This article will show you how to restore your engine bay without removing the engine. The goal of this project was to radically improve the look of the car without spending a ton of money as it will get a new engine in the near future.
Here are some before pictures.
The first step was to push the car out into the drive and power wash the bay. Three hours with a wire brush, a gallon of degreaser , and half a dozen cans of brake clean, and it was time to mask the bay.
The images below show the bay after cleaning. It is a good idea to let the car dry for 24 to 48 hours before you begin painting.
Now you can remove the pulley's, exhaust manifolds, export brace, hood hinges, and shock tower caps so they can be blasted and painted.
Now that everything is clean and dry, you can begin to mask off the surfaces that you want to keep free of paint. Tinfoil is great for protecting those hard to mask components. Painters tape and plastic wrap allow you to mask the remaining parts of the engine.
While it would have been better to remove the Monte-Carlo bar, it is easily painted around.
Prior to masking the intake was sprayed with high heat clear coat to keep it looking good.
Feeling a little blue
While the light Ford Blue is not correct for the block, I like it better than the dark blue so that's what I went with. Once the engine is painted, let it dryfor 24 hours before masking so you can begin work on the bay.
The next step is to scuff the bay with red Scotch Brite so the primer has a rough surface to adhere to. Once the scuffing is done you can use glazing putty to fill in the low spots. Let the putty dry and sand it smooth. Once the sanding is done blow out the bay with compressed air and then wipe everything down with a tack cloth.
The bay will now be ready to prime. Remember to cover the car to protect its finish.
For this down and dirty project, rattle can primers and paint were used, Rustoleum automotive primer and Krylon Semi Flat Black. Three coats of primer provided good coverage.
The Krylon provided the desired results. For a more durable finish use a true automotive paint with hardener.
The finished bay.
All fasteners have been changed to stainless.
Door panel retainers and grommets were used to fill the stock holes in the bay. This will allow an easy transistion back to stock if desired.
Some of the extras used to give the engine a nice clean look:
The wires are Taylor
135 degree cut to fit.
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