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Painting Engine Compartment and Motor
I painted my engine compartment about 20 years ago. The engine was out. I went to a local paint shop, told them what I was doing and the young lady provided primer and paint. They sold me prep material as well. I used a compressor. I don't recall the paint brand. It has held up extremely well. I also paid extra for a decent mask/ventilator.

You will not get an even finish if you try painting with the engine in the car. It is impossible to get the paint can/sprayer in the right positions. Also, if you are trying to paint around wires, even covered in aluminum, the paint will be noticeably uneven.

To add to being a bummer, you cannot do proper prep of the surface with the engine in the car. And prep is always the key to a decent looking paint job that will last for years. The surface needs to be cleaned and prepped or the paint just won't stick.

73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

Pics of modifications included in:
Last year I did my 73 vert with the engine in but would pull the engine to do a much better and easier job if you have a lift. You can probably pull the engine in 3-4 hours and save you days of fighting to do stuff around the engine. Most of my engine compartment I washed the rattle can paint the PO had sprayed on off with lacquer thinner so that the original paint shows. I did have to paint the radiator support and just used a satin black. The two part that another member mentioned that mixes in the rattle can is the best you can do for a rattle can.
I would pull the hood and front fenders off there are lots of places under the fenders that hold trash and the sealer cracks and lets the water get to the bare metal and feed the rust.
I did pull everything off the engine, PS, fan, radiator, grill, valve covers etc.. If you have regular steel valve covers I would actually strip the paint off with Aircraft stripper. The original paint will have rust under it that needs to be sanded or blasted off.
The correct color of blue is called Ford Corporate Blue. There is another blue that is lighter and is incorrect.
Also it does not cost any more to do the "Concours Correct" than to just paint. It just takes using the correct colors and finishes.
Slop Grey is the color for the following. Shock tower braces, under fender shock tower caps, center hood latch bracket. Some of the grill attach parts.
The hood hinges, shock mounts on the shock towers and hood latch all have the phosphate coating NO PAINT. I order the materials and do my own. You do have to have a very large stainless container to do the hood hinges and I suggest taking the springs off to coat.
The headlight bucket and some brackets are satin black. There are several posts on the forum with great info. It will not cost you any more to make it look correct than to just spray it all black. It will look so much better is it has the correct finishes like a member posted.
BTW there is no decal on a Ram Air air cleaner lid just the Ford Corporate Blue paint. There never was a decal on any models with Ram Air under the hood.
Also new bolts in the fenders and grill will make it pop and not cost a fortune.
The car in the pics is my driver Mustang and not meant to be a perfect show car. I have to keep telling myself that when I work on it. It only has 48,000 miles and is a California car. The PO put the MSD on so I left and a stock air cleaner will not fit with it installed.
If you pull the engine you can also take the wire harness out and to a re-wrap with the special tape they use that has no glue on it. You can order from NPD or one of the suppliers and makes the harness look new. Remember to put a new rubber hose for your windshield washer in the harness wrap when you do it. Also be sure to clean all ground connections of any paint and put a spot of electrical lube to prevent rust.
Getting it all clean is the key to the paint sticking. You do need to sand or scuff with a scotch brite to give the paint something to grip on to.
You can get a seal kit at any parts supplier for the PS pump and do it while off. I also took my air conditioning system off and cleaned and detailed it. The bracket for the belt adjuster on the air conditioning is also phosphate coated. I did not coat mine ran short on material.
Pull the engine you will be glad you did. I would replace the core plugs in the block while out they do tend to rust and leak. Oil pan gasket is also a good time to replace. This type job tends to snowball but pay me now or pay me later I guess.
[Image: DSC00044.jpg]

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
I used the Eastwood chassis black spray cans to paint over the cowl and front half of the engine compartment. Even though it was from a spray can it looks very good.
Prep is 90% of the job. In many parts i sprayed over Rust Bullet that i had brushed on.

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        [Image: 20160929_171923_edit2_small.jpg]

1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump
4-wheel disc brakes
(05-16-2018, 01:20 PM)tony-muscle Wrote: I used the Eastwood chassis black spray cans to paint over the cowl and front half of the engine compartment. Even though it was from a spray can it looks very good.
Prep is 90% of the job. In many parts i sprayed over Rust Bullet that i had brushed on.

I did use Eastwood Chassis black on the frame and cross members. Forgot to mention that before.
My engine compartment was painted with acrylic enamel with a catalyst, mixed to the eggshell recipe with a flattening agent. Still looks great after 15 years. If I were to do it again, I'd use a single stage urethane for the reduced drying time and improved durability.

My first couple cars were simply done with Krylon semi-gloss black. Worked just fine for the investment. I still use it for brackets and such.

If you don't have a compressor, I'd recommend you make the investment. They are not that expensive and I'd be lost without mine. Spray guns from Harbor Freight are fine for an engine compartment.

Here the link to the Ford corporate blue that NPD sells. I think it a good match to what Ford used back in the day. I used it on my air cleaner. Came out well.


John J
Thank you all for the information and thoughts.  It gave me a lot of great ideas.
My goal from my first post was to do it pretty nice without pulling the motor.
I'm almost down to the block. Radiators out, harness pulled back to the firewall, ect..
Looks real doable.
Thanks for the engine photos!

Check with your local auto paint jobbers , If they carry spray max products there ya go. 1k, 2k, primers, 4 gloss levels of black. Matt and gloss clears, plus adjustable pattern nozzles. Plus some stores can put any color in a rattle can . It's a good line of aerosol products
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