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Thread: How to properly prep and paint an engine block?

  1. #1

    Cool How to properly prep and paint an engine block?

    I need to prep and paint my 5.0 block so the paint will last and not flake off. In the '90s, Ford bean counters decided it was cost effective to not paint their motors from the factory! Therefore, it's covered with a thin layer of rust (not to mention grease and grime). What's the proper way to prep this beast so the paint will stick? Also, recommendations for primer/paint? Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    lower Michigan
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    31,074

    Default

    My suggestion would be to get it hot tanked. It will come out clean and ready to paint.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    45,563

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    We sell this POR product for $24.95 plus shipping but you would need to call to order 1-609-858-3670



    POR-15 High Temp is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures up to 1200F and will resist cracking, chipping, and peeling
    Brush on or thin to spray
    Sandblasting is optimum surface preparation

  4. #4

    Cool

    My concern is abrading the surface so the primer/paint will adhere well. Wire wheel? Scotchbrite? Surely there's a procedure that the high dollar TV guys (Overhaulin', Bitchin' Rides) use.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by evintho View Post
    My concern is abrading the surface so the primer/paint will adhere well. Wire wheel? Scotchbrite? Surely there's a procedure that the high dollar TV guys (Overhaulin', Bitchin' Rides) use.
    It depends on the products used. If you use the POR product you can use a small hand sand blaster to give the metal the right texture and you don't need primer because the primer can be your weak spot.


  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by evintho View Post
    My concern is abrading the surface so the primer/paint will adhere well. Wire wheel? Scotchbrite? Surely there's a procedure that the high dollar TV guys (Overhaulin', Bitchin' Rides) use.
    This is a bit apples and oranges, but I recently went through this same thing doing a restoration on my tractor. The best/fastest way I found to prep the block was to use 4" wire wheels, braided wire wheels, and the smaller sizes down to 1" for the nooks and crannies. If you have the head separated just remember not to run the wire wheel on the head gasket surface as this could potentially compromise the seal. I ended up taking my head to a local machine shop and having it resurfaced and valve seats ground anyway, but the face on the block should only be scrubbed lightly with a soft scrub brush or scouring pad that won't leave any permanent gouges. Try to do this as dry as possible with no/very limited solvents if the pistons are still in the bores.

    I found the best/cheapest way to wire wheel the block was to buy the multi-packs that they sell at Harbor Freight. They sell both the kind that can be used in a drill, as well as the ones with a shank for a grinder. I used both the drill for slower, more precise areas and the grinder for wide open areas. It should be noted that when you spin those puppies at grinder speeds, the wires WILL fly off as it wears down. I was routinely picking these out of my shirt, pants and gloves!

    The biggest headache for you will be getting the block down to the "white" while trying to mitigate any flash rust. Len has a product in the store called Picklex20 that can help with this. I did use this, but because it is expensive I also purchased Rustoleum Rust Dissolver gel from Walmart and would apply it to each area that I had finished, especially when walking away from the project for the day or weekend. Its only about $8-9 bucks a bottle and goes a long way, I found that it worked very well to keep rust at bay until it was time to paint. Then I used the Picklex20 right after grease/wax remover.

    Finally, this is a restoration/show tractor which means its working days are long behind it. For that reason, I opted not to go with a high-heat paint and used a PPG Shop Line 2 stage system for everything, including an epoxy primer as the base. I use the cheap green Harbor Freight HVLP gun with 1.4 tip for my epoxy primers, my base and clear is applied with a Devilbiss Pro Lite (typically 1.3 tip). For the exhaust manifold, exhaust elbow, and exhaust pipe I used NIC Industries Cerakote, specifically their V-Series (black for manifold, silver for exhaust pipe)....this stuff is 100% UV Resistant and withstands heat up to 1800 degrees. It can be applied with a standard HVLP/Compliant spray gun, you just need to use a 100 or similar mesh filter.

    Hopefully this will give you some good ideas...again maybe not the best or most efficient way, but given my schedule and work area limitations it was better than I could have hoped for. I've thrown in a few pictures below to illustrate what I referenced above. Cheers!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7

    Cool

    Thanks for the info! That drivetrain looks great! I have the bare block that's been stripped of the internals. At this point, I think what I might do is reinstall the freeze plugs, heads, valve covers, manifold, water pump and oil pan, tape off any open holes with Gorilla tape, roll it into the backyard and sandblast that sucker. That oughta do it!
    Then I'll shoot it with this............
    Dupli-Color Engine Enamel with Ceramic Resin - Primer

    Followed by this...........
    Dupli-Color Engine Enamel with Ceramic Resin - Ford Red

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