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crusher1959

Help finding Silver Engine Paint Code for 63 Riviera

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Does anyone know what the paint code is for the silver used on the 1963 Buick Riviera 401 Nailhead Engine block? I am servicing mine and want to paint it again but be sure i have the right silver.

thanks

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Before buying any "silver" ask for a sample. I've bought paint for my '63 since I got it in 1982. Lot's of places are just relabeling a universal silver. Some are bright, some are dull, some are more gray than silver (which in my opinion the engine acutally is), and some are aluminum - I think most all of them are relabeled mass production colors from other suppliers.

Classic Buick used to have a company in NV custom make the exact color, but that's no longer available. Why CARS is saying it's for a number of years is odd. The Riviera silver/gray was only a one year production, and just for the Riviera. All other '63's were green.

Eastwood has a new ceramic engine paint that I'd like to look at. They have a universal silver in that line that looks really close to the original color . What color it is when it comes out of the can could be something completely different.

Is there any original paint left on your engine that you could have matched?

Ed

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Not the stir the pot, so to speak... But I found this in an old Riview. Although specific to MY '70, it may also apply to other years. The last sentence says it all.

I have tried to search out a possible reason for the claim that 1970 has an orange tint to no avail. Of course, any information on engine paints is almost non-existent. I also believe from speaking to a former Buick factory worker, that the painting of any engine was certainly not an important process in terms of color. He, being involved in one of Buick's paint departments stated that <b>at the end of the day, any left over paint was thrown into the Engine Coloring Vat.</b>

So, engine color may not be precise from the factory to begin with. :confused:

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I don't think I'd try to convince a judge of that if my car were in a 400 point event and it lost points on the engine. If you think about it, how far from the paint line is the engine plant? two or three miles??? Probably not worth the walk over there. :D

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Does anyone know what the paint code is for the silver used on the 1963 Buick Riviera 401 Nailhead Engine block? I am servicing mine and want to paint it again but be sure i have the right silver.

thanks

What did you end up using? Were you happy with the results?

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I've always thought the silver engine color on the 63 is sort of odd. When I re-did my motor, I painted the block with and Eastwood high heat manifold paint. It is a silver, but with a flatter...slightly grayer tone....plus it is designed to handle the high heat. In my opinion, the original silver can look sort of like an old outdoor propane tank or a little like a rattle can job that really shows dirt, oil and grease. It's also interesting just how little of the block shows when it's not painted Buick green, Chevy red, Ford blue etc. It's sort of a trick of the eye. Since the 401 has a huge air cleaner and other accessories, you really don't see that much of the color and the silver really seems muted. It's really about the valve covers, what little else you can see is on the valley cover and a little bit of intake manifold and thermostat housing. I wanted to look mostly stock, but with a little sizzle. I decided to chrome my valley cover and valve covers but redid the air cleaner in the original red with the wildcat aluminum center. To me...it looks great. The block is silver...sort of. The chrome on the valve covers and valley look stock...but slightly cooler. That's where my "silver effect" really works. It looks factory...but better somehow. The air cleaner is stock, showy...but really cool. It never fails. When I lift the hood, people are always surprised and say...."Whoa...that's cool". PRL

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I had what was remaining of a can of "63 Riviera Silver" paint from Classic Buicks. I peeled the classic buicks label off the can and found that it was an aluminum made by Aervoe in Gardnerville, NV. I called them to see if I could get it directly from them or get the name of a local distributor. I was told that they were no longer making that color, but they had some that were really close. They sent me one can each of Dull Aluminum, Universal Silver, and Cast Gray. The Universal aluminum is closest to the '63 color brochure for the '63 Riviera that I have. What I don't know is if the ink color in the brochure is accurate or if the plastic tops on the rattle cans are accurate for the paint in the cans. There's no original paint on my engine to compare anything to. Some day I'll get around to spraying some of each color on some iron and see what they look like. Before I do that, I'm going to order a can of Eastwood's universal aluminum in their ceramic engine paint and compare all four.

Ed

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My biggest hurdle will be finding something original to which I can compare available paints.

Jim, What have you come up with?

Ed

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When I repainted my '63 engine about 10 years ago, I found some original silver paint that was protected. As Ed noticed, it was kind of a dull silver. But it is hard to tell if that was a result of heat and time.

I used the paint from Classic Buicks. It was brighter than the original color I found. When I ran out, I went down to my local auto parts store and bought Aluminum color engine paint. It looked the same, so that's what I've used since. It is probably too bright.

I have looked at a few low mileage '63s to capture this sort of detail. (Mark Uhlig's is a great example.) They are mostly dull, like the original silver I found. Dull is not the right word. They were shiny paint, but not bright silver, more like a shiny, slightly metallic grey. Perhaps "dark silver" instead of "bright silver" is the better way to describe it.

I have not found a source of this color paint yet (but I have not looked too hard). We will see what Ed finds out.

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I spoke with CARS yesterday and what they sell as "Buick Silver" in a spray can, #EP614s, is just Plastikote #207 Aluminum Engine Enamel. CARS also mentioned that the paint they sell by the quart #EP 614 is a better match and is specifically mixed for this application. The cans are not exact but "close enough for most folks." That's fine with me, so i'm going to pick up a can of 207 as well as the similar product from Duplicolor and Rustoleum. I use Plastikote on my Mopar engines and find it far superior to Duplicolor, but will give it a shot. I'll also get a can or 2 from Aervoe as Ed suggested. After I try them all, I'll report back with the results of the Great Buick Silver Spray Bomb Shootout of 2012. It's time we figure this out :)

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All we need now is an example of the original paint to match it to. Who has that, and how can we tell is the color comes through in pictures? Are you willing to try Eastwood's Ceraminc Universal Aluminum as well? I'd like to know how the ceramic paint looks.

Ed

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Ed,

To my knowledge my engine is still the original paint it came from the factory in. When the car was restored they did not do anything to the engine sooo?

Since I still owe you some food and refreshments maybe if you were interested we could meet down at Zona and you can check it out?

Mitch

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Curious, was the optional 425 also silver, or were they green like the rest of the line?

Did the 425 get the red wrinkle finish, or black on the air cleaner.

At least we have an idea what shade of silver to look for.

Thanks guys.

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All '63 Riviera engines were painted the same shade of silver/gray, and all '63 Riviera air cleaners had the wrinkle red finish on them. The only difference was that the 425 engine boasted 465 lb. ft. of torque and the 401 boasted 445 lb. ft. of torque. Because you could swap decals on the air cleaners, the only true identifier is the code; JT for the 401, JW for the 425. Remember, only around 2,600 out of 40,000 63's came with the 425.

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I have owned my 63 since 1986. At that point, it had a little over 50k on it and still wore some its original engine paint. It was a very dull silver, most likely due to age. I bought Silver engine paint from CARS around 1990, and at that point, their Silver seemed to be dead on. A few years later, I needed to touch it up again and called CARS for another can. It turned out to be a much brighter colored aluminum and obviously was incorrect. I spoke to Glen at that time and he informed me that his original source was gone and this was the closest match he could find. (I peeled the label off and it did say aluminum and not silver, way to brite.) I had a can of Eastwood's Argent Silver Rally Wheel paint and tried it on the oil pan. Pretty darn close so I sprayed the rest of the engine. It has been on there now for 3 years (about 4,000) miles and is still holding up great.

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To me it makes sense it is an aluminum color, I bet they were pretty proud of their new 215 aluminum engines and wanted to give the riv a little of that look. I think Pete Phillips bought a 4-speed 63 wildcat 425 and that engine was silver. Most Wildcats were the green color. Has anyone tried Bill Hirsch aluminum paint?

ted

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To me it makes sense it is an aluminum color, I bet they were pretty proud of their new 215 aluminum engines and wanted to give the riv a little of that look. I think Pete Phillips bought a 4-speed 63 wildcat 425 and that engine was silver. Most Wildcats were the green color. Has anyone tried Bill Hirsch aluminum paint?

ted

Aluminum spray paint is too bright. You need more of a metallic light gray.

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I had purchased the Plastikote #207 paint when I had first purchased my car. I never got around to painting the engine until this summer. I have to admit my head was swimming after reading this thread and some others on what paint to use. I went out and tried many other silver/aluminum paints as others had done and rejected them for one reason or another. I even called CARS to get both types of their silver engine paint and was told they did not have either in stock and I got the impression that they would not have any in the near future if at all. I decided to just go ahead with the #207 that I had. Having painted other engines on other cars I was concerned with burn-off on the hotter areas. What I ended up using on the manifolds and any other hot areas was Rust-oleum High Heat Ultra Silver grill paint. It has a temp rating of 1200 degrees.It is a perfect match to the #207 and dries quickly. I was happy with the results. I drove my car down to the ROA Convention which is about a 550 mile round trip. (with air on at times) Since then I have driven another 200 miles. So far no discoloration or burn-off. I wanted to share this with others as this was a cheap, simple solution for engine paint. I hope this does not further muddy the engine paint waters. Bill

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On 6/20/2012 at 10:28 AM, RivNut said:

All we need now is an example of the original paint to match it to. Who has that, and how can we tell is the color comes through in pictures? Are you willing to try Eastwood's Ceraminc Universal Aluminum as well? I'd like to know how the ceramic paint looks.

Ed

 

I know this topic has been bandied about a lot. I am taking my car in tomorrow to have some work done and one of those things is getting the anti-freeze changed which reminded me that I had purchased an NOS thermostat housing several years ago. I will go out on a limb and suggest that the thermostat housing is painted with the same paint as our 63 engines were. I think this is probably as close to an unmolested example of the original silver paint as we will find for comparison. I took some pictures with it against the paint on my engine. The paints I used are listed in the posting above I put in 4 years ago. I think they match up pretty well. 

 

Bill

 

 

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I ran the part number from the GM box and I found the part number is for 63 - 66 Buicks 401 and 425.  I think what you're seeing out of the box is a raw aluminum casting that has yet to be painted the correct color for model and year - silver, green, or red.

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7 hours ago, RivNut said:

I ran the part number from the GM box and I found the part number is for 63 - 66 Buicks 401 and 425.  I think what you're seeing out of the box is a raw aluminum casting that has yet to be painted the correct color for model and year - silver, green, or red.

 

If you look at pictures 3-5 it is pretty obvious this has been painted. You can see the over spray on the inside edge. I'm pretty confident that I could tell the difference between a raw aluminum piece and a piece that has been painted. I don't doubt your findings for the part number. Is it possible that the part number originated in 1963 ( so the first ones were silver) and was expanded as the years went on? I don't know what went on at the GM dealers back then but, I don't think that they would expect the customer to have the paint and paint the part to match their particular engine. Is it possible that the dealer would ask what engine the piece was to be applied to and paint it the correct color before giving it to the customer? Or the dealer would paint them the correct color to match their use and this one never got used? Maybe they all came silver? Maybe someone that bought it painted it 25 years ago. I don't know. Regardless of your attempt to debunk what I have said, I think that at the very least it is another piece evidence that the paints we 63 owners have been using are pretty close to what was there originally. Whether it is the original color or not can not be proven definitively one way or the other. This is just an attempt to help out people that may have been questioning what paint to use. They can make up their own minds and use the information as they see fit.

 

Bill

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3 hours ago, Riviera63 said:

 

If you look at pictures 3-5 it is pretty obvious this has been painted. You can see the over spray on the inside edge. I'm pretty confident that I could tell the difference between a raw aluminum piece and a piece that has been painted. I don't doubt your findings for the part number. Is it possible that the part number originated in 1963 ( so the first ones were silver) and was expanded as the years went on? I don't know what went on at the GM dealers back then but, I don't think that they would expect the customer to have the paint and paint the part to match their particular engine. Is it possible that the dealer would ask what engine the piece was to be applied to and paint it the correct color before giving it to the customer? Or the dealer would paint them the correct color to match their use and this one never got used? Maybe they all came silver? Maybe someone that bought it painted it 25 years ago. I don't know. Regardless of your attempt to debunk what I have said, I think that at the very least it is another piece evidence that the paints we 63 owners have been using are pretty close to what was there originally. Whether it is the original color or not can not be proven definitively one way or the other. This is just an attempt to help out people that may have been questioning what paint to use. They can make up their own minds and use the information as they see fit.

 

Bill

I wasn't trying to debunk anything you said. The picture of the part I found that is available throughout Oldsobsolete shows the one they have in the same color.  Buicks started painting the Nailhead green back in 1953.  Until 1963, when the Riviera engine was painted silver, and again in 1966 when the Riviera and Skylark GS were painted red, all other nailheads were painted green.  I was simply asking a question based on another example that I saw.

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46 minutes ago, RivNut said:

I wasn't trying to debunk anything you said. The picture of the part I found that is available throughout Oldsobsolete shows the one they have in the same color.  Buicks started painting the Nailhead green back in 1953.  Until 1963, when the Riviera engine was painted silver, and again in 1966 when the Riviera and Skylark GS were painted red, all other nailheads were painted green.  I was simply asking a question based on another example that I saw.

 

12 hours ago, RivNut said:

I ran the part number from the GM box and I found the part number is for 63 - 66 Buicks 401 and 425.  I think what you're seeing out of the box is a raw aluminum casting that has yet to be painted the correct color for model and year - silver, green, or red.

 

It is all in wording and presentation. It seemed to me that you were coming up with a reason that it couldn't be 63 silver due to the fact that I was unable to discern the difference between raw unpainted aluminum and a painted piece of aluminum. I missed the question. My mistake. I'm out.

 

Bill

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