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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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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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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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  • 1 year later...
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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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,

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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Eric,

This would be a great undertaking for someone/group of guys to come up with. There are no original cars in my area that I know of. My '64 has had an exterior repaint in a non factory color and the under carriage / engine compartment is really dirty right now. As I start getting to the point where I can get it all de-greased and cleaned, I'll have to see what I can find. One problem that I know that I'll face is knowing what was original where there may now be some surface discoloration on what may have been natural colored surfaces.

Thanks,

Ed

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

Just at a glance the fan shroud and ac/heater housing, wiper motor, etc...would hate to see someone rattle can a nice original fan shroud with gloss black. There are also different suppliers who provided different finishes on their respective components,ie, the power brake booster and master cylinder unit. Just at a glance...

Tom Mooney

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for the great info in this thread. After a 5 year hiatus, I am working on getting my '63 running and driving again. When I bought the car the PS pump was already toast so I started disassembling it to replace it, but that was almost exactly 5 years ago. Now I'm finally getting back to replacing the PS pump and am stuck on what color the brackets should be, and more trying to understand the sequence of assembly.

I've read the engines were first assembled and then painted silver. Everyone seems to say the front bracket should be silver but the attached pic of original literature shows what looks like a black bracket to me. Is the rear bracket also silver or black? I've seen several pics of restored cars where both brackets are painted silver. Not sure what is correct, but if both brackets were first assembled and torqued to the engine and painted silver, how was the PS pump later installed? Should the lower support brace that bolts from the PS pump bracket to the block be silver or black?

I have similar questions on the other side of the engine for the AC compressor brackets. I've seen where the rear bracket is painted silver on some restorations but that does not seem correct. The top brace is undoubtedly black (satin black I assume), and I suppose the front bracket is silver?

I am missing that top brace from the AC compressor to the head(?) so if anyone has an extra I can use it. Were they all the same for '63-'65?

post-59763-14314257329_thumb.jpg

post-59763-143142573301_thumb.jpg

thanks for the help

-Scott

post-59763-14314257329_thumb.jpg

post-59763-143142573301_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]

What brand of coffee do you drink?

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Hi Scott,

I can tell you that my very original '63's PS brackets are both painted silver, and there is no evidence that they were ever painted black. Having worked in the media relations/public relations department of an OEM for many years, I can also attest that almost all images in any original literature brochures, etc., are of pre-production vehicles, due to long lead times to lay out, print, and circulate those brochures. Hence the golden words in most of them that say "preliminary specifications, subject to change."

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Paul's tip re using tin foil is great/ I took his advice a while back and I got good results. Easy to use, easy to mold and form around tight places. Didn't have the heart to put it back in the kitchen.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...
On 8/6/2012 at 10:09 AM, 60FlatTop said:

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

Bernie, your garage and my garage look a lot alike. My organization has improved. I can find things better. No one else could make any sense of it, But they do have to make any  sense.

Red Riviera Bob

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Steelco

enclosed are some before and after of my 67. Take Bernie's ( as well as other's) advice and unless you're a decent mechanic, which I am not, learn to work around stuff instead of removing. The relays, etc are easy of course, and it helped when the mechanic replaced the timing chain. While he did the rough stuff I poked around with the details. ALL of the guys on these pages are helpful and their knowledge is really valuable. Especially the tip about the tin foil as masking. (Don't forget to disconnect the battery.)

The list of correct paint that Ed posted is crucial/ print it out and don't lose it.A good example of working around something is the wiper motor/ I was warned by more than a few experts that it's a real bear to screw around with. But with your tiny artist brushes and even a Q-tip, and some cases a toothpick, you can get really good detail if you have the time and patience.

Good luck!!

IMG_0501.JPG

IMG_6888.JPG

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/5/2012 at 2:20 PM, RivNut said:

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

Ed, thanks again. All makes plenty of sense. The less I disconnect the better I feel. Simple green is a favorite of mine and I recently saw Simple Green has a degreaser product. ( it’s new to me)

Red Riviera Bob

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  • 2 months later...
On 8/6/2012 at 9:51 AM, Paul from PA said:

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...........

Paul, I appreciate the tip. 

Thank you

Ted Riviera Bob

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On 6/20/2014 at 4:13 PM, rocky5517 said:

Paul's tip re using tin foil is great/ I took his advice a while back and I got good results. Easy to use, easy to mold and form around tight places. Didn't have the heart to put it back in the kitchen.

The unused foil in the box, Rocky, not the stuff you used.  ? 

 

My wife wasn't too happy when she wanted to cover the top to the broiler pan and had to dig around in the garage to find her aluminum foil.  Now she has a roll in tne kitchen and i have my own in the garage.  Note: a piece of aluminum foil folded into a pad works great with water to remove surface rust.  Even better with Coca-Cola instead of water, just a hint of acidity.

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On ‎9‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 1:17 PM, rocky5517 said:

But with your tiny artist brushes and even a Q-tip, and some cases a toothpick, you can get really good detail if you have the time and patience.

How did you paint your brake booster? I recently had my brake master cylinder replaced but not the booster and mine is very dingy looking like yours was. What did you do to clean it up and repaint it? Which brand of gold cadmium paint did you use?

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:D                       I think we are being conned on this forum.......when I got to work today I checked the Riviera forum and Red Riviera

Bob had commented on 6 old blogs and according to my computer screen, they were posted in the middle of the night. Red Riviera

Bob.....are you really Donald Trump in disguise?

Edited by Seafoam65 (see edit history)
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