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Engine Painting


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I know this may seem like a stupid question to some. I have to ask it anyway. What is the best way to paint a restored flathead engine with matching original manufacturing methods a priority? Should the engine be painted when dissassembled (in which case, when do you paint the head bolts, pan bolts, etc.). Or, should you assemble the engine and then paint it (in which case, should you mask off the head gasket gap, keep the head bolts backed off before torquing, pan bolts, etc.)? Or, should you just assemble the engine, torque it up, and then paint it (in which case, would the head bolts stick to the heads and cause problems re-torquing)? Just need to know the best way from those with more experience at this than I.

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I've seen this question before. Just imagine how the factory painted the engine. Think fast, cheap, easy and then what items absoultely could not be painted like the engine, i.e electrical system bolt-ons, carb, etc.

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I know that whenever I attend a rod show one of the first things I look at is the engine dressing and engine compartment. You would not believe the high dollar paint jobs on the exterior of cars that are wasted completely when one views the cheapie job done on the engine compartment! I have seen many a block with overspray onto the raditor hoses, wiring or water pump areas. This was even on cars with braided metal hoses, high dollar chrome pieces and such.<P>Making a lasting impression with good paint and placement of it is very important in making even a daily driver look like a real show winner. Personally, I believe the parts need to be all bolted up first, properly taped/masked off for paint, and then all the extras added after all the paint has dried. (Not the cheapie spray bombs/rattle cans used to paint with either) All the chrome in the world won't keep someone from noticing a botched engine or tranny paint job. They stick out like a sore thumb.<P>Take your time and do your best work. Don't be satisfied with a spray bomb and the resulting overspray, splatters or runs. Get it right and you will be proud for a long time. <P>I can't tell you how often the kiddo and I look over classy rods and restorations, only to find they did not paint inside the doors where the whiskers and door channel is located. As you walk up to a car and look into the door at the window, this is an area that shows quite a bit. It actually shows more in some cars than others. It is just one of those little touches that means the true difference between a nice car and a quality car. A wonderful paint job is crud when the little things are overlooked. At the recent My Classic Car show I attended locally, I saw a 30's Studebaker that was a real gleamer with all the paint shining like crazy. However, when the kiddo and I walked up to it and inspected just a bit closer, the paint was all missing inside the window trim. It had been overlooked and, again, had I been a judge in the event, I would have amazed the guy by counting off points severely here.<P>Just an opinion,<BR>Huey<p>[This message has been edited by coupe1942 (edited 10-19-2000).]

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Jim, your engine should have the head bolts painted in 1950 I believe. I am unsure of the correct color, you might know. I have done a few 59AB engines and have found the best way is to assemble everything you can, then paint it. Be sure to prime the block with epoxy primer first and really clean it good to remove all grease. This will prevent peeling later on. I even tape off the engine really good and hit it with a small sandblaster right before priming. This gives a nice surface for the paint to adhere to. Another good resource to check out would be the website for the Early Ford V8 Club of America. This address is <A HREF="http://www.earlyfordv8.org" TARGET=_blank>www.earlyfordv8.org</A> . Good luck with your restoration.

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Thank you for all the valuable input. I will paint the engine assembled as described. All accessories and carb removed of course. I will be using 1 Qt. of Bill Hirsch's Ford Bronze which is correct for the 1950 Ford. I will torque everything up to spec for the headbolts, pan bolts, everything except the intake/exhaust manifolds. Everything cleaned of oil and grease and wiped down with lacquer thinner, then wipe with paint silicone/wax remover. I don't think I will epoxy prime the block though. I hope I don't later regret it. But, I've been assured the Bill Hirsch enamel is a quality paint that adheres well to well prepared base metal. I'll post a pict when it's complete.<P>I do have questions regarding whether the valve covers, crankcase vent tube, oil filler tube, and oil dipstick are painted black or bronze. Thanks again!<p>[This message has been edited by Jim M (edited 10-19-2000).]

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Before you rush to do the paint job, head on over to the following site for any paint and auto body questions. Len Stwart hosts the site and it is great for restorers, pros, novice, newbys, etc. Get the facts before you clean and shoot! Check with those guys and you will get a great honest answer from pros who have years of experience. You can check the archives there as well.<BR> <A HREF="http://www.autobodystore.com" TARGET=_blank>www.autobodystore.com</A> <P>When you enter, just hit the icon to the garage area you are looking for; paint, autobody, etc.<P>Hope it helps. <BR>Huey<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jim M:<BR><B>Thank you for all the valuable input. I will paint the engine assembled as described. All accessories and carb removed of course. I will be using 1 Qt. of Bill Hirsch's Ford Bronze which is correct for the 1950 Ford. I will torque everything up to spec for the headbolts, pan bolts, everything except the intake/exhaust manifolds. Everything cleaned of oil and grease and wiped down with lacquer thinner, then wipe with paint silicone/wax remover. I don't think I will epoxy prime the block though. I hope I don't later regret it. But, I've been assured the Bill Hirsch enamel is a quality paint that adheres well to well prepared base metal. I'll post a pict when it's complete.<P>I do have questions regarding whether the valve covers, crankcase vent tube, oil filler tube, and oil dipstick are painted black or bronze. Thanks again!<P>[This message has been edited by Jim M (edited 10-19-2000).]</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>

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Jim,<P>I am only wondering here. Are you certain the '50 Ford flathead 6 cylinder was painted the same color (bronze) as the V-8? I have never done a Ford passenger with a 6 cylinder so I'm not certain on this. I do know that the '49 Ford truck 6 cylinder was red, as I have done one of those. Was the passenger 6 color, the same as the truck 6? I'm curious!<P>Rick

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No problem, Rick. I guess I should correct myself an say "valve pans" instead of valve "covers?" Now, if I could just figure out what color the oil tube, crankcase vent tube, and oil dip stick tube and handle should be.<P>Added note: Ford truck engine colors are a whole different animal in these early Fords.<p>[This message has been edited by Jim M (edited 10-20-2000).]

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Jim, <BR>On all Early Ford V8's and 6 cylinders most of the engine accessories were painted black. Nothing special, just the same old Ford chassis black. This included the oil filler, air cleaner, etc. However, your car, being a 1950 model may be different. I know that the 49-51 years were a confusing mess for engine colors! Don't take my word on the black.

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Rick, I can positively, without a doubt in my mind, for sure, say the correct color for a 1950 Ford Flathead 6 is the 1949-1951 Ford Bronze. On some 49's, I think they were using a blue color, but, changed to bronze as the model year closed. This current project car had 56,000 mi when I bought it and 59,000 mi when I started the restoration work (some 18 yrs after purchase - oh well). The bellhousing, valve covers, and oil pan still had sufficient bronze to assure me of the original color.

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I learned something years ago,from an old Buick assembly line mechanic. Buick painted all their motors after assembly. Anything that had a seal(gasket) oil and water, was assembled and painted together. The motors were then tested. Intake,exhaust,breather pipes, were added down the line.<BR>Probably all Mfgs did the same process, saved<BR>time and money.<P>Jim Schilf / palbuick

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I've just sent Jim a couple of photos of a 6000 mile Ford 6 cyl. eng. They are both of the left side. Jim I'll asure you the side pan, dip stick & tube were bronze.<BR> palbuick I was glad to see your coments on the Buick eng. Most people can't beleive the Buick v8 eng. had the fuel pump' carb.& fuel line on the eng. when it was painted.

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I've just sent Jim a couple of photos of a 6000 mile Ford 6 cyl. eng. They are both of the left side. Jim I'll asure you the side pan, dip stick & tube were bronze.<BR> palbuick I was glad to see your coments on the Buick eng. Most people can't beleive the Buick v8 eng. had the fuel pump' carb.& fuel line on the eng. when it was painted.

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Fella's, you came through for me again. Thanks for all the valuable posts. I believe I can do a respectable replication of the engine paint with your valuable input. Thanks to all.

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