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Clean and detail engine compartment 63 riv (what to use and tips)

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Would you fine people be kind enought to give some tips on cleaning the engine copartment of my 63 riv? I don't really want to take it apart at this point but would like to make it look better. Any tips on using something like Gunk etc., what to look out for and any products to use to shine it up abit. Here a photo of it (notice the pair of pliers holding the air door open by the firewall.

Thankspost-85701-143139122095_thumb.jpg

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Be careful not to start taking things apart to clean and paint. You could lose the pleasure of having a car to drive. If that was my car I would get a roll of paper towels and a can of WD-40 to start the job. Go over everything. Just squirt the WD-40 on the paper towel and rub away the dirt, oil, and dust. You will be surprised at the outcome. I do this every couple of weeks and before a cruise night with my cars. The light coat of WD-40 keeps dry areas from getting rust.

That core support will unbolt so paint that and the hood latch. I used spray can black epoxy on mine the first time and it lasted the first 25 years.

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

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I looked at the picture and from what I can see that would be easy to do that would make a real difference would be to:

  • Remove the battery.
  • I use Simple Green spray and low water pressure and try to remove as much dust and dirt as possible.
  • Blow other dust and dirt loose as you can using an air compressor and blow nozzle and use the air to dry any places that might still be wet from washing it down.
  • Unbolt all of the items from the inner fenders and mask and paint the inner fenders a satin black after going over the surface with a scotch-brite pad to give the surface some tooth. Just loosen them and move the accessories (horn relay, voltage regualtor, vacuum tank, etc.) out of the way, don't disconnect them from anything.
  • Take some lacquer thinner and remove the overspray from the wiring harness (from the looks of the inner fenders and the wiring harness, it looks as if the car was repainted and oversprays got into the engine compartment) and other items.
  • Use the same lacquer thinner to remove dirt and grime to restore the original color to exposed wire insulation.
  • Repaint the air cleaner and install one of CARS, Inc. silk screened air cleaner decals - I notice the 465 on the air cleaner; you have one of the low production 425's from '63.
  • Get a couple of pieces of cardboard and some masking tape and repaint as much Silver as you can on the engine. One nice thing about cast iron - you don't have to worry about a mirror like finish. Use a foam brush and tab paint where it's needed. You can mask some places to get a fine line where needed.
  • Use a brush applied exhaust manifold dressing on those.
  • Get some black heater hoses and reroute them to make them as inconspicuous as possible.
  • Use a small brush with Simple Green on it and get into all the corners.
  • As Bernie says, remove anything that's easy and repaint it after cleaning and some light sanding.
  • Becareful what you leave on the engine in the way of chemicals. They may look dry, but they'll gather dust.
  • Reinstall the battery. This time with the POS terminal next to the radiator. (If $$ permit get a black #0 gauge negative battery cable. Originally Buick used two black cables, but I like the looks of a red POS cable. There's a clip on the inner fender to hold the POS cable down and against the inner fender. You won't find #0 gauge wire at your corner jobber. I had some made at a local NAPA regional shop.
  • As you get started, things will become easier and you'll start getting more and more ideas as to what you can do to spiff things up. Having a nice large glossy picture of a restored engine compartment will help you see what else you can do.

Good luck and let us see some "after" pictures.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Ed,

Could you give me just a little more detail..Just kidding!!!! Thanks that sounds great. Makes good sence. I will work on that maybe next weekend.

Cheers

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Man, what a tough crowd. But "ask and ye shall receive."

UNDERHOOD DETAILS<O:p></O:p>

§ engine – color by year, make, and model<O:p</O:p

§ firewall – body color or semigloss black depending on year

§ under hood – body color or semigloss black depending on year

§ frame and upper/lower control arms and upper shafts-semigloss black

§ front coil springs-gloss black or natural(better detail contrast

§ inner fenders, radiator support-semigloss black

§ radiator and fan-gloss black (use special radiator paint)

§ fan clutch-natural aluminum <O:p</O:p

§ radiator shroud-natural black plastic or gloss black

§ steering box-natural cast iron gray

§ steering linkage-natural steel

§ front sway bar-natural cast iron gray <O:p</O:p

§ heater or AC housing-semigloss black <O:p</O:p

§ hood hinges, latch, catch and springs- gray phosphate plated <O:p</O:p

brackets – engine color or gloss black (engine color if bracket is held in place by torques bolt and was in place for initial test run (front a/c, power steering) <O:p</O:p

§ steel pulleys-semi gloss or gloss black(gloss gives more detail contrast) <O:p</O:p

§ cast iron pulleys- natural cast iron

  • master cylinder- natural cast iron

§ brake booster-gold cadmium plated (master cylinder lid also)

§ windshield wiper motor-gloss black

§ alternator- natural aluminum

§ power steering pump-gloss black

§ AC compressor-semigloss black

§ steering column shaft-natural steel

§ horns- gloss black

§ coil- gloss black

§ coil bracket – natural steel

§ voltage regulator-gloss black

§ distributor- natural aluminum with gloss black cap

§ fuel and brake lines-natural steel

(it doesn’t hurt to paint natural steel or aluminum with clear coat to prevent corrosion / rust)

UNDER CARRIAGE DETAILS

§ bell housing-natural aluminum

§ transmission – natural cast or aluminum

§ transmission support- semigloss black

§ driveshaft- natural steel

§ rear axle- semigloss black

§ rear swaybar -semigloss black

§ rear coil springs-gloss black

§ rear control arms- semigloss black

§ gas tank-natural steel(shiny)

§ gas tank straps-gloss black

§ parking brake cables-natural steel

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Don't forget to use aluminum foil to wrap around things you don't want painted or overspray to cover. Oh and when your done the the foil, put in back in the cupboard were you found it...........

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Phew! I'm going to get that can of WD-40 out and spritz mine up a little. This is beginning to remind me of when I came home from a show in 1994 and decided to clean some wire ends with lacquer thinner. Look what I had by the end of the week.

Bernie

post-46237-143139123058_thumb.jpg

post-46237-143139123051_thumb.jpg

post-46237-143139123055_thumb.jpg

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Phew! I'm going to get that can of WD-40 out and spritz mine up a little. This is beginning to remind me of when I came home from a show in 1994 and decided to clean some wire ends with lacquer thinner. Look what I had by the end of the week.

Bernie

[ATTACH=CONFIG]148693[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]148694[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]148695[/ATTACH]

Hey, I resemble that remark. :P

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The only thing I have to add is some big props for the silkscreened air cleaner cover form CARS, I got it for mine and it is stunning!

DSC04972.jpg

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The only thing I have to add is some big props for the silkscreened air cleaner cover form CARS, I got it for mine and it is stunning!

DSC04972.jpg[/quote

Hi Rob

Did you use semi gloss or gloss on your air cleaner assembly? It looks like semi gloss in the picture. I believe gloss is factory correct.

Regards

Glenn

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Thanks for the detailed list, Ed! I cut and pasted it to post in my garage tonight.

I just tackled the first stage of a full engine compartment cleaning last weekend, using a combo of Gunk (foul stuff and rinse well!) as well as Simple Green. I used an assortment of stiffer and softer toothbrushes. Just getting around and under the intake manifold, or scraping the crud off the timing chain/water pump, can take a full session. My only suggestion would be to divide the engine compartment into zones - maybe left inner fender, rad support, right inner fender, firewall, and then r/s and l/s engine, and finally hood underside (with a big tarp covering the work you already did below!) Another thing I did was to make sure I started the car after each section was done, just to make sure I didn't upset any wiring connections, etc. Easier to backtrack if you do.

My next step will be to decide what really needs refinishing and what doesn't. But after a thorough cleaning I discovered that my '63, which has a silver engine, is sporting a passenger-side cylinder head with definite traces of Buick Green! I was kind of glad to make that discovery because to me, it's evidence that at least some engine work was done sometime during its +170K mile life!

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All this advice is excellent. Thanks Ed for the color rundown VERY HELPFUL!!!

My 2 cents, and I am picky. use a crescent wrench almost all the way closed and straighten out the lip on the air cleaner snorkel towards the front of the engine. Clean the air cleaner and valvecovers and the whole engine will look alot better! Send more pics!

Here is the custom air cleaner on my Son's Riv. Ed said it was from about a 66 Toronado, I used a new 445 decal and it look right at home!

2013-09-15164513_zpsda304fde.jpg

2013-09-15164523_zps9c4baac9.jpg

Before decal....

2013-09-15164340_zps994107f7.jpg

And I am going to turn the battery around as well, right now it is on my workbench on the charger.

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Wow - that dual snorkel is cool! All you need are a couple of those small wildcat decals on the intakes horns!

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Wow - that dual snorkel is cool! All you need are a couple of those small wildcat decals on the intakes horns!

They are there...

Kaber

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I've been a bit confused about the original color of the 401 in 63 Rivieras. I see them with green paint and with a silver toned color.

The 63 I had was a silver toned color and it was original and mostly untouched.

Does it matter if it was an early production car as mine was?

post-77797-143142410117_thumb.jpg

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ALL 1963 Rivieras regardless of cubic inches came from the factory with silver paint on the engines. Not bright silver, but not aluminum either. Look for other threads that show pictures of the correct color.

Ed

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Man, what a tough crowd. But "ask and ye shall receive."

UNDERHOOD DETAILS<o:p></o>

§ engine – color by year, make, and model<o:p</o

§ firewall – body color or semigloss black depending on year

§ under hood – body color or semigloss black depending on year

§ frame and upper/lower control arms and upper shafts-semigloss black

§ front coil springs-gloss black or natural(better detail contrast

§ inner fenders, radiator support-semigloss black

§ radiator and fan-gloss black (use special radiator paint)

§ fan clutch-natural aluminum <o:p</o

§ radiator shroud-natural black plastic or gloss black

§ steering box-natural cast iron gray

§ steering linkage-natural steel

§ front sway bar-natural cast iron gray <o:p</o

§ heater or AC housing-semigloss black <o:p</o

§ hood hinges, latch, catch and springs- gray phosphate plated <o:p</o

brackets – engine color or gloss black (engine color if bracket is held in place by torques bolt and was in place for initial test run (front a/c, power steering) <o:p</o

§ steel pulleys-semi gloss or gloss black(gloss gives more detail contrast) <o:p</o

§ cast iron pulleys- natural cast iron

  • master cylinder- natural cast iron

§ brake booster-gold cadmium plated (master cylinder lid also)

§ windshield wiper motor-gloss black

§ alternator- natural aluminum

§ power steering pump-gloss black

§ AC compressor-semigloss black

§ steering column shaft-natural steel

§ horns- gloss black

§ coil- gloss black

§ coil bracket – natural steel

§ voltage regulator-gloss black

§ distributor- natural aluminum with gloss black cap

§ fuel and brake lines-natural steel

(it doesn’t hurt to paint natural steel or aluminum with clear coat to prevent corrosion / rust)

UNDER CARRIAGE DETAILS

§ bell housing-natural aluminum

§ transmission – natural cast or aluminum

§ transmission support- semigloss black

§ driveshaft- natural steel

§ rear axle- semigloss black

§ rear swaybar -semigloss black

§ rear coil springs-gloss black

§ rear control arms- semigloss black

§ gas tank-natural steel(shiny)

§ gas tank straps-gloss black

§ parking brake cables-natural steel

Ed,

What is the source of this finish guide?? It is definitely not "correct" for a first gen Riv

Tom Mooney

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Tom,

I copied and pasted this some time ago to a word document. I can't remember the source but it was some GM based website that I came across (I think).

Question: Is it close with just a few differences or is it totally off base?

Ed

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Ed, I believe the source for the finishing tips came from this source: http://www.buicks.net/shop/resto_5.html

There are slight differences, but most of the content matches up.

Can anyone be specific on what does and what does not match up?

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Ed,

When I said 'match up' I meant that the information at the link very closely matched your post. I didn't mean to say that it matched what would be correct for a Riv. I recognized the information in your posting only because I also have a '68 GS 400, which is a GM A body as Tom mentioned, so I was a bit familiar with the website.

I would imagine that some of it will be correct for a Riv (only because some parts are standard GM parts). However, I don't know which.

My understanding of the correct color palette for these things are based on Jason Z's documentation of his restoration process on this second gen GS. I think the gaps will have to be filled in from owners of survivors.

My '64 is an unmolested survivor and whenever I start an undertaking I take plenty of photos. The photos are primarily so I can reassemble things when done, but also as documentation in case anyone else should need it.

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