Painting engine cover and valve cover/s
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Painting engine cover and valve cover/s in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I posted this in another, semi-unrelated thread, then decided it might be better off on it's own, in the Northstar ...
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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    I posted this in another, semi-unrelated thread, then decided it might be better off on it's own, in the Northstar section.

    It's time for head gaskets, stud kit has been ordered. While my engine is out and apart, I want to have the valve covers and engine cover color matched to the car. I have a couple of questions.

    I thought I read somewhere that the surface of the aluminum of the valve covers can be powdery once the powder coat was removed. Any truth to this? If so, how do you go about prepping them for paint? I've seen them painted, so I know it's possible.

    Second question, purely opinion. Should I paint both valve covers, or keep the rear one black? I'm leaning towards painting both, I think the rear one being black makes the engine look odd, misshapen and too narrow. Anyone think it would look better to leave it black for some reason?

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    maeng9981's Avatar
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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    Not really being helpful but I heard that the cam covers are made with magnesium.

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    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    Actually, you're right. I remember reading that at some point, I completely forgot.

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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    I was told that too, and they're tricky to paint. I think another member here posted on how they got their's painted.

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    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    I posted this in another, semi-unrelated thread, then decided it might be better off on it's own, in the Northstar section.

    It's time for head gaskets, stud kit has been ordered. While my engine is out and apart, I want to have the valve covers and engine cover color matched to the car. I have a couple of questions.

    I thought I read somewhere that the surface of the aluminum of the valve covers can be powdery once the powder coat was removed. Any truth to this? If so, how do you go about prepping them for paint? I've seen them painted, so I know it's possible.

    Second question, purely opinion. Should I paint both valve covers, or keep the rear one black? I'm leaning towards painting both, I think the rear one being black makes the engine look odd, misshapen and too narrow. Anyone think it would look better to leave it black for some reason?
    Harbor Freight sells a "cheap" powder coating kit.....a few years back, I powder coated a cast iron block and aluminum head (and valve cover) on a Mitsubishi engine I built. It's a VERY easy process and only requires that your wife be out of town so that you can use her oven without her knowing!!! (the fumes will need to air out for a day). I put candy apple red on the cast block without a base coat and the color was GREAT....kind of a maroon candy. I also did the valve cover in candy red, and used a sanding block with 800 grit (IIRC) to get the power off of the ridges after curing....made them a NICE contrast.....

    I put a clear powder coat with "sparkles" on the head....turned out VERY nice, and the engine heat never caused a problem with it. I think it made it much easier to keep the head clean.

    I will probably build the extra engine I have and powder coat the entire thing for fun. Eastwood has a nice color selection and I'll probably try out some "chrome" powder I have in the garage......heck..."candy plum" is on sale!

    http://www.eastwood.com/hotcoat-powder-coating.html

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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    Thanks 89falcon, but my plan is to color match them to my car (Crimson Pearl), so the powder coat route wouldn't work for me. Too bad, I prefer powder coat over paint for engines and chassis parts.

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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    I spoke to the owner of the body shop yesterday. He says he'll have no problem painting the magnesium valve covers. So now I guess I'm just looking for opinions on weather or not to paint both valve covers, or leave the rear one black. Also, I've ordered a set of "Rangers rods", I'm going to have them smooth over the welds (no offence Ranger) and powder coat them satin black. I think they'd look a little funny color matched, right?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    For all the pushing, pulling, drilling, screwing and general maintenance, powder coating the strut rods is a bit of overkill. Whatever...........

    Given the slope of the right cam cover, the only time you really see it is from one side of the car or the other, back towards the windshield.............but, for symmetry, paint it.

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    SliceOfLife is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    Well, I like black. And I don't mind odd. But I wonder why it was left black to begin with. Could there be some value to it?

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    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    Thanks 89falcon, but my plan is to color match them to my car (Crimson Pearl), so the powder coat route wouldn't work for me. Too bad, I prefer powder coat over paint for engines and chassis parts.
    I got bored and did "transparent red" over "extreme chrome" on my extra set of valve covers.....tough to get the magnesium nice and smooth, but the result is eye-popping. I'll have to take some picks (I did the block in chrome and clear...). I'm thinking of doing the plastic intake....after removing all the extra mount points for the old style fuel rail.....anyone know what the max temp is for the intake and engine cover?

    If you do get a wild hair and decide to PC the valve covers, you have to "degas" them....ie, bring them up to a temp above the powder coat cure temp for a good 30 minutes or so....magnesium give off oxygen when hot......they smoke like CRAZY at 425 degrees!!

    until then, the valve covers look like this red....

    http://forum.caswellplating.com/phot...e1-109&cat=504

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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    If you turn the car off in the summer, after a 30 minute drive with the engine temp at 200, the intake and cover will go to just about 200 before everything starts to cool down - BUT, what is the surface temp of a red/blue/black car hood sitting in the sun in June ??? (sun at its highest declination). I'll bet it goes to 300+ - use an IR gun.

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    89falcon is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Painting engine cover and valve cover/s

    Quote Originally Posted by submariner409 View Post
    If you turn the car off in the summer, after a 30 minute drive with the engine temp at 200, the intake and cover will go to just about 200 before everything starts to cool down - BUT, what is the surface temp of a red/blue/black car hood sitting in the sun in June ??? (sun at its highest declination). I'll bet it goes to 300+ - use an IR gun.
    Hmmm....black on black STS......blew the HG's so got the "change engine oil" after one of several overheats.....I'm sure they got above 250.....

    I may cut off some of the fuel rail mount points and "test" them....the PC does best at about 400F, but I can get by at 300-350

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