So, when I decided to get started on my car project again, I decided the first order of business would be to get the engine together. Things like repairing the leather seats, repainting the car to handle the peeling clear coat, etc, are all things that need to be done with the car. However, without a motor, the car isn't going to do anything but sit in my driveway. Sitting for long periods isn't good for a car; a car is supposed to move and go -- that's a car's purpose. Also, I spent a lot of money on getting all the parts together and machined for a high output engine. I can't go leaving those in storage forever either, especially with the way most of it had been stored -- stacked semi-neatly on or near a pallet in a corner of the garage.
When I started to pull all my parts out of storage, and resumed working on the project, I discovered, to my dismay that the parts had become rather dirty. There'd been an infestation of mice, and the dog had decided my car parts would be a good place to shed. So everything was smelling like rodent piss, covered in (fortunately dried) mouse droppings and with dog fur all over it. The engine block casting (which I'd spent nearly $1000 in machine work on), had developed surface rust all over despite my efforts in addition to the above. Needless to say, I was not happy. Almost $1000, potentially down the drain and me back to square one. Loosing all that work would be a good way to loose motivation to continue the project.
As I inspected the block however, I decided the rusting didn't seem that bad at all, and the block could probably be salvaged with a little bit of cleaning effort. I also decided the block needed to be painted. When the block was at the machine shop, it had been hot-tanked so as to strip all the oil and crud off the block so the machining could be done properly. Unfortunately, the hot-tanking stripped a good deal of the old paint off the block as well, making for a rather nasty appearance. There were several areas of bare iron, ready to be corroded by the elements, making the block difficult to keep clean. For a new engine, this will not do. Furthermore, a painted engine block will be much easier to keep clean, as there's far fewer surfaces that have to be kept oiled and free of rust -- the few machined surfaces where things like heads and seal housings bolt up. The paint will keep all the rest of the block protected from rust, water, oil and dirt, which can be cleaned off much easier from a properly painted surface than bare metal.
I've never painted an engine before. However, I have painted
before. I've painted building interiors and exteriors, miniature pewter figurines, and art paintings, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting about as well. In all the painting I've ever done, I've observed that probably the key things to a quality paint job are cleanliness, and proper prep work. You can have sloppy application technique, and it will look bad, but if you at least prepped and cleaned your workpiece right, it won't be looking far worse due to overspray, peeling and the like. So, before I even think
about painting the engine, be it with rattle cans, an air compressor powered spray can setup, brush, roller, or what have you, I need to get the block clean clean clean clean clean
Enough talking -- time for pictures. ( Click to see...Collapse )