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Learn To Paint Your Engine Compartment

Dumping the old engine for a bigger, badder one? Why not learn to paint your engine compartment

The sealer was applied in one full-wet coat. Since it dries quickly, it can be topcoated in less than an hour. If it's allowed to dry for more than four hours, however, it will need to be scuff-sanded before being painted over.

The primer is also a two-part product. DuPont's V-4904S Primer-Filler gets mixed in a 3:1 ratio with a temperature-dependent activator-the mid-temperature activator in this case, since it was about 70 degrees F.

The primer can be applied in relatively thick coats to fill and smooth sand scratches and other small surface imperfections. The Rambler received three medium-wet coats with about 6-8 minutes flash time between each coat. The primer also dries quickly and is ready to sand within one hour. DuPont recommends scuffing this primer with 500- or 600-grit paper before topcoating.

To prep for the color coat, the entire engine compartment was blown out again with compressed air and wiped thoroughly with an adhesive remover and then a tack cloth.

We purchased the AMC Barbados Blue custom-mixed from the paint store using AMC factory paint chips we scored on eBay. If you've got factory paint but don't know its name or number, check eBay. We found a ton of paint-chip listings-even for oddball applications like Citroen, Vauxhall, and Rover. After mixing the paint with an activator, it was ready to spray. We switched to a smaller spray gun to ensure we'd be able to get behind and around the steering column, brake lines, and wiring harness. To apply the basecoat, spray enough material in medium-wet coats until coverage is complete-usually 2-3 coats will do the trick. Allow about 8-10 minutes of flash time between coats.

We shot the clear as soon as the basecoat was dry-after about 30 minutes. We chose DuPont's HC2300S clear, which was mixed in a 4:1 ratio with a medium-temperature activator. Only two medium-wet coats were needed, applied five minutes apart, before the engine compartment was finished. The 2300S dries very quickly and can be polished after only two hours. While we won't be buffing out the Rambler's engine compartment, the clearcoat was dry to the touch and ready to be unmasked by the time we were finished cleaning the paint gun.

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24 comments
Larry Hullinger
Larry Hullinger

I used newspaper for years when I used to paint cars never had a problem !!!

Randy Todriff
Randy Todriff

Note to First time Mopar owners Never ever paint your engine bay Black its body color for Mopars

Ian Big-e Hoffman
Ian Big-e Hoffman

I've never had any problems using newspaper either so if its bleeding through you should stop spraying the newspaper and spray the car or project

Matt Williams
Matt Williams

I got my copy today and was surprised to see the word Volvo appears twice in two issues.

Ryan Chevalier
Ryan Chevalier

Put up some pics of the thirdgen in the background!

Keith Kavon
Keith Kavon

it looks like to me, like the job was half assed. I could point out everything i see that didn't seem like the best route to take, but i don't want to write a long paragraph, and as a mechanic i dont like to bash other people's methods. Judge by the finish poroduct. But, all i can really say is if this, is suppose to be one of your best jobs, like the article said you were shooting for, I would never want to bring any my projects there.

Craig Palmer
Craig Palmer

why is the lettering so small, gotta put my face right upto the screen to read it all.

Ralph Laakmann
Ralph Laakmann

and the paint on the newspaper....why are you putting costly paint on the newspaper....it belongs on the job.....

Ralph Laakmann
Ralph Laakmann

if you are bleeding thru newspaper.....you are sagging and running....Iv'e used newspapers to mask off even House of color candies and never bled thru....

Keith Inskeep
Keith Inskeep

been there done that more times than i can count but it is so worth it

Karl Loper
Karl Loper

Now take a tack rag or an alcohol rag and wipe off the oils that your left hand just transmitted to the surface.

Jae Cho
Jae Cho

Yup this is a big Fail. Newspaper is a dust source too plus the bleeding.

Brandon Quinn
Brandon Quinn

First tip don't use newspaper, go to a paint supplier shop and pay 10-15 bucks for good paper.

J-f Dube
J-f Dube

All I say is SCRUB LOTS before you paint.

Jason Sahloff
Jason Sahloff

Don't use newspaper, paint can bleed through it

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