Painting an Aluminum Valve Cover

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Painting an Aluminum Valve Cover

Post #1 by Guest » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:32 pm

You guys have any ideas on how to do it? I'm going to talk to our Lesonal paint salesman tommorow.

I'm talking specifically about painting Mikes raw (with polished fins) aluminum valve covers.

Figured I would post my findings here so that it would help others that want to paint thiers too! :D :D

I want to paint mine a semi gloss red to match my new plug wires and DUI distributer.

Later,

Doug

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Post #2 by addo » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:41 pm

Standard prep I learnt for alloys like that was 1:1 Methylated Spirits and water, applied thoroughly with a Scotchbrite, rinsed well, blown dry and treated with wax/grease remover. You then had a few hours to paint before sufficient oxides re-formed to impede bonding. Regular chromate-free etches and epoxy etches were both OK from what I recall.

I'd be tempted to double up on masking the fins (if they're not being painted) so the primers stopped 1/32" shy of the final paint line. Then pull off the overmasking and continue. (Guessing you're going wet-on-wet.) Leaves a thinner edge to chip.

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Post #3 by Falcon62 » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:22 pm

Hmm, good question Doug. I'll pick our paint supplier's brain when he comes out tomorrow. :lol:

I think I'd go with an aluminum prep like PPG's DX533 followed with their DX503 to prep for paint. Check it out here. Scroll down to DX501 click on product sheet and read the info on page 2 for painting aluminum. 8)
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Post #4 by Guest » Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:08 pm

Got it painted yesterday....looks bitchin! 8) 8) 8)

I'll post a pic later but basically like Adam & Phil pointed out, I scuffed it really, really good with a red 3M scuff pad and scuffing paste.

A red scuff pad would work fine if you dont have the paste...just a bit more work. Next I used surface cleaner, and that was a job to get all the polish out of the pores from the fin polishing process.

I used 1/8" 3M fineline tape to mask off the fins.

Blew it all off real well and sprayed 1 coat of Lesonal epoxy prime on it. Let it dry an hour and spray bombed 3 medium coats of Plasticoat Ford blue engine enamel on it.

After that dryed an hour I sprayed a 50/50 mix of Lesonal flat clear and Universal clear on it so it would look like it was powdercoated.

When it was dry it has the shine and look of a MSD ignition box which is what I wanted it to be.

Sorry about the mixing and matching of product lines :wink:

It usually works for me! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Later,

Doug
Last edited by Guest on Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #5 by Guest » Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:45 pm

Heres a pic of it! :D :D :D

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Later,

Doug

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Post #6 by myplague5 » Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:27 pm

Must.... not .... stare..... Nice, very nice.
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Post #7 by AzCoupe » Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:37 pm

I want to paint mine a semi gloss red to match my new plug wires and DUI distributer.

Looks great Doug, but I thought you were going to paint it red?

Next I used surface cleaner, and that was a job to get all the polish out of the pores from the fin polishing process.

Tell me about cleaning up the polish on the fins. I can't tell you how many hours (days) I spent doing this. When I had the first batch done, I was told to have them painted first, then polished. Big mistake. More so on the gray covers because it really showed.
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Post #8 by 60s Refugee » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:43 pm

Here's a red one!

Image

I started with a CI cover with polished fins. I sanded everything with a "scotch bright" pad, cleaned it with "first clean" solvent, then sprayed it with the "Ford Engine Red" by Duplicolor (rattle can). I cleaned the paint from the polished fins with lacquer thinner on a rag (carefully!).

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I'm an old "Baby Boomer" who fell in love with Mustangs from the very first time I saw one in a photo (I was 14). Never thought I'd want a six cylinder though! I'm finding that I knew a lot less about these engines than I thought I did...probably because of all those brain cells I killed in the sixties. I am also a Vietnam combat vet. I lost my right arm there on April 15, 1970.

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Post #9 by STEVEN. » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:17 pm

What........no Chevy Orange :x :lol: :wink: ?!?! Anyway...... :roll: ....it looks great Dougie-Baby :P ! So,WHY didin't ya paint it Red again? ~OO6.

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Post #10 by 60s Refugee » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:38 pm

Ford engine red is kinda' like orange
I'm an old "Baby Boomer" who fell in love with Mustangs from the very first time I saw one in a photo (I was 14). Never thought I'd want a six cylinder though! I'm finding that I knew a lot less about these engines than I thought I did...probably because of all those brain cells I killed in the sixties. I am also a Vietnam combat vet. I lost my right arm there on April 15, 1970.

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Re: Painting an Aluminum Valve Cover

Post #11 by Sedanman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:40 am

These look great! Exactly what I'm thinking of doing, but ordering the unpolished so I can paint the fins red on the blue valve cover :D

Harry - did you use a primer first, or just paint? I'm a rattle can guy too, so can't use any fancy primers. Ford red does fade to orange after a year or so - I know as I've re-sprayed my regular valve cover many times to keep it looking fresh.

I'm also wondering about using POR 15 here to color match what I'll be putting on my block since it's pretty rusty....
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Re: Painting an Aluminum Valve Cover

Post #12 by Thad » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:34 am

One method is to prep and paint VC then when paint is dry / cured polish the paint off the fins. No masking.
Worked for me.
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Re: Painting an Aluminum Valve Cover

Post #13 by Sedanman » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:51 pm

Or scotch brite them if you're getting an unpolished cover...
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Re: Painting an Aluminum Valve Cover

Post #14 by 30over200 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:45 am

I went with international havester red from tractor supply.
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