I would use primer to achieve thicker, smoother coats on any surfaces that are rougher.
Thanks for all the advice! I found a lot of information on YouTube, and wound up going with a PPG Urethane single stage paint. Also a Urethane Clear coat to follow up. I painted the Supercharger first, and am extremely happy with how it turned out! I am comfortable shooting with this, and will do the block and other parts with the same single stage paint process. This particular clear called for a 4 to 1 paint to hardener ratio. Speaking with the guy at the paint store, he said I could go with a 3 to 1 ratio for a harder and more durable clear coat, and that is exactly what I did.
I generally use Duplicolor engine paint for OEM colors. If Im doing something custom, like matching the cars paint, I just use automotive basecoat/clearcoat and it does as well, except they all burn a little around exhaust ports on the heads. Another trick I do if the engine is out, is go around it while the paint is almost dry, and in a well ventilated place, take a welding torch and run around it getting the paint and metal hot. It bakes it on almost as good as powder coating. Just dont get it close enough, or long enough in one place to burn it.
Gloss black is MUCH easier to keep clean than flat or semi gloss on things like brackets and pulleys. Looks nicer too. The only real time to use flats under the hood is doing a restoration to look original. Corvettes in some years have 5 different black degrees of gloss on various parts and judges will doc points for wrong ones in wrong places.
[This message has been edited by rogergarrison (edited 03-04-2016).]
Thanks for the info, I was leaning towards gloss black, and I guess that settles it then.
I did the Supercharger so far in the same paint as my car, have a look at the link a few posts back. I am happy with the results, and it was pretty simple to do. Thus, I am going to go with a silver base coat, and clear over the top of that for the engine and Transmission. Lastly a single stage black and clear over the top of that for all the pulleys, brackets, mounts and such.
Its also not a bad idea to clearcoat polished aluminum pieces too, like valve covers, to keep them from tarnishing. I put a set of polished ones on one of my Corvettes and after using cleaner once on the engine, I ruined them. Ended up just scotchbriting them. I cleared the whole engine in my 05 Magnum with the aluminum 5.7 Hemi right after I got it, and it looked brand new 4 years later. My buddy who bought one right after me didnt and his engine looked like crap in a year.